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 Director of Communications & Affiliate Programming for Fibershed, where she creates written and visual collateral connecting wearers to the ecological and social source of their clothing, and facilitates an international grassroots network of communities building soil-to-soil fiber systems. She has a decade of experience working to strengthen local food and fiber systems, from urban farming and education to sustainable agriculture advocacy campaigns and litigation, and her work has been published in the journals Agriculture and Human Values and Making Futures. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Visual Art from Brown University, where she completed textiles coursework at Rhode Island School of Design and studied with the International Honors Program ‘Rethinking Globalization’ field school in India, Tanzania, New Zealand, and Mexico.
Lynette Niebrugge is the Carbon Farm Planning Manager at the Carbon Cycle Institute and collaborative support for Fibershed. She is an experienced scientist and research professional with a Master’s degree focused on Soil Sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry and is skilled in Natural Resource Management, Environmental Awareness, and Water Resource Management.
Heather Podoll is the Policy Coordinator for Fibershed. She holds a M.S. in Agricultural Ecology from UC Davis. Heather 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.
Marisol Valles is the General Operations Manager for Fibershed. She is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in non-profit and hospitality management graduating with a BA from San Francisco State University. Through her solid management, a keen eye for detail and consistent application of policy, Marisol oversees the operations and human resources for the organization.
Nick Wenner works as Lead Process Engineer for Fibershed. He has worked on several projects with Fibershed since 2016 and joined the team in this new role in February of 2019. He brings diverse hands-on experiences of building and making as well as technical training in mechanical engineering to his work.
Up to now, he led research on indigo dyeing and produced the reports for the True Blue Project as well as developed designs in the continuing vision for a California wool mill. This year, he is focused on fiber system research for bast fibers, working with local mills and California farmers growing hemp to blend bast fibers with cotton, wool, and other fibers to produce yarns and textiles. He is also helping to coordinate soil sampling for the Citizen Science program, and—as the season for indigo emerges—answering questions for those interested in applying True Blue research on the ground.
Fibershed works with a talented team of consultants and project leaders, all of whom conduct specialized services for the organization. For a full list of contractors, please contact Marisol Valles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Marlie de Swart, Treasurer
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.
Nick L. Tipon
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 and TEK (Traditional Environmental Knowledge) perspective. He was recently a presenter at the California Adaption Forum on these topics.
Dustin Kahn, Secretary
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. For three years, Dustin was a partner in West County Fiber Arts, a fiber arts school in Sonoma County, and she is currently organizing fiber arts classes in Marin County.