Board of Directors


Managing Director


Virginia comes to the Laguna Ocean Foundation with a background in land conservation and resource and public access protection. She has committed more than 25 years to protecting the environment in various capacities, from acquiring land for habitat and watershed protection in San Diego and Riverside Counties to addressing the open­ space needs of the public in the Lake Tahoe Basin to safeguarding the coast from incompatible development in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her experience in the non-profit, government, and private sectors includes positions at The Trust for Public Land, the State of California Tahoe Conservancy, and the California Coastal Commission, and as a consultant on projects in San Diego and Orange Counties.

Virginia holds undergraduate degrees in Conservation and Resource Studies and Political Science from U.C. Berkeley and a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of the Environment.  Born and raised in San Francisco, she moved to Southern California in 2008 and lives in Oceanside with her family.



Kaysha graduated from CSU Fullerton with a bachelor’s in biology and concentration in marine biology. She has an extensive background in marine invertebrates, as she conducted research on the biomass of filter feeders in Newport Bay, CA. Kaysha’s hobbies include scuba diving and freediving, and she is an avid hiker and enthusiastic camper. She also loves most water-based activities, kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding.

Michael L.

Michael completed his bachelor’s in biology from CSU Fullerton and is currently pursuing his master’s at Cal Poly Pomona in biology. He is actually a microbiologist, and much of his work keeps him in the lab, so he welcomes and enjoys the field time the Laguna Beach tidepools provide. When he completes his work he will apply to Ph.D. programs and eventually become a professor and help educate the future scientists of the world!


Megan completed her bachelor’s in biology with a concentration in marine biology from CSU Fullerton and returned to Dr. Burnaford’s Intertidal Community and Ecology lab to pursue a master’s degree. She is interested in learning how human disturbance affects the rocky intertidal zone, so her thesis project aims to better understand how human trampling affects rockweeds, a type of seaweed. She also works for the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) where surveys are conducted to gain long-term information about the dynamics and diversity of rocky intertidal habitats. She is a self-proclaimed “seaweed nerd”, so she spends her free time pressing seaweeds and setting them in epoxy resin to make pendants, bookmarks, and other beautiful works of art. (Note: Seaweed not collected in Laguna Beach.)


Before graduating with a bachelor’s in biology from CSU Fullerton, Sean assisted with a variety of research projects in vastly different ecosystems. They included the far depths of the sea off the coast of Southern California, the last place on Earth (aka Zzyzx) in the high desert of the Mojave National Preserve, and the dry forests of Baja California Sur. With his extensive research and industry experience, he hopes to be a role model for all students to inspire a new generation of scientists. When Sean is not working outdoors, you might find him on his laptop searching for the funniest memes, playing video games, or enjoying a cup of nitro cold brew coffee from a local coffee shop.

Kelsey N. 

Kelsey’s love for aquatic ecosystems started as a child on her family’s houseboat, cruising the Sacramento-San Juaquin River Delta and swimming in the snowmelt rivers and lakes of the Northern Sierra. It wasn’t until moving down to Orange County for college that she began exploring saltwater ecosystems as she pursued her Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CSU Fullerton. After that first Field Marine Biology course, she was hooked and went on to become an undergraduate T.A. for the course while conducting her own research on polyclad flatworms of the intertidal zone. She plans to pursue her Master’s degree, but first has her sights set on thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. When she’s not here educating in Laguna Beach, it’s a safe bet she will be somewhere in the water nearby or taking a walk-up in the mountains.