Susan A. Phillips has been at Pitzer since 2002 and has worn many hats during her time at the college. A Professor of Environmental Analysis, she directed the Community Engagement Center and the CASA Pitzer program prior to coming to the Robert Redford Conservancy. Phillips is interested in participatory research and pedagogy, community-led strategies for equitable sustainability, nature-based solutions for climate resilience, theories of violence and inequality, anarchic social forms, and intersections between urban history, material life, and the built environment. Phillips has studied gangs, graffiti, and the US prison system since 1990. Phillips received her Ph.D. in anthropology in 1998 from UCLA and is author of three books: Wallbangin: Graffiti and Gangs in L.A. (Chicago, 1999), Operation Fly Trap: Gangs, Drugs, and the Law (Chicago, 2012), and The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (Yale, 2019). Phillips has received numerous grants, including two Getty fellowships, a Soros Justice Media Fellowship, a short-term Huntington research fellowship, and a Harry Frank Guggenheim research grant for the study of violence.

Assistant Director

Angelica Gonzalez Apple

Angélica González Apple serves as the Assistant Director for the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability. She draws on 15+ years of experience in Environmental Education and Leadership. She attended California State University Monterey Bay, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sustainable Leadership from Arizona State University. Angélica’s prior experience includes serving as Conservation Programs Manager at the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter. She organized and implemented conservation programs and campaigns such as water and air quality, renewable energy, wilderness management, wetlands, urban planning, and zero waste. She is passionate about connecting people with nature and raising awareness on the direct relationship between the quality of the environment and its impacts on people’s quality of life. Angélica enjoys spending time with her family and time in her native garden. She was born and raised in Pomona, California, and resides in Claremont. 

Administrative and Program Coordinator

Claudia L. Prats is the new Administrative and Program Coordinator for the Robert Redford Conservancy. She was born and raised in Pomona, CA. She attended the University of California, Riverside as a first-gen student and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature. Prior to joining our team, she worked with Power My Learning as a family trainer. Claudia is passionate about helping families and students by providing resources for social-emotional awareness as well as educational support. Gaining experience in working with many families and students, she is ready to give back and continue to support her community. She enjoys spending her days with her small family doing different outdoor projects with her two little girls.

Redford Fellow in Applied Research-Sustainable Agriculture

Arthur Levine

Arthur Levine is from New York City, and has resided in SoCal since 2009. He has worked in urban and community-food-systems for 13 years. While in high school, he built a strong knowledge of community gardens and advocacy groups that defend them through participation in More Gardens Fund and multiple urban farms in Brooklyn (Hattie Carthan) and the Bronx (Finca del Sur). From 2008-2011 he organized youth service-learning solidarity brigades to New Orleans to learn and educate about the systemic racial and environmental justice challenges facing communities in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the recovery/revitalization process. Training with Growing Power through Our School at Blair Grocery in New Orleans, he was not only able to learn sustainable urban agriculture, but was also able to connect how urban farming can be applied as a tool for education, public health, economic development, environmental sustainability, and organizing. Arthur graduated from Pitzer College in 2014 with a degree in Neuroscience. He is a former Community Engagement Fellow for the Pitzer in Ontario program (2014-2017) where he supported student service-learning, internships, and the growth and development of Huerta del Valle. Arthur is a co-founder of Huerta del Valle and former Board member and Projects Director at HdV (2017-2021). Arthur’s work at HdV built a large urban composting operation, three working urban farms, the development of the three community gardens and an innovative New and Beginning Farmer training program. Levine also specializes in organizational development, land access, and fundraising. He helped raise over $2.5 million dollars (private, state, and federal) through grants and partnerships for HdV and acquired access to over 40 acres of public and private land helping to expand HdV’s farm and garden network to a regional reach. Aside from his new role as Fellow in Applied Research at the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College, he sits on the boards of Riverside Food Systems AllianceFeed Black Futures, and Agroecology Commons. Arthur is bilingual in Spanish and English and regularly acts as an interpreter and is a UCC-SB Master gardener.

Redford Fellow in Applied Research-Sustainable Policy

Teresa Sabol Spezio is an interdisciplinary environmental history who works on the historical intersections between humans, chemical pollution and environmental policy.  She has worked in academia and environmental consulting. She is also an adjunct professor of environmental analysis at Pitzer College. At the Redford Conservancy, Teresa uses her multi-disciplinary background to assist with sustainability and environmental policy issues, writing reports, and guiding students through the research process.

Redford Conservancy Research Affiliate

Mike McCarthy is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pitzer College, where he teaches environmental data visualization. Vice-chair of Riverside Neighbors Opposing Warehouses, he has 25 years of experience as an atmospheric scientist, 20 years of experience as an environmental consultant, and a little over a year of experience as a community activist and professor. McCarthy’s atmospheric science expertise includes near-road pollution gradients, health-risk assessments, spatio-temporal variability, source apportionment, emissions characterization, climate change, air toxics, and isotopic compositions. He typically applies statistical analysis and geospatial visualization methods to quantify and characterize air quality issues and develops custom applications for the display and visualization of large and complex datasets. He is the creator of Warehouse CITY, an online tool for measuring warehouse cumulative impacts in Southern California.