Kelsey Westfall, Outreach Coordinator and Policy Assistant, was raised in the beautiful Sierra Foothills by parents with an affinity for nature and exploration. Her childhood was spent swimming, climbing trees and eating fresh fruits and veggies from the thriving backyard garden, hobbies that eventually paved the way for her travels across Europe and New Zealand with organic farming and work exchange programs.
Kelsey then transferred to San Francisco State University where she became a member of the student environmental organization Fossil Free SFSU and assisted in coordinating the 2nd Annual International Divestment Convergence Conference in April, 2014. Concurrently, Kelsey was an intern with 5 Gyres Institute, where she conducted plastic pollution research on local San Francisco beaches and processed samples collected from sea voyages abroad. Kelsey graduated from San Francisco State University in May, 2014 and was presented the Environmental Studies Departmental Honoree Award, delivering a speech a graduation.
In the fall of 2014, Kelsey started what would become two years of AmeriCorps service with The Sierra Fund through the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Program (SNAP). As a SNAP member, Kelsey launched TSF’s Post It Day event, the first annual community volunteer event to post state issued fish consumption advisories at regional water bodies. Additionally, she created educational activities to engage kids around the topic of mercury in fish, and has since shared these materials at numerous kid-centered events, paving the way for outreach on this topic to a new demographic.
In October 2016, she was offered a full time position with The Sierra Fund. Kelsey is excited to begin this new chapter of work with the organization, and will be coordinating outreach and policy matters as well as TSF’s biennial Reclaiming the Sierra Conference.