Director, Southern California , NatureBridge
Melissa Johnson currently serves as NatureBridge’s Southern California Director, overseeing programs in both Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands National Parks. Before joining NatureBridge, Melissa served as Deputy Executive Director of the Parks Forward Initiative, working on behalf of the Resources Legacy Fund to increase sustainability in California State Parks.
Prior to her time with Parks Forward, Melissa was with the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM) in the capacity of Malibu Creek watershed coordinator, where she brought together diverse stakeholder groups to work collaboratively towards greater watershed health.
Melissa also served as a senior analyst for the city of Santa Monica in their Environmental and Public Works Department.
In recent years, Melissa lived abroad with her family in Mexico, serving as co-founder of the Sayulita/San Pancho Farmers’ Market. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia as well as a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University. Melissa lives in Ventura, California, with her husband Brian, son Noah and daughter Malia.
"Duke has opened a lot of doors for me. People are always impressed by the interdisciplinary nature of the degree. I'm now comfortable in multiple worlds, whether the work involves business, policy or the sciences."