Meet Our San Diego Leaders


Gina Mcbride Sturgeon

Growing up in San  Diego has exposed me to endless opportunities to be out in the wilderness and experience nature. I am a high energy girl with the need for adventure! At a very young age I was surfing, camping, hiking and enjoying water sports with my family. Camping was a joy, because I got to spend quality time with family and friends, and explore all that nature had to offer. I became addicted to the fresh air and beauty of nature, the feeling of being grounded, and learning that my mind and body are capable and willing to the distance.  As a young adult I had the thrill of hiking Machu Picchu! What a spiritual experience that was. From that trip forward I couldn’t wait for my next hike or surf expedition. My life now is busy with two boys and a husband that lets me be me! I feel that balance is the key to life and when I am taking moments out of my busy days, doing the things I love, with people I love, then everything seems to make sense. I am now sharing this passion with my boys and want them to experience the feeling of what it’s like to be one with nature. I am truly honored to be a part of Foster the Earth and look forward to many memorable experiences to come.



Born and raised in California's central valley at the foot of the
Sierra Nevada Mountains, I learned at a young age the importance of spending time in nature. My bond with nature grew when I moved to San Diego for college and quickly discovered surfing. Between camping trips and surf sessions I earned a degree in Film Production and have worked ever since as a filmmaker and photographer, primarily working in the outdoors and adventure industry. As a life long lover of nature and a passionate storyteller, I aim to use my skills to share the gifts that my time spent in the wilderness has given me.

DSC_7972 copy.jpg

krista gates

Born on the east coast with fisherman blood, the ocean has always been a big part of my life. With a marine geology degree in tow, I moved to the west coast in 2008. Over time, I found myself working in marketing production for the sports industry, spending less time in the water and more time in the woods. Although the ocean will always be my first love, the mountains are where I see my reflection best. The more time I spend in the wilderness, the more I learn about myself. I enjoy any chance I get to hike—from local San Diego trails and desert trips, to PNW rainforests, to crossing rim to rim to rim of the Grand Canyon, to trekking portions of the PCT and summiting Mt. Whitney and Half Dome. These trips, no matter how large or small, have been fundamental in forming close bonds with people and making me a happier, stronger, more aware person. I look forward to sharing adventures with FTE and watching others form their own connection to the wilderness.  


Zach solomon

I was born and raised in Encinitas, CA on the beach. I had my first experiences in the mountains when I moved to Colorado in my early 20s and was instantly hooked! My time exploring the backcountry opened up my world to what types of adventures were available in my own backyard. It provided a platform that allowed me to escape the noise of everyday life and build my self-confidence to heights I had only dreamed of before. I eventually became so hooked that I decided to leave my corporate job to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. At the time I had literally no prior experience backpacking but figured why not, it's just walking! Now that I have completed the PCT, my goal in life is to never stop exploring the world while enthusiastically encouraging others to grow through outdoor recreation.


Becca zak

I grew up in Carlsbad, CA where I spent most of my days on the beach and in the ocean—my true happy place. I caught the travel bug at an early age which led to a four year stint on the east coast for college, half a year in Denmark, country-hopping through Europe, and hitch-hiking across New Zealand. Eventually, I landed in San Francisco and got hooked on hiking around the Bay Area. I experienced the healing power of nature and totally fell in love with the outdoors. Then in 2018, my boyfriend Zach and I decided to jump way outside our comfort zone and hike the Pacific Crest Trail. We leveraged our PCT hike to raise funds for a charity similar to Foster The Earth, and I instantly realized the value of giving back. It is my passion to encourage and help those around me to get outside, try something different, and learn something new. I’m stoked to be back in San Diego as a part of the Foster the Earth team where my peers share that passion and are devoted to helping everyone achieve their dreams! 


JAMIE zumbro

Jamie Zumbro was born in Mammoth Lakes, California. Needless to say the Sierras were in her backyard. As a child Jamie did some hiking but her main passion was riding horses. In 2013 Jamie summited Mount Whitney which really opened her eyes, mind, soul, and her love for the backcountry. Since summiting Mount Whitney she has also summited Mount Langley and Mount Tyndal, two other peaks that stand tall in the Sierra. In 2017 Jamie backpacked through Joshua Tree, then in 2018 she backpacked across Catalina, and she is currently section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  She currently lives in Encinitas with her husband and two kids Logan and Zoë. As a family they love hiking, backpacking, fishing, going to the desert, and being around friends and family. Jamie currently rides and breaks young horses in Rancho Santa Fe, and in her spare time she loves to be out in the wilderness where she feels the most free. 


Liz Bryant

After six years as an NBC News Reporter, Liz left to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. From April to August, Liz hiked an average of 20 miles per day and gained the trail name “Wild” after fellow hikers continuously commented on her resemblance to Reese Witherspoon. On the trail, Liz discovered that we are meant for more than climbing the work ladder and accumulating items from shopping malls. In 2017, Liz began living and adventuring full-time in her Mercedes Sprinter. She traveled throughout the United States and Canada—a total of 50,000 miles. Her favorite place? Tahoe and Southern California. However, Utah rock formations also blew her away. Liz loves all kinds of outdoor sports—biking, running, skiing, hiking, climbing, surfing, you name it!