Stephen McCord - Chair
Stephen McCord first came to Davis in 1993 as a graduate student after having worked or traveled around five continents. After completing his doctoral studies he again left the country only to arrive right back in Davis in 2000, finally ready to go native. His interactions with PCC began in the early 2000’s while he was President of another local nonprofit that organized riparian plantings and trash cleanup events. These days his consulting business provides water quality engineering services throughout the region, making numerous contacts and experiences that align with PCC’s mission. He has served on the board since 2011.
Stephen loves being outdoors, especially around water. He has experienced the entire length of Putah Creek while fishing, photographing, birdwatching, removing trash, planting, and even joining conference calls. As a board member, he appreciates the opportunity to serve with both white collars (in board meetings) and blue ones (stewardship events).
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys playing many sports, backpacking or otherwise traveling, and coaching, mentoring and advising students. He lives in Davis with his wife Mona and daughter Asia.
Clancy McConnell – Vice Chair
Clancy hails from the small gold country town of Sonora, in the Sierra Nevada foothills southeast of Davis. His family started him in the outdoors young, recreating in the expansive mountainous playground by backpacking, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, and exploring local culture. He also began competitive outdoor sports there, which he continues to this day. From 2008 through 2016, he worked year-round for his family’s excavation business, where his father taught him both a construction skillset and valuable lessons about how construction can be performed to preserve—not exploit—natural resources. As one component of this practice, they began restoring meadows, roads, and severe burn areas in the Stanislaus National Forest, improving water storage, preventing erosion, and restoring habitat. Part of this work involved putting in substantial construction volunteer hours with the local environmental resource non-profit, which showed him just how valuable an effective non-profit is to the community.
These activities and the land ethic instilled in him by his parents inspired him to attend UC Davis, where he has studied for over 6 years. In spring, 2016, he received his Bachelor in Environmental Science and in fall, 2018, he received his Master in Ecology. Now, as a PhD student in Geography, he aims to understand how the altered hydrology of Putah Creek, a unique Central Valley waterway, has affected its riparian vegetation and what types of vegetation and floodplain restoration are possible under future environmental conditions. As a graduate teaching assistant, he is passionate about teaching undergraduate students in various classes, including ecology, environmental design, geographic information systems, biogeochemistry, music, and cultural studies.
Aside from his experience in restoration and scientific monitoring, Clancy brings to the board of directors an enthusiasm for education, volunteer work, and natural resource advocacy. He enjoys Putah Creek by training in the public reserves and parks, cycling and playing music along the creek with friends, teaching outdoor labs in the UC Davis reserve and arboretum, and analyzing historic air photos from decades past.
Turid Reid - Treasurer
Davis had been my home since 1978, but it was only after we were charmed in the mid 80’s by a property with Putah Creek as the southern boundary that this waterway became personal to me. I met Susan Sanders, one of the original founders of Putah Creek Council when we worked together on the Homestake Technical Review panel, and she encouraged me to become involved in this new venture. Since I had worked for many years on scientific aspects of water rights, and also on the effects of water quality on the biota, I enthusiastically agreed to help her.
Having Putah Creek in our backyard, and having always been enthusiastic about outdoor adventures, this waterway has provided my family and friends with many opportunities to explore the river, and it’s riparian flora and fauna. Much of the work that Putah Creek Council does ensures that this local jewel is preserved and enhanced for future generations, and I want to be able to contribute to that.
I came to Davis via an upbringing in Zambia and early adulthood in New Zealand. I am an enthusiastic hiker and camper, will get out on the water in anything that floats, jump at any opportunity for foreign travel, and enjoy gardening and photography. When possible, I try to get my now far flung family together. Those two small boys and two little girls that played in the creek are now older than I was when I first came to California!
Brian Bellamy - Secretary
I have lived in Winters since 2008 having originally grown up and spent much of my adulthood in the Pacific Northwest. My early career was as a science teacher where some of the experiences there involved monitoring the health of Gee Creek in the Ridgefield, Washington area as well as helping students learn about the science of the creek. After moving to California for a career change to the solar industry, I became interested in Putah Creek after spending some time in the outdoors in this area. My involvement with PCC began with volunteering on creek cleanups a number of years ago and continued with being a PCC Stewardship Team member for 2018-2019
Maintaining and improving the ecosystems of the areas we live near has always been very important to me. Also, living on property adjacent to Dry Creek, which ties into to Putah Creek, has made me all the more aware of the interconnectedness of this whole area and the importance of preserving what we have.
