Welcome to the Freshwater Life Hall of Fame

This is a page dedicated to those who have been essential to the growth and development of Freshwater Life.
Juyung Yoo
Juyung Yoo Field Manager, Yosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
Growing up around the deserts and chaparrals of Southern California, Juyung developed a fascination around conservation and natural history. A recent graduate of The University of California, Santa Cruz, Juyung holds a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During his undergraduate career, Juyung spent his time working for the UC Natural Reserve system as a native plant restoration technician, bird banding intern and participating in field courses. Much of his work however has been in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. After first being introduced to the alpine as an intern with CAMINO studying avian breeding habitat, Juyung has since worked with Freshwater Life, conducting aquatic restoration in the alpine lakes of Yosemite. Juyung is an avid rock climber, cyclist, and peak bagger and in his free time you can find him birding and botanizing. He aspires to make conservation an inclusive field and hopes to continue his education into graduate school.
J. Finn Schwartz
J. Finn Schwartz Yosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
J. Finn Schwartz is currently studying at UC San Diego. Born and raised in San Diego, Finn is currently exploring the many career paths possible within conservation. Having begun their career journey conducting aquatic restoration in the High Sierra’s through FWL. Finn is currently writing for the Climate Change Review as well as conducting conservation work at two San Diego Estuaries, Finn hopes to continue working similar jobs into the future. Outside of his work, Finn will most likely be found outdoors admiring the life that surrounds us all while looking for inspiration to write or paint.
Alleene Roemer
Alleene RoemerYosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
Alleene earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Her current professional goal is to find more biological field technician positions, and to eventually work for the Forest, Park, or Fish and Wildlife service. Previously she had worked as a lab technician within the United States Forest Service, as an intern through UCSC’s Fort Ord Natural Reserve, and as a biological field technician with Cornell University before landing a job as a field tech with Fresh Water Life. She is interested in botany and population ecology, as well as human impacts on the environment and endangered species management. Alleene is wilderness first responder (WFR) certified, and loves to do any and every outdoor activity, especially climbing and riding her bicycle!
Emily Barbieri-Verdejo
Emily Barbieri-VerdejoYosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
Emily got her degree in marine biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. She wants to conduct research in marine biology and is particularly interested in studying the smaller and larger picture in marine ecology research. Her interests expand to conservation genetics and ecosystem-evolutionary dynamics. Further, she has gained field and laboratory techniques in school and working with Freshwater Life. Emily has experience in molecular biology techniques such as next generation sequencing and expertise in live animal handling and tagging. Her hobbies include hiking, tide pooling, playing video games, reading, and hanging out with her dog and many cats!
Natasha Puri
Natasha PuriYosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
Natasha grew up in Southern California, in close proximity to Mount San Antonio. She developed a love for animals and nature early on and knew she wanted to protect them in their natural habitats. She graduated from The University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelors in Environmental Science. During her undergrad, she learned to use coding software to model climate change effects like glacier melt, sea-level rise, global sea surface temperature increases on the land and ocean. Furthermore, she took laboratory samples from the Younger Lagoon Reserve to analyze its chemistry, biology, physics, and geology. She strives to start an inclusive environmental non-profit that provides and funds conservation opportunities for the youth and young professionals. She takes joy in rock climbing, creating music, gardening, pranks, and spending time with her dog.
Madeline Grote
Madeline GroteYosemite National Park Yellow-legged Frog Project
Madeline grew up in Kentucky and currently resides in Ophir, Colorado. Her personal goals include skiing big mountains in Alaska and backcountry skiing near home. Her professional goals include continuing to participate in field work or other biology or ecology-related work. Her skills and expertise are in Wilderness emergency medicine, search and rescue, winter travel and survival, and biochemistry. Her interests include skiing, mountaineering, drawing, and homesteading.