Meet The Team


Pelayo Alvarez
Director of Outreach and Partnerships


Patricia Hickey
Managing Director


Jeff Creque
Director of Rangeland and
Agroecosystem Management


Lynette Niebrugge
Carbon Farm Planning Lead


Torri Estrada
Executive Director and Director of Policy


Jonathan Wachter
Lead Soil Scientist

Board of Directors

CCI is transitioning its founding board into a sustaining Board of Directors. We are honored to be working with our Board to continue to grow and refine CCI’s governance and leadership.


Rebecca Burgess
Board President
Executive Director of Fibershed


Richard Schorske
Founder and Executive Director of EV Alliance

Pelayo Alvarez
Director of Outreach and Partnerships

Email: palvarez@carboncycle.org

Dr. Pelayo Alvarez is the Director of Outreach and Partnerships at the Carbon Cycle Institute where he builds partnerships, and engages organizations as well as and private landowners in carbon farming. Pelayo has experience working with the ranching community, government agencies, academia and other stakeholders on rangeland conservation initiatives including the development of programs to incentivize good stewardship practices on rangelands. He is also an adjunct faculty at American River College in Sacramento where he teaches Rangeland Ecology and Management. Pelayo holds a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from Universidad de León (Spain), a Master’s degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis.

Pelayo Alvarez
Director of Outreach and Partnerships

Email: palvarez@carboncycle.org

Dr. Pelayo Alvarez is the Director of Outreach and Partnerships at the Carbon Cycle Institute where he builds partnerships, and engages organizations as well as and private landowners in carbon farming. Pelayo has experience working with the ranching community, government agencies, academia and other stakeholders on rangeland conservation initiatives including the development of programs to incentivize good stewardship practices on rangelands. He is also an adjunct faculty at American River College in Sacramento where he teaches Rangeland Ecology and Management. Pelayo holds a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from Universidad de León (Spain), a Master’s degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis.

Patricia Hickey
Managing Director

Email: phickey@carboncycle.org

Patricia is the Managing Director at the Carbon Cycle Institute where she serves in a senior leadership role on implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and plan. Over the course of her career, Patricia has worked with universities, resource conservation districts, and agricultural land trusts to advance natural resource conservation and the development and adoption of innovative conservation programs and financing. She has served in executive director roles for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts and the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and in program director roles for the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District and Marin Agricultural Land Trust. While serving as the Stewardship Director at Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Patricia was a Steering Committee member of the Marin Carbon Project. She brings 10 years of experience working directly on agriculture and climate issues in California.  

Patricia began her career working in coastal planning as a Research Associate with Rhode Island Sea Grant Program and University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension. She received her MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University of CA, master’s degrees in Environmental Science & Management and Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island, and a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Patricia Hickey
Managing Director
Email: phickey@carboncycle.org

Patricia is the Managing Director at the Carbon Cycle Institute where she serves in a senior leadership role on implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and plan. Over the course of her career, Patricia has worked with universities, resource conservation districts, and agricultural land trusts to advance natural resource conservation and the development and adoption of innovative conservation programs and financing. She has served in executive director roles for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts and the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and in program director roles for the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District and Marin Agricultural Land Trust. While serving as the Stewardship Director at Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Patricia was a Steering Committee member of the Marin Carbon Project. She brings 10 years of experience working directly on agriculture and climate issues in California.  

Patricia began her career working in coastal planning as a Research Associate with Rhode Island Sea Grant Program and University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension. She received her MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University of CA, master’s degrees in Environmental Science & Management and Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island, and a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Jeff Creque
Director of Rangeland and Agroecosystem Management

Email: jcreque@carboncycle.org

Dr. Jeff Creque is a co-founder of the Marin Carbon Project and the Carbon Cycle Institute,  where he serves as Director of Rangeland and Agroecosystem Management.  Jeff provides senior leadership on carbon farming and land management, informed by thirty-five years of applied experience and theoretical training. He is an agricultural and rangeland consultant and a Natural Resources Conservation Service certified nutrient management planning specialist and technical service provider. Jeff’s organizational affiliations include: Founding Board Member, Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture (Marin); Co-Founder, Bolinas-Stinson Beach Resource Recovery Project; Agricultural Director, Apple Tree International; Co-Founder, West Marin Compost Coalition. Jeff holds a PhD in Rangeland Ecology from Utah State University, and is a California State Board of Forestry Certified Professional in Rangeland Management.

