Friends of the Inyo Staff

Wendy Schneider, Executive Director

A native of East Tennessee, Wendy Schneider developed a love of the great outdoors in the Appalachian Mountains. After earning her B.A. in Political Science, Wendy began work in the environmental movement in the Washington, D.C. offices of Al Gore and U.S. PIRG, then headed West to run the Los Angeles fundraising office for Environment California. She began travelling frequently to the Eastern Sierra to ski, hike, bike and explore its mysterious deserts. She practiced law, brought a product to market for a start-up, and founded a non-profit benefitting street children in India. Wendy has now found her way to paradise in the Eastern Sierra and fulfilled her desire to merge her professional skills with her passion for the environment.  

Jora Fogg, Preservation Programs Manager

Forever altered by the mountains, Jora Fogg joined Friends of the Inyo as the Preservation Coordinator in April 2014.  Jora guides Friends of the Inyo through the Inyo’s forest planning revision process, commenting on public lands projects and leading exploration outings to special places in the Eastern Sierra. Jora grew up and went to college in Washington State, moving to California in 2004. Previously she spent 4 years in Colorado with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory as a biologist managing state and park service bird monitoring programs. She lives in June Lake with her husband and daughter.  Jora enjoys time “naturalizing” (especially birding), skiing, hiking, and cycling.

Julia Runcie, Stewardship Programs Manager

Halfway through her first week in the Eastern Sierra, Julia Runcie decided she wanted to stay forever. She led canoe tours for the Mono Lake Committee, tracked Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and volunteered with Inyo County Search and Rescue before returning briefly to her native Vermont to earn a Master of Science in Ecological Planning. Now, Julia leads Friends of the Inyo's on-the-ground efforts to restore and steward the Eastern Sierra's spectacular public lands.

Ben Wickham, Membership and Communications Manager

Wanting to be in the mountains, Ben took the first job out of college that allowed him to do so, and that summer at Merced Lake in the Yosemite Wilderness convinced him that mountains are where he should be. He migrated between Yosemite, Idaho, Montana, and the Eastern Sierra, working in the tourism industry to afford himself the opportunity to explore high alpine terrain on skis, deep forests by foot, and rapid rivers by kayak. Over time Ben discovered that he wanted to more actively help people engage with the landscape around them, so he taught at the McCall Outdoor Science School while receiving a Master’s in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Environmental Education at the University of Idaho. Ben is excited to help Friends of the Inyo connect the public with their lands here in the Eastern Sierra.