I enjoy spending time outdoors in the area hiking and love getting together with music friends to play guitar. I live in Winters with my wife, Jesse, and an assortment of animals (a dog, two cats, a rabbit, and several chickens).
Stephen McCaffrey – Board Member
Professor Stephen C. McCaffrey is Carol Olson Endowed Professor of International Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. He was the UN International Law Commission's special rapporteur on international watercourses, was the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and received the 2018 Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy. He has served as counsel to States in cases before the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration and has published widely in the field of international water and environmental law.
Steve's passion for water and aquatic ecosystems led him to become involved in these activities. He believes that the PCC's mission aligns perfectly with these interests and hopes to bring to bear his experience in dealing with diverse actors for the benefit of the community served by the PCC.
Steve and his wife Susan, sometimes accompanied by their four children and their families, visit their small cabin in Alaska in the summers and enjoy being immersed in nature there. As a boy scout in the 1950s, Steve camped with his troop on Putah Creek at a point near the hamlet of Monticello, both now under many feet of water.
Chelsea Martinez – Board Member
I grew up in the coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina. My academic background is rooted in the physical sciences with my interests always leading back to water. After finishing my master’s project digging into fluvial geomorphology, I worked at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division as State Coordinator for Adopt-A-Stream, a volunteer water quality monitoring program. While teaching others how to check in on the health of their local rivers and streams, I was lucky enough to travel throughout the state, experiencing and paddling many of its rivers.
When I found out we were moving to Davis, I immediately started searching for watershed groups in the area. That is how I first learned of Putah Creek Council. Less than two months after arriving in Davis in August of 2016, I attended the Stewardship Team orientation and knew I had found kindred spirits. I am passionate about getting people outdoors to enjoy and learn about local natural areas. I believe that increasing awareness and appreciation for our local resources cultivates a personal reason to care for and protect them. For me, the more I learn about a place the more it feels like home. I am honored to be a part of Putah Creek Council which connects our community, with our hands and hearts, to our watershed.
Putah Creek ends in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and that is where I spend much of my time. I work as the Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for Yolo Basin Foundation. Outside of work, I enjoy taking in the landscape while biking, reading, and traveling. I delight in the screeching scrub jays, the yellow-billed magpies, and the late night hoots of the owls outside my window. My husband, Alejandro, and I live in Davis, our home.
Denise Colombano – Board Member
Denise Colombano is a longtime Putah Creek enthusiast. While in college at UC Davis, Denise helped researchers monitor the health of the creek and taught school children about the Putah Creek watershed. As a graduate student in Dr. Peter Moyle’s laboratory at UC Davis, she taught college students about the fishes of Putah Creek as part of the Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology curriculum. Denise became further enthralled with Putah Creek after learning about the local, grassroots efforts to transform the creek back into a thriving ecosystem. Currently, Denise is a post-doctoral scholar at UC Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences where she studies California fishes in creeks and marshes.
Denise is an advocate of process-based restoration approaches to encourage biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. She believes Putah Creek is a model system for Californian stream restoration and is excited to formally contribute to its protection by being part of the Council. While much of her research is centered on fish, she is interested in holistic approaches to conservation and restoration.
Denise moved to Winters in 2015 with her husband Vincent. They spend their time walking the dog, eating at the Putah Creek Café, and enjoying small town life.
Bob Marr – Board Member
I first came to Davis as a child when my father was a professor with the UC Davis Geography Department. We were here for several years and in those days Putah Creek would often dry up by the end of summer. Still when there was water my friends and I would often bicycle to the creek for swimming, fishing, and exploring. During college I earned a master’s degree in Watershed Management and often worked in Alaska as both a biologist and a commercial fisherman. Along the way I was a member of the of the American Association of Geographers, and the American Fisheries Society. Eventually in 2000, I returned to the area for employment with the Board of Equalization in Sacramento. Since 1997 I have also had a small winery producing premium red wines from selected hillside vineyards. In more recent years I was a board member for Yolo Land Trust and have volunteered with Solano County Water Agency to monitor our annual Fall salmon run.
Public talks, tours and educational programs at all academic levels help to foster community understanding, and appreciation of our natural environment. As a board member I look forward to strengthening environmental educational opportunities for our local schools and our community at large. I also appreciate the opportunity to be involved with continued habitat enhancement of our stream corridor for native plants, along with healthy populations of native fish and wildlife.
I have lived in Davis for a number of years where I raised my children Selena, and Patrick. They are both in college now, but we still often enjoy Putah Creek for a variety of outdoor activities.