MEET THE TEAM
Jaron Cramer, Executive Director
Jaron joined the Conservancy as Executive Director in May 2022. He graduated from the University of Washington's innovative Program on the Environment in 2013 and has spent his career leading strategic fundraising and communications initiatives for nonprofits large and small, including Washington Environmental Council & Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife, the Superior Hiking Trail Association, and Hoffmann Hospice. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Kern County.
When Jaron moved to Bakersfield in the Spring of 2021, he quickly fell in love with Tejon Ranch and the Tehachapi Mountains through public access events organized by the Conservancy. He is excited to bring his passions for land conservation, environmental stewardship and education, and nonprofit excellence to the Conservancy.
Mitchell Coleman, Conservation Science Director
As a Bakersfield native, Mitchell grew up with the lore and scenic backdrop of Tejon Ranch. In 2015, he joined the Conservancy as an intern through a grant to conduct his master's thesis research on the Ranch. In 2018, he became a Staff Biologist after three years of work as a biological consultant at Quad Knopf, Inc. Mitchell specializes in plant ecology and physiology. His master’s thesis focused on the ecophysiology of saltbush shrublands (Atriplex polycarpa) in the San Joaquin Desert, with emphases on factors affecting seedling recruitment and restoration strategies. He has a passion for applied strategies for the restoration of arid shrublands. In his current role, Mitchell manages the Conservancy’s science and stewardship programs, as well as serving as the organization's dedicated easement monitor for the 10 active conservation easements on the Ranch. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Westmont College, an M.S. in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at the University of California, Riverside.
Paula Harvey, Education Program Coordinator
Paula Harvey became a docent for the Conservancy in October 2016 when she earned her California Naturalist certification. After retiring from a 30-year career as an educator, she joined the Conservancy staff in 2017 to develop its education program for high school and college students. Paula has a B.S. in Outdoor Recreation and an M.A. in Education/Curriculum & Instruction.
Reema Hammad, Public Access Coordinator
Reema joined the Conservancy in 2016 as a docent after completing California Naturalist certification. In 2018 she was hired as a Public Access and Education Assistant, leading hikes and tours on the Ranch. Being on the Tejon Ranch gave Reema the chance to expand her passion and career as a landscape/nature photographer, for which she recently finished her M.F.A. in Photography with a concentration on landscape documentary.
Andrea Geisendorf, Administrative Coordinator
Andrea started working for the Tejon Conservancy in the Spring of 2022 as the Administrative Coordinator. She is studying Astrophysics at UCLA and is an aspiring science teacher and researcher. Andrea has previously worked as a lab assistant at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena while living in Los Angeles. Being born and raised in San Diego, she is very excited to call the Los Padres mountain area her home as of last year. She is very passionate about the importance of being close to nature and the outdoors culture overall, and that is why she is very glad to be part of the conservancy team and their mission.