Tami Church

Position: Water Resources Planner, Zone 7 Water Agency
February 2021

Tami Church works for the Zone 7 Water Agency which covers water supply, flood control, and groundwater management for eastern Alameda County.  She has been working in her role as a Water Resources Planner in the Integrated Planning section since 2012 where she is able to apply her professional and educational experiences to on-the-ground projects at multiple planning scales – from the site-specific to a watershed or regional scale. Her day-to-day responsibilities vary from project management and stakeholder coordination, to conducting biological surveys and overseeing stream enhancement projects.  When asked what she likes most about her job, Tami said it is “the variety of projects she gets to work on, the internal and external partners she gets to collaborate with, and the opportunity to engage with projects from concept all the way through implementation and monitoring.”

Tami is currently working on two major projects: overseeing the EPA grant-funded collaboration known as “Preparing for the Storm” with partners from SFEI, SFBJV and H.T. Harvey; and, overseeing a multi-agency watershed stewardship program called “Living Arroyos” which is now in its eighth year.  Both efforts challenge her to leverage resources and relationships with the goal of achieving multiple benefits and include local and regional planning for beneficial sediment reuse, taking a watershed perspective on stream enhancement activities and increasing partner engagement.  First and foremost, she enjoys being a resource and someone who can help brainstorm ways to solve problems, or just lend a helping hand.

Tami graduated from UC Berkeley in 2001 with a degree in Environmental Science.  After graduating, she worked as an environmental consultant for the Berkeley-based environmental consulting firm, Stillwater Sciences for 8 years where she got a crash course in fisheries ecology, geomorphology, watershed planning, and the importance of informed natural resource management.  Her favorite job was roaming the Sierra Foothills doing electrofishing and bioassessments.  The occasional helicopter rides definitely sweetened the deal!  She credits this work for sparking her interest in applied watershed planning and management and the challenge of integrating science and policy to develop on-the-ground projects.  She eventually landed back at UC Berkeley where she earned a masters degree in Environmental Planning in 2012, followed by a brief internship with SFPUC working on green infrastructure, before joining Zone 7.

Tami grew up as a military dependent which took her all around the world with her family, including extended stays in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines.  She has had the great fortune of calling the Bay Area home for the past 23 years!  When not working or sheltering in place, she enjoys exploring California with her husband Josh, son Avery, and another little one on the way!  When Tami has the opportunity, she enjoys connecting with young professionals who are finding their way around this exciting and growing field of natural resource management.