OC Habitats (OCH) was founded in July 2017 and is based on the clear need for more habitat protection throughout the county.
First, our founders felt that areas in Orange County needed more monitoring and data to support the protection of both the habitats and the species therein that already exist or need restoration. OCH has partnered with various nonprofit and government agencies, such as Sea and Sage Audubon, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, USFWS, and California State Parks, to support the furtherance of these protections. We monitor habitats, collect data, and share this data with key players in habitat protection to ensure healthy and viable habitat and species populations for years to come.
An equally important goal of OCH is education and outreach. We at och believe that knowledge is power and the more individuals we can empower the better off our environment will be. we educate directly on site during field monitoring, during scheduled habitat tour events, and through our habitat education programs that we provide to public, private, and home schools in and around orange county. Our goal is to eventually be active in most of the habitat types in orange county and to provide a vital service the public in this area.
Restoration of degraded habitats is the third arm of our organization. in 2019, we began to make an impact in earnest here in Orange County. We have helped restore wetlands in Huntington and Newport Beaches and coastal sage scrub and chaparral in tustin and orange.
All three of the goals come together to make OC Habitats. We strive to make world better one person and event at a time. If our mission speaks to your heart, join us!
Board of Directors
Habitat protection and species conservation is a passion of Stacey Chartier-Grable. Stacey has both a business and environmental degree and background and is using her education and experience to build a strong and enduring grassroots organization that will last beyond her own tenure. Stacey has worked in the environmental field in both private and government agencies in Orange County starting as far back as 1996. One of her top life goals is to preserve and protect our natural resources and species for the sake of future generations but also for their intrinsic value. Stacey grew up in Southern California and has raised two children, Q and Sam, with her husband, Don. She believes education is a powerful tool and is confident that the youth of today will be the leaders our world needs to handle the heavy task of moving our planet to a healthier place in the future. Through OCH and its mission, Stacey is working to give them the tools of knowledge and understanding to build positive habits will ensure a long and biologically diverse world that will continue to sustain all species of life.
Virginia “Ginny” Gregurek is a natural resource interpreter with over ten years of experience leading interpretive tidepool education in Orange County. Ginny is an avid hiker and has walked the California Coastal Trail from Oregon to Mexico. Recognizing the need to promote environmental literacy and the value of “nature learning”, Ginny continued her education by becoming a California Master Naturalist and a Certified Interpretive Guide. Ginny’s formal education is in Art History and uses this knowledge of interpreting the artwork of mankind into interpreting the masterwork of Mother Nature. Ginny's enthusiasm for life and for the environment is contagious to all those she encounters. She is an excellent educator and children and adults alike find her lessons interesting and informative.
Ross Griswold has never been a scientist and has never taken a biology class, it just wasn't his thing! Ross earned his Geography/History degree from USC, worked in retail sales and service, married, and had three boys, who are all now grown men. Ross retired early (in 2006) and wanted something to keep him out of trouble so he took up birding. He had never birded in his life and was so impressed by what great people birder's are! He has always been a photographer and started photographing birds early on. He considers them easier to photograph since birds don't have a bad side, don't blink or get red eyes! Ross is a Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern monitor with CDFW at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. He loves to share his knowledge and is willing to train others, which he likes to call Gilligan's Island Beach 3-hour Tour!
Kimi Garcia first got involved with OCH through the MBA program at CSULB where she and a team of three others created a business plan for the organization. She also serves as a board member on the greeNG club at Northrop Grumman and is passionate about educating others on environmental protection and holding large corporations accountable for their environmental impacts. With Kimi’s background in business and her determination to create positive change in the world, she is an excellent addition to the team.
Joyce Vu - Associate Director
Joyce graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a concentration in ecology and evolution in August 2020. From her classes, her interest in the environment arose when she learned about how healthy the Earth used to be and how it has slowly changed over time. She joined OC Habitats as an intern in the Spring of 2020 with the interest to create and develop a project where she could share her knowledge about the different animals and habitats that she has she studied in school. Her efforts at OC Habitats has proven her invaluable to our team and she is officially our first employee. She will continue to work on conservation and preservation on our team and provide a source of leadership in our programs and projects with the end goal of continuing to conserve the natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
Michaela Coats - Associate Director
Michaela graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and is currently part of the master’s program in Conservation and Restoration at UC Irvine. Her educational goals, work experience and passion for endangered species management, outdoor education and outreach, and new interest in wildlife photography brought her to OC habitats as an intern in 2020. Her main projects were developing a marine education program for 9th graders and managing our OCH blog. Her time and effort at OCH proved to be indispensable and she has become our second employee. She will continue to work on education and restoration and will now lead our social media team and provide leadership in a variety of other aspects of our organization to promote conservation of our precious habitats and species.
Bianca Borja - Student Liaison and Educator
Bianca Borja has a strong passion for keeping the environment clean and intact. While working towards her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, she focused her research on recycling and environmental education. She has years of experience in the educational field, and has worked with children at various schools and clubs where she taught about the environment and the importance of recycling. Bianca works with OCH as a Habitat Monitor, Habitat Educator, and Student Liaison.
Alice Carter - Advisor
Alice has worked in the finance industry for over 20 years and brings her experience to her role as OCH Treasurer. She is committed to being a good steward to the earth and is excited to learn all she can about habitats through OCH. Alice is an animal lover and enjoys traveling. With Alice's financial background, strong writing skills, and love for the environment she is an integral part to the development and maintenance of our organization.
Danny Rivas - Monitor Trainer
Danny Rivas graduated from UC Merced with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with an emphasis in ecology and evolutionary biology. He joined OCH to develop his skills monitoring at-risk coastal wildlife and aid in restoration efforts. His passion for conservation arose early, being in awe of the vast amounts of biodiversity present and learning of the current issues that threaten the health of biological communities. He is committed to serve his community and work towards preserving our habitats for future generations
OCH Monitors, Educators, and Volunteers
Melanie Albert, Melody Aminian, Josh Ball, Kevin Bartelheim, Judith Berman, Kevin Bollman, Bianca Borja, Caitlin Callin, Michaela Coats, Kyle Fructuoso, Brett Fuller, Tom Gee, Sam Grable, Mark Holland, Patrick Hunter, Amir Khazand, Melissa King, Drew Kosicki, Michelle Lee, Morgan Martin, Dominique Murrillo, Elisabeth Neely, Haruka Noda, Deanna Ochi, Devon Ohlwiler, Claudia Orozco, Chelsea Pelchat, Michelle Picca, Marco Prado, Keeley Rasich, Sydney Rilum, Crystal Ryan, Danny Rivas, Cristina Robinson, Crystal Ryan, Doosen Tachia, Regina Thompson, Jackie Tran, Hugo Sopena, Margot Sosa, Bill Stoll, Jonathan Vazquez, Joyce Vu, Bailey Webster, Vincent Woolsey, Amanda Yamamoto, Kim Yumul
15333 Culver Drive, Suite 340-763
Irvine, CA 92604
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