Sharon completed a minor in recreation and leisure studies at San Francisco State in 1992. Inspired by her community based stewardship work on the Presidio National Park, Sharon returned to SFSU in 1996 to complete her Recreation Master’s Degree. Her thesis – The Recreational Value of Volunteers Participating in Community-based Ecological Stewardship analyzes the motivations, perceptions and recreational values of more than 450 volunteers interviewed within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She utilized her work experience, master degree classes and thesis to help acquire a full time professional position with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
Sharon now has more than 15 years of experience working in the GGNRA as plant ecologist and natural resources planner/project manager. Currently as an Associate Director of Park Projects at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Sharon develops and implements landscape-level restoration projects, provides oversight for several bird conservation management strategies and contributes technical guidance for the Park’s mission blue butterfly restoration program.
More recently, Sharon has worked with colleagues to initiate a social science program, which includes working with SFSU students to perform visitor surveys parkwide. Sharon also helps develop community engagement strategies for Park projects and is currently evaluating how to organize and sustain community-based stewardship programs into the future. Sharon is a Switzer fellow and was recently honored by CalIPC with the Catalyst in Leadership award.