Santa Cruz Chapter

About Us:Team

Rachel Freeman, Chair – Rachel got her start surfing during the Nor’easters and blizzards of New England during college. She has since relocated back to the warmer waters of California and remains irreversibly hooked on salt water. Surfrider’s mission was a natural fit for her passion to protect the marine environment. After volunteering with the Surfrider Chapter of San Diego, Rachel relocated to Santa Cruz in February of 2017. Following her commitment to ocean conservation, Rachel joined the Blue Water Task Force with the Santa Cruz Chapter where she collects weekly samples at two of her favorite surf breaks. Rachel currently works full-time in digital marketing, highlighting projects around sustainability wherever possible. She found the community around Surfrider to be one of the most inspiring groups she has come across and is thankful for the opportunity to serve as Chair as of May 2018.

Sam Blakesley, Co-Chair– Born and raised on the water in Oceanside, CA, Sam grew up surfing and working on fishing boats that made frequent trips to the offshore islands and Baja. It was here that Sam recognized the need to protect this irreplaceable ocean resource that we all share, and cultivated a commitment to doing so. Sam moved to Santa Cruz in 2010 and joined our Chapter by taking on the role of Blue Water Task Force Coordinator, as a way to give back to the Santa Cruz community and compliment his Environmental Studies degree at UCSC. After graduating, Sam traveled the world, gaining insight along the way in regard to issues that coastal communities face, especially in less developed areas. These experiences would serve as further inspiration for work and research, and Sam is currently pursuing a Master Degree in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. With a focus on Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Sam is working to ensure the future health of our ocean and planet through education and proactive practices. 

Kyle Bergerson, Vice Chair – Kyle is a UCSC graduate with a B.S. in Earth Science. Being an avid waterman for over a decade, Kyle has committed to making the ocean and coastline a better place for future generations. Kyle has worked with Surfrider Santa Cruz for over 3 years as a BWTF water sampler, private beach cleanup coordinator working with local schools and companies, and event tabling advocate. Now, it’s time for this young man to step up the game as Vice Chair, with plans to increase chapter meeting attendance, assist the Volunteer Coordinator, expand our “Ocean Friendly” programs, and work with our Chair in any way suitable.

Steve Campbell, Volunteer Coordinator – Steve grew up in coastal Massachusetts, spending most summers in Hull (a 7-mile spit of sand no more than 1 mile wide). It was very uncommon for Steve to be found wearing shoes. After spending college skiing the White Mountains in New Hampshire, he immediately cast away those clunky ski boots (shoes too) and headed for Ocean Beach, San Diego. There – he fell hard for Dog Beach and Sunset Cliffs and can still recall the feeling of catching his first wave at Scripps Pier. The abundance of natural beauty; from the Maine Woods to Ralph’s to Yosemite, inspired Steve to dedicate his professional life working towards mitigating the oncoming damages to the ecosystem and its innumerable and priceless services. Steve has worked for local governments, climate and energy organizations, and has volunteered for multiple environmental non-profits. After a year working on electric vehicle initiatives at Maui College and spending a few months off-grid in Hana, he flipped a coin and wound up in the Santa Cruz Mountain. He’s glad he did because he surfs good waves, hikes beautiful Big Sur, and found an excellent group of ocean protectors at Surfrider Foundation – Santa Cruz. 

Kenneth Bui, Blue Water Task Force Coordinator – Kenneth is a Bay Area native and a fourth year UCSC student pursuing an Earth Sciences major. This is my first time working in a water related lab, I am excited to learn new concepts regarding water bacteria sampling. Upon graduation I hope to travel the world before pursuing a career as a water plant operator.

Hayley Nuetzel & Maria Hamilton, Beach Clean-up Coordinators – Hayley and Maria are excited to take on the role of Beach Clean-up Coordinator at the Surfrider Foundation – Santa Cruz Chapter! Hayley and Maria are acting as Coordinators as representatives of UCSC Sea Slugs, a campus-based organization that advocates for environmental stewardship, particularly within the marine environment. Additionally, one of the founding objectives of Sea Slugs has always been to increase UCSC student involvement in larger community organizations that share our goals, like the Surfrider Foundation. Hayley and Maria are also graduate students in the Ocean Sciences department at UCSC.

