Lynn McNamara, Critical Lands Manager, Northern Vermont, based out of the Montpelier office of the Vermont Chapter.
Kelsy Allan is our 2013/2014 Field Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator
Jon Binhammer, Director of Protection, is responsible for the land conservation program of the Vermont Chapter, including negotiating land purchases and conservation easements. He has been with the Vermont Chapter since 1991. Prior to coming to the Conservancy in Vermont, Jon's endeavors included environmental education and prairie restoration and management throughout the Midwest. He has a BA in biology from Grinnell College and a MSEd from Northern Illinois University. An avid amateur birder, botanist and naturalist, Jon developed an appreciation of the natural world from an early age and a strong desire to protect it that continues to this day. He lives in Brookfield with his wife and two children, and enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee.
Becky Cushing is our 2013/2013 Field Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator.
Dan Farrell, Conservation Information Manager/GIS Analyst, grew up in New York City. As a young person he belonged to a small theater company there and painted landscapes. After getting a diploma in sound engineering, he moved out west and fell in love with nature while wandering through the California mountains. Returning to New York to study Environmental Science at Columbia University, he became interested in plants during biodiversity field work. He continued his plant studies after moving to Vermont 12 years ago, then went on to study relationships between plant diversity and landscape diversity at the University of Vermont. After receiving his MS in Botany, he worked at the Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage Program, managing natural community data. Lately, Dan’s interests include wild edible plants and primitive skills. He was drawn to The Nature Conservancy by a great respect for its overall mission and for the people within the organization and by its scientific approach to conservation. Among other things, the Conservation Information Manager position allows him to indulge his love for making maps.
Heather Furman, State Director, is responsible for overall management of the Vermont chapter, and serves as the liaison with the Vermont Chapter Board of Trustees, the Eastern North America Division office and The Nature Conservancy's World Office. Prior to joining the Conservancy this year, Heather served as the Executive Director of Stowe Land Trust for ten years. Her earlier career was dedicated to watershed planning efforts with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and later, transportation and land-use planning with the Vermont Agency of Transportation. She is a co-founder of the Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) a non-profit focused on land protection for recreation access and habitat. Furman has carried out conservation initiatives for the World Wildlife Fund and the U.S. Peace Corps in the Nepal Himalaya where she lived from 1995-1998, and has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Asia. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, Cum Laude, with a Masters of Science in Natural Resource Planning from the Rubenstein School of Environmental & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.
Robert Klein, Director of Special Projects, former State Director of the Vermont Chapter - as well as a Conservancy Vice President - has been with the Vermont Chapter since it first hired staff in 1979. Bob has at one time or another handled all of the jobs currently being done by the Vermont staff, and he has extensive contacts with landowners, government agency directors, donors, and conservationists in Vermont and the region. In April 2013 Bob stepped down as the longest serving State Director in the Conservancy, a post he held for 34 years, and is now focusing on donor relations and board development in his final year with the Conservancy. In his free time, that he hopes to have more of soon, Bob pursues photography, skydiving, hiking, motorcycling, and other outdoor interests. He is married to Jean Vissering, a landscape architect, and they have two children.
Jennifer Kramer, Director of Philanthropy, says that ever since she was a teen – in the seventies when the environmental movement was gaining traction - conservation has been her abiding personal passion. But Jennifer says, “when I was nearing that certain mid point in my life, I took stock and decided that protecting this planet had to be my profession.” She returned to school to get a Masters in Environmental Science from Antioch University New England where she spent two years studying all the things that she cares most deeply about. Jennifer emerged to be hired by the Vermont Chapter as a major gifts fundraiser. Now she travels around Vermont, visiting our wonderful members and taking them to see the work they support. “Those are the days when it’s hard to believe that this is actually work” she says.
Paul Marangelo, Senior Conservation Ecologist, has been with the Vermont Chapter since 2004. His responsibilities include administering the volunteer water chestnut management program, managing upland invasive species, and providing aquatic ecology expertise to projects statewide. Paul also coordinates landscape modeling assessment and strategy implementation to protect the ability of wide-ranging mammals to move between Vermont and neighboring states and countries. Paul’s career has taken him from Michigan to Vermont in a variety of roles as an aquatic ecologist, aquatic biologist, wetland restoration specialist and a consulting freshwater mussel expert. His expertise also includes aquatic invasive species, and fluvial ecology and geomorphology. Paul holds a MS (1997) in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and a BA (1986) from Rutgers College. Paul's interest in conservation science grew from a love of hiking and backpacking, and first took form researching invasive and native freshwater mussels and rivers. Fortunately for conservation, Paul quickly abandoned his first “career” as a rock musician and turned to science.
Lynn McNamara, Critical Lands Manager, Northern Vermont, joined the Vermont Chapter in May of 2008 and assists with a variety of conservation-related tasks including stewardship start-up for newly acquired lands or easements, data management, and helps out wherever needed. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she worked at a variety of positions, from studying the effects of climate change on fish populations in the Alaskan arctic, to environmental education in NH, to assisting at a local animal hospital. She earned a Master's degree from Antioch University New England in 2006, focusing on the ecology of invasive plants, specifically wild chervil in Vermont. Lynn grew up along the south coast of Massachusetts, spending as much time as possible by the ocean. She moved to Vermont in 1999 and lives with her husband in Montpelier. She enjoys gardening, kayaking, hiking and quilting in her spare time.
J. Murray McHugh, Critical Lands Manager, Southern Vermont, is the steward for the Conservancy's natural areas in southern Vermont, including our flagship preserve, the Helen W. Buckner Memorial preserve at Bald Mountain. Murray is also an adviser for the Champlain Valley Native Plant Restoration Nursery, recently transferred from the Conservancy's Ward Farm to Green Mountain College, where native tress and shrubs are grown from locally-collected seed for local restoration projects. Murray joined the Conservancy in 2002 from the nursery industry where he grew a wide range of plants from garden variety selections to wild saltmarsh grasses for large-scale restoration. He received a BS in Biophysical Resource Management from the University of Michigan, a MS in Ecology from Rutgers University and spent a year studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Murray spent his younger years in Michigan and now lives with his wife and two children in the Southern Lake Champlain Valley, where he especially enjoys spending time with his son looking for critters.
Rose Paul, Director of Critical Lands and Conservation Science, has a range of duties that include supervising five staff, conservation planning at multiple scales, and conservation science initiatives such as helping partners assess stream culverts for aquatic organism passage, training Master Gardeners about invasive plants, and planting a strain of disease-tolerant American elms at our natural areas. Rose has an undergraduate degree in Botany from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters Degree from the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont. She formerly worked for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and in environmental education. Rose got her start as a naturalist by unflinchingly examining dead birds, worms, and jack-in-the-pulpits when she was little.
Susi Richardson, Major Gifts Manager, has been with the Vermont Chapter since 1994. When she first began with The Nature Conservancy she assisted the administrative team, and now her focus is working with the philanthropy team, processing gifts and pledges that come to the chapter, and working on a database to enter and update information. She assists with planning events and coordinating mailings that come from the Vermont office. Susi was born and raised in Vermont and some of her fondest memories of childhood are the times she played outside. Her love of animals steered her to college to be a Veterinary Technician, which is where she worked prior to coming to The Nature Conservancy. She lives in Duxbury with her husband, and looks forward to summer camping trips with her family, especially spending time with her grandchildren enjoying the outdoors.
Kim Ward is Operations and Communications Coordinator with the Vermont Chapter. Kim’s work includes keeping various operations of the Vermont State Chapter Office going as well as maintaining the media used to promote the chapter and inform its members of our work. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Kim worked for eight years in proofreading and offset preparations, two at Capital City Press in Barre and six at the Lane Press, Inc. in South Burlington. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont and her BFA in Creative Writing from Johnson State College. In 2003, she founded The Vermont Playwrights Circle, a non-profit group dedicated to the networking, support, and promotion of plays written by Vermonters.September 19, 2013