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SCCA is pleased to honor the outstanding record of recent SCCA Board member Dr. Jane Nielson

Ph.D geologist, Jane impressively served on the SCCA Board for seven years. She still loves Sonoma County, but is relocating to Portland to be near family

Rigorous Scientist

Jane brings scientific integrity and logical consistency to all her projects. She has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG). She worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999. Here, Jane applied her skills to launch multiple projects involving public policy, environment, and – most especially – water use and resources. At SCCA, she excelled at rigorous policy discussions and evaluating candidates for elective office.

Jane Nielson at Point Arena area of geologic interest.

Geologist and Water Activist

Jane has given her time selflessly to environmental causes. With a PhD in geology and experience from her United States Geological Survey (USGS) career, Jane provided pro bono geological reviews. Her advice has resulted in the re-writing or withdrawal of nine flawed draft EIRs. She was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWIG), helping develop a program for quantifying and managing water conservation and energy issues related to water. She participated in the Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC) and served on the board of O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation, focusing on realistic management of water resources. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.  In 2010, Jane was voted environmentalist of the year by the Sonoma County Conservation Council

Jane Nielson on the San Andreas Fault at Fort Ross.

Engaging Educator

Jane lectures on geology and environment because activism begins with education. Her popular lectures include “Sonoma County Has Its Faults: A Rock and Roll History.” She speaks and writes with beauty and passion:

“[P]reserving lands has a central role for protecting air and water quality, and water supplies – and all support a healthy living environment. The idea that all life on earth is connected in a great chain of being, and that all life is connected to the physical earth in many obvious and subtle ways.”

Family and Friends

Jane highly values her identity as wife, mother, grandmother. She and fellow geologist Howard have a close blended family. And many friends and admirers. Jane proves Women CAN have it all!