Two new board members join San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) recently welcomed two new board members: Dan King of Carmel Valley and Gabriele Wienhausen of La Jolla.
King said that being an avid birder since his Boy Scout days, combined with his on-again, off-again mountain-biking, trail-running, and YMCA Adventure Guides/Adventure Princess phases with his kids, has literally put him all over the map in terms of the trails and open space in North County and beyond. Especially since he began working from home starting last March due to Covid-19 restrictions, much of his outdoor quality time has been concentrated up and down the San Dieguito River watershed.
“My interest in the Conservancy stems from a combination of several things: I have been a long-time consumer of San Dieguito River Park’s offerings and I have a long-held interest in land-use/access issues. With our kids out of the nest, I finally have a little more time to devote to giving back to the community. Given what I understand of the Conservancy’s mission it very much feels like a solid fit.”
A resident of Carmel Valley for over 18 years, King is assistant general counsel — Federal Regulatory Law, Policy & Compliance at San Diego Gas & Electric Company, one of the Sempra energy utilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor from University of Tulsa College of Law.
King grew up in Tulsa, Okla., and moved to Washington D.C. after finishing law school. There, over the course of nearly a decade, he worked in the federal government, then at a small law firm, and finally as in-house counsel for a large energy company. The Sempra opportunity came up in late 2002, bringing him, his wife, and three children to San Diego.
King’s legal niche for many years has been federal energy regulatory law. At SDG&E he leads a team of regulatory attorneys in legal and policy matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; while also managing federal compliance teams with responsibility for SDG&E’s compliance with FERC-enforced regulations, including electric reliability standards, market-behavior rules, and affiliate standards of conduct.
Since retiring, Wienhausen has become a docent at the Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve. To deepen her knowledge of California’s unique ecology and ways to engage the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities, she enrolled in the UC California Naturalist Program and is now a certified CA Naturalist.
A new SDRVC board member, Wienhausen said, “As an educator, I bring a knowledge of and experience in establishing novel educational programs for K – 12 and college students. The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy already has an impressive education program. I hope to deepen and broaden its offerings and its significance by developing partnerships with local colleges and universities to create opportunities for student research and citizen-science projects. This would increase the visibility of the Conservancy, its potential to catalyze collaborative conservation, its promise to advance environmental literacy of students, and its ability to engage the off-campus community in environmental stewardship through discovery and collaborative action.”
Born, raised, and educated in Germany, Wienhausen came to UCSD to spend a year conducting research in biochemistry. “Little did I know then that the 12-month stay would be 38 years and counting,” she said.
Wienhausen earned her undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. in physiology and biochemistry at Westfaelische Wilhelms Universitaet in Muenster, Germany. Retired in April 2020, she is a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita in the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD. She is active in the UCSD Emeriti Faculty Program where she is mentoring UCSD students who, like her, are the first in their family to go to college, guiding them in their educational journey. Her work and contributions have been recognized by numerous honors and awards. —SDRVC news release
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