Board of Directors
ROBIN ZUR SCHMIEDE
Robin Zur Schmiede is an attorney with over 20 years of experience in municipal administrative and regulatory law practice with an emphasis on land use and environmental law. She was Assistant City Attorney and later City Attorney for the City of Newport Beach from 1989-2008. A 32 year Laguna Beach resident, Zur Schmiede is an active and enthusiastic tidepool docent, and recently stepped down after serving 6 years on the City’s Design Review Board.
Ed Almanza is a professional environmental planner with special interest in the conservation of natural resources. His professional work focuses on implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the science of habitat management. He has authored dozens of environmental documents for local municipalities in Orange County. Mr. Almanza has a strong interest in the role of science in public policy formation, particularly in the area of natural resource conservation. He was instrumental in developing a scientific research program to support long-term management of multi-species preserves for the Natural Communities Conservation Program (NCCP). He is Laguna Ocean Foundation’s project manager for the Aliso Creek Estuary Restoration Project and coordinates the Laguna Coast Shorebird Survey. Mr. Almanza earned a Master’s Degree in Geography at UCSB with a thesis that analyzed methods for monitoring water quality of Mono Lake, California. A native southern Californian, Mr. Almanza first moved to Laguna Beach in 1971.
Monica Tuchscher is a professional planner with over 20 years of Municipal experience in land use, coastal and environmental planning. Prior to establishing her private land use and planning practice, she served as Principal Planner for the City of Laguna Beach for 15 years and as a Special Projects Manager for the City of Del Mar. Monica is a native southern Californian, a 17-year resident of Laguna Beach and has spent time living in Europe and Colorado.
Louise Thornton is an estate planner who moved to Laguna Beach in 2003 from Ventura County where she resided for over 20 years. She formed her own living trust/estate preservation business in 1994 after more than 25 years in the insurance industry. Louise, who grew up along California’s central coast, is a graduate of Pitzer College where she has remained active in college and alumni affairs. She currently enjoys swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving and is a Tidewater Docent. Louise is the past Chair of the Foundation, having served as Chair for 9 years.
Irene Bowie returned to Laguna Beach in April of 2015 after 38 years in Hawaii where she worked on many environmental issues, including as a founding member, in 1980, of the Pacific Whale Foundation. Most recently she served eight years as the executive director of Maui Tomorrow Foundation, an environmental advocacy organization whose mission is the preservation of natural and cultural resources, wise land use planning and policies, and enforcement of Hawaii’s environmental laws. Since returning to Laguna Irene has joined South Laguna Civic Association, now serving as that organization’s 2nd vice president and also currently serving on the City of Laguna Beach’s Environmental Sustainability committee.
Candice Burroughs is a 30+ year resident of the Laguna Beach area and is currently a real estate professional with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Realty. She is also a Certified Meeting Professional with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. She has had many opportunities to serve the community on both the local and regional level where she shares her passion for ocean, seniors, and the arts. She has been a student of gerontology and has been involved in the development of senior and affordable housing projects as well as many educational events for seniors and their families. Candice is the mother of two adult children and in her free time enjoys being on or in the water.
DR. JAYSON SMITH
Dr. Jayson Smith is a marine and conservation ecologist employed as an assistant professor in the Biological Sciences Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His research focuses on anthropogenic disturbances on ecosystem functioning and community structure of coastal habitats. Given the high population of humans in southern California, urban coastal ecosystems are subjected to numerous human impacts. Work in Smith’s lab attempts to understand how these systems are changing and functioning in the face of these disturbances. Smith applies his conservation interests mostly to rocky intertidal ecosystems, focusing on invasive seaweeds; effects of human visitation; long-term change in community structure and dynamics; effects of climate change; restoration ecology, and environmental policy and management (such as Marine Protected Areas). The research questions addressed have implication in policy making decisions, particularly with current emphasis being placed on Ecosystem Based Management. Recently, research focus has been placed on introduced seaweeds, including determining their impact on community structure, how they fit into native food webs, and examination of transport vectors.
Kristin is a lifelong California resident, with 19 of those years in Laguna Beach. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Political Economy and received her MBA from USC, which led to a 22-year career in sales and marketing. After retiring from corporate America, Kristin wanted to help protect Laguna’s natural resources. She went back to school and become a Certified Naturalist to volunteer at Crystal Cove State Park, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and Laguna Canyon Foundation. Kristin is also an active LOF Tidewater Docent with 200+ hours on the rocks.
PO Box 5247
Laguna Beach, CA 92652-5247