Staff


A girl holding a chicken in her arms.

Sophie Brown

Animal Care Assistant

Sophie grew up in Oakland and is a nature lover and animal enthusiast. She rode western for many years and is most comfortable around animals of all kinds. She fosters cats with the Feral For Change Organization, and has four of her own. She has a great love for theater, literature, and hiking, which is very apparent in her free time. An avid traveler, she went to Yellowstone to study bison family units and migration before her sophomore year, and went to Israel on retreat. When not working at Sienna Ranch, you can find her volunteering at the Oakland Zoo, or spending time in one of San Francisco’s many record stores. A current high school student in Berkeley, she plans to pursue animal behavior or environmental studies in college. She is thrilled to be a part of the Sienna Ranch community!

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Shanti Ahmad

Nature Program Instructor

Born in Chicago, Shanti’s most vivid childhood memories are of the lakes and rivers of Upstate New York where she spent her summers catching tree frogs and hunting wild blueberries. Camping and canoeing became her passion and she made sure she signed up for any ecology trips offered during her high school and college years, including a semester spent camping and canoeing along the Rio Grande River on both sides of the border. Majoring in Education, Shanti has taught in schools in Marin County and Berkeley California. She has also offered homeschooling classes and tutoring. Her own passion for the natural world translates into a belief that nature is the best environment for our children, and the more we as parents and educators can foster and guide that connection, the healthier, more resilient and understanding human being we can raise.

A woman standing in front of a painting.

Lauren Rezak

Nature Program Instructor

Lauren is a 3rd generation Californian whose love of the Earth and passion for exploring the world fostered her drive to earn her BS degree in Environmental Science from Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Lauren has put her passions into place by traveling to many places around the globe, including New Zealand, Spain, Italy, and France. She also studied sustainability in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, co-led a trail maintenance crew in Montana with the Montana Conservation Corps, and worked in Alaska as a Naturalist at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Lauren educated tourists about native Alaskan animals such as grizzly bears, reindeer, moose, wood bison, Canadian lynx, and more!

Lauren is excited to bring her love of nature and animals to the campers at Sienna Ranch, passing her enthusiasm to the next generation. When she’s not at Sienna Ranch, Lauren enjoys taking nature hikes, playing her violin, watercolor painting, and playing with her two dogs, Kiko and Nala.

A woman wearing a hat standing in front of bushes.

Rachel Houser

She/Her/They

Nature Program Instructor

Rachel Houser is an artist and educator. She was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains where she spent much of her time hiking, exploring, and learning about the wildlife around her. She moved to the Bay Area in 2015 to earn her bachelor’s in sociology. She has worked as an educator for many years and is passionate about working with and supporting young people through their educational journeys. Rachel is also deeply passionate about environmental justice and would like to ensure that every child has an opportunity to develop a passion for and a connection to the natural world. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and, of course, hiking.

A woman sitting in front of some cactus

Katie Doarn

She/Her/Hers

Nature Program Instructor

Katie is an Ohio / Virginia native, but always knew she wanted to live out west. She, her partner, and two cats made the move in the summer of 2020 so she could attend grad school at St. Mary’s College of California. With MFA in hand, Katie is a full-time nature instructor and writes on the side. She has a background in music education, jazz trumpet, and rock climbing. In her spare time, she loves to read oodles of books and bake delicious cakes.

A woman standing next to a horse in a pen.

Jessica Tugwell

She/Her/Hers

Equine Coordinator and Riding Instructor

Jessica moved to the US in Jan 2005 from London UK. She has lived in the East Bay since then. Her love for horses started at the age of 7, she started riding English, participating in 3 day eventing then switched over to dressage and then found her passion for Western after a chance encounter with a local trainers . Jessica has learned everything she knows from being at the barn watching and participating whenever she can.

She has worked with horses for over 15 years. She volunteered at a local miniature horse rescue , was a side walker at a local therapeutic riding facility and a stable hand for a local trainer and now at Sienna Ranch as the Equine coordinator and riding instructor. She is a certified Equine Sports Massage and Bodyworker as well as a licensed cosmetologist.

She enjoys spending time outdoors and has a special interest in working with children that have spirited natures.

When she’s not working or riding , she spends time with her best friend, her 2 year old Catahoula; Goose.

A woman sitting on top of a tree stump.

