Bill Taylor

Stream Team Project Lead, Facilities Manager

West Valley College


Bill Taylor is the West Valley College Facilities Manager spearheading the Vasona Creek Restoration, Stormwater and Trails projects.  Since starting work at West Valley College, Bill has been a leader in Sustainability, Stormwater and Energy programs on campus and throughout the California Community College system. 

“Vasona Creek is an untapped resource for the college, it just needs a little love,” says Mr. Taylor.  “The grant and bond funds have provided such a wonderful opportunity for us to restore and develop the Vasona Creek to its highest and best use… making it an integral part of the campus and community.” 

A third generation resident of the Los Gatos - Saratoga area, Bill attended West Valley College in the late 1970s.  He is a licensed General Contractor for over 23 years and has built dozens of luxury homes and commercial buildings in the Silicon Valley.  Bill was selected by Sunset Magazine as one of the "West's Best Builders", earned the first "Green Builder's Award" from the Town of Atherton, and constructed the first "GreenPoint Rated" home in Los Altos. 

Mr. Taylor is a Certified Green Building Professional and GreenPoint Rater by BuildIt Green.  He is a trained leader in the Boy Scouts of America, Cubmaster for Pack 509 in the Santa Cruz mountains, and third year Board Member of the Loma Public Education Fund, benefiting Loma Prieta Joint Union School District in Los Gatos.  He is also a member of the Summit CERT, Community Emergency Response Team, serving the Los Gatos Santa Cruz mountains.

Karen Schneider Brodine

Stream Team Project Coordinator, Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, Student

West Valley College

Karen Schneider Brodine

Karen Schneider Brodine is an integral part of the sustainability team at West Valley College striving to establish a sustainable environment and culture on campus.   Employed by the District in the Facilities Department, her focus is on the Vasona Creek Restoration and development of a Sustainable Landscape Master Plan for the entire campus. 

Passionate about continuous learning, Karen is currently a student at West Valley College sharpening her sustainable design skills and proficiency in GIS technology.  She is also an educator for grades K-8, and a coach for creative problem solving teams. 

Karen has a diverse background in design and structural engineering, computer animation, film production, school district budget and facilities planning, and designing and building community playgrounds and trails.  She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.

Michelle Geary, Ph.D.

Plant Biologist, Faculty (Biology, Park Management)

West Valley College

Michelle Geary

Michelle Geary has been interested in river and stream ecology since high school.  For several years, she was a member of the board of the Guadalupe-Coyote Resource Conservation District.  She earned her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from UC Davis in 1999 and has been teaching at West Valley since 2000. Soon after being hired, she began working on projects to increase native plant landscaping on campus.  Michelle is a member of the West Valley Sustainability Committee as well as the Stream Team.  She teaches in both the Biology and the Park Management departments. She likes pie better than cake, baseball more than football, and has been a Giants fan almost her entire life.

Chris Cruz

Faculty (Park Management, Geospatial Technology), Park Management and Geospatial Technology Department Chair

West Valley College

Chris CruzFor 16 years, Chris has taught at West Valley College in the Park Management and Geospatial Technology Programs. He currently serves as the Department Chair of both programs. He has led projects with students ranging from trail alignment, mapping and construction, fence building, various construction projects, invasive plant removal, creek restoration (Aubry Creek in Sanborn Skyline County Park), development of a BioBog, and Koi fishery management at Japanese Friendship Gardens. These projects span several agencies to include; National Park Service, California State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, Midpeninsula Regional Openspace District, City of San Jose Regional Parks, Santa Clara Open Space Authority, City of Saratoga, and Santa Clara Open Space Authority. He served on the Sanborn Skyline County Park Master Plan Trail Advisory Committee and is currently a member of the Midpeninsula Regional Openspace District Community Advisory Committee.

Chris started the Geospatial Program at West Valley College in 2000. He has participated in the IGETT (NSF Grant) and been the PI for the CalGETT Remote Sensing Grant in California as well as a CO-PI on the iGETT Remote Sensing NSF Grant Due 0703185. Chris has written and received two Perkins Grants over the last two years.

Chris has 28 years working for the National Park Service in 11 different National Parks. This time was spent working as a ranger with responsibilities in the areas of interpretation, resource management, emergency services, administration, research and maintenance. He currently volunteers with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in their Hawkwatch Program.

