Megan Sutton, SBR Program Director

Megan Sutton

Southern Blue Ridge Program Director (Asheville)

I was born in the mountains of western NC in a small town called Sylva; however I grew up primarily outside of Atlanta in Decatur, GA. All of my extended family still lives in western NC and I knew that I would always want to return there to settle down.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in Environmental Science. I taught high school biology and environmental science for four years before taking a year off to travel and explore the country via bicycle, hiking, backpacking, and sea kayak. I then got my Masters in Environmental Management with a focus in Ecology, Ecosystems in Biodiversity from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Year started at TNC:
Following my graduate work I moved to Asheville and worked with a regional land trust, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, as their Conservation Planning and Stewardship Director for two years. In 2007 I was hired by TNC to be the Southern Blue Ridge Stewardship Program Manager and did this for five years before starting as the SBR Program Director this year.

Favorite TNC Preserve and why: Bluff Mountain—amazing diversity of rare and endemic natural communities that are incredibly old in such a small area, sweeping vistas, amazing 300 year old Carolina hemlock bluff
Or mucking around at a very special mountain bog in late March on a sunny day when spring peepers are out, flowers are blooming, and everything is just starting to green up.

A typical good day for you at work: A fruitful meeting with U.S. Forest Service leadership; seeing fire effects on the ground with monitoring data to support conclusions; Spending time with my counterparts in other Southern Blue Ridge states (namely Marek Smith in VA and Katherine Medlock in TN); and laughing with my other Southern Blue Ridge colleagues over an informal lunch.

Place in the world you would most like to visit but have never been to: I would love to bicycle my way through southern France. I’d love to visit the Galapagos Islands, South Africa.


Megan Sutton

Southern Blue Ridge Program Director (Asheville)


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