Meet Our Staff

Executive Director

Kent Anderson

Executive Director

Kent comes to Effie Yeaw Nature Center with more than 20 years of experience with non-profit organizations, including 2.5 years as Executive Director with the Putah Creek Council, and management-level time with STAR Education and the STAR Ecostation Exotic Animal Rescue and Children’s Museum, Sierra Nevada Journeys Outdoor School, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County and a wide range of other education and conservation focused non-profits, as well as experience with the California Department of Fish and Game and the Sacramento Zoological Society. Among other things, he has expertise in program development, special event coordination and management, community relations, and grant writing. Kent has served on the boards of several environmental non-profits, including the Wildlife Care Association, and has a wide range of certification, including previously as an Emergency Medical Technician with Sacramento Valley Emergency Medical Services and is a UC Certified Naturalist. As an avid outdoorsman and hiker, Kent has spent many days and nights outdoors throughout California, including 11 summers as a camp staffer for the Boys Scouts of America, exploring natural places and building his first-hand knowledge of and passion for all that nature has to offer. A lifelong learner, he approaches new learning opportunities with a passion and excitement and is always on the lookout for new occasions to expand his knowledge and experience. Kent’s three dogs and many rescued exotic animals keep he and his partner busy, along with outdoor activities and visits to museums and parks throughout the west.

Education Staff

Brena Seck

Lead Naturalist/Lead Instructor (UCNP)

Brena Seck has been a naturalist at Effie Yeaw Nature Center since 1999. After graduating from University of California C Davis with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology she briefly worked as a field biologist but yearned for a place where she could be around wildlife and have people to talk to. She discovered the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, and it was the right fit! Brena leads the Maidu Cultural Programs during the school year, and enjoys being a nature camp leader over the summer, especially when she takes the campers fishing and rafting! Brena is also the coordinator and lead instructor for the UC California Naturalist Certification Course offered at Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Kristen Angelini


Since early childhood, Kristen has been incredibly fascinated by all animals, constantly asking her parents to take her to zoos and museums so she could learn more. When Kristen was living in the Bay Area as a child, their neighbors called her family “The Doolittles” because they always had a variety of animals in their home! Kristen is currently studying Wildlife Biology, Zoology, and plans on continuing her education in Marine Biology. She has held several animal-related volunteer positions throughout her life and began volunteering at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in early 2018. She quickly fell in love with the animals, the nature, and the people and was honored to accept the opportunity to join this amazing team in August. On top of being an animal lover, Kristen is also a huge prehistoric animal nerd! And in her free time she loves to play ukulele, visit museums, read, take her dogs to the river, and travel anywhere and everywhere she can. Kristen says “I love exploring the nature, history, and culture of new places and sharing the knowledge with the people around me!”

Sara Tabatabai


Sara grew up with a love and fascination with nature and all the amazing species that live in it. That love was paired with respect and a desire to do all she could to safeguard the natural world. It wasn’t until taking an environmental science course in community college that she realized she wanted to pursue a study and career in the environmental field. Sara received her BA at the University of CA Los Angeles in Environmental Studies/Geography and recently graduated from New York University with an MA in Environmental Conservation Education. During her time in New York City, she interned as an environmental educator at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s Environmental Education Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and More Gardens! Fund. After moving back to California, Sara found a new home, closer to family, in East Sacramento where she also found a place at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, and she has been loving it ever since.

Hannah Steurer


As a lifelong learner, Hannah has always loved exploring new ideas and places! She is a history, science and nature enthusiast who loves to read and learn about as much as she can. She also enjoys sharing what she has learned with others and is a strong advocate of hands-on education. Hannah graduated from CSU, Sacramento in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. After spending some time in the museum field as an educator, Hannah decided to shift her focus from STEAM to general nature education. She loves being outdoors and experiencing nature, and is excited for the opportunity to further explore her passion for the environment and love of animals!

