Who we are

Rachel Williams

Rachel has B.S. from Arizona State University in wildlife and restoration ecology and an M.S. in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois. She is passionate about pollinator conservation, in particular monarch butterflies. While working in Eastern California, she learned of the Saline Valley overwintering sites and began an effort to continue the little-known surveys that had been conducted by naturalist Derham Giuliani from 1976 until 2008. Rachel currently lives in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona where she volunteers for Adventure Scientists and Coconino County Search and Rescue. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, traveling, and all things outside.

Joanna Gilkeson

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Joanna grew up with monarchs and milkweed in her front yard. She received a B.S. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Environmental Science, Policy and Management and is currently a Public Affairs Specialist in Reno, Nevada. She was the San Diego County Coordinator for the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count for two years and has been involved in the Saline Valley monarch count since 2017. Joanna has an obsession with wildlife and photography, especially when combined. She also spends her free time hiking, backpacking, road tripping, practicing yoga, exploring the Western U.S., and spending time with friends and family.