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Irvine Ranch Conservancy Staff Spotlight: Chrystene Newman, Program Coordinator

PictureChrystene Newman, Program Coordinator

​Community engagement is at the heart of programming at Irvine Ranch Conservancy. From valuable partnerships to meaningful connections with the community, we offer dynamic recreational activities and informal learning opportunities for nature lovers to experience the beauty of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Conservancy staff members and volunteers help provide unique experiences as a way for community members to develop a personal connection to native wildlands.
Program Coordinator Chrystene Newman works with the IRC Community Engagement and Education team where she leads activities on the Landmarks and supports a variety of programs and special events, such as invasive species management and Wilderness Access Days. Chrystene has been a part of the IRC team for nearly three years and was a volunteer prior to her current job position.
“Before working at IRC, I had no idea there were so many beautiful wildlands in the heart of Orange County,” said Chrystene. “I was so excited to learn there was an opportunity to work with the land management non-profit that helps to tend that resource, and I was really drawn to the diversity of roles, projects, partnerships, and opportunities.”

Chrystene graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills with a BS in Biology, and an emphasis on Ecology and Environmental Biology. Prior to working at IRC, Chrystene worked as a natural resource interpreter for the City of Newport Beach, where she presented marine conservation information, conducted tours, and organized coastal clean-up events. Chrystene has also completed internships and conducted research focused on sustainability and habitat restoration.
“My favorite part about my job is introducing the land to the community,” said Chrystene. “I’m a big fan of Buck Gully: it’s accessible, a great introduction to the Irvine Ranch National Landmarks, and a beautiful example of intact coastal sage scrub.”
When Chrystene isn’t working to connect the community with the Landmarks, she enjoys exploring national and state parks, tending to her growing collection of houseplants, building an online creative community, and drinking (too many?) matcha lattes with friends.
On November 6, join Chrystene and other IRC and OC Parks staff members during Wilderness Access Day in Black Star Canyon from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy self-guided access on pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families, as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website.
For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy and community programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit  or follow the Conservancy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.