(District 5) - President
Harry Lyons has lived in Lake County since 1978, for much of that time conveying scientific information on Clear Lake to two generations of college students. The Emeritus Professor of Biology/Ecology from Yuba College grew up in Brooklyn, attended Rutgers College and Stanford University, and was awarded his Ph.D. in Oceanography as a National Science Fellow from the Scripps Institution of the University of California.
Since 2016 he has pursued his avid interest in water by serving as the President of the Board of Directors of the Lake County RCD and as a founding member of the Middle Creek Restoration Coalition. He presides over a working board, having responsibilities for projects in post-fire restoration of forest lands and streams, eradication of invasive species, and reforestation of oak woodland in mitigation for highway construction. He has been appointed by the Lake County Board of Supervisors to the Blue-Ribbon Committee for the restoration of Clear Lake. He often speaks, and sings, about the natural history of Clear Lake and the joy of jumping in it.
Kate Schmidt-Hopper represents the First District for the Lake County RCD and began her tenure in 2023. She has lived in Lake County since 1995, moving with her family
from Santa Cruz after purchasing land behind the Hidden Valley Lake community for a vegetable/melon farm and horses. The farm is retired, but the dressage continues. Kate practices dental hygiene 1 day weekly after 32 years, and still recalls the name of her organic chemistry professor. Kate is a lifelong environmentalist with awareness of how local, state, and federal governance can impact stewardship of forests, waterways, air quality, soils and wild flora and fauna. She hopes to help keep the RCD up to date on legislation affecting RCD goals.
Shula Shoup represents the Second District and has been a Lake County RCD Board Member since 2017 and a resident since 2010. Shula graduated with a B.S in Environmental Education and later an M.S. in Community Development, both from U.C. Davis.
Randy Krag has been a Lake County RCD Board Member since January 2021, representing the Third District. Randy is an organic walnut farmer in Witter Springs where he has resided since 1998. His work as a farm manager in the winegrape industry brought him to Lake County, and he served eight years on the Lake County Winegrape Commission. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Soil Science and from U.C. Davis with an M.S. in Plant Protection and Pest Management. During the winter season he enjoys cross-country skiing.
Merry Jo Velasquez
About Merry Jo
Merry Jo Velasquez represents the Fourth District for the Lake County RCD; she has been on the board since March of 2017. She has been a Lake County resident since 2015, working remotely for the Mayo Clinic, directing her research laboratory in the Kogod Center on Aging. She retired in 2022 and is currently an Emerita Professor of Medicine. Merry Jo has a B.A. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Skidmore College, an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louise. Since moving to Lake County, Merry Jo has become involved in conservation efforts on several fronts. In addition to the RCD, Merry Jo is the Vice President of the Lake County Land Trust Board and is the Chair of the Land Trust’s Lands Committee. Merry Jo has been active in the Middle Creek Restoration Coalition since 2018 and was appointed to the Board of Supervisors Middle Creek Restoration Project Committee in the summer of 2022. Merry Jo became and University of California Master Gardener in 2016 and coordinated a joint RCD/Master Gardener effort to promote the benefits and uses of native plants in home landscaping. Additional conservation interests are wetlands/riparian preservation and restoration. Merry Jo is on the Board of the Lake County Symphony Wine Club, which puts on an annual amateur wine and beer festival. This is the major fundraiser for the Lake County Symphony and Community Orchestra. Merry Jo is an amateur wine maker and shares her wines at the festival.
Jim Bridges, RPF is a retired Forester who has served as the Lake County RCD At-Large Board Member since YEAR.