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Success Stories!

Our Dedicated STAFF

Mark Brown

MWPA Executive Officer
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Mark started his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1986 in Sonoma County. He was hired by the Marin County Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1991 and retired as the Deputy Fire Chief. After serving for nearly 30 years with the Marin County Fire Department, Mark retired in order to assume the position as Executive Officer for the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority. Mark served on a CAL FIRE Incident Management Team for 15 years as a Type I Operations Section Chief and was qualified as a Type II Incident Commander. Chief Brown was a founding member of the North Bay Incident Management Team, a Type III All-Hazards IMT in the San Francisco Bay Area and was the Program Manager and one of the Incident Commanders. His deployments include floods, earthquakes, public health emergencies, hurricanes, oil spills, mud slides, civil unrest, wildland fires and planned events. Mark has a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies – Organizational Leadership. He is married and has three adult children.

Anne Crealock

MWPA Planning and Program Manager
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For the last two decades, Anne has worked in environmental planning, wildlife biology, climate adaptation, and fire resilience. During her 18 years with Sonoma Water, she conducted environmental review under CEQA and NEPA; worked with regulatory agencies to secure permits; served as a wildlife biologist for capital projects and for vegetation management along streams in Sonoma County, specializing in nesting birds; worked toward climate adaptation for water resources and the landscapes that supply our water; and collaborated with many fantastic agencies, organizations, and landowners to lead efforts toward greater fire resilience to improve forest health, watershed health, public safety and protect water resources in Sonoma County. A case study describing her work in the Lake Sonoma watershed is featured by the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research as part of the Integrated Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Program’s Adaptation Clearinghouse.

After the devastating fires of 2017, Anne trained to become a wildland fire fighter to help conduct prescribed burns across the North Bay. She has also helped acquire grant funding through CALFIRE and the Coastal Conservancy for fire risk reduction efforts in Sonoma County and secured PG&E settlement funds to develop a science-based decision-support tool for vegetation management for the County of Sonoma. Anne also led the County’s team for natural resources recovery after the Glass and Walbridge fires. Anne’s passion for fire resilience, natural resources management, and climate mitigation and adaptation eventually brought her to the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority, where she has been since May 2021. Anne holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Studies and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies.


Maria Schmitt

GrizzlyCorps Fellow
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In May of 2021 Maria graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science with a concentration in Land Resources. She chose this career path because she feels passionately about resource conservation and is interested in learning more about the human dimensions of resource management. During the summer of 2018, Maria studied abroad in Costa Rica for two and a half months. While abroad she participated in a research project studying allometric variations in Socratea exorrhiza according to Phosphorus availability. She also took courses in Latin American culture, statistics, ecotourism, and agroforestry techniques. At Purdue, Maria stayed active by working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Soybean Research and Extension lab. Here she learned how to analyze each part of the soybean plant to study the effects of sulfur treatments on plant yield. In addition to this, she also worked a part-time job off of campus and was an active member of the Climate Committee for the Purdue Student Sustainability Council where she helped advocate for Purdue’s commitment to carbon neutrality.

    Last summer, Maria experienced life in California for the first time as she worked as the Property Operation intern on Oakhill Ranch in Concord, CA. Having fallen in love with California and all that it has to offer, she decided to return after graduation to work here full time. Maria Schmitt will be serving the MWPA as a GrizzlyCorps fellow for the next 11 months. In her free time she loves to read, garden, hike, ski, and travel.


Josh HAMPSHIRE

GrizzlyCorps Fellow
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Josh graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in June, 2021, with a degree in Business; Marketing and the intent to use it for the promotion of sustainable practices. Considering the tools of marketing have historically been drivers of extensive social and environmental damage, there was a lot of dissonance surrounding his initial decision to pursue this degree. However, he also believes it is an essential piece of the "sustainability jigsaw puzzle," and must be used effectively to drive behavioral and systemic change. Through July, 2022, he will be exercising this philosophy working as a GrizzlyCorps fellow for Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority. He hopes to use the tools of his degree to understand and overcome the obstacles to fire prevention work in Marin. He will be focused on projects to promote the idea that defensible space is beautiful and helping MWPA's smaller member agencies execute core and local projects to protect their communities and shared coastal resources. These responsibilities excite him far more than any marketing objective or research he's worked on over the last four years, and he hopes to leverage this year of service into a career filled with many more like it. When Josh isn't trying to justify his degree, he is climbing or cooking or hiking or surfing.