P.O. Box 789, Santa Paula, CA 93061 contact@santaclarariver.org


Shawn Kelly

Shawn Kelly
Executive Director 

After graduating with a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University, Shawn worked as a Coastal Engineer for the Gold Coast City Council in Queensland, Australia for a short time.  He subsequently moved to Ventura County and began a career as an Ocean Engineer for the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center’s Ocean Engineering Department. After 10 years working as an engineer, he returned to graduate school and obtained a Masters in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Following graduate school, he worked for a state initiative called the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (WRP) in a number of capacities until taking a position with the Santa Clara River Conservancy.  Shawn has a broad range of professional interests and experiences, and as a 30-year resident of Ventura County, Shawn is excited to be working in the critically vital and compelling Santa Clara River Watershed.  Shawn is a passionate environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast, being a former competitive surfer as well as an avid mountain biker and snowboarder. He is the father of two boys.

Laura Pavliscak
Restoration Manager

Laura has worked as a field biologist and land manager in the southwestern U.S. and abroad since 2001, specializing in ecological research, restoration, and biological mitigation.  She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Agroecology from the University of California Santa Cruz, and a M.S. in Aridland Ecology and Management from the University of Arizona.


Devina Schneider
Restoration Technician

Devina graduated from Texas State University where she earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. Shortly after, she served as an agroforestry volunteer for the Peace Corps in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. She has also worked as a biological technician on projects in New Mexico, collecting data on several vulnerable chipmunk species. She is enthusiastic about wildlife, conservation, and influencing others towards a more sustainable future and finds joy in cooking, running, and reading the latest sci-fi fantasy novels.


Rafael Regalado
Restoration Technician

Rafael graduated from California State University Channel Islands, earning a B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management. After graduating, Rafael completed an internship with SAMO Youth where he worked within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. There, he performed trail rehabilitation, revegetation projects, and exotic plant removal. Rafael also worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife with the Nutria Eradication Program in California’s Central Valley.


Kaelynn Graham
Restoration Technician

Kaelynn graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Environmental Science. After graduating, she worked as an environmental consultant in the Bay Area for almost two years before deciding to take her career in the direction of conservation with Student Conservation Association and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska. There she worked as an invasive species and prairie management specialist, performing a variety of biological work including identifying invasive plant species for removal and native plant species for seed collection, performing vegetation surveys, and leading a conservation crew. She is passionate about encouraging future generations to learn about protecting the environment, reading, board games, and a good cup of tea.


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