Meet Our New Staff

Friends of the Eel River staff member standing in a river bed leaning down to pet his dog.

We are excited to introduce our supporters to our new Administrative Manager Kanan Beissert! Kanan is a recent graduate of the Environmental Sciences program at Cal Poly Humboldt and is an excellent communicator. With experience in interpretation, outdoor education, and marketing, Kanan has the skills to translate the complexities of our work without losing important details. We look forward to you meeting them at events this spring and summer!

Meet Our New Administrative Manager Kanan Beissert

I’d never heard of Humboldt before 2016, when my sister decided to enroll at Humboldt State University. Originally from Los Angeles county, my family and I packed up and made the 12 hour car ride to visit what looked to me like an entirely different world. When it came my time to go to college in 2018, I had already fallen in love with the redwoods, and graciously my sister allowed me to follow in her footsteps. She pursued a degree in Environmental Studies, meanwhile I studied Environmental Science & Management. My teenhood experiences volunteering with a local cat rescue and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles had grown a passion in me for connecting with others through education and outreach, and so it was only natural that my degree emphasized in Education & Interpretation. I graduated summa cum laude in 2022 as part of the first graduating class of the newly-rebranded Cal Poly Humboldt, picking up a minor in Art History and a certificate in Museum & Gallery Practices along the way.

I studied Environmental Science because I knew that protecting our natural environments is one of the most important causes of our time. Growing up in sprawling concrete suburbs, I didn’t have much access to the outdoors. It completely rocked my world to be able to move to Humboldt and have trails to hike on, parks to picnic in, and rivers to swim in practically around every corner. I was still in college when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and suddenly I lost access to my passion: connecting with others. Being able to escape out to nature became such an important outlet for me, and the summer of 2020 I practically spent more time out on the Eel River than I did at home. Fast forward to 2024, and I have the fortune now of being able to combine my passion for public outreach with my love of nature by joining Friends of the Eel River as their Administrative Manager. I feel so lucky to be a part of this organization, and I look forward to answering your emails, connecting with you on our social media pages, and hopefully seeing you at our next event.