DEREK POULTNEY, Executive Director, joined the Land Trust in February 2010 after 5 years at the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) and five prior years of environmental consulting and field biology work. Along with volunteering for various non-profit environmental groups, Derek earned a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from CSU-Fullerton and a B.A. in Music Composition (with significant environmental coursework) from UCSB. At OVLC, he managed a variety of wetland restoration projects in the upper Ventura River watershed and now leads the Ventura Land Trust's efforts to preserve and improve wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities throughout Ventura. Along with spending time with his wife and kids, Derek enjoys music, wildlife and hiking. Get in touch with him at:

 staff_dashiell.jpgDASHIELL DUNKELL, Conservation Director, rejoined the VLT staff in July, 2016 after spending 12 months in Colombia, South America working on environmental issues and learning Spanish. Dashiell, who previously served as VLT's Development and Conservation Projects Manager, now splits his time between managing VLT properties and working in the office. Dashiell grew up in Santa Cruz, and has held a lifelong interest in science and the natural world. While attending UCSB, he earned a B.S. degree in Aquatic Biology with honors, and volunteered with the campus Wetlands Restoration Project. Dashiell later received an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, with a certificate in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In Hawaii he worked on wetland science and restoration projects, and his research on impacts of feral pigs on water quality resulted in two published peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. When not studying nature, he loves to surf and work in the garden. Email Dashiell at:

RickRICK BISACCIA, Stewardship Director, joined Ventura Land Trust in October 2017, having worked for ten years with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. The variety of skills required in managing VLT’s preserves and projects come from Rick’s eclectic professional background which includes working as a general building contractor, art history instructor, youth camp nature counselor, and US Navy Journalist, along with volunteer stints as a scout leader, and Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team member. Graduating from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco with a BFA in Illustration, his formative years consisted of an immersion in nature pursuits while his high school science teacher father led discussions of vultures, rattlesnakes and ethnobotany at the dinner table. In addition to his dedication to nature and land protection, he enjoys studying foreign languages and cultures, travel, reading, nature study, and volunteering as a trail maintenance leader with the Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA). Email Rick at:

 Adrienne_Stephens._smaller.jpgADRIENNE STEPHENS, Development and Marketing Director, joined the Land Trust in August, 2015. A long-time Ventura resident who has worked in the public relations,community outreach and marketing fields for most of her professional career, Adrienne holds a B.A. in Business Economics from U.C.S.B. and is passionate about keeping the public, press and Land Trust's growing member base informed, excited and engaged in the Conservancy's mission, projects and successes. When not at work, Adrienne enjoys hiking, biking, cooking and spending time with her husband, three kids and Australian Shepherd, Sydney. Email Adrienne at:

ANNETTE BALDWIN, Director of Special Projects, joined the Land Trust in July, 2017. Annette grew up in Ventura and can’t imagine a better place to call home. Her love of the outdoors arose out of a childhood spent exploring California’s many campgrounds, lakes, and National Forests and climbing into her family’s station wagon, winding through the state’s most scenic areas and pitching a tent wherever the road took them. Her favorite local adventures include trail running and backpacking; she even became engaged while exploring the Ojai back-country. After graduating from Cal State Northridge with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences in Interior Design, Annette’s passion for visual arts led to a career that merged her design background with event production. Annette comes to the Land Trust with eight years of graphic design and marketing experience. Having commuted to work out of town for over a decade, Annette is thrilled to now both live and work in Ventura, share her environmental passion with others and be a responsible steward of Ventura’s natural resources. In her free time, you can find Annette taking photographs, spending time with family, or enjoying gardening with her husband, Ron.

Kate_Furlong..JPGKate Furlong, Stewardship Manager, joined the Land Trust in August, 2017. Kate recently graduated from CSU-Channel Islands, earning her B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology. A Ventura native with experience in fundraising and habitat restoration and a passion for non-profit work, conservation biology, and restoration ecology, Kate is excited to contribute her expertise to VLT’s mission. You can reach Kate at:

Employment Opportunities

The Ventura Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer. As a small non-profit land trust, we do a lot with just a small staff. We currently do not have any job openings but do offer a limited number of internships and many different volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Questions? Email:




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