Alex Keeble-Toll, Program Manager, was born and raised in Nevada City and joined The Sierra Fund’s staff in January 2015.
Though Alex has migrated elsewhere on a few occasions, she always ends up returning to the trees. Alex has a BA in sociology, magna cum laude, from UCLA and an MA in Sociology from CSU, Sacramento. For her MA work she focused on environmental inequality and hazard formation, and for her 2006 thesis she did historical analysis of three local gold mines as case-study examples of environmental hazards. In 2009 Alex completed everything but a thesis toward an MS degree in Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona – and then her son was born. She and her husband and could not imagine raising a child anywhere but here in the Sierra, so they packed up baby and dogs and returned for the final time to the gorgeous piece of property that her parents bought in the early 1970s.
Since moving back to Nevada County, Alex’s family has grown to include a daughter, chickens, a pony, and cats. She spent five years at home with her children, blogging about sustainability, gardening, local food, place-based education, and outdoor exploration. Her blog is currently listed under the favorites of local food co-op Briar Patch. With the kids getting bigger, Alex decided she was ready for a challenge. In 2014 she became a UC Certified California Naturalist through UC Davis and began work toward an M.S. degree in Environmental Science at CSU, Chico. For her current thesis research Alex is working with Dr. Monohan and The Sierra Fund to examine methylmercury bioaccumulation in fish tissue, focusing on water bodies in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba watersheds.
When she is not writing or researching Alex can be found outdoors, most often with a camera and knitting needles in hand. Whether hiking the remote reaches of the San Gabriel River in Los Angeles, horseback riding at 12,000 feet in the Southern Sierra, running relays around Lake Tahoe, or soaking in the South Yuba with her kids, Alex loves to explore the place we call home.