Sandhills Program Director
140 SW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28388
I was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and grew up mostly in Madison, Connecticut where I spent my time fishing, swimming, climbing trees, turning over logs and rocks, and exploring rivers and tidal creeks and pools. I went to high school in Düsseldorf, Germany, college at Tufts University in Boston, and got my Masters of Environmental Management at the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke. My hobbies are gardening, permaculture, beekeeping, mushroom growing, African life and conservation, ecological restoration, cooking, fishing, photography and hiking.
Year started at TNC: I moved to North Carolina from Cape Cod, MA for a grad school program, and, after earning my Masters degree, I managed the Little River Regional Park in Hillsborough, NC for the Orange County Parks Department for a couple of years. I started with TNC in 2005, in a fellowship position with the Sandhills program, and was hired two years later as the Program Director.
Favorite TNC Preserve and why: My favorite TNC protected area is Long Valley Farm in the NC Sandhills - this is an old Rockerfeller property that we restored and have since turned over to the state. I learned a lot about conservation and ecosystem restoration through our work on the property during the process of planning and implementing a comprehensive longleaf pine forest restoration project at the farm. I spent many days marking timber for restoration harvests with our forester, Marshall, and slept many a night on the swinging chair under the old pavilion, enjoying the constant, cool breeze off the pond.
I will never forget fishing off of the boardwalks and Mr. Rockefeller’s deck on the peninsula and spotting the biggest cottonmouth I have ever seen as it swam through the cypress trees across the millpond and then came ashore a few feet in front of me. The Farm is now park of Carvers Creek State Park and will, in the very near future, be open to the public.
A typical good day for you at work: A typical good day at work for me would be visiting a potential protection property with a landowner, forester, or appraiser, and knocking out various parts of a protection project to move us towards a closing. Working with Mike Norris [Sandhills land steward and fire expert] on management and restoration plans for newly acquired preserves makes for a good day too.
But the best days of work for me are assisting on prescribed burns, especially units that have been undergoing longleaf restoration, and are finally transitioning back to a natural, summer burning regime!
Place in the world you would most like to visit but have never been to: The places I most want to see are Alaska, New Zealand, Chile and Peru, but I’m currently still fixated on my recent trip to Dominica.
Military Driving Sandhills Conservation Success - our successful work with the military in NC is unparalleled.
Acquisition is Only the Beginning - how we restore longleaf back to its natural beauty.
Sandhills Program Director