Mark Thomas

Board Member

Mark has been trying to surf since 1970 when a wave bounced sideways off the Oceanside jetty and knocked out his front tooth.  Since then he’s not only figured out how to stand up, but also how to duck better.  He discovered Santa Cruz in 1972, stole away to the University there in 1974, and hasn’t been able to find a better place to live on the planet since.

He has worked as a Naturalist from California to Canada, an Ecology Curricula Writer and classroom teacher in Santa Cruz, a College Professor in Mexico, and Environmental Program Designer to create National Parks and National Endangered species campaigns for the UN in Mongolia, and a whitewater rafting guide in the Western US, Costa Rica, Norway and Siberia. His written articles have appeared in the Earth Island Journal, The Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

He earned his JD at the University of Oregon with emphasis in Natural Resources Law & Ocean Law and research foci in the Public Trust Doctrine, The Environmental Impacts of NAFTA and the population viability of the Spotted Owl.  As Director of the Kern River Recreation Council he got the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to enforce for the the first time in history a provision of the law that stopped Southern California Edison from siphoning off the river and put the water back where it belonged for the fish, wildlife, and to benefit local businesses, as well the stoked kayakers and rafters.  As ED for the Surfer’s Environmental Alliance he led the campaign to bust Unocal to the tune of $200 million for dumping toxics into the sand and surf of the Guadalupe Dunes and Santa Maria Rivermouth.

Mark now works as a realtor of fine properties in Santa Cruz and parts beyond, a homeschool consultant teacher and a environmental education consultant for the Lawrence Hall of Science.  He loves his life as a husband to a lovely wife smarter than he is, a father to a son cooler than he is, a daughter that is going to be way smarter than he is and another daughter who is presently a snarky, teenage smart aleck but who may grow up to be a cool Maverick’s surfer, if she just gets over herself for a little while.