Meet Our Staff
Rachael comes to the Nature Center with a remarkable career in museum management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social science/anthropology from Troy University and has a rich background in non-profit management. Greve’s leadership path includes achievements in various museums across the United States from Alabama and Texas to California. During her six-year tenure as Director of the Sierra College Natural History Museum (SCNHM), Rachael made significant contributions. She initiated a digital newsletter, revamped the museum’s mission statement, and designed innovative community outreach programs, such as “Free First Saturdays at the Museum,” a family-friendly science celebration, that drew in more than 16,000 visitors. Rachael’s commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion was evident in her efforts to integrate diverse voices and perspectives into SCNHM programming. She worked closely with Indigenous tribal representatives and expanded representation of African American, Hispanic, Women in S.T.E.M., and Neurodiverse contributions in the museum’s content.
Having purchased a home in the Sacramento area, Rachael now embraces the role of Executive Director at the American River Natural History Association and Effie Yeaw Nature Center. This next chapter in her career is both an honor and a creative opportunity to guide impactful changes alongside the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers.
Naturalist & Manager of Educational Programs
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.
Lead Naturalist/Lead Instructor (UCNP)
Brena Seck has been a naturalist at Effie Yeaw Nature Center since 1999. After graduating from University of California at 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 has been extremely fascinated with nature and animals since she was a young girl. Throughout her childhood, her family had a diversity of pets that truly sparked her curiosity for the natural world. She has had a variety of animal-related volunteer positions and began volunteering at the Nature Center in February of 2018. Her volunteer position in Animal Care played a significant role in her journey to getting involved in wildlife education and becoming more connected to nature. In August of 2018, Kristen was offered a naturalist position and it was a dream come true. Kristen says, “I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity to spread my knowledge and encourage those around me to connect with the natural world!”
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 Manager
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.
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!
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!
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.
Development, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
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.