 

Jeff Creque
Director of Rangeland and Agroecosystem Management

Email: jcreque@carboncycle.org

Dr. Jeff Creque is a co-founder of the Marin Carbon Project and the Carbon Cycle Institute,  where he serves as Director of Rangeland and Agroecosystem Management.  Jeff provides senior leadership on carbon farming and land management, informed by thirty-five years of applied experience and theoretical training. He is an agricultural and rangeland consultant and a Natural Resources Conservation Service certified nutrient management planning specialist and technical service provider. Jeff’s organizational affiliations include: Founding Board Member, Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture (Marin); Co-Founder, Bolinas-Stinson Beach Resource Recovery Project; Agricultural Director, Apple Tree International; Co-Founder, West Marin Compost Coalition. Jeff holds a PhD in Rangeland Ecology from Utah State University, and is a California State Board of Forestry Certified Professional in Rangeland Management.

 

Lynette Niebrugge
Associate Director of Education and Training

Email: lniebrugge@carboncycle.org

Lynette Niebrugge is the Lead in Carbon Farm Planning, Training and Education at the Carbon Cycle Institute where she focuses on building the capacity of land managers and agricultural conservation planners to conduct carbon farm planning and implementation. In partnership with Fibershed, Lynette is working to assist in developing an approach and implementable strategy for small farm carbon farm planning and implementation, including support on developing land-owner education.

Lynette received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and her Masters degree in Soil Science from California State Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. She held a forestry position within the United States Forest Service for several years before joining the Marin Resource Conservation District in 2011 where she focused on education and implementation of carbon farming. She is a founding member of the Marin Carbon Project, a regional coalition of ranchers, land managers and government agencies devoted to supporting agriculture as a solution to climate change

Lynette Niebrugge
Associate Director of Education and Training

Email: lniebrugge@carboncycle.org

Lynette Niebrugge is the Lead in Carbon Farm Planning, Training and Education at the Carbon Cycle Institute where she focuses on building the capacity of land managers and agricultural conservation planners to conduct carbon farm planning and implementation. In partnership with Fibershed, Lynette is working to assist in developing an approach and implementable strategy for small farm carbon farm planning and implementation, including support on developing land-owner education.

Lynette received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and her Masters degree in Soil Science from California State Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. She held a forestry position within the United States Forest Service for several years before joining the Marin Resource Conservation District in 2011 where she focused on education and implementation of carbon farming. She is a founding member of the Marin Carbon Project, a regional coalition of ranchers, land managers and government agencies devoted to supporting agriculture as a solution to climate change

Torri Estrada
Executive Director and Director of Policy

Email: testrada@carboncycle.org

Torri Estrada is Executive Director at the Carbon Cycle Institute and directs its policy and climate justice work. Torri has worked to advance solutions to social and environmental justice, climate, and environmental issues for over thirty years.  Previously, Torri was program director at the Marin Community Foundation, where he managed the Foundation’s environmental grantmaking program and climate change initiative.  He was also a program officer at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program, managing its environmental justice and civil rights portfolios.  Torri was the co-founder and a senior policy fellow with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; Torri served as Program Director at Urban Habitat and directed its Brownfields and Community Revitalization Project and co-developed its Leadership Development Program. Torri holds an MS in Environmental Sociology and Policy (with environmental justice emphasis) from the University of Michigan, and a joint BS/BA degree in Environmental Science and Policy and Ecological Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Torri Estrada
Executive Director and Director of Policy

