About TCDC

"Knowledge is power, but
enthusiasm switches it on."

— Ivern Ball

Glyph of Turtle


TubB Canyon Desert Conservancy


Board of Directors

J. David Garmon, MD, President
David is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, California. He earned his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, an MD from the University of Arkansas, and completed residency training at the University of California, San Diego. He has served on several medical related boards and was President and CEO of Scripps Behavioral Health Associates. When not practicing medicine, David is an intrepid traveler, an avid tennis player, and an aspiring golfer. He also values the solitude, rugged beauty and rejuvenation to be found in the Sonoran Desert.

Frank D Gilman, MD, Vice President
Frank practices Internal Medicine with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego. He was a Biology major at Carlton University in Northfield, Minnesota, earned his MD at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and completed residency training at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Frank enjoys photography, hiking, biking, and swimming. He enjoys travel and is fluent in English, German and Swedish. He is learning Spanish.

Robert L. Staehle, Vice President
Robert has held a variety of engineering positions in space exploration projects and technology development in the U.S. space program. While contributing to the exploration of many planets, the Moon, asteroids and comets, his favorite planet remains the Earth. Robert has served on the Boards of the Caltech Y and the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy. When not working to develop new methods to explore the heavens and our own Earth, Robert is a trail runner, hiker, mountain biker and photographer. Rob belongs to numerous conservation organizations and chairs the Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group steering committee.

Ann E. Irwin, MD, Treasurer
Ann is a retired physician who splits her time between Encinitas and Borrego Springs, California. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento and her MD from the University of California, San Diego. Her specialty was medical education where she focused on curricular software development. Her hobbies include travel, cooking, and reading. Ann, her husband Bill, and their family have been desert residents, and stewards of their land, for over a generation.

Lori L. Paul, Corporate Secretary
Lori is a California Registered Veterinary Technician and biologist with extensive experience in wildlife care and management. She has been an RVT and zoo keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. She co-founded the Altadena Foothills Conservancy, and is a former Program Director at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers & Native Plants of California. Lori has held a variety of engineering, education and public outreach positions. She supports numerous conservation organizations and naturalist programs. She has a special interest in reptiles, chaparral and California desert ecosystems.

Michele Collins, MSW, Member of the Board
Michele is an avid Anza-Borrego Desert enthusiast, and has spent her whole life enjoying the region. Her great-grandfather was the first in her family to fall in love with Tubb Canyon, and that love affair has been passed down through four generations. She received her Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from Oregon State University, and received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington. Her work experiences include providing case management services to homeless families, counseling children, youth & families, and managing after-school programs. Michele enjoys camping with her family, star gazing in the night sky, and learning about medicinal plants. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington, and cherishes her winter retreats in Borrego Valley.