Jenny Campbell, Secretary & Social Media Lead – Jenny is a lifelong water girl who fell in love with Santa Cruz while getting her master’s at UCSC. She has been surfing for almost 20 years, and recently fell in love with kiteboarding, which now takes up most of her ocean play time. Kiting gives her a new way of experiencing her other life passion of adventure travel, having traveled to over 50 countries, and kited on 5 continents. When she’s not on the water, Jenny works full time as a health economist to bring better health care to developing countries and with any extra time she designs bikinis for water sports.

amberAmber Jones, Education Coordinator – Born and raised in Southern California, Amber moved to Santa Cruz about 12 years ago. When she encounters something that sparks her interest she is off and running. She’s a certified life coach and owns a small local business that helps children and families. Her biggest accomplishment and what she is most proud of is becoming a mother to her wonderful daughter ten years ago. Amber loves being a mom and all that it entails. She’s an active volunteer at her daughter’s school through teaching life lab, field trip coordinator, and classroom parent. Family and being active in the community are very important to Amber. She also has a deep love for the ocean and marine life. If you ask her she will tell you the ocean is her second home. When she’s not on land you will find her in the water surfing,  kayaking, sailing, or snorkeling. Her connectivity to the ocean in all these ways keeps her happy and compels her to want to help protect and preserve it.

Sarah Mansergh, Treasurer – It’s the ocean. Sarah loves it. It keeps us healthy so Sarah returns the favor. What better way than cleaning it up, protecting it and dipping in as often as she can. Sarah has never lived more than 20 minutes away from the beach, and her career as a Marine Biologist ensures that will probably be the case for the rest of her life. Although she is not a surfer (sacrilege, she knows), Surfrider allows Sarah to be active in the community and keep this magnificent back yard healthy for all of us to enjoy. Sarah became active in the chapter in 2008 as a water sampler; quickly moved on to running the lab and coordinating our BWTF, and then got involved in our executive committee and took over treasurer duties for awhile. Now, between remodeling her house, traveling the world and finishing her masters, she is constantly amazed at the enthusiasm and spirit of the volunteers that join our group. Sarah is excited and loves having so many passionate and friendly partners to help us keep our ocean healthy.

Matt Kuhn, Member At Large – Growing up in Santa Cruz, Matt has been affiliated with Surfrider since he started surfing at the age of 13. Spending 12 years in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and most recently Austin, TX, Matt became an active member of the Central Texas Chapter (yes there is surf in Texas) holding the Volunteer Coordinator position and revamping the Chapter’s website, social media campaigns, and outreach. Matt is passionate about protecting our oceans, waves, and beaches, and is always reducing his carbon footprint however he can. He is incredibly stoked to be back in his Santa Cruz, and when he is not spreading awareness for the protection of our beaches he works as a Customer Success Manager for Looker, located in downtown Santa Cruz. Matt loves spending time with his two young sons and Wife, and enjoys surfing trips to Mexico and living happily ever now!


Jim Littlefield- Long-time Member– Jim has served various roles in during his tenure with the Surfrider Santa Cruz Chapter, including Chair, Vice Chair 4 times, Program Lead and Treasurer. Jim is currently the West Coast Director of Surfers’ Environmental  Alliance (SEA). He was the lead activist in establishing the Santa Cruz World Surfing Rerserve and chairs the Local Stewardship Council for in relation to this. Jim was active in establishing Waddell Creek State Beach a “Regional Surfing Zone.” He has attend and presented at 3 Global Wave Conferences in Europe, Baja, and Santa Cruz.


11899813_10200769307831878_274383958880587578_nAlex Takeshita, BWTF – Alex has always loved spending time in the water, either through competitive swimming, water polo, or just hanging out at the beach with her friends. Currently studying at UCSC, majoring in Environmental Policy with a minor in Sustainability and Legal Studies, volunteering for Surfrider has given Alex an opportunity to become part of a supportive community that share the same values — protecting and advocating for the environment.


1929441_10208704598070385_7686869236001910419_nBrian Pfeiffer, BWTF – Brian has been working in public health for the past five years as a counselor in reproductive health and medical assistant at community clinics. As a surfer he became increasingly concerned about the quality of the water he was spending so much time in, and shortly after began volunteering wth SRSC’s Blue Water Task Force.



Open Position – Event Coordinator- (contact us to apply!)

Must be a Surfrider Foundation Member; 2 to 20 hours per week. 2-year commitment; one chapter meeting per month and/or Executive Committee meeting per month

  • Work with local businesses to coordinate Chapter events
  • Establish a social media presence around events 
  • Manages events from start to finish 
  • Use the eventcoordinator@ email address for chapter related emails
  • Tracks event outcomes and uploads new contacts from events into Surfrider mailing list
  • Contributes to the chapter’s website and social media pages
  • Adheres to the Chapter Financial Manual Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines.