Board of Directors

Danielle on Lake Tahoe

Danielle Katz (she/her)

Co-founder, Director, and Treasurer

Rivers run through Danielle’s blood. At four months of age, Danielle took one of the last runs down the Stanislaus River before it was dammed. At 14 she became a river guide, regularly working trips on the Klamath, Rogue, and Tatshenshini-Alsek in Alaska for James Henry River Journeys. In 2009 she paddled her first river from source to sea; 2,271 miles down the length of the Mississippi for the non-profit What About Blue, raising funds to build wells and sanitation projects in Rwanda. Inspired to connect more communities to rivers and each other from source to sea, she co-founded RFC in 2011. She has since completed several StS journeys including on the Tuolumne, Sacramento, Yuba, San Joaquin, and Androscoggin to name a few. She has an MBA in Environmental Management and is the founder of Source to Sea Productions. She loves inspiring people to connect with the water in their lives, sharing her passion for rivers, and increasing Source to Sea literacy.

John Dye_Bio photo

John Dye

Co-founder, Vice-President, and Secretary

John (he/him) grew up focused on water. Swimming, teaching sailing, racing sailboats, and building boats in America’s breadbasket. After a brief bought with higher education, he moved west to the golden state. He soon embraced the pace and life of rivers and coastal waters. Running whitewater rivers and working with non-profits and local outfitters on weekends remains the soul food that balances a challenging and rewarding career in design and architecture. Helping others safely experience rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans in small paddle craft continues to be a great joy for him.

Amy Byers

Amy Byers

Board Member

Amy (she/her) has been paddling for over 15 years in all types of water from New Haven, Connecticut to San Francisco, CA to the Yukon Territory, Canada.  She has raced the Yukon River Quest (444 miles of the Yukon River) in a sea kayak five times.  Amy has a Master’s in Public Health and a Doctorate in Epidemiology.  She is a research scientist who studies multiple chronic diseases within the aging process, utilizing large-scale data and a public health approach.  Her own quality of life with aging has been supported by a deep connection with nature.  Amy believes that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and the world is to come alive in and connected to nature; and inspire others to do the same.

Samara Rosen

Samara Rosen

Board Member

Samara (she/her) first fell in love with rivers on the bow of her mom’s kayak. Over the years, her love of rivers inspired her to guide rivers commercially, run citizen science programs around water quality, mobilize her community around river conservation, and facilitate environmental education with a riparian focus. When she’s not strategizing her next river project, you can find her working to empower recreational communities to protect the places they love with the science behind LNT practices. You can also find her educating students on her raft, running citizen science water quality programs, mobilizing communities around river conservation, or undertaking ethnographic studies of river communities. Her love of rivers is inspired by her years of guiding in CA, OR, and UT.

, Our Team, Rivers For Change

Sarrah Claman

Board Member and Educational Program Director

Sarrah (she/her) grew up in the arid mountains of Nederland, Colorado on the dispossessed land of the Arapahoe and Ute, but her connection to rivers began as a child exploring the unceded land and rivers of the Temagami, Anishinabewak, and Moose Cree in Northern Quebec and Ontario by canoe. After moving to Squamish BC, the unceded territories of the Squamish Peoples, Sarrah began to fall in love with coastal rivers while learning about wild pacific salmon and their incredibly vital role in ecosystems and communities across Salmon Nation. Sarrah has worked as a river guide since she was 18, first guiding educational canoe trips for youth with the rivers of her childhood and currently, as a raft guide with the Upper and Main Salmon River on the ancestral land and waters of the Niimpu and Shoshone Bannock in Idaho.

She studied the intersection of gender, sexuality, trauma, and nature-based psychology and weaves her knowledge of these areas into her work as a guide and educator. She believes that humans are intimately connected to the land and waters that we are surrounded by and by exposing folks to this inherent connection, people will begin to understand and care about protecting and stewarding these spaces and their inhabitants. Living between Squamish/Vancouver, BC, and Idaho, salmon are a thread of connection between these communities for Sarrah. She is passionate about advocating for their protection in both places and leveraging her voice as a guide and educator to share nerdy salmon facts and inspire others to care about the ecosystems we are all a part of.

Staff

, Our Team, Rivers For Change

Kami Bakken

Kami is an outdoor advocate, river lover and breakfast burrito connoisseur. Originally from Minnesota, Kami soon called the West her home. She holds a B.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University, where her passion for outdoor advocacy was born.

Kami has guided in many forms and environments from the mountains to the desert to the ocean, with her most loved space being on the river in between canyons. Her time these days is dedicated to conserving Western Rivers, diversifying outdoor spaces, and playing outside in many forms. In addition to her work with Rivers for Change, Kami is involved with Freeflow Institute, Director of The Freeflow Foundation and is a river guide in Idaho & Utah.

She believes in the power of connection to place that fosters admiration and stewardship for these wild landscapes and the creation of spaces that foster community, creativity and most importantly – giggles.

Advisory Council

David Wells

David Wells

David’s love for the water comes from growing up in a family that had a passion for sailing and fishing here on San Francisco Bay. A lucky encounter with Windsurfing in the 80’s led to a lifetime pursuit of all things board and water. Whether it’s Windsurfing, Surfing, Stand Up Paddling, or Wing Foiling, if it has a board (boats ok too), and goes on water, he’s riding it. David is also a board member of The San Francisco Board Sailing Association whose mission is “Protecting & expanding Access while promoting Safety on San Francisco Bay”. And the best way to protect the Bay is by protecting it at the source. Our Rivers!

Janet Whittick

Janet Whittick

Janet (she/her) fell head-over- heels for a paddleboard in 2012, and never looked back. Racing the Cal100 as part of a relay was a turning point, and now Janet races with O’Kalani Outrigger and volunteers as a SUP instructor to help get others on the water. Janet works as an environmental policy analyst, but her favorite days are spent downwinding or surfing with friends. She’s excited to tackle her own StS one day soon.

Matt Palmariello

Matt Palmariello

While pursuing a Recreation Management degree at the University of New Hampshire, Matt was introduced to paddling and it heavily impacted his life.  For the next few years he guided sea kayaking trips in the summer, and worked on skiing events in the winter, eventually transitioning to Utah to work with the non-profit US Ski & Snowboard Team.  Each summer he migrated to California where his paddling interests evolved from sea kayaking to open canoeing to standup paddling.  Today he lives in Rome, Maine.

Pamela Rich

Pamela Rich

Pam’s (she/her) discovery of whitewater kayaking in 1990 re-ignited her inner puppy. River highlights include trips down the Middle Fork Salmon in Idaho, trips down the Rogue in Oregon, 2 life-changing trips down the Colorado, and many, many glorious days on rivers in California. As the saying goes, “it’s never a bad day when you’re on the river.” Pam’s day job is working as an organization development consultant at UC Berkeley where she supports team development and strategic planning.