Rebecca Burgess is the Executive Director of Fibershed, and Chair of the Board for Carbon Cycle Institute. She has over a decade of experience writing and implementing hands-on curriculum that focuses on the intersection of restoration ecology and fiber systems. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and has created workshops for a range of NGOs and corporations. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale.
Jess Daniels is the Project Manager for Fibershed’s Education and Textile Economy Programs. She coordinates project development and research, manages communications strategy, and supports general operations. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Visual Art from Brown University, where she also completed textiles coursework at Rhode Island School of Design and studied with the International Honors Program ‘Rethinking Globalization’ program in India, Tanzania, New Zealand, and Mexico. Jess has over five years of non-profit experience working in sustainable agriculture as well as a lifelong love of textiles, and is an avid maker and explorer of all things fiber.
Marie Hoff, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, is the Producer Program Coordinator for the Northern California Fibershed. She manages administration, programming, and communications for producer members. Additionally, she works on issues affecting the local fiber economy, is an advocate for regenerative agriculture, and works with a number of related organizations to grow and strengthen regenerative fiber communities in California. She is also a producer member of Fibershed herself, with Full Circle Wool. Learn more about her work at www.fullcirclewool.com
Heather Podoll holds a M.S. in Agricultural Ecology from UC Davis. She has spent the past 20 years involved with various aspects of study, practice, promotion and teaching of sustainable and organic food production systems, working with a range of nonprofit, philanthropic and educational organizations. She is currently developing educational programs in organic gardening and natural dye cultivation for her community in Marin County, California. A passionate knitter and spinner, she is delighted to bring together her background in ecological research and agricultural systems with a holistic and local perspective on fiber arts and production.
Rebecca Burgess, M.Ed, Chair
Rebecca is an indigo farmer, author, and community organizer. Her work is focused on natural dye processes and regenerative agriculture, textile education and public speaking. She is the executive director of Fibershed.
Kat Anderson, Ph.D
Kat has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of the book Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. The book was recently chosen by the celebrated permaculture designer Ben Falk, as one of the most important books to read in order to permanently solve food security. Kat has worked with Native Americans for over 25 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward native plants and ecosystems in the wild. Her interests are to learn, celebrate, and restore the similar plant uses, gathering and tending practices, and ethical stances towards nature that are in multiple local cultures here and around the world.
Nick L. Tipton
Nick is a member and elder of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. A retired high school teacher, he has served as Chair of the Tribal Education Committee and the Sacred Sites Protection Committee of Graton Rancheria. He was a Board member of the California Mission Foundation. He is currently a Board member of the Historical Society of Santa Rosa, Fibershed, and is a consultant for the National Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Richmond History Museum and the Field Museum of History in Chicago, Illinois. He is an active faculty member of the STRAW (Students Teachers Restoring A Watershed).
Among Nick’s current interests is investigating the effects of the colonialism during the “contact period” on his ancestors, by the Russians, English and Spanish. He is investigating the impacts of climate change on sacred Tribal resources and lands from a cultural perspective an TEK (Traditional Environmental Knowledge) perspective. He was recently a presenter at the California Adaption Forum on these topics.
Marlie de Swart
Marlie is a fiber skills educator and small business owner, as well as a fiber and ceramic artist. She has been involved in creating fiber works from local sources since childhood. She grew up in Holland, graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris and Occidental College in Southern California, and met her husband while attending Art Center College of Design. Currently Marlie has a local fiber arts cooperative store, Black Mountain Artisans, in Point Reyes Station. She recently published a book of her knitting designs called Knitting Woolscapes, Designs Inspired by Coastal Marin Wool.
Dustin has been a graphic designer for nearly 40 years, currently working primarily in publication and website design. She also grows dye plants and is a natural dye instructor, having studied natural dyes since 2009, with a special interest in indigo. She is currently studying surface design techniques for textiles. For the last three years, Dustin has been a partner in West County Fiber Arts, a fiber arts school in Sonoma County, and she plans to organize classes closer to home in Marin County in 2019.
Photos by Paige Green, except photo of Marie Hoff by Alycia Lang, and photo of Kat Anderson courtesy of Kat Anderson.