Annie Quirk

She/Her/Hers

Riding Instructor

Annie is a Lafayette native who has been riding for 14 years. Her love and passion for horses and animals has grown and transitioned to passing on her knowledge to the next generation. She’s been a horseback instructor for a little over a year now. She’s already grown her knowledge abundantly but is excited for it to grow more and in different ways.

Outside of her love for horses, Annie cares and adores for children. She’s been working with kids for 10 years in all sorts of environments. She is incredibly excited to share all she can. In addition she cares for her 5 month old puppy, Jasper and trains her energetic Arabian horse.

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Emily Fuentes

She/Her/Hers

Woodshop Coordinator & Education Manager

Emily Fuentes is a Bay Area native, avid gardener and tinkerer. Her enthusiasm for outdoor education was nurtured while studying at UC Santa Cruz and afterwards spent over 5 years teaching in school gardens in Oakland, Ca. She got her curiosity for woodworking at a much younger age when she got her first taste of saw dust and building as a child during weekend visits to the Berkeley Marina Adventure Playground. Since then she studied furniture making at Laney College and has had a blast teaching woodworking in a variety of schools and summer camps in the Bay Area. She excited join the Sienna Ranch community and continue to learn and grow with everyone.

A woman standing in front of a wall with flowers.

Noelle Pipa

She/Her/Hers

Education Coordinator

Noelle grew up in Santa Cruz, California from the age of 4 and has been in love with nature and animals (domestic and wild) ever since she can remember. Her mother taught her gardening and influenced her appreciation for trees and the environment at a very young age. Her father taught her the importance of playing and spending time outdoors. And her older sister played with her! Having grown up in a place with so much biodiversity and wildlife, Noelle has always known the importance of protecting nature and conserving the beauty in the world. She has always loved hiking, especially in the redwood forests, and swimming, especially in the ocean! (Some of Noelle’s other hobbies include: volleyball, soccer, running, yoga, surfing, tennis, puzzles, playing cards, birdwatching, staying close with family and friends, watching Disney movies, growing food, eating all the food, singing, dancing, being weird and goofy).

Because of the inspiration her family and hometown had on her as a youngin’, Noelle attended the University of California, Davis to earn her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. During her summers in college, she worked as a camp counselor for Camp Gateway and a program specialist for Camp Campbell. It was then that her passion for working with and education children grew! After college, Noelle got a job at The Gardens at Heather Farm as a Natural Science Teacher, and moved to the East Bay. She has loved working in such a beautiful setting and owes so much of her teaching experience to The Gardens. Now, Noelle enjoys creating nature lessons and curriculum that teaches nature science and exploration in fun, safe and hands-on ways! She is very excited to be a part of Sienna Ranch and work and play with such an awesome team!

A girl sitting on top of a wooden bench with two goats.

Sabrina Agazzi

She/Her/Hers

Animal Care Assistant

Sabrina grew up in the East Bay and attended Sienna Ranch summer camps as a child. She loves any opportunity to work hands-on helping animals. Growing up, she had numerous different pets and enjoyed riding horses. In high school, she began the Protect Animals Worldwide (PAW) Club to advocate for wildlife. Currently, she is a student at Diablo Valley College working to transfer to a four-year university where she plans to study communications and animal science. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a profession working with and for animals. When she is not at Sienna Ranch or in class, Sabrina enjoys doing ballet, taking photos of backyard birds, researching vintage fashion, camping, and spending time with her rescue mutt, Hailey. She is very excited to be a part of the Sienna Ranch team!

A woman holding a chicken in her hand.

Kerry Neil

She/Her/Hers

Animal Care Assistant

Kerry grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and was always a fan of the zoo. She loved being outside in nature and knew that she wanted to spend her life in the company of animals. She attended the University of Illinois and got her BS in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution. After graduation she ended up back in Cincinnati, interning at the zoo, and knew that was the life for her.

She moved to Chicago and worked at Lincoln Park Zoo for six years in the Farm and hoofstock areas. Love brought her to the Bay Area, and let’s be honest, chipping poop out of ice is no fun, so it wasn’t a hard decision. She landed a part time job at the San Francisco Zoo working with large hoofstock, and a full time job at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo where she worked with Guinea pigs, jaguars, and everything in between.

After having twins, she gave up her full time gig to take care of them, but still filled in on the weekends. She brings over 20 years of animal care experience with her to Sienna Ranch. Kerry is living her best canyon life in Lafayette with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, ten chickens, and a tortoise.

