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Peer Support Workers of the Southwest Region

The Peer Support Worker Program was created to promote awareness and provide outreach and education on topics and policies related to anti-harassment, discrimination, biases, and scientific integrity, and is led by the USGS Civility and Inclusion Council. For more information, please contact the Civility and Inclusion Council Chair (Tina Roberts-Ashby).

USGS Southwest Region

Arizona  |  California  |  Nevada



     Flagstaff Science Campus—Flagstaff, AZ

          Patricia "Patty" Garcia, Computer Scientist,, 928-556-7246
Patty is a career USGS employee. She works for the Astrogeology Science Center at the USGS Flagstaff Science Campus in Arizona.  Patty has spent much of her career working on archiving planetary data from a variety of NASA missions including Cassini, MESSENGER, Mars Odyssey, and others. She is currently Principal Investigator on a NASA-funded project to archive data products from the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Program (LMMP). In addition to her regular duties, Patty is also a facilitator for Bystander Intervention Training classes and serves on the USGS Diversity Council.



     California Water Science Center—Sacramento, CA

          Joan Lopez, Hydrologist,, 916-278-308546
Joan started with the California Water Science Center as a surface water Hydrologic Technician in 2012 while completing her BS in Geology at California State University, Sacramento. After graduating in 2015, She continued to work for the center as a Hydrologist running the local sediment lab in Sacramento and supporting laboratory safety activities. She then took on the position of Projects Program Coordinator in 2019 where she continues today to support the CAWSC Projects Program and the Associate Director for Projects, while also obtaining her Associates of Science degree in Geographical Information Systems at American River College in 2020. She was inspired to join the Peer Support Worker Program in September 2022 due to the diverse interactions with various departments and people in the CAWSC within her current position. She has a passion for geology, maps, camping, archery, board games, choir, and cat parenting.


     California Water Science Center—San Diego, CA

          Meghan Dick, Hydrologist,, 619-225-61546154
Meghan is hydrologist with the California Water Science Center (CAWSC) in San Diego, CA. She started her career with the USGS in 2015 as a student trainee and was converted to a hydrologist position after finishing graduate school. Her current focus is managing groundwater availability and use studies in southern California and assisting with groundwater modeling projects. Originally hailing from Florida, she worked as a marine biologist on coral reef mapping projects with the University of Miami before transitioning to water quality and Integrated Water Resource Management work at Florida International University. Meghan is looking forward to being able to serve as a helpful resource for her peers and to continue building a positive work environment at the CAWSC.


     Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center—Menlo Park, CA

         Lysanna Anderson, Research Geologist,, 650-329-4972
Dr. Anderson was led to ecological science by a fascination with the incredible diversity of ecosystems that comprise our planet. She witnessed firsthand in Asia, Africa, South America, and in Western North America, the impact of human land use practices and the challenges of sustainable development. In particular, she saw the impact and issues on decision making, risk assessment, and policy that arise from a view of ecological dynamics that is restricted to historical time scales. Her research interests center on understanding ecosystem change on millennial to decadal time scales, and in making that understanding useful and available to managers, planners, and other stakeholders in order to help facilitate sustainable land use practices. In addition to her professional interests, Lysanna loves to kayak with her daughter and is learning to play piano. 

          Courtney Creamer, Research Soil Scientist,, 650-329-5449
Courtney Creamer joined the Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics (GMEG) Science Center in 2015 and is based in Menlo Park, California. She is a soil scientist who studies where, when, and how well soils function after disturbances like mining, land cover change, and precipitation variability. The mentorship and support she has received (and still receives) has been critical to her personal and professional development. She became a Peer Support Worker (PSW) in 2021 in the hopes that she too can become a resource and provide support to others—contact her any time!


     Pacific Coastal Marine Science Center—Santa Cruz, CA

          Andrea O'Neill, Oceanographer,, 831-460-75866154
Andrea (Andy) O’Neill joined the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, CA, in 2012, following over 10 years of meteorological and oceanographic forecasting in the Western Pacific. She is an oceanographer and meteorologist working on climate change impacts to our coasts. In addition to running simulations of coastal flooding impacts and being a Peer Support Worker for PCMSC, she enjoys engaging with public stakeholders on science needs and making science products useful for the communities who need them. In her personal time, Andy likes to swim, bike, practice martial arts, and start way too many knitting projects to ever finish. 

          Alex Snyder, Oceanographer,, 831-460-7462

          Pamela Swarzenski, Chemist/Lab Manager,, 831-460-7405



     Nevada Water Science Center—Carson City, NV

          Bryce Redinger, Hydrologic Technician,, 775-467-6080 

Bryce is a Hydrologic Technician monitoring stream gages and real time water quality at Lake Tahoe. Bryce has been with the USGS for over 15 years, 10 years at the Boise USGS office and 5+ at the Carson City Office. When he is not stream gaging he is designing and prototyping gear for USGS Innovation Depot.