Meet the Veteran Crew

The Snohomish Conservation District and the Veterans Conservation Corps are excited to partner to bring several internship opportunities to United States military veterans. This crew works with landowners on stormwater resource concerns within urban and residential areas of Snohomish County and Camano Island, and occasionally in other parts of the Puget Sound region.  The main task for this crew is the construction of rain gardens. Other tasks include building rain barrels and habitat restoration projects including planting native species and removing invasive non-native species.


Chris Rodriguez

Chris is our Veteran Crew Lead. He rejoins our team after working for two years as a member and assistant crew lead of our WCC Crew. Chris served in the United States Marine Corps for 6 years. He has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, as well as a teacher's certification. Chris has worked as a teacher, para-educator, and in construction. 

"Having the opportunity to work on environmental projects has once again inspired me to help my community where the need is great. Leading the Veteran crew has brought me stability and joy, something I have been looking for ever since I left the military. This is the first job I have had that allows me to utilize my military training, education background, and construction experience."


Taylor Pesce

Taylor joined the VCC in June, 2017. He grew up in Lake Stevens and served in the Marine Corps from 2003-2007. Following his service, Taylor worked for a commercial plumbing company for a few years before being laid off. He then transitioned into the Boeing Company as a heavy structures mechanic for two years. Deciding that he needed a more meaningful career for himself, wife and three kids, he used the post 9/11 GI bill and started attending Everett Community College to obtain his AA in environmental sciences with a certification in GIS, graduating in spring 2016. Before coming to the VCC he volunteered at Skyline elementary helping students with their reading while also establishing a garden project for the schools teachers to use. Taylor is looking forward to making an impact in the internship program while also hoping to further his career in youth environmental education and stewardship programs.


Sara Rocero-Barrett

Hello everyone! My name is Sara Rocero-Barrett. I served in the United States Air Force for five years and was stationed in Dover, Delaware. Afterwards, I moved back to Washington where I sought to further my academic career. Last year, I earned a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Restoration Ecology from University of Washington Bothell. I then started working for King County Department of Natural Resource & Parks as a Farmland Data Specialist, surveying and mapping agriculture land use and infrastructure throughout King County. Iā€™m an avid birder, which makes working outside even more enjoyable. In the near future, I hope to attend graduate school and to keep working in the environmental field.


Mary "Neysa" Peterson

I served in the NAVY for over three years.  I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for 24 years and think it is one of the most beautiful places.  I enjoy being outdoors and working with plants and learning more about the natural world around me. I love gardening as well and growing my own food.  I am very happy to have the opportunity to be working outside and with fellow Veterans. I am looking forward to pursuing a career in Horticulture as well as Permaculture.