Animal Care Staff

Renée DeLu Covey

Animal Care Specialist

Renée began volunteering at the nature center in 2016 due to her fascination and passion for animals. Her time volunteering deepened her interest in our local wildlife. After volunteering over 1,000 hours at the nature center, she joined the staff at the beginning of 2018. At the same time, she began courses for becoming a certified California Naturalist, which she did at the end of the year. She adores continuing to learn about our amazing animals and can be seen at the nature center at the beginning of the week, caring for the animals and sharing information about them with anyone who will listen.

Administrative Staff

Kimberly Rider

Administrative Manager

Kimberly grew up in Folsom, California, earned her Bachelors Degree in Art Studio at Sac State University and then moved, spending many years living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Bellevue, Washington. In 2015 she moved back to Sacramento and took a job with a company that promoted volunteer work. She decided to volunteer at Effie Yeaw Nature Center and promptly fell in love. She became a regular volunteer on Sunday afternoons, enjoying “chatting up” nature with the public. We were lucky to have her join the Nature Center staff in November 2017. Kimberly loves to get out and go on walks through the preserve.

Janay Sawdon

Weekend Receptionist

Janay is practically a resident at the Nature Center, having worked here for over 15 years! She serves as one of our weekend receptionists in our Visitor Center. You’re likely to see her on Sundays helping guests purchase parking passes or gifts from our Discovery Shop, or handing out trail maps to groups of explorers!

Jaclyn Teofilo

Development Coordinator

Jaclyn joined the EYNC team in February 2012. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology at California State University Sacramento. In her role at EYNC Jaclyn coordinates events, assists with fundraising and manages memberships. She can also occasionally be found hosting a day camp, providing trail tours, or introducing visitors to our resident birds. In her spare time, Jaclyn enjoys spending time with her family, and being constantly amused by her energetic young son.

Matteson Cunningham

Program Scheduling Registrar & Naturalist

Born and raised in Sacramento, Matteson grew up exploring the American River. She was excited when she got the opportunity to intern at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, gaining the experience and knowledge of a naturalist. She then graduated from Sacramento State with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, paddleboarding, slacklining and crafting!

Steven Wolcott

Grounds and Building Maintenance

Steven has worked at the Nature Center as long as some of our senior staff! He keeps the grounds of the Nature Center well-maintained and keeps the building in tip-top shape. You may find Steven driving around the center in our GEM car, blowing leaves off the sidewalk or working on a squeaky door. If you see him, say hi!

Dan Root

Facilities and Grounds Coordinator

Dan spent over 25 years in the automotive repair industry with a background in administration, marketing and project management and has extensive experience maintaining and repairing vehicles. As a homeowner restoring and remodeling an 80-year-old historic home here in Carmichael, he developed a wide range of skills in building repair, remodeling and maintenance. In his spare time, Dan enjoys playing league darts, hiking, camping, gardening, creating art and learning guitar.

Jacqueline Ramirez, CVA

Manager of Volunteer Programs

Jacqueline fell in love with the night and the cosmos while working with 6th grade youth and high school volunteers at Clemmie Gill’s School of Science and Conservation, Tulare County’s residential science camp in the Sierra foothills. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and minor in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008. Go Banana Slugs! In 2010, Jacqueline joined the Peace Corps and served as an environmental extension agent in Mali, West Africa. It was a transformative experience to immerse herself in village life and learn the language, customs and traditions of such a beautiful and hospitable country. Upon returning to the United States, Jacqueline continues her goal to foster community wherever she lands and connect people to the wonders of the natural world. While working as an Interpretive Ranger in Yosemite National Park, her fondest memories are telling stories under the night sky and hearing the oohs and aahs of the visitors as the light of a meteor catches their gaze. She is happy to be a member the Admin team, at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, to connect volunteers to various roles that benefit their well-being and strengthen our community.

Sam Cohen-Suelter

Development Marketing & Communications Associate

Coming from Southern California, Sam moved to the Sacramento area to attend the University of California Davis, receiving a degree in communication and film. After shifting jobs for a year Sam found a spot at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center where his love of nature and birds could combine with his technical background to help promote the Nature Center and everything we do. Outside of the Nature center Sam enjoys exploring nature with his camera and performing in musical groups.

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