Julie has a M.A. in the Biological Sciences from San Jose State University with a focus on wildlife management. She spent 7 years studying habitat utilization and acclimation of reintroduced Tule Elk, a subspecies of North American Elk endemic to California, in the Mt. Hamilton region of the Diablo Range (including Isabel Valley, San Antonio Reservoir, Coe State Park, San Felipe Ranch, the Coyote Valley and Pacheco Pass) and other areas of California including the Gabilan Range, Temblor Range and throughout the Carrizo Plains. Julie and Stu Phillips continue to study the current Tule Elk locations (and compare those locations to established home range data from 30 years ago) to better understand Tule Elk natural history and the impacts of land use patterns and human disturbance to long-range re-establishment of the Tule Elk historical range. Julie published A Citizen’s Guide to Tule Elk in 2013. Both the Teacher’s Guide to Tule Elk Curriculum and the Tule Elk Guide are available here on our Lesson Plan Page Product 17.1 A Citizen’s Guide to the Tule Elk of California.
Julie Phillips has been teaching nature-based field and classroom environmental courses and programs for over 30 years. Julie taught biology, ecology and environmental courses in the community college system commencing in 1988. Julie Phillips authored, developed and taught Environmental Science and Environmental Studies courses and created the ES Department at De Anza College (Foothill-De Anza Community College District) from 1988 to 2015. Julie served as the coordinator/chair of the Environmental Studies Department and became the Morgan Family Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at De Anza College in 1998 and served as the Morgan Family Foundation (MFF) Chair until Fall 2012. Julie worked with others including faculty, staff, administrators and community leaders including Dr. Martha Kanter, Mike Brandy, Dr. Stephanie Sherman, Dr. Judy Miner, Dave Deppen, Pat Cornely, Kristin Jensen Sullivan, Diana Martinez, Ryan Phillips, John Swensson, Paul Setziol, Steve and Michelle Kirsch and Becky and Jim Morgan to institutionalize Environmental Science (ESCI) and Environmental Studies (ES) courses and programs as well as lead the effort to build the first LEED Platinum Green Building in the California Community College System, the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies. Julie and Stu took college students to Costa Rica to study the Rainforests of Central America through the Campus Abroad Program over a 10 year period beginning in 1991. On those educational trips students learned about Rainforest Ecology, Preservation and the critical role of Education in saving the World’s remaining Tropical Forests.
Julie worked as co-founder (with Alma Schreiber) of the South Ridge Watershed Association to help save South Ridge in the 90’s (Felton, Santa Cruz County, California). Through their efforts and working in partnership with the County of Santa Cruz (including Gary Patton, Fred Keeley and Jonathan Wittwer), Environmental Lawyer Celia Scott, CNPS and The Sierra Club, this team of activists permanently protected the largest remaining sand parkland habitat in Felton at Quail Hollow Quarry. The sand parkland plant community is considered one of the rarest plant communities on Earth! Julie grew up in the sandhills of Ben Lomond and always knew there was something very special about those hills!
Julie was elected to the School Board for the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District in 1993 and served in public office for 4 years. Julie received a Master of Boardmanship from the California School Board Association (CSBA) as well. This statewide educational and leadership training, in addition to serving in public office, provided an invaluable insight into the public education system and infrastructure and the integral role of the public in education.