Email: testrada@carboncycle.org

Torri Estrada is Executive Director at the Carbon Cycle Institute and directs its policy and climate justice work. Torri has worked to advance solutions to social and environmental justice, climate, and environmental issues for over thirty years.  Previously, Torri was program director at the Marin Community Foundation, where he managed the Foundation’s environmental grantmaking program and climate change initiative.  He was also a program officer at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program, managing its environmental justice and civil rights portfolios.  Torri was the co-founder and a senior policy fellow with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; Torri served as Program Director at Urban Habitat and directed its Brownfields and Community Revitalization Project and co-developed its Leadership Development Program. Torri holds an MS in Environmental Sociology and Policy (with environmental justice emphasis) from the University of Michigan, and a joint BS/BA degree in Environmental Science and Policy and Ecological Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jonathan Wachter
Lead Soil Scientist

Email:  jwachter@carboncycle.org

Dr. Jonathan Wachter is the Lead Soil Scientist at the Carbon Cycle Institute, where he works to advance the understanding of soil carbon and its interdependence with agricultural management practices. Previously, Jonathan worked at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, a member of the Marin Carbon Project, where he ran the organization’s climate programs designing climate-beneficial projects on farms and ranches and developing county-wide climate strategies for working lands. Jonathan’s background is in soil health research, agricultural policy, and environmental education. He holds a PhD in soil science from Washington State University.

Jonathan Wachter
Lead Soil Scientist

Email:  jwachter@carboncycle.org

Dr. Jonathan Wachter is the Lead Soil Scientist at the Carbon Cycle Institute, where he works to advance the understanding of soil carbon and its interdependence with agricultural management practices. Previously, Jonathan worked at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, a member of the Marin Carbon Project, where he ran the organization’s climate programs designing climate-beneficial projects on farms and ranches and developing county-wide climate strategies for working lands. Jonathan’s background is in soil health research, agricultural policy, and environmental education. He holds a PhD in soil science from Washington State University.

Rebecca Burgess
Board President
Executive Director Of Fibershed

Rebecca has over a decade of  experience writing and implementing hands-on curriculum that focuses on the intersection of restoration ecology and fiber systems. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and has created workshops for a range of NGOs and corporations. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale.

Rebecca Burgess
Board President
Executive Director Of Fibershed

Rebecca has over a decade of  experience writing and implementing hands-on curriculum that focuses on the intersection of restoration ecology and fiber systems. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and has created workshops for a range of NGOs and corporations. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale.

Richard Schorske
Founder and Executive Director of EV Alliance

Richard is the Founder and Executive Director of EV Alliance, a public/private partnership to accelerate the mass adoption of Electric Vehicles in key regional markets in California. In this capacity, Richard developed a $4M “Bay Area EV Corridor Project” to provide hundreds of public EV charging stations throughout the region. He also co-founded the Bay Area EV Strategic Council to drive EV-friendly policies in Bay Area jurisdictions with key cross-sector leadership, including Mayors, CEOs of key business associations and EV-related industries, utilities, regional agencies, and NGOs. Previously, Richard was the founder and CEO of the Marin Climate and Energy Partnership, a collaboration of 11 municipalities within the County of Marin and key public agencies dedicated to advancing countywide GHG reduction targets aligned to California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Richard has considerable experience in workforce development and public education and holds a BA in History from Wesleyan University.

Richard Schorske
Founder and Executive Director of EV Alliance

Richard is the Founder and Executive Director of EV Alliance, a public/private partnership to accelerate the mass adoption of Electric Vehicles in key regional markets in California. In this capacity, Richard developed a $4M “Bay Area EV Corridor Project” to provide hundreds of public EV charging stations throughout the region. He also co-founded the Bay Area EV Strategic Council to drive EV-friendly policies in Bay Area jurisdictions with key cross-sector leadership, including Mayors, CEOs of key business associations and EV-related industries, utilities, regional agencies, and NGOs. Previously, Richard was the founder and CEO of the Marin Climate and Energy Partnership, a collaboration of 11 municipalities within the County of Marin and key public agencies dedicated to advancing countywide GHG reduction targets aligned to California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Richard has considerable experience in workforce development and public education and holds a BA in History from Wesleyan University.