Gretchen Coll, Conservation Coordinator

Gretchen Coll

Sandhills Conservation Coordinator
(Southern Pines)

I grew up in Tennessee in the foothills of the Smokies. Family in the area had a farm so I spent most of my time outdoors playing with cows or in the mountains.

I went to undergrad in Atlanta, GA and then graduate school for environmental studies in Charleston, SC. I met my sweetheart Ryan in graduate school where we acquired two cats; one permanent and one loaner cat from a friend in the Peace Corps. I enjoy growing my own food, working part time at a local goat dairy, biking, swimming, hiking and exploring new places. 

Year started at TNC: February 2013. Previously, I worked as a Conservation Assistant at Sierra Foothill Conservancy in Mariposa, CA. Before that, I was a natural resource technician with the Marine Turtle Program at the Department of Natural Resources in Charleston, SC. 

Favorite TNC Preserve and why: Calloway Preserve is a beautiful, quiet forest that is being actively managed with prescribed burning. The landscape is dramatically changed after each fire and I enjoy exploring the differences between all the tracts and their various fire regimes. Calloway is also the site of my first prescribed fire so I will always remember the excitement and hard work on my first fire line.

A typical good day for you at work: A good day is always one spent in the field. Spending time on our properties either burning, seed collecting, monitoring or leading a volunteer event are all great ways to spend some work hours. There is nothing better than getting outside and exploring all of the amazing places that TNC strives to protect. I am so lucky to spend my time furthering conservation and working with TNC. 

Place in the world you would most like to visit but have never been to: There are so many! But lately I have been dreaming of a Southeast Asia adventure. I would love to spend time exploring Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and all throughout the region. This area has all you could ask for street food and temples, pristine beaches and lush mountains with friendly people and a fascinating culture. 


Gretchen Coll

Sandhills Conservation Coordinator
(Southern Pines)


x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Learn about the places you love. Find out
how you can help.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

I'm already on the list!

Read our privacy policy.