Dan Cano had his first job in college with the United Farm Workers Union. After building a successful private business, he entered the nonprofit sector, leading The Link, a regional nonprofit that provided resources and support services to underserved youth. He speaks fluent Spanish. He has a passion for developing impactful and sustainable programs to meet the needs of our local and global community.
Greg grew up in Wyoming, but came to San Luis in 2003 to attend Cal Poly. He began volunteering with One Cool Earth in 2005, helping Lionel plant trees and carry environmental education programs and service learning projects to over a dozen schools in the county. After graduating from Cal Poly with an English degree, Greg began grant writing for One Cool Earth. Greg returned to school temporarily to study sustainability in the Materials Engineering department of Cal Poly, but soon dropped out to work with OCE full time. In 2010, Greg was hired through AmeriCorps to work full time with OCE developing volunteer infrastructure and programs. After AmeriCorps, Greg was hired onto OCE as a full-time staff member. In 2013 he became a Director. In his free time he enjoys music, friends, food, and the great outdoors.
Miranda graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara where she majored in Environmental Studies. Born and raised in Santa Maria, the Central Coast has always been her home. Miranda appreciates how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for our region. She hopes to strengthen environmental education in the community by working together to create outdoor classrooms. In her spare time, you can find Miranda running outdoors, trying a new recipe from Pinterest, hanging out with her family, or solving a Sudoku.
Lead Garden Educator Manager
Central coast native, Dylan was born and raised in Santa Maria. He left California to study Environmental Science at Willamette University. While at Willamette he found his passion for the environment and local food systems while walking the amazing conifer forests the North West provides. After college he served with the Center for Natural Lands Management as an Americorps restoration tech. Not getting enough Americorps, and missing home, Dylan came back to the Central Coast to serve as an Americorps Volunteer Coordinator with GleanSLO. GleanSLO helped with his understanding of local community needs and he is very excited to make a difference in his home communities.
Garden Maintenance Specialist
Brandon attended high school in Templeton, and graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Environmental Studies: Conservation and Restoration, and a minor in Biology. Doing so allowed him to reflect on and assess the impacts of the type of large-scale, conventional agriculture that he was raised around. With a desire to have a more positive impact through agriculture, he moved back to the Central Coast after graduating, and began farming vegetables to feed his community, combining prior farming experience from with his new understanding of natural systems and environmental protection. Brandon has found a home at OCE, where he can continue to put technical knowledge of infrastructure, irrigation, and growing systems to good use and further aid his community and the next generation of farmers and eaters. In addition to tending to plants, he enjoys camping, cooking, and playing percussion and drums.
Teresa “Tree” Lees
Garden Educator Manager
Teresa has firsthand experience in permaculture, classroom teaching, Garden Based Learning (GBL) in school gardens and nature based education. She has woven together a career that combines her love for children and their education with her love for the planet. Teresa, aka “Tree” is the CREEC Network Coordinator at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education where she serves as the clearinghouse for environmental education curriculum and green schools throughout Region 8 (SLO, SB, Kern and Ventura counties). Teresa connected kids to nature in the Laureate School garden where she was the Life Lab teacher for three years. She also served as the Chairperson of the GBL committee with the San Luis Obispo Master Gardeners for ten years, conducting teacher trainings in the Sunshine Demonstration Garden, disseminating curriculum resources and providing consultations to local school gardens. She also has been both a classroom teacher and a Naturalist for outdoor schools. Teresa also spent a decade as the Children’s Education Coordinator at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden where she created interpretive garden areas and kids’ programs including a children’s Food Forest, Native Peoples & Plants garden, solar fountain, and straw bale benches. She currently organizes the SLO Permaculture Guild and the Global Family children’s garden at City Farm where she conducts the FARMGIRLS Summer Camp. She also is a Garden Nutrition Educator with the UCCE CalFresh program. She is the facilitator of the GEE Symposium, bringing together all school garden and farm to school stakeholders in our region in October 2017.
Jenn Lawler Marshall
Garden Educator Manager
Jenn is a credentialed teacher with a M.S. degree in Plant Science and a CASA volunteer who has lived and worked on the Central Coast for over twenty-five years. After living and working as an Editor, Horticulturist, Community Gardener, Researcher, Activist and Educator in New York City, Kauai, Hawaii, Bermuda and North Carolina, Jenn moved to the Central Coast in 1991 to continue teaching for the State of California, Allan Hancock College, Santa Maria Bonita School District and Lucia Mar Unified School District. From a very young age, Jenn connected with plants, gardening, animals, environmentalism and stewardship because she and her sister spent summers on a family ranch in Selma farming with their grandfather. School years were spent in New England where Jenn developed a passion for all things in nature through hikes with her folks and love of learning through frequent trips to the library. Notable teachers and guides in Jenn’s life have included Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Peter Warshall of Biosphere II, Kenny Ausubel of Seeds of Change/Bioneers, Randy Hayes of Rainforest Action Network, Edward Abbey writer and activist, and Ivan Ussach of Rainforest Alliance and contributor to the book Radical Simplicity. She has lived and worked in Turkey, Oaxaca, Holland, Hawaii and Arizona. Travel, along with permaculture, sustainability, naturopathy, Ayurvedic medicine, tiny houses, dogs and contemporary art, remain strong passions and interests for Jenn. When not in the garden or in a classroom, Jenn, her husband and dogs travel extensively throughout the world as Grey Nomads. She is honored to be part of the Earth Genius Program with One Cool Earth. It is an opportunity to use her horticulture and teaching experience and education concurrently to bring health, happiness and academic success to all students on the Central Coast and to foster a healthier planet Earth.
