PO Box 1321
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
213 E. Laurel Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Sheila Semans, Executive Director
Sheila has worked in coastal and marine conservation for more than twenty years, most recently with the California State Coastal Conservancy where she served as senior staff to the California Ocean Protection Council. Sheila’s experience developing highly collaborative programs like the California Seafloor and Shoreline Mapping Program or the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program has enabled her to work with all of California’s marine labs, with local, state and federal agencies, and with academic and industry leaders conducting leading-edge marine research. When not at work, Sheila can usually be found on or near the ocean.
Board of Directors
David specialized in environmental law as a partner with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco and as then a principal in his own law firm, and is a former Chair of the California State Bar’s Environmental Law Section. In retirement, he volunteers his time as a Marine Science Docent at local parks and is a Rescue Volunteer for The Marine Mammal Center, helping rescue stranded marine mammals along the Mendocino coast. He also performs regularly with the Americana music group All About Sally.
Ginny has lived on the Mendocino Coast since 2010. Prior to calling Mendocino home, she frequently vacationed in Mendocino, camping, hiking and biking in and around Fort Bragg. Ginny is a Certified Public Accountant. During her career, she has worked at large public accounting firms, as a sole practitioner and held the position of Vice President of Finance and Human Resources with a national natural foods distributor. Prior to retiring, Ginny worked with the City of Fort Bragg, most recently as the Assistant City Manager. Ginny currently serves on the County of Mendocino Civil Service Commission and as a Board member for the West Company, a not-for-profit economic development organization.
Pilar Gonzales is a well-known donor activist, philanthropic advisor, and fundraiser in several Bay Area’s social justice movements. The daughter and granddaughter of migrant farm workers, Pilar credits her humble beginnings for her tenacity on global issues of human rights, animal welfare, and the ocean environment.
Peter O’Donohue, President
Peter settled in Fort Bragg in 2013 after thirty years as a U.S. diplomat. During his career with the State Department he served in China, India, Cameroon, Bosnia, Burundi, Tunisia, Kuwait and Canada as well as in Washington, D.C. Peter grew up in a coastal New England town and has had a lifelong passion for the ocean and the environment — interests he was able to pursue in some of his overseas assignments. Since settling in Fort Bragg, Peter has worked as a California Parks volunteer and has spent many hours kayaking Mendocino County’s rivers and exploring its many parks and reserves.
North Coast Brewing Company co-founder and president, Mark Ruedrich, a Zoology graduate from NC State University, moved to the Mendocino coast to pursue a career in marine biology and ended up starting the brewery instead. Though as a brewer he applies his biology training to solve a different set of problems than he might ever have anticipated while a student, he has never lost his fascination with the sea and over the last 35 years has spent countless days exploring Northern California’s rich intertidal zone in his spare time.
Dave Turner, Treasurer
Mayor Dave Turner was first elected to the Fort Bragg City Council in 2002. Born in Fort Bragg, Dave attended Stanford University where he majored in “Social Thought and Institutions,” a political science honors program. While attending Stanford, he opened a specialty sleep shop to help pay his way through college. Today Dave is president of FloBeds, makers of the Original Personally Crafted Mattress, which ships customized latex mattresses nationwide.
Doug Hammerstrom, Secretary
Now retired from practicing law, Doug has served the past nine years on the Fort Bragg City Council – four of those years as Mayor. Doug has been an active participant in City of Fort Bragg discussions about the vision, mission and design of the Noyo Center for Marine Science from the beginning. In the process of raising two children, Doug has found the child within; a child that is very excited about the possibilities for the Noyo Center.
Don Armstrong, former Superintendent, Fort Bragg Unified School District, Sausalito, CA
Jeff Jacobsen, Marine Biologist (specializing in marine mammals, seabirds and bioacoustics), Arcata, CA
Johanna Jensen, Consultant
Ron LeValley, Biologist, Photographer, Mendocino, CA
Susan Lohr, Planning Consultant, Grand Junction, CO
Grant Miller, Caspar, CA
Lee Post, Master Marine Mammal Skeleton Articulator, Homer, AK
Cetacea Contracting, Blue Whale Project
Cetacea is a small, family-run company specializing in skeleton restoration and articulation and will be leading the preparation of the Noyo Center’s 73-foot blue whale skeleton. They lead the field in the world of modern artistic skeleton articulations, building displays that breathe life, portraying subjects as they would exist in the natural world.
Most of the photographs on this website were generously donated by two professional photographers, Ron LeValley and Marc Shargel. Their photos can be purchased directly from their respective websites, and will eventually be for sale at the Noyo Center gift shop. Additionally, many of Ron’s photos can be purchased at Mendocino Coast Photographers Guild and Gallery at 357 Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. We strongly encourage you to browse their impressive photo libraries. Many thanks to both of them for all the work they do.