Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Coachella Valley Preserve System
Managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management
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Preserve Manager - Ginny Short

Ginny Short manages the Center for Natural Lands Management's (CNLM) Thousand Palms and McCallum Oases Preserve and the Dos Palmas Preserve. She also conducts conservation easement compliance activities on several conservation easements held by CNLM in the Coachella Valley. Joining CNLM in 2007, she brought with her over ten years of experience in biological monitoring, habitat restoration, and GIS and statistical analysis. 

Ms. Short has particular expertise in wildlife ecology and has used educational, professional, and volunteer opportunities to focus on the science and practice of bird conservation, particularly with nocturnal and diurnal birds of prey. She has many years of monitoring experience, including surveying for least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), nesting birds, Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata) and rare plants such as the Coachella Valley milkvetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae) and Mecca aster (Xylorhiza cognata). She also has many years of banding experience with terns, raptors, and songbirds. She is experienced in wildlife rehabilitation, with training as a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, CA. More recent interests include studying the reptiles and amphibians of southern California and the ecology and natural history of the Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius). Ginny has experience working with many listed and vulnerable species. She holds a Master Bander permit for Burrowing Owls and for running MAPS/MAWS stations. 

Her extensive research on the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) has informed monitoring methods and conservation plans for this species and has been presented in numerous conference presentations and publications. Through her work with this species, Ms. Short has integrated research with conservation planning, and has engaged regulatory agencies, management agencies, and volunteers. Ms. Short received a Bachelor's degree in Biology from California State University, Long Beach, and completed her Master's degree in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 2008.

Land Steward – Christian Hellwig

Christian Hellwig assists the Preserve Manager in the management of the Center for Natural Lands Management's (CNLM) Thousand Palms and McCallum Oases Preserve and the Dos Palmas Preserve. Joining CNLM in 2013, he has extensive experience in biological monitoring, wildlife management, volunteer management and interpretation.

Christian most recently served the National Park Service. At Pinnacles National Park, as staff biologist, he held responsibility for managing the nonnative, invasive feral pig eradication program and campground raccoon management and camper education program in addition to assisting with California condor reintroduction. On Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate NRA, he worked to negotiate a balance between the large nesting water bird population (Western gulls, Brandt’s and Pelagic cormorants, Pigeon guillemots, Black oystercatchers, Black-crowned night-herons, Snowy egrets) and as many as 5,000 daily visitors. He researched and monitored the seabird population, studied human-caused disturbance, advised and educated visitors about seabirds, and provided FEIS guidance to construction and maintenance staff. He also supervised a volunteer-staffed ongoing seabird docent program and biweekly bird count. Much of Christian’s experience was in outreach both to interest groups like Audubon and also to educational institutions and underserved communities.

In prior years, Christian has also monitored macaws in South America, and conducted surveys of migrating Coho salmon, conducted surveys and monitored disturbance of Harbor seals and Western snowy plovers, and volunteered at a marine mammal rehabilitation facility, all in northern California.

Mr. Hellwig received his B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Davis, and his teaching credential in mathematics and biology from San Francisco State University. He also attended graduate school at the University of California, Irvine.

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