Garden Educator Manager
A certified permaculture designer and life-long gardener, Gloria has a deep love for the natural world. When she is not climbing trees or writing poetry, she can be found working on earthen building projects, practicing primitive skills, and farming at the rural community and education center she helped found: Loving Earth Sanctuary.
Founder & President
With formal training in art and business, Chris is a natural entrepreneur and has founded and managed several successful companies. Chris brings creativity and a strong business mind to the OCE team. Cleveland, Ohio 1969, the Cuyahoga River erupted in flames. 1971, I moved from my parent’s nice house in the suburbs to live above the river, across from the steel mills. The river and air were still an open sewer. At first I was angry, at everyone. Eventually I came to understand. Close to the mills were the poor trying to survive and forget where they lived. In the suburbs, they viewed the river fouling as the price of progress. Each had a position and a set of solid facts to support it. I couldn’t pick a side, didn’t know what to do, so I moved away. Today after many ventures, I’m not so much an environmentalist as a realist. In the end, debating the facts doesn’t matter because you can’t move far enough away…
Office Manager & Founder
Sue co-founded the nonprofit along with her husband Chris and has accounting and management skills that help keep One Cool Earth operating from day to day.
Lionel Dennis Johnson
Lionel’s background in project management as a ironworker’s foreman. Since his retirement 20 years ago, Lionel has volunteered countless hours and materials to promote native trees. Lionel co-founded One Cool Earth with Chris and Sue Elliott to increase environmental education and protection in the county.
Cathy is a dedicated community volunteer and leader. She has a long interest in the role of nutrition and health. Combined with a savvy business sense she is well versed in fiscal responsibility. Her years of working for non-profits in our community attest to her dedication and commitment.
FoodCorps Service Member
Danica graduated from San Diego State University with a major in Psychology, and a minor in Women’s Studies. Her particular academic interest is developmental neuroscience and how healthy nutrition affects our most significant organ, the brain. During college, she took semesters off in order to learn in the greatest classroom, the glorious earth! She has lived and worked on all scales of organic gardens and farms through her travels in Kauai, New Zealand, Canada and the Pacific Northwest. She has a deep fondness for native plants, cacti and succulents, changing societies relationships with water usage and the local food movement. Danica is a proud practitioner of “Food is Free,” and “Grow Food, Not Lawns” movements.
Danica is born and raised San Diego, CA and is very connected to the ocean. In her off time you can catch her sea kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, body surfing or simply floating in the water. Danica also enjoys backpacking, off-roading in her Tacoma, and bringing her friends and community together around yummy, healthy, homemade food. She is very grateful to serve with FoodCorps and integrate herself into the beautiful central California community of Paso Robles!
Garden Educator Manager
Allie is a fourth year Environmental Management and Protection student at Cal Poly with a double minor in Spanish and Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources.
Allie has experience as an environmental educator in local public schools through the volunteer program Sprout Up, as well as abroad in Costa Rica and Argentina via the AIESEC exchange program. Allie is excited to apply her passion for environmental and food justice and background in bilingual education in local school gardens through OCE’s Earth Genius program!
Allie was inspired by her grandmother, a bilingual teacher and then principal in East Los Angeles public schools, to apply her passion for the environment, to solve socioeconomic issues by engaging issues of social and environmental justice through community education. A lifelong gardener and nature lover, Allie was greatly influenced by her homeschooled upbringing by her Geologist and natural healer mother.
Garden Educator Manager
Natalie grew up watching her Nona and family dancing around the kitchen using fresh ingredients to whip up wholesome meals for the family to enjoy. This served as an inspiration to remain connected to her source of food and her community. She more often than not found herself outside in the dirt and under a tree, with an innate affinity for nature and life of all kinds. She studied Viticulture at Cal Poly where she strongly found her calling to be a node for change in the way of environmental protection. Natalie is humbled by the power children possess on this planet and is so excited to be an educator holding space for them to learn sustainable ways of living in harmony with the earth.
Natalie believes in making play one of her priorities. Getting outside for a hike or in the water for a swim, she values the healing that comes from nature and all its wonder. She loves to garden and is hungry to learn more of all there is to know about land stewardship.
AmeriCorps VIP Fellow 2018-2019
McKenna grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to California in 2013 to attend California Lutheran University. With a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Fine Arts, McKenna graduated with the intention of learning more about what it means to live in stewardship and partnership with the natural world, and to share that experience with others.
Since moving to Morro Bay in 2016, McKenna has managed a CSA-type company, worked as a nursery and hydroponic job coach for a adults with disabilities, received her permaculture design certification and grant writing certification. Each of these experiences made McKenna aware of the human to earth disconnect, and ignited an interest to help others re-create a sense of wonder in the environment. In her free time, McKenna enjoys painting and drawing, surfing, hiking, and working with cob.