Board of Directorsabout
Erin Golden Adams
A North Carolina native, Kerry Puckett developed a passion for the natural world while attending college in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Interested in experiencing the landscape of the western US, he moved to Utah in 2009, where he worked as a ski and mountain bike patroller at Deer Valley Resort. While in Utah, he began a 2nd career as an architectural and interior photographer on top of his ongoing involvement with Deer Valley’s ski patrol. A visit to Palm Springs in late 2014 led to his current involvement with The Wildlands Conservancy. Coming onboard as a part-time ranger at Whitewater Preserve in 2015, he relocated to the high desert in 2016 as full-time manager/ranger of Pioneertown Mountains and Mission Creek Preserves. He brings with him a unique background of outdoor EMS experience, on the ground land management knowledge, and is well versed in conservation topics in the area. As a 5-year resident of the desert, he continues to be amazed by the beauty and diversity of the desert environment.
Originally from Maryland, Joe Zarki retired in 2013 after a 38-year career as a National Park Service ranger he had stints at Death Valley, Denali, Tuzigoot National Monument, Yellowstone, and he served as Chief of Interpretation at Badlands National Park and at Joshua Tree (1995-2013). Joe was very active in fostering curriculum-based education in the parks and was a co-creator of the Expedition: Yellowstone! residential environmental education program. In 1999, he obtained a grant that led to the creation of the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park. Since retirement, Joe has authored a number of publications including the popular history, Images of America, Joshua Tree National Park. Long active in citizen activities, Joe coordinates Christmas Bird Counts at Joshua Tree National Park and Morongo Valley. Together with his wife Marilyn Lutz, he helps organize butterfly counts at Joshua Tree National Park and at Big Bear Lake. Joe volunteers as a bird walk leader at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and also plays guitar with a local band, Nobody’s Station.
Bob Zimmerman retired from the practice of law in Chicago in early 2011. He lives in both Palm Springs and the Chicago metro area, although he is emphatically not a snowbird: he’ll be in Chicago in January and sometimes be in the desert in August. He is an active volunteer with Wildlands Conservancy and with the Desert Institute of the Association, and is a volunteer and a former member of the Board and immediate past President of Mojave Desert Land Trust. He and his children have been visiting Joshua Tree National Park since the mid-1980’s, during its “national monument” days, and considers the Park one of his family’s special places. He appreciates the opportunity to work with the Association in enhancing the experience of visitors to the Park.
Erin Golden Adams grew up in central Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Mountains where she first fell in love with public lands. She spend her college years in Washington state, spending her free time rock climbing, hiking, and as a wildland firefighter. After earning her degree in Biology, she began her career as the Director of the Desert Institute at JTNP in 2004. In the past 15 years, Erin has worked for the Department of the Navy all over the world in the fields of natural resource management, cultural resources, environmental science, and most recently in government affairs. She is currently the Director of Government and External Affairs at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, overlanding, and cooking.
Current Board member Bill Truesdell is a retired National Park Service employee. Beginning in 1962, his NPS career included assignments in Shenandoah, Everglades, Virgin Islands, Dinosaur, Denali, and Joshua Tree, where he retired from the position of Chief Interpreter in 1994. After retirement he continued to be involved with Park activities as a volunteer, instructing Elderhostel classes, guiding Field Institute classes, and later Desert Institute classes in the Park. About 2005 he was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Park Association.
Linda Castro started with the California Wilderness Coalition (CalWild) in 2014, working on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). Her role then expanded to Desert Organizer, and she now serves as their Assistant Policy Director. She works on state-wide issues related to public lands, but the desert remains her primary focus. Based in Southern California, Linda was a military “brat” who lived in Europe and South America for a significant portion of her childhood before arriving in Texas. She obtained her Bachelors’ degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, and then moved to California and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Whittier Law School. She practiced law for years before making the move to the conservation field. Linda lives with her family and is an avid tent camper, backpacker, and hiker. She also volunteers her time with, and serves on the Board of a Santa Clarita-based non-profit that works to protect and restore wild places and rivers in Southern California.
Sarah Bliss is the Cultural Resources Manager for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. Working in the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, she aims to protect and preserve sites, structures, and districts that are within the ancestral territory of the Chemehuevi. While a California native, she has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Ireland and Japan but has always been drawn to the California Desert. From conducting archaeological excavations in the southwest, surveys with the NPS in northern California, working at a local science museum, to working for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians has enabled her to receive an array of skills both in the world of cultural resource management, but also with education and outreach.
Dr. Pamela Kersey