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Kristan Culbert

Associate Director, California Conservation

Kristan joined the California program’s Central Valley team in 2021. Before joining American Rivers, Kristan led environmental education programs and managed habitat restoration projects as a biologist at Rivers & Lands Conservancy, and worked on improving public access for Santa Ana River Watershed communities as a project manager with Inland Empire Waterkeeper. She has also worked as a seasonal scientist and GIS technician with the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. She is excited to work at the nexus of environmental justice and science-based watershed management.

In her free time, Kristan enjoys rock climbing, hiking, traveling, and experimenting in the kitchen. 


Kristan has an MS in Environmental Management with specializations in Water Resources Management and Pollution Prevention and Remediation from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, and a BA in Earth Sciences from the University of Southern California.  

Favorite River:

The Santa Ana River, for which my hometown (Riverside, California) is named.

Favorite river story:

I have fond memories of riding my bike on the Santa Ana River Trail, a bike trail that spans from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, with my family as a child. As an adult, I have had the opportunity to visit rivers around the world: one of the most spectacular moments that I have ever experienced was watching the sun rise above the banks of the Yamuna River and over the Taj Mahal.