RCD StaffMeet Our Team of Specialists

During the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place order, RCDMC personnel will be working remotely and conducting critical site visits when safe social distancing can be maintained. All of us can be reached via our email addresses below.

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Paul Robins

Executive Director

Paul has served the RCD of Monterey County since 2008 after serving the Yolo County RCD for 13 years. The focus of his career has been on the interactions between agriculture, water quality, and wildlife habitat in California, with emphasis on the use of native vegetation systems and communicating their application to farmers and the public. Paul’s education includes an MS in Community Development and BS degrees in International Agricultural Development and Landscape Architecture from UC Davis.

(831) 975-7757   |     |   LinkedIn


maggie errea

Maggie Errea

Finance Manager

Maggie joined the RCD in 2010 as a consulting bookkeeper and in 2017 became a permanent employee. She has strong ties to Monterey County having been born in Salinas (many years ago) and growing up on her family’s cattle ranch just outside of San Ardo. Although her BS (Cal Poly, Pomona – Animal Science) and BAs (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale – Classics and Art) only brushed bookkeeping, they did give her a diverse background which fits well within the RCD. She started booking in 1999 with the fateful question of "Do you think you could learn QuickBooks?" and has since worked for private businesses, corporations, and RCDs (and one cattle ranch).



Emily Zefferman


Emily joined the RCD in April 2016. Her main role is managing the Salinas River Arundo Eradication Program, but she has been involved in many habitat restoration and conservation projects throughout the county. She is a co-founder of the Monterey Regional Monarch Alliance.  Before coming to the RCD, Emily was a Research Associate in Urban Ecological Restoration at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she led the first ecological inventory of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness. Emily completed her graduate education at the University of California Davis in 2014, where she received her PhD in Ecology with an emphasis in Restoration, and a certificate in Conservation Management. Her dissertation research focused on stream and riparian restoration. Before graduate school, Emily worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on water quality criteria development. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from Florida State University. Emily is committed to finding collaborative, equitable, and science-based solutions to ecological challenges.

(831) 975-7761   |     |   LinkedIn



Megan Barker

Environmental Scientist

Megan initially came to the RCD in 2016 as a Biological Monitor for the Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program. She now wears many hats and currently supports the RCD in environmental permitting, biological surveys, website management, education and outreach. She is also a FAA-Certified Part 107 remote pilot who has managed the RCD's drone program since 2018. Prior to joining the RCD, Megan was an environmental scientist at Cardno from 2013-2015, where she worked on a variety of projects including permitting and compliance, construction monitoring and environmental communications. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara, where she focused on water resources and pollution prevention, and a BA in Anthropology and Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz.

(831) 975-7747 |  



Adrienne Carter

Civil Engineer

Adrienne joined the RCD of Monterey County in January 2018 as a licensed civil engineer with an interest in water resources. A Kentucky native, she moved to California to go to Humboldt State University and graduated from the Environmental Resources Engineering program in 2004. Following graduation she moved to the Monterey Bay area where she elevated to a senior engineer position overseeing project management, site assessment, construction, technical assistance and quality assurance. She has worked throughout the Central Coast and her projects varied in type and scale from discreet water use studies to large site development design. Adrienne focused her engineering experience on exploring potential for water reuse in decentralized areas..

(831) 975-7765   |  



Laura Murphy

Soil Scientist

Laura joined the RCD as Soil Scientist in February 2018. Her first responsibilities at the RCD focus on providing technical assistance to small-scale, new and Spanish speaking farmers. After completing a M.S. in Soil Science at UC Davis, she worked at the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Salinas from 2010-2018. Her work at UCCE as a Staff Research Associate included irrigation, nutrient management and food safety research. In 2016, Laura completed the PEPA organic farmer educational program at ALBA in Salinas. She maintains her own small fruit and vegetable farm plot. Through the RCD, Laura supports farmers to test and implement both proven and innovative practices to build healthy soil and create thriving and sustainable farms.

(831) 975-7749 |  


aysha peterson

Aysha Peterson

Ag Technical Specialist

Aysha joined the RCD in August 2021 as the Ag Technical Specialist to support both Spanish- and English-speaking farmers. She is concurrently a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, where her research focuses on regional farm management practices affecting nitrate losses to groundwater. Previous work in the region has involved running a modified Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative with farmers at ALBA in Salinas. Aysha received a M.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2020 and a B.S. in Plant Science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2016. She has worked on farms in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, California, and Yucatán (Mexico), and is committed to supporting agricultural practices that build soil health, protect water resources, and promote sustainable farming communities.

(831) 975-7751   |  

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Jamie Tuitele-Lewis

Fire Fuel Mitigation Program and Forest Health Coordinator

Jamie joined the RCD in November 2018. Jamie previously worked at the Sierra National Forest for the US Forest Service for 13 years as the Assistant Forest Botanist. Before that, he worked several seasonal positions for the Forest Service throughout Oregon and California. Jamie attended the University of Hawai’i Manoa with a BA in Botany and then went on to achieve his MS in Forest Ecology at Oregon State University in 2004 with his thesis on the biology and ecology of Potentilla recta in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. His career has focused on the management of rare plants, invasive plant management, and large multi-resource project planning. He also has worked as an independent contracting biologist for Sequoia Ecological Consulting doing wildlife monitoring. He has worked in several aspects of wildfire response and fuels management activities while in the Forest Service.

(831) 975-7784  |  


brandt bates

Brandt Bates

Watershed Program Manager

As Watershed Program Manager for the RCD of Monterey County, Brandt oversees watershed improvement projects ranging from flood management, invasive species control, fish passages, forest health and fire resiliency. He received his MS in GIS with a concentration in resource management from San Francisco State University, capped by his thesis on gully formation and landuse analysis in the Pescadero Watershed, San Mateo County. Brandt’s interest in the human-natural world interface grew from his volunteer work in Central America and his NOLS experience in the Ventana Wilderness. He received his BS at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he studied Ecology. Subsequently, he worked for the Santa Lucia Conservancy facilitating habitat protection, conservation easement policy and strategic planning. His professional interests include riparian habitat conservation, central coast steelhead migration, cartogrpahy and remote sensing. During his free time you will find Brandt birding, biking, and hiking his beloved coastal range with his family.

(831) 975-7784   |