A woman standing next to a horse in a fenced area.

Courtney Zimmerman

She/Her/Hers

Animal Care Manager

Courtney has loved animals her entire life, and has a special passion for horses. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she was surrounded by pets, farms, and wildlife and took many trips to the zoo with her family. She grew up mucking stalls to pay for her riding lessons and went to horse summer camp where it became clear that horses were not “just a phase.” She attended the University of Kentucky, earning her B.S. in Equine Science & Management and riding for the UK Equestrian Team. Upon graduation, she interned and then worked at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden with the Wild Encounters animal team and then as a Children’s Zoo Keeper. While working at the zoo, she simultaneously completed her M.A. in Communication from Northern Kentucky University and her M.A. in Zoology from Miami University. Although she loved working with exotic animals–including Asian elephants, giraffes, flamingos, owls, hawks, snakes, alligators, and many others–her heart was in San Francisco with her long-time boyfriend (now husband). She continued her work with animals by briefly working at the San Francisco Zoo and at Wag Hotels, before landing at UC Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center in Half Moon Bay. After 4 years of learning all about lambing and kidding, goat training, youth environmental engagement, and social media marketing, she took the job as Animal Care Manager at Sienna Ranch to further develop her animal husbandry and equine handling skills.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys playing soccer and tennis, traveling, urban hiking, back woods camping, cross stitching, and lounging around with her husband and cat. She is excited to get to know a new group of animals and people and to further develop her animal care and management skills!

A woman sitting in front of chickens.

Lindsay Shannon

She/Her/Hers

Nature Program Instructor

Lindsay grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts. What was supposed to be a temporary move to the Bay Area turned into a 25 plus year love of California. She graduated from Hayward State University with a degree in Social Services and Psychology. She enjoys hiking, reading, sewing, riding horses, walking her dogs and hanging out with her two daughters. Lindsay worked as a ABA Behavioral therapist and behavioral consultant for over 15 years and her love of working with children with autism, as well as other special needs, has been a long lasting passion that continues to grow. Lindsay started working at Sienna Ranch in the summer of 2016 as part of the Special Events staff and now has a group during the week. Her love of nature, animals, children and Art has given her the opportunity to continue to nurture these skills with the wonderful staff and amazing kids at Sienna Ranch.

A woman wearing a t - shirt that says jenna ranch.

Annette Dale

She/Her/Hers

Nature Program Instructor

Annette strives to be the best version of herself every day, inspiring others to do the same. She grew up in a close-knit family where she was taught to look for the beauty in every moment and in everyone. Her childhood was spent immersed in arts and crafts, including building radio-controlled airplanes, weaving, painting, ceramics and sewing. She relishes the outdoors, growing up riding bikes, backpacking, camping, sailing, hiking, stargazing, and watching clouds. She received a degree in psychology and earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at UC Davis. She taught grades K-3 for 11 years. She has worked in all areas of education, including as a home and hospital teacher, reading specialist, tutor, and special education substitute. Since 2008, she has focused her energy on being a mom. She is proud to be a Lifetime Girl Scout and has been a Girl Scout leader since 2015. She enjoys helping children to create a solid foundation of academic and social/emotional life skills. She is grateful about working with people of all ages, seeing the joy in their faces when they learn something new.

A woman holding a goat in her arms.

Rachel Murray

She/Her/Hers

Animal Care Manager

Rachel is a Bay Area native and lover of all animals. She is living out her childhood dream as an Animal Care Assistant at Sienna Ranch. She believes in the healing power of animals, nature, and laughter. When she’s not working at the ranch, she is a psychotherapist in private practice.

A girl standing next to a white horse.

