Madrona Marsh Preserve
City of Torrance
Community Services Dept.
Melissa Loebl became the Manager and Naturalist of the Madrona March Preserve and Nature Center in September of 2017. Melissa is an employee of the City and provides the day-to-day operations management of the Preserve and Nature Center.
She enjoys being outdoors studying wildlife ecology and natural history of all plants and animals. Education is one of her strongest passions. She feels through hands on learning and being outdoors, people will connect with and desire to learn more about nature. She hopes to inspire others to appreciate and understand the importance of each living species. Over the years, Melissa has continuously enjoyed mentoring and managing staff and volunteers.
Melissa was born and raised in Albany, Oregon, were she spent much of her time at her grandparent’s 36-acre farm. You could often find her climbing trees, investigating beaver dens, looking for owl pellets and enjoying all that nature had to offer. After graduating from High School, she attended Clackamas Community College where she earned a softball scholarship. In 2002 she transferred to CSULB and completed a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. While attending CSULB in 2002, she started volunteering at the Aquarium of the Pacific and was offered a full-time Program Animal Keeper position in 2005. Her experience includes, working with Southern Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters, and multiple species of birds, reptiles and other terrestrial species. During her time at the Aquarium, she developed the Ambassador Animal Program and served as the Co-chairman for the Green Team. In 2012, Melissa began pursuing her Master degree, while volunteering and interning with South Bay Wildlife Rehab, California State Parks Natural Resources Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge. Her experience includes, threatened and endangered species censes, Cactus wren habitat enhancement, and restoration of the Southern California coastal sage scrub, chaparral, riparian forest, and grassland habitats.
In 2012, she traveled to the Owl Institute in Montana to draft their fall and winter raptor migration censes. Once she completed her graduate projects she began working at the Los Angeles Zoo where she worked with a few of her favorites raptor species, including the Harpy eagle, Steller’s Sea-eagle, American Bald eagle, African Fish eagle and many other birds of prey. In 2016 she accepted the Husbandry Supervisor position at the California Science Center. Today, she still volunteers for South Bay Wildlife Rehab, housing and training their Peregrine Falcon named CC. She continues to assist SBWR in reaching thousands of people annually to promote raptor education and conservation.
Melissa completed her Wildlife Management Certificate in 2014 from Oregon State University and plans to complete her Master degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration.