Joshua Tree National Park Association

The Council at JTNPA

The Council is made up of representatives from different, traditionally marginalized communities, who have come to the table to engage in a conversation on diversity, inclusion, and equity in the park and on surrounding public lands. We use the voices of The Council to guide us in our organization’s planning and offerings, for everything from Desert Institute to Membership to Outreach programs. Our belief is that by doing so, we will make a positive impact not only on our organization but on the communities we serve as well. 

Christine Tamara

Christine graduated with her B.A in Modern Languages from Vanguard University of Southern California.  She taught Secondary beginning, intermediate, and advanced Spanish in Huntington Beach for seven years. She strongly believes in using her voice for the common good of the community. In 2018 she joined Hispanic Access Foundation. Christine took on the role as Southern California Project Coordinator, expanding their Inland Empire network and cultivating relationships with elected officials in order to advocate for public lands and natural resources in San Bernardino County.

Gabriela Moreno

Gabaccia Moreno is a first-generation Mexican-American multi-disciplinary creator, consultant, and passionate outdoor advocate #ExploringResponsibly wherever life takes her. Having grown up in Veracruz, Mexico, to a family of hunters and ranchers gave her an appreciation for the land and its wildlife at an early age. Today she serves as National Monuments Fellow for Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, where she is involved in national campaigns, like the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. and the Monumental SHIFT, seeking to make the outdoors more equitable and protect our lands and waters. She is also the Executive Director of The Outdoorist Oath, an organization creating educational tools and models equipping people to ally planet, inclusion, and adventure. In 2021, Gabaccia was the resident host for the She Explores podcast and a contributor at In her free time, you’ll find her outside, probably fishing, hunting, hiking, practicing yoga, or backpacking.

Yanina Aldao Galvan

Yanina Aldao Galvan is a Naturalized American originally from Argentina, where she studied Agricultural Sciences. She has been an Outdoor Educator since 2008 and a Land Steward since childhood. She has worked for the Mojave Desert Land Trust and Joshua Tree National Park and is currently in her senior year of Ecology at the University of California Riverside, where she works at the Botanic Gardens. Her favorite topics are plant Chemistry and Conservation of Biodiversity. Her purpose in life is to heal the Earth and help others deepen their relationship with the Ecosystem they live in.

Neftali Galarza

Neftali Galarza is a proud Coachella Valley native, having grown up in Oasis, a small agricultural – unincorporated community of Riverside County located on the edge of the Salton Sea. He earned his Bachelor of Art’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Labor Studies from the University of California, Riverside in 2016. Neftali Galarza currently residents in Salton City, an unincorporated community of Imperial County where he is a member of the West Shores Chamber of Commerce.

Neftali Galarza serves as a Trustee for the Coachella Valley Unified School District, representing a multicounty area, Including Oasis of Riverside County and West Shores communities that include Desert Shores, Salton Sea Beach, Vista Del Mar and Salton City of Imperial County. As a Trustee, Neftali sits on the District English Learner Advisory Committee, Head Start Committee, and CVUSD Foundation.

Neftali currently works for the California Alliance for Renewable Energy Solutions as the Director of Community Outreach. In his role, he assists in bridging eastern Coachella Valley and Inland Empire nonprofits, elected officials and community advocates with renewable energy policy and projects.

Previous roles include Program Coordinator for the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM) and Regional Organizer for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP.)

Monique Allen

Monique Allen is a Community Health Worker with the University of Madison – Wisconsin. She has 20 years’ experience working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and 10 years teaching American Sign Language at the local Community College. She also has a background with working with children with special needs for over 17 years including being a supervised visitation monitor. Within those years Monique has had major involvement with local chambers, Rotary clubs, community coalition meetings, and foster youth programs. She is an active supporter in the community and an advocate for equity and inclusion – standing up for those that feel they don’t have a voice. After learning of the lack of fitness opportunities for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, Monique opened a gym geared to meeting their needs and created an fitness-affiliated nonprofit for that community and other underserved populations. Monique has also completed the CCHW training at Loma Linda University and was hired there as a Community Health Worker/ Peer Support Specialist. Monique plans to continue in the Community Health Worker profession and assist in furthering this career path for others. 

Denise Vasquez

Denise Vasquez is a published photographer, artist, author, comedian, actress, and singer/songwriter/guitarist based in Yucca Valley, CA.

Born and raised in New York City, Denise left home at the age of seventeen and has been traveling the world since. Having lived in Scotland, London, the US Virgin Islands, and California, her experiences have led her to share her journey through art, writing, music and photography. 

Denise’s photography features colorful moments as they really occur and her Photos have been published in Big bear guide, National Geographic Yourshot, Canon Photo Plus magazine, on the covers of About Town Magazines, Dreamy Magazine, Malvie Magazine,, Redbubble, Fine Art America, has been exhibited by the Southwest Environmental Center (Las Cruces, NM),, San Diego Fair Exhibition Of Photography, Museum Of Ventura County Smith Pavillion, La Bodega Art Gallery, and more! Licenses for her photography are available via Adobestock, Shutterstock and istock by Getty Images.

Referred to by the media as being a “Modern Day Renaissance Woman”, Denise is also an author at Penguin Random House, actress at SAG-AFTRA, Content Creator, Consultant, and Founder of The Disabled Photographer Project and How Accessible Is Accessible series.

Denise’s resume also includes being a writer at Lonely planet, stand up comedian, host, creator & promoter of: WO+MEN 4 APPLAUSE comedy & music variety shows, WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE events, Ladies Night Music Festivals I-VI, Creator & Moderator of panels at San Diego Comic Con, and she has also participated on panels at  Conventions in  Germany, Atlanta,  Texas, Chicago and more!

Denise’s art has been published by Her Universe, Hot Topic, Disney, Topps Trading Cards, DK Publishing, The Art Hustle Trading Cards, Cryptozoic Entertainment, Breygent Marketing, and her music has earned her awards, nominations and she has 3 published albums on iTunes, apple music, spotify, amazon music.

To learn more Visit

Glen Harris

Born and raised in the suburbs of NYC into a family that loved and valued the arts, music and theatre, Glen graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University. Wanting to pursue his dreams and to live a “healthier” lifestyle, he moved to Los Angeles, and his love for everything California began to flourish.

Glen was a working actor in his younger days, but then worked behind the scenes in many areas in television production for over 3 decades. Glen and his husband Tom moved full time to Joshua Tree in 2016, where they found their “Forever Home.” He is a “Cattle Baron” of the Friends of Pioneertown, is on the Citizens Advisory Council of the Joshua Basin Water District, and currently sits on the Boards of Directors of The Morongo Basin Humane Society No Kill Shelter in Joshua Tree, and on DRTA/The California Welcome Center located in Yucca Valley. He served as Secretary and then Chair of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) for the Third District of San Bernardino County, and in 2021 was officially appointed by Dawn Rowe, the Third District Supervisor, as her Community Liaison of the High Desert.

Corey Jones

Currently the Vice President of Service Solutions in Los Angeles, Corey recently served as JTNPA’s Finance Manager. Prior to joining JTNPA, Corey Jones was AVP of Bankruptcy, Payment Processing, and Payoffs at AmeriNat Community Services, and has held several leadership roles in both the entertainment and financial services industry. He received a Gold album for over 900,000 albums sold while signed with Motown Records and was also the Senior Vice President for Sony America. In 2011, he was awarded a proclamation by the state of Tennessee House of Representatives for outstanding work in the community and music industry. Additionally, Corey holds a BA in Law and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon.

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