Maria Mircheva - Executive Director

Maria Mircheva has been the Executive Director of the Sugar Pine Foundation since July 2007. She first volunteered for the Sugar Pine Foundation during the 2006 field season, and took over the day to day operations of the organization after the Angora Fire in 2007.

Maria holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Management, with a focus on Conservation Policy, from UC Santa Barbara. Her undergraduate degree is in Business Economics, and she worked as a business consultant in the Silicon Valley before discovering her passion for environmental work. Maria currently juggles the demands of being a mom with those of the organization and her need to play outside as much as possible!




Jenny Cribbs - Program Manager

Jenny started working with the Sugar Pine Foundation in October 2017. After working for two seasons to document the spread of blister rust in the Southern Sierras, Jenny is excited to plant sugar pine seedlings and to be part of an organization dedicated to conserving this majestic species. 


Jenny holds a BA in Psychology from Stanford University and has nearly a decade of experience working as a field biologist for the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and US Geological Survey. Jenny has studied fire effects at Point Reyes National Seashore, sea turtle conservation at Padre Island National Seashore, botany at Shasta Trinity National Forest, and white pine blister rust at Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. In the winters, she serves as a volunteer with the US Forest Service Ski with a Ranger program, promoting conservation education at Heavenly Ski Resort. 



Tressa Gibbard - Development Coordinator
Tressa Gibbard has been working for the Sugar Pine Foundation since January 2010 in the capacity of grant-writer, editor, design guru, outreach and fundraising organizer. Tressa holds a Bachelors degree from Penn State University, where she majored in Environmental Studies.

She has over a decade of experience working as a field biologist throughout California and many other western states. She was introduced to the Sugar Pine Foundation as a participant in the 2006 Tahoe-Baikal Institute Summer Environmental Exchange program, and was previously a seasonal volunteer with SPF. When she's not saving the sugar pines, Tressa can generally be found playing in the mountains.




Hugh Denno - Naturalist Extraordinaire 

Hugh first interned with the Sugar Pine Foundation in 2009 as a tree climber and filmmaker; he produced "The Seedling."  He now assists during cone collection season as a tree climber and helps lead plantings in the spring and fall.  Hugh has worked in outdoor education since 2005 and is an expert naturalist; he has been known to fascinate adults and children alike on guided hikes and at plantings. Hugh holds B.A. degrees in Conservation Biology and Adventure Education from Prescott College.