Andrew Chambers comes to us from Mt. San Antonio College, though soon to be Humboldt State University, where he is pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science. Throughout his work at the California Conservation Corps, Mt. SAC, and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Andrew’s supervisors have the following to say about him: Andrew has “Demonstrated an unparalleled compassion and desire to learn anything and everything about conservation and the environment”, he “lives and breathes conservation, wise use of water, and sustainable living,”, and “Andrew will serve our industry as a true water conservation professional for many years to come”. After meeting with Andrew during our interview, we have no doubt that these statements are true!
Ruben is currently pursuing a degree in Public Administration from California State University San Bernardino, while balancing a full time job in the City of Chino’s Public Works Department where Ruben works to reduce storm water runoff, improve water quality, and increase percolation to the Chino Groundwater Basin! Ruben has lived and breathed water conservation and drought tolerant plant material from a young age, growing up exploring his dad’s plant nursery. He is poised to become a leader in storm water management in our region – as one of his supervisors has stated, “Ruben is loaded with integrity, and exhibits a passion for his work and the environment that has proven to be contagious amongst his staff and colleagues” and he is relied upon for his local knowledge and ability to communicate the complexities of various storm water permits and ordinances.
Jocelyn Vennat is a student at Cal Poly Pomona and is pursuing a Civil Engineering Degree. From tending to a small scale aquaponics system at her home to interning at Santa Ana’s Public Works to tackling the challenges of the engineering classes, Jocelyn is building the skills necessary to take on southern California’s water scarcity issues in a big way. As one of her mentors stated, “I still remember the impassioned essay she wrote as a high school students for admission…. regarding the availability of fresh water, a concern for both developed and developing countries. At a very young age, she displayed an awareness and a willingness to apply herself and her talents to public works issues.” As Jocelyn continues to build her skills as an engineer, there’s no doubt that she’ll be a part of the solution to improve the sustainable management of water resources.
Eileen Williams, a recent graduate from Chino High School, will be attending UC Berkeley this fall to pursue a degree in Molecular Environmental Biology. Eileen has demonstrated commitment to water conservation by mobilizing a team to start a school garden and a Project Earth Club at her high school. As stated by one of her teachers, “Eileen was committed to bringing this area to life through drought tolerant plants…One of my best conversations with Eileen was one where I learned about the Chino Basin. I have been a resident of the Chino Valley for 20 years and yet was ignorant about the Conservation District. And as a result of this conversation, I brought 27 of my senior students on a recent field trip to the basin. It was a great experience and source of new information for all of us. Eileen’s passion towards water conservation and sustaining communities makes her a great teacher, leader, peer and activist”. With this much initiative and drive at age 17, we’re looking forward to seeing what else Eileen can do!