Sasha Koriabine

Animal Care Assistant

My name is Sasha, and I have lived in the East Bay my whole life. Both my parents are from Russia, so I can fluently speak the language, along with German as well. When I was younger and my parents had first come to America, they were trying to find extracurricular activities to put me in, and the first one turned out to be horseback riding lessons, and miniature horse camp. I fell in love with that immediately, but little me also had a lot of energy so I was put in gymnastics classes too. Soon, I got into competitive gymnastics and competed in the Junior Olympic program for over ten years. However, I quit during the summer of 2022 due to injuries and other problems, and I was reunited with my first love, which was horses. I started volunteering for the miniature horse rescue again, and through that I made so many friends in the equestrian and agricultural community. I spend a lot of my time mucking out stalls, doing groundwork with horses, providing medical care to sick or injured horses, and riding my friends’ horses. Basically, when I am not doing schoolwork, I am surrounded by horses! I also spend a fair share of time with donkeys, goats, mules, and even steer! The only thing that matches my love for horses is going on camping trips to the backcountry up in the Stanislaus National Forest. That place has a big piece of my heart, and I see myself moving to a ranch in Tuolumne when I am older, with lots of horses of course! I have realized that I have a true passion for horses and other ag animals, and I have learned so many valuable lessons with these animals. I am beyond excited to join the Sienna Ranch team, and continue expanding my animal knowledge and skills!

Mike Jennings

He/Him/Hims

Orchard Technician

Born and raised in the east Bay Area, Michael enjoyed hiking, camping and gardening throughout his childhood. He studied horticulture in Santa Cruz and the Sierra Foothills before attending Prescott College in Arizona, where he received a degree in agroecology and permaculture design. He has 14 years of experience in horticulture and has also worked as a botanist for the National Forest Service–in Sonora and the Lake Tahoe Basin.

A member of the Sienna Ranch family since May 2012, he is thrilled to put to use his expertise in sustainable land stewardship. He enjoys using his plumbing and carpentry skills to maintain and improve amenities at the ranch. He is also excited for his daughters, Lillian and Alice, to attend Sienna Ranch once they are old enough.

In his spare time, he enjoys plant propagation, especially edibles, succulents, and native plants. His garden in Lafayette is a yearly stop on the East Bay “Bringing Back the Natives” garden tour, where his passion for drought-tolerant, sustainable gardening is on display. A self-taught musician, he loves to sing and play the guitar, mandolin, banjo, and piano.

A man holding a baby goat in his hands.

Gordon Gross

He/Him/Hims

Facilities Technician

Gordie is from OAKLAND and loves coming out to the Ranch. He enjoys helping with the cleaning and maintenance. He also likes talking to the animals when he thinks no one is looking.

A woman standing in front of some plants

Julie Sanders

She/Her/Hers

Business Director

Julie grew up in the East Bay and has been working at Sienna Ranch for 4 years. Before Sienna Ranch she was living in Glasgow, Scotland for two years. While she was there she worked alongside youth from many different communities and backgrounds in Glasgow taking them on outdoor adventures and teaching cooking skills, life lessons, and mentoring youth on how to be the best versions of themselves. Prior to moving to Scotland Julie studied Business at the University of Oregon and is a proud Duck fan. In her spare time she loves hiking, camping, and being outdoors with her dog Ruby, friends, and family. Julie is passionate about building communities and connecting with everyone she meets.

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Bridgett McGrath

She/Her/Hers

Operations Director

Bridgett loves working with Communities to create sustainable futures. Her background in architecture and sustainable building has influenced her passion for land stewardship. With an education background in environmental studies and geology, she loves exploring the many timescales of our earth, from soil to cliff faces. She is excited to take on the new Operations Director role and continue to plan for Sienna Ranch’s future.

Cameron Powell

She/Her/Hers

Animal Care Assistant

Cameron lives in Lafayette and attends Acalanes High School. As a kid, she got to know Sienna Ranch through their summer camps and came back later as an animal apprentice. For Cameron, the ranch feels like its own hidden world tucked within the streets she drives through every day. She loves caring for and connecting with her family’s pets (dogs, cats, and chickens) and these furry and feathery animals make her smile every day. She has also learned about incredible wildlife through travelling to places like Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, and Tanzania, sparking her love for being outdoors. She is passionate about the environment and believes that interacting with the land in a sustainable way and spreading environmental awareness to others are extremely important for the future. She loves living in a place where nature is constantly surrounding her and takes every opportunity to explore local trails and nature spots. She spends ample time running, bike riding, and hiking especially in Briones. She also enjoys reading, painting, and playing guitar when she has free time. Cameron is so excited to be a part of Sienna Ranch and looks forward to spending lots of time with the animals!

Julisa Briones

She/Her/Hers

Summer Nature Instructor

Julisa has been working with children for over 5 years as a behavioral therapist. She is passionate about play based learning, imaginative play and allowing children to have messy fun. You can find her hugging the baby goats when she is not being “the ghost of Sienna ranch”