San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy hires conservation, education managers


The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) has hired Jack Hughes as conservation manager and Ana Lutz as education manager.

As conservation manager, Hughes is responsible for the coordination and implementation of conservation programs for the SDRVC. He will continue to lead habitat-restoration projects in the San Dieguito River watershed and take an active role in SDRVC’s efforts to improve water quality, including through participation in projects that implement regional water-quality programs.

Hughes will also work with SDRVC’s partners to bring the most effective scientific methods and tools to bear on conservation and field research projects, and lead the San Dieguito Citizen Science Monitoring Program.

As education manager, Lutz is responsible for developing, implementing, leading and growing the Conservancy’s education and outreach programs, including Watershed Explorers, Watershed Explorers Experiences, Citizen Science, Coastal Wetlands Field Ecology Project, and others in the San Dieguito River Watershed.

Hughes is drawing on 5 years’ experience working with the Montana Conservation Corps, including two AmeriCorps terms of service and two years on staff coordinating projects in habitat restoration, trail maintenance and construction for young adult crews. That experience inspired him to go to graduate school at Oregon State University where he got a degree in Environmental Policy.

Hughes grew up on a family farm in Illinois, where he got his conservation ethic, from his father and mother. He moved to San Diego two years ago and last October he found an opportunity with the SDRVC to build and manage the volunteer base for the Watershed Explorers Program.

“The Conservancy has a commitment to collaboration, to reaching out and being a catalyst for habitat restoration in the watershed and that’s what I am interested in doing,” said Hughes. “I’m really looking forward to working with all the different partners and finding those common areas and ways we can move forward.”

Lutz is a native San Diegan, born and raised in North County. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Cal State San Marcos, with a minor in Anthropology. Lutz is extremely passionate about grassroots projects. “I think they are the foundation and the seeds that grow change. That’s what I’m most interested in doing. And partnering with communities—that’s where the real decision-making comes in, rather than top-down federal laws—your local laws really do matter, and your local officials,” she said.

SDRVC’s education goals are to develop future conservationists, and to improve academic engagement, performance, and physical and social well-being for people of all ages and abilities.

— Submitted news release