Young People Selected to Help People and Nature Across Arizona

AmeriCorps members will work a variety of environmental jobs throughout Arizona counties

Phoenix, AZ | November 08, 2012

The Nature Conservancy in Arizona is excited to announce seven new AmeriCorps members are joining the team for one year. They will be working in nine of Arizona’s 15 counties doing a variety of jobs including land stewardship, river restoration, volunteer engagement and educational outreach. 

“These AmeriCorps members bring so much to the table,” says Dorothy Boone, the Conservancy in Arizona’s Director of Volunteer Programs. “They’re young and energetic. They roll up their sleeves for hard work and help us protect important lands and waters across the state.” 

AmeriCorps is a federal program designed to engage Americans in intense service to meet the nation’s critical needs in environmental stewardship, education, and disaster services among others. AmeriCorps members receive a small stipend. Full-time members receive a $5,550 education award at the end of their service.  

“This program gives them real life work experiences that have a lasting impact on our community,” adds Boone. “The work they’re doing also helps them leverage their career.” 

Melissa Russell and Cameron Becker are the Stewardship Assistants who will move between four preserves across the state. They will do a variety of land work including installing interpretive trails, repairing fences, removing invasive plants and forest restoration projects. 

James “Luke” Reese is the SE Arizona Preserves Stewardship Assistant who will work at Ramsey Canyon and Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserves. Luke will update and publicize preserve educational materials; recruit, schedule and supervise new volunteers; support stewardship projects including river restoration. 

Maura O’Brien is the San Pedro Riparian Restoration Coordinator in Sierra Vista. Maura will work with staff and partner organizations to address land and water management issues as well as provide river mapping and logistical support. She will work on projects such as vegetation management and capacity building. 

Amy Zimmermann is the Verde River Riparian Restoration Coordinator in Camp Verde. Amy will encourage community support along the river. She will map and control invasive plants, support water measurement studies and engage youth in river restoration projects. 

Elizabeth Lott is the Capacity Building and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator in Phoenix. In an effort to lay the foundation for volunteer engagement, Elizabeth will build relationships with corporate volunteer programs to inform, educate and recruit both individual and team volunteers.  

Ashlie Tainer is the Youth Education Outreach Coordinator in Phoenix. Ashlie will partner with Arizona Project WET, a water conservation education program for children in 4th-8th grade. This program trains youth about water needs and conservation. Students conduct their own investigations at a Conservancy preserve.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Stone
The Nature Conservancy in Arizona


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