Chris received his B.A. in Spanish Culture and Civilization from Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana and completed a M.A. in Environmental Studies at Prescott College in Prescott Arizona.  He has additional graduate studies in Public Administration at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Scott Ludwig

Director, Communications and Instructional Technology

Scott Ludwig

West Valley College 

Scott Ludwig is the Director of Communications and Instructional Technology, and a member of the Sustainability Committee at West Valley College. Scott believes the creek is a valuable resource for the campus community. "To have this amazing creek system run right through the middle of campus is a major asset for the college community. The creek is often used as a resource in teaching and learning, from Biology and Park Management discussions and activities to Art classes using elements of the creek as a subject or backdrop. Restoring and maintaining the creek sets a good example of environmental stewardship for our students and the community." 

Cindy  Schelcher, M.R.A., CFRE

Dean of Advancement, Foundation

West Valley-Mission Community College District  

Cindy SchelcherMs. Cindy Schelcher has over 25 years of leadership in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining the West Valley-Mission Community College District Foundation, she served as executive directors of the National Scleroderma Foundation, Carmel Public Library Foundation, and 15 years as CEO of Crippled Children’s Society (CCS) of Santa Clara.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation and Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and taught there as an adjunct faculty member for seven years. Ms. Schelcher received the Silicon Valley AFP/NSFRE (Association of Fundraising Professionals/National Society of Fund Raising Executives), Fundraiser of the Year Award, Woman of Achievement Award from Commission on the Status of Women, Bonne Bell National Community Service Award, and Seventeen Magazine Award for Environmental Leadership. She is past president of American Association of Women in Community Colleges Silicon Valley and Co-Chair of Santa Clara County Office of Education—First Five Inclusion Collaborative.

Mitchell Swanson


Mitchell SwansonMr. Mitchell Swanson has over 24 years of professional experience in hydrology, hydraulic studies, geologic hazards, and geomorphology. His expertise is focused upon the implications of human modification and their impacts to natural geomorphic systems. This information is used to develop effective actions necessary to manage and restore elements necessary to restore water resources and ecosystem functions to watersheds, streams, estuaries, and wetlands. He has also been recognized for expertise in water quality and stream restoration throughout California including the Lake Tahoe and Russian River Basins and Monterey Bay.

Mr. Swanson specializes in the development of technically and environmentally sound management and restoration plans for rivers, estuaries and watersheds. These studies often involve the coordination of many disciplines by including biological sciences, hydraulic and flood control engineering, land use planning, economics, landscape architecture, legal issues and environmental regulation planning. In the present era of conflict between environmental regulation and society's need for flood control and utilization of water resources, Mr. Swanson has become a recognized expert in conflict resolution between governmental agencies, and public and private interests.

Mr. Swanson's technical expertise includes historical geomorphic and hydrologic assessments for historical impact studies, geologic hazards assessments (landslides, seismic, erosion, sedimentation, sediment transport and flooding) and in determining the causes and effects of human modification on hydrologic and geomorphic systems. He has extensive field experience in hydrologic and sediment transport measurement, geomorphic mapping and surveying in rivers, watersheds and estuaries. Mr. Swanson has conducted hydraulic, hydrologic and sediment transport analyses using the HEC-RAS and various 2D models.

Frederick “Fritz” Geier

Principal,  Geier & Geier Consulting, Inc.

CEQA and NEPA Documentation  

Fritz Geier has managed or contributed to hundreds of Environmental Impact Reports, Initial Studies, Environmental Impact Statements, and Environmental Assessments in compliance with the environmental review requirements for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Project experience has included general plans, specific plans, area-wide studies, and environmental planning studies for counties, cities and other local jurisdictions in Northern California. His experience with private development includes environmental analyses for projects in Belmont, Danville, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale. Projects in these communities are located adjacent to or included creek channels or storm drainage facilities that would be directly affected by residential, commercial, or industrial development proposals. Fritz managed the preparation of initial studies and environmental impact reports that addressed hydrological and water quality impacts associated with these public and private development projects.

For the West Valley – Mission Community College District, Fritz was responsible for the preparation of the environmental impact reports for the master plans of both West Valley College and Mission College. Additionally, he has assisted West Valley College in the preparation of environmental documents to satisfy CEQA and permitting requirements for a variety of other projects on the campus. 

last published: 3/21/18