Wildlife Staff

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Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department - Staff

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Tiana Williams-Claussen

Director

707.954.8591

Tiana is a member of the Yurok Nation, from the village of Wehl-kwew’, and Director of the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and was instrumental in the creation of the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program and the development of many of its conservation initiatives, including the effort to reintroduce California condors to Yurok Ancestral Territory. Tiana relies on her native upbringing and formal education to bridge the beliefs, knowledge, and practices of the Yurok with those rooted in Western-science, and to work toward a cohesive, well-informed perspective on holistic ecosystem management.

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Chris West

Senior Wildlife Biologist

831.238.1274

Chris has been involved in California condor conservation since 1999. He began working for the Yurok Tribe and toward condor reintroduction to the Pacific Northwest in 2008, and was integral in the creation of the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program. As Manager of the Yurok Condor Restoration Program, Chris oversees the Yurok Tribe’s efforts to recover the condor in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Chris earned his B.A. degree in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and completed his M.S. degree at Humboldt State University in Wildlife Management, where he researched reintroduced California condor behavior. Chris’ passion for wildlife and wild places led him to become a certified California Hunter Education Instructor and also drives his hobbies, which include hiking, birding, bee keeping, and all types of wild foraging, including hunting and fishing.

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Scott Demers

Wildlife Biologist

707.267.0620

Scott joined the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department in 2020 to help coordinate threatened and endangered species conservation, invasive species management, and habitat restoration projects. Scott has been a wildlife biologist in northern California for two decades, working on research and monitoring projects and as a biological consultant. Much of his prior work focused on wildlife conservation issues, but his breadth of experiences has allowed him to manage a variety of projects across California. He has as strong interest in avian ecology, as well as endangered species conservation and habitat restoration. Scott earned his B.S. degree in natural resources conservation from the University of Massachusetts and his M.S. degree from the Humboldt State University Wildlife Department. Scott enjoys working in the garden and orchard, recreating outdoors, and spending time with his family.

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Kent Barnes

Wildlife Biologist

707.497.8099

Kent graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology/Vertebrate Ecology and has worked for the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department since 2013. Kent's work focuses on the conservation of threatened and endangered species, such as northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and Humboldt marten. His devotion to wildlife developed from a deep passion for waterfowl hunting — a background that allows him to be a key member of the YTWD Hunters as Stewards initiative and engage with hunters about issues related to stewardship of the natural resources they hunt, conserve, and enjoy. Kent is also a certified California Hunter Education Instructor and works to pass on the legacy of hunters as conservationists.

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Preston Taylor

Wildlife Biologist

707.954.9342

Preston first worked for the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department in 2016 as a Wildlife Technician, surveying for spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and deer, and now serves as Ungulate Biologist. Preston was certified as a Senior Tracker by Cybertracker Conservation in 2015, after successfully trailing black bears in the dense forests of western Washington. He has worked on a variety of projects across the American West, assisting in the research of cougars, wolves, lynx, foxes, cuckoos, and flycatchers. Preston is an avid hunter and crafter of traditional archery tackle. His other interests include activities that keep him

outside, such as fishing, gardening, mushroom hunting, berry picking, and backpacking.

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Patrick Myers

Wildlife Biologist

707.458.5146

Patrick joined the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department in 2019 and serves as the lead field biologist and field crew supervisor for the Yurok Condor Restoration Program. Patrick has extensive experience in threatened and endangered species conservation, having worked for federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations throughout the U.S. on projects to research, restore, and manage species such as the California condor, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, Channel Islands fox, black-footed ferret, swift fox, western snowy plover, California least tern, desert tortoise, greater sage grouse, Newell’s shearwater, and Hawaiian petrel. Patrick also spent many years with state wildlife agencies to research and manage large mammal populations, including black bears and mule deer. Patrick earned his M.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University, where he investigated black bear spatial ecology and behavior.

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Micah Gibson

Administrative Assistant 

707.458.5109

Micah is a member of the Yurok Tribe and was born and raised in Yurok Ancestral Territory. After many years in the restaurant industries of Sacramento and Seattle, Micah returned home to serve the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program as a Hydrology and Water Quality Specialist and, later, as Assistant Director — work which was driven by his passion for restoring the health of the Klamath River and its tributaries. Micah currently serves as Administrative Assistant for YTWD and contributes to many aspects of its operations.

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