Inspired by the beauty of the California coast, Phyllis Faber dedicated much of her career to environmental advocacy. She moved to the state in 1970 and found the ecosystem to be remarkable; she knew it had to be protected. Ms. Faber proceeded to join a committee that later created the California Coastal Commission, of which she served as the commissioner for seven years. This led her to spend five years as a partner of Madrone Ecological Associates, 10 years as an instructor at College of Marin, and 17 years as the editor of Fremontia, the journal of the California Native Plant Society. Today, she continues her efforts as the publisher and director of the California Native Plant Society Press, as a consultant with Mill Valley, and as a member of the board of directors of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.
One of the highlights of Ms. Faber’s career was creating the Marin Agriculture Land Trust, which has played a huge role in preserving local agriculture. Another highlight was founding an organization, “The Environmental Forum,” to train young people to be participants in public life. She is very proud of the program; she still teaches there every year. To further spread her reach, she authored “Common Riparian Plants of California,” “Riparian Habitat of Southern California,” and “Common Wetland Plants,” as well as numerous professional journal articles.
Ms. Faber prepared for her endeavors by completing postgraduate coursework at Yale University between 1967 and 1969 and earned a Master of Arts from California State University San Francisco in 1968. Her academic background also includes a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and certification as a teacher in the state of California. Additionally, she garnered hands-on experience as a research associate at Yale University and at Rockefeller University.
As a testament to her hard work and dedication, Ms. Faber was named to the Marin County Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995. She also received accolades like the Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Marin Environmental Alliance, the Marin Green Award from the Marin Conservation League, the Coastal and Ocean Management Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Outstanding Environmental Document Award from the Association of Environmental Professionals. Her achievements were featured in Who’s Who in the West.
When Ms. Faber has free time, she enjoys botany and travel.