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About Us

The Coastside State Parks Association (CSPA) was created (under its original name, the San Mateo Coast Natural History Association) in December 1990 to further the education and interpretation initiatives of the California State Parks along the San Mateo Coast. CSPA was founded by volunteers in San Mateo County as a 501(c)(3) non-profit Cooperating Association to provide support directly to these coastal State Parks.

Mission Statement

Coastside State Parks Association: Inspiring public appreciation and stewardship of the natural resources and cultural heritage of the San Mateo coast, in partnership with California State Parks.

CSPA-Supported Programs and Projects

  • Helped fund the construction of a foot bridge to open up a new trail in Pescadero Marsh—visited by more than 10,000 school children each year.
  • Collaborated with the California State Parks Foundation and State Parks to secure funding for the Año Nuevo Marine Education Center (a $2.8 million project) and courtyard.
  • Provided funding for the completion of the visitor center at Half Moon Bay State Beach.
  • Coordinated funding for the creation of the interpretive center in the fog signal building at Pigeon Point Light Station.
  • Assisted with the procurement of a disabled access van to make Año Nuevo accessible to everyone.
  • Supports the annual Pigeon Point Light Station Lighting Anniversary Celebration.
  • Provides funding for the State Park docent and volunteer programs at State Parks along the San Mateo coast—supporting over 300 State Park volunteers.

Listen to an interview of CSPA President Joyce Pennell and Board Member Nancy Frost on Pescadero radio station KPDO (9/24/10) on CSPA's role in supporting the state parks on the San Mateo coast.

Watch an September 2013 interview of CSPA Executive Director on Pacifica Community Television. Wavelength is a local news show hosted and produced by Ian Butler. The show airs on Mondays at 6:30 pm on Comcast cable channel 26. 26:49 minutes.

Watch an October 2013 interview of CSPA Executive Director on  Peninsula TV.  Pen Voice, hosted by Dani Gasparini highlights community organizations within San Mateo County.  The show airs daily at 7 am, noon and 7 pm on channel 26.

Staff

Click on the name for more information.

Janet Oulton - President

Janet Oulton retired in 2004 after sixteen years running her own IT consulting business and a cumulative thirty years in a variety of industries. Clients included electronic manufacturers, clothing companies, biomedical companies and medical claims processing. While the industries were different, the focus was always on the business operations.

Upon retiring, she trained as a docent at Año Nuevo, and has continued volunteering there as both a docent and a mentor. In 2012 she also became a docent at Pigeon Point Light Station.

Wondering if she could contribute some of her accumulated business experience to the non-profit that supports the Coastside state parks, she joined the Board of CSPA in 2012 where she helps out with the bookstore management, event ticketing and the bookkeeping.

Pamela Koch - Secretary

Pam Koch was elected to CSPA’s Board of Directors in November 2014. She has been a volunteer docent at Año Nuevo since 2008. She also serves on the Board of Sempervirens Fund.

Pam is a former hospital administrator in Philadelphia and Boston and a health policy analyst working on Capitol Hill and in the federal DHHS Secretary's Office. She holds an MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Management from the Graduate School of Management at Boston University. She has a history of volunteerism and advocacy for under-resourced youth in the Bay Area and currently serves as a Court-appointed Special Advocate in San Mateo County. She is also the current President of the Redwood Meadows Ranch HOA in Bonny Doon.

Since moving to the Bay Area in 1990, she has fallen in love with the dramatic Pacific Coast line and the majestic redwood forest that rises above it. She is an avid hiker throughout the region. Pam is dedicated to supporting the stunning and richly diverse 15 Coastside State Parks in San Mateo County.

Shirley Bentson - Treasurer

Coming!

Suzanne Black

Suzanne Black retired in 2002. She is a past director of the Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust (now Coastside Land Trust) and Senior Coastsiders and a past commissioner and president of the San Mateo County Commission on Aging. She is now a volunteer docent for State Parks at Francis Beach, Pescadero S.B. and Marsh, and, formerly, at Pigeon Point Light Station. From 2012-2014 she led monitoring of a heron/egret/cormorant rookery at Pescadero Marsh for a San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory project. She was elected to the CSPA board in 2015.

She has a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley and M.A. in Biology from San Francisco State University. She worked at Finnigan Corporation / Thermo Fisher Scientific, a scientific instruments manufacturer in San Jose, where she wrote, edited and managed technical publications and marketing communications. A similar position followed at the Scientific Instruments Division of Hewlett-Packard / Agilent Technologies in Palo Alto.

Suzanne has published poetry, fiction, and various articles in the Half Moon Bay Review and has edited several books for others. She enjoys learning about the history and varied ecosystems along the coast and sharing that knowledge with park visitors. She keeps busy with writing, nature photography, field biology, and bird watching.

Fred Bockmann

Fred Bockmann taught elementary school in central Illinois for 10 years. In the mid 1970s, as a hobby he built a computer and began using it in his classroom. Then, from 1980 - 1982, he was Director of an Illinois State Board of Education research program exploring ways computers could be used in education. He joined Apple Computer, Inc. in 1982 and had roles in engineering, sales, and training. Apple relocated Fred and his wife to California in 1997.

When Fred retired in 2007, he joined the docent program at Año Nuevo State Park. After 25 years working for Apple Inc., he was ready to leave the world of cubicles behind, and learn about elephant seals, native Americans, geology, botany, and more of his adopted home state of California. In his retirement, he is an active volunteer at the Media Center, Palo Alto CA’s public access television studio, and spends time as an archivist  at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

Fred enjoys travel, reading, photography, videography, and hiking, and has been known to, at the drop of a hat, take a road trip to explore new areas of the country.  Fred joined CSPA’s board in January 2015.

Anne Kang

Since leaving Yahoo! in 2007, Anne Kang has worked independently providing strategic and operational consulting services to businesses of various size and industry.  She focuses on using data and analytics to advise on strategy and business operations for sales and marketing organizations.  Her specialties include: digital strategy, business planning, website analytics, online ad campaign analytics, website and social media marketing, competitive intelligence, program management, business systems project management, and process improvement.

Anne has been busy centralizing operations and working on website and social media initiatives since joining the CSPA Board in 2014.

She received both her BS and MBA from Columbia University in NYC where she lived for 20 years before moving to Half Moon Bay in 2005.  Her move was prompted by her desire to hike, backpack and sea kayak year round.  Anne is an avid sea kayaker, part-time instructor and active member / volunteer for Bay Area Sea Kayakers, a local sea kayaking club.  She is a former Vice President and Skills Clinic Coordinator and currently is a volunteer on their Website Committee.

Richard Lohman

Ric Lohman has retired after more than 40 years implementing Corporate Enterprise Systems. Ric has lived on the San Mateo County Coastside since 1990 and has worked for peninsula companies, such as Visa, Stanford, and Kaiser Permanente. Protecting the coastal environment has been a key part of Ric’s life, and he has served on local Coastside boards, such as, the Midcoast Community Council, the Sewer Authority Midcoastside, and the Granada Community Services District. Ric also served as a Board member of Save Our Shores and was active in the Tom Lantos Tunnel project and in bringing MROSD to the Coastside. Ric is politically active and has been President of the San Mateo County (SMC) Chapter of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). He also serves on the SMC Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) and the County Commission on Sea Level Rise. Ric joined the CSPA Board in 2014.

Ric is a triathlete and enjoys all outdoor activities, such as, camping, hiking, astronomy, and kayaking. Ric’s wife, Barbara, is retired from teaching science at the Half Moon Bay High School and remains active in outdoor science activities for the school.

Ric and his wife also enjoy travel, playing Bridge, and coordinating activities for their grandchildren.

Richard Mohr

Rick Mohr retired in 2007 after a 40-year career as an aerospace engineer specializing in optimization and navigation. He worked at Systems Control in Palo Alto, Analytical Mechanics Associates in Mountain View, and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA. Over his career, he developed and tested software for vehicles that variously dive, swim, skim, hover, fly, and orbit. Mr. Mohr received a B.S. degree from Iowa State University and M.S. and Engineer degrees from Stanford.

Rick enjoys amateur photography, international travel, and hiking in the Bay Area, in the Sierra, and on his travels. He became a board member of CSPA in 2013 and was elected president in March 2014.

Interested in Joining the Board?

We welcome people interested in joining the CSPA board of directors. Please see the links below for information on what it means to be on the board, including the responsibilities and expectations, as well as for an application form (MS-Word or pdf format).

Information on becoming a board member

CSPA Board application (.doc)