Antioch Teams Up with Pinole Valley at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

Antioch and Pinole Valley interns after a hard day of work removing Stinkwort

Interns from Antioch and Pinole Valley High School teamed up for a Saturday field day at the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Their task for the day was to remove the invasive plant species called “Stinkwort.” Early Fall is the best season for tackling this invader as the plant is still green and has not yet started to flower. These conditions lessen the risk of spreading seeds across the field site which can further produce new Stinkwort plants next season.

Emma feeling satisfied after uprooting a large Stinkwort plant

Interns worked tirelessly on that sunny afternoon. After 3 hours of weed pulling and a much-needed lunch break, interns wrapped up their efforts and bagged up the Stinkwort. In total, they collected a volume of 1000 gallons of Stinkwort plants that day! This large number goes to show how invasive this plant really is. Great work interns!



We’re back at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

Michael and Delaney collecting water quality data at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

October 16th marked the return of Antioch Earth Team interns to the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Interns used GLOBE Hydrosphere and Atmosphere protocols to define their study site and collect their first samples of water quality data. For most interns, it was their first time ever visiting the Upper Sand Creek Basin. A biologist from Nomad Ecology met with interns to introduce them to the field site and help them identify the invasive species called “Stinkwort.” Interns will have the task of removing this invasive plant species from the Upper Sand Creek Basin this Fall. Many interns expressed that they were excited to finally be out in the field and look forward to the work we will be doing there.

Delaney, a returning intern, shared some thoughts on her visit to the Upper Sand Creek Basin:

“My first impression of the Upper Sand Creek Basin was, “wow this place is really hot!” The most interesting thing I saw there was a dead bird. We were able to identify a few weeds using an invasive species guide. I’m looking forward to more water testing because I think that’s fun. The basin is very dry right now, but full of life with lots of potential for improvement. One thing I hope to do this year at the Upper Sand Creek Basin is to clean more litter, but avoid getting 13 ticks on me again!”


Student Blog: Returning to Earth Team

Samantha and Abigail using GLOBE Hydrosphere Protocols to perform a water transparency test

Returning to Earth Team for 2018-2019 is a journey that I am extremely excited to make again. Upon joining the internship I have created lifelong memories and taken advantages of opportunities that would have otherwise not been presented to me. Being a part of Earth Team has given me a greater chance at acquiring job experience. I have been able to obtain greater public speaking and leadership skills while working with a community I am comfortable with and still being pushed past my comfort zones. Some personal goals that have arisen from being a part of Earth Team include that of pursuing my environmental science interests when it is soon time for me to take off for college. Being a part of Earth Team has helped me to figure out types of things I would like to study and the sorts of careers I would like to pursue in which I will build my life from. Earth Team is much more to me that an internship and a place to work, it is a way for me to contribute to my community and give back to the world in which we live in. I feel a lot more comfortable in the outdoors now, even more than I was before Earth Team. I feel like I can teach my nephew, my younger cousins, as well as the rest of my family to learn to be respectful of the environment and hopefully create a better future for themselves and future generations.

-Samantha, Earth Team intern at Antioch High School

Meet the Interns!


Abigail Gamble – My name is Abby. I joined Earth Team last year because I love nature and I wanted to protect our environment. I enjoyed it so much last year that I joined again! This year I’m excited to continue our projects, go into nature, and go on the camping trips. Fun Fact: I love art and swimming.



Antonio Melhado – Hi my name is Antonio. I’m a senior at Antioch High School. This is my first year as an Earth Team intern. Some of the reasons I joined are because I want to work with my hands and I enjoy outside activities. Also, I wanted to be in a club with my brother. I’m excited to be here because I’m interested in collecting data, going on the outdoor trips, and helping the environment. I love being outdoors and playing with animals.


Delaney DeMarco – My name is Delaney, I’m a second year Earth Team intern. I joined Earth Team because I like to help out my community. I really like helping out with Earth Team because I find the work interesting. Fun Fact: My birthday is on October 16.


Evelyn Ninahuanca – Hi my name is Evelyn and I’m 14 years old in 10th grade. I joined Earth Team because it seemed interesting to me. Some skills I’m good at include helping others.


Justin Fernandez – Hi my name is Justin. I’m a sophomore at Antioch High School. I’m a first year Earth Team intern. I am a kind person who likes the environment and likes to help in any way I can. I’m a family man with a good attitude. I like to get the job done and done right. Nature is my calling.


Marco Dominguez – I’m a senior at Antioch High. I really enjoy music. I’ve been playing guitar for one year and a half. I decided to rejoin Earth Team because it is a really great experience.


Michael Chatham – Hi, my name is Michael, I’m a Junior. It is my second year as an intern and I am excited for the extended trips that we will be taking this year. I joined this year to help with the environment around me.


Natalie Sandoval – Hi my name is Natalie, I’m 15 years old in 10th grade. What I’m most excited about joining Earth Team is learning new things about the environment and doing many activities.


Natalyia Johnson – Hi my name is Natalyia. This is my second year in Earth Team. I re-joined because Earth Team gives out many opportunities such as making new friends. Fun Fact: I have naturally red hair.


Russell Reed – My name is Russell and I am a senior at Antioch High School. I was a part of Earth Team before as a sophomore. A lot of people I knew were a part of the internship and I absolutely loved it. I enjoy music, computers, and motor-sports. Fun Fact: I am part of a pit crew!


Sabrina Lozano – Hi, I’m Sabrina! This is my first year of being an Earth Team intern. I’m a senior at Antioch High School. I joined Earth Team because I want to help the environment and I want to meet new people. Fun Fact: I want to become a geologist.


Sage Bennett – Hi, my name is Sage and I am a senior at Antioch High School. This is my second year in Earth Team and what I enjoy most about being an intern is connecting with nature and then using that driving force to advocate for environmental awareness. Besides Earth Team I also love musical theater (singing and acting) and I love to be involved. I’m involved in CSF, Interact, Musical Theater, Choir, Colorguard, and even Youtube…when I’m not eating food. We only have one home, so we should safeguard it. I’m extremely excited for opportunities to enlist my passions that will lead me on the path to eventually turn my dreams into realities.


Samantha Baniega – My name’s Samantha and I’m a returning intern from Earth Team 17-18. I joined Earth Team initially to gain work experience and work in the environment to do restoration work, but as I continued to do work with the internship I discovered an even greater love and respect for my environment. I’m excited to venture outdoors and do our best to preserve the world and keep it healthy. Fun Fact: I love traveling and going to concerts with my sister. I also enjoy playing my ukulele and jamming out.


Santino Melhado – Earth Teams seems like a good new learning experience. What I hope to get out of this internship is to meet new people, learn new skills, and just have an overall good experience. I consider myself an all around helpful guy.

Earth Team Kicks Off Another Year at Antioch High School

Earth Team is back at Antioch High School for another year of hard work and fun! This year Itzel will be the campus coordinator for Earth Team interns at Antioch High.

Our team spent the first meeting getting to know one another, participating in team building activities, setting group agreements for the year, and learning about program logistics. Students shared that they are most excited about the multitude of outdoor activities planned this year. 

We look forward to the great year ahead of us at Antioch High School!


Celebrating A Year of Victories with Antioch Earth Team

IMG_0418The year has come to an end! This year Antioch Earth Team met 42 times, completing over 120 hours of education and training. Meetings including 22 class visits, 17 field visits, and a public event that they hosted! Together, we reached over 334 community members and classmates.  The team planted 295 native plants, administered 30 water quality tests, and removed 8,300 square feet of invasive species!

The highlights of our project were..

  • Freshman Field Trip to the Antioch Dunes: Interns, in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service professionals, lead a day long field trip to the Antioch Dunes.  Participants include freshmen from the high school’s Environmental Science Academy, and activities included invasive removal, native plantings, and lunch on the beach.


  • Earth Day at the Upper Sand Creek Basin: Interns worked with the Contra Costa Flood Control District, the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, Friends of Marsh Creek, and the Office of Supervisor Diane Burgis to plan and host a community Earth Day event at the Upper Sand Creek Basin.  Over 85 community members attended and helped with restoration efforts including a litter clean-up competition, native plantings, and invasive species removal.


  • GLOBE Pacific Student Research Symposium at NASA Ames: After spending many field visits collecting water quality data at the Upper Sand Creek Basin, interns were able to share their findings with peers and NASA researchers at the GLOBE symposium held at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.


  • Spring LEAF at Slide Ranch: Nearly half of the team attended the spring camping event at Slide Ranch over Memorial Day weekend, marking a fantastic end to an amazing year!


Great job Antioch interns!



Sharing Research Findings at NASA Ames Research Center

AHS globe

Representatives from Antioch Earth Team presented their research at the GLOBE Pacific Region Student Research Symposium on May 18th and May 19th 2018. Two young leaders attended the conference of over 100 young scientists and mentors at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.  The two day symposium included a tour of the world’s largest wind tunnel, presentations by NASA researchers and the director of the facility, peer reviews of research projects, and feedback on posters from NASA researchers.

The interns in attendance shared the group’s poster, which focused on their water testing and restoration efforts at the Upper Sand Creek Basin, with peers and professional researchers throughout the conference.  The poster that the team prepared included data from various days of water testing as well as observations about oak growth in the basin and recommendations for successful community engagement and education moving forward.

m and n globe

Many thanks to the GLOBE Program and NASA for hosting such an inspiring group of youth environmental leaders at this year’s Pacific Region Student Research Symposium!



Wrapping Up Restoration Efforts at the Antioch Dunes

IMG_0173 (1)

For their last two field visits of the year, Antioch Earth Team headed out to the Antioch Dunes for a last push of restoration efforts before butterflies begin appearing in late August.  On one day, interns assisted Louis Terrazas in planting around 80 Antioch Dunes Evening Primroses in a site that had been cleared of invasive vegetation.

IMG_0284.JPGFor their next visit, the team worked on removing grasses and invasive vetch (Vicia villosa)  from around blooming primrose.  When the team first began visiting the Dunes in January, nothing was in bloom and the biggest Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose in sight was no more than 3 inches across.  However, on their final visit to the Dunes, the team was able to see all of the primroses in full bloom, some of them several feet across and covered in light pink petals.  What a rewarding end to a year of hard work!

Many thanks are owed to Louis Terrazas of the US Fish and Wildlife Service for leading  the interns through this project, and to Patagonia for funding this work. Until next year!

What Does Earth Team Really Mean?

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E: We live in an ecosystem, and its easy to destroy it and use its resources.  

A: We advocate for the environment by hosting Earth Day events and being the change we want to see in the world.

R: We are Earth Team and we represent Antioch, we represent youth, we represent the future, we represent plants and animals, and we represent humankind.

T: Together we can change the world through small things like recycling, picking up trash, planting trees, removing invasive species, and reaching out to our community. Together we are united!

H: Our work helps to restore habitats because its the right thing to do for future generations.


T: We are thankful that community members showed up to help do the work to make the Upper Sand Creek Basin a better place.

E: Everybody came together to work on Earth Day, and everybody plays a role in protecting our environment.

A: We affect the environment, so we should be aware of what we need to do to fix it.

M: It is our mission to save the planet.