California Chapter Coordinator

Joel Weltzien

Joel grew up in a small town in southwest Montana, where his father taught him to hike, backpack, and “be” in natural spaces. After finishing his B.S. in Anthropology at the University of Montana, Joel dove head first into spending as much time as possible outside. He spent three years in Oregon and Idaho as a white-water rafting guide, showing folks the majesty of the Snake, Salmon, and Grande Ronde Rivers. After becoming increasingly interested in policy and advocacy, Joel headed to DC for a congressional internship with Montana’s lone Democratic Senator, Jon Tester. Joel then returned to Montana, and through a series of jobs at a variety of conservation organizations, built up a professional skill set rooted in organizing, legislative affairs, community engagement, communications, and conservation-focused political strategy.

Seeking a more robust educational experience, Joel then attended the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment and Sustainability, earning an M.S. in environmental policy. While there, Joel supplemented his professional experience by developing skills and perspectives rooted in economics, GIS, quantitative analytics, environmental justice, conservation biology, and law. Joel’s M.S. Capstone Project involved leading a nine-person team in studying Irrecoverable Carbon across the U.S. for their client, The Wilderness Society.

After finishing his Masters in the spring of 2023, Joel moved with his wife to Berkeley, where she began attending law school last autumn. While he loves to hunt and fish, he's terrible at both activities and hopes to learn and get out as much as possible in the coming years!


Contact Joel:

[email protected]