Our People: Science and Policy in Action
Working to create lasting solutions in Maryland, DC and around the world.
Our world faces complex conservation challenges. Meet some of the people who are working to create lasting solutions.
Media Inquiries: To schedule an interview with a member of our science, conservation, or policy staff please contact Matt Kane, Senior Media Relations Manager, by phone at 323-898-6510 (mobile) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim’s work ranges from leading the implementation of our conservation vision and launching new initiatives to working closely with the Chapter’s volunteer trustees. This diversity of work is for a single purpose—to address the most pressing environmental issues facing Maryland and Washington, D.C.
“I get to work with motivated and talented people every day. Couple that with a steady flow of exciting implementation projects make this job extremely rewarding."
Allison provides strategic leadership and support for TNC's conservation planning work, strategy development and implementation, and public policy efforts and establishes overall conservation priorities for the chapter.
"I’m inspired every day by our team and the incredible conservation legacy we are building in Maryland and DC."
Deborah Barber, Director of Land Management
Deborah is responsible for the management of the chapter's land holdings, including easements and public preserves, for their conservation, research, and recreational value.
“When someone says thank you for bringing them to a place they’d never visited before, it just makes my day.”
Mark coordinates TNC's Bay efforts across six states focusing on both policy and conservation projects to improve water quality and enhance and restore critical habitats.
“I feel fortunate to wake up every day and know we’re making a difference in this watershed where I grew up and that I dearly love."
Gabe Cahalan, Fire Manager
As the chapter's burn boss, Gabe is involved in fire management on both TNC and partner lands, working to return this critical natural process to the landscape. In his role as preserve manager he oversees TNC owned properties, balancing the needs of both people and nature.
"I enjoy working outdoors in beautiful, unique places and helping to keep these habitats healthy."
Michelle Canick, Conservation Project Manager
Michelle ensures that we’re using the best available GIS geospatial technologies and data to map, analyze, and communicate conservation challenges and solutions. She helps to answer the ‘where’ questions like, “where can coastal habitats help protect people from erosion and sea level rise?”
“It’s rewarding to work for an organization with a mission I believe in and in collaboration with many wonderful colleagues.”
Elizabeth Carter, Land Protection Director
Elizabeth is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing land protection projects in support of TNC’s climate resilience and clean water objectives. She works directly with landowners, building relationships to achieve mutual land protection goals and protect properties with vital ecosystems.
"I enjoy working with landowners to provide them a conservation option that will allow them to pass their property on to the next generation."
Mike Dryden, Restoration Specialist
Mike works with our partners and landowners to implement wetland restoration practices on state and private lands to enhance water quality and habitat and reach the chapter’s goal of 3,000 acres of restored wetlands.
“As a project takes shape I can see, even with the ugliness of construction, the wonderful outcomes we can achieve. Helping to make that happen is rewarding for me.”
Pabodha Galgamuwa G.A., Ph.D., Forest Science Project Manager
Pabodha is part of our team focused on maintaining and enhancing climate resilience in western Maryland's forests. He works on the design and implementation of science-based projects including late-successional forest management, climate-informed conifer restoration, and fire and forest management.
"It’s motivating to work and collaborate with a group of professionals with so much passion and appreciation for nature."
Amy leads the chapter’s efforts to improve water quality in agricultural landscapes across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, both through large-scale wetland and floodplain restoration projects as well as working with farmers and agribusinesses to implement best practices to keep nutrients on fields and out of waterways.
“I enjoy finding solutions that benefit both water quality and wildlife and help support local agriculture.”
Donnelle leads the chapter’s efforts in western Maryland, applying the scientific knowledge and tools needed to improve forest health on public and private lands, as well as working with local stakeholders to promote Maryland’s forests as part of a bright and prosperous future for the region.
"I am so inspired by our vision of a future where nature and people in the Central Appalachians thrive, even in the face of environmental changes."
Kahlil Kettering, Urban Conservation Program Director
Kahlil is developing new conservation strategies in DC centered on implementing projects that elevate the intersection of protecting nature in urban areas and the benefits nature provides to people in cities.
"The opportunity to create positive change that benefits both the environment and the community is what drew me to The Nature Conservancy."
Deborah Landau, Ph.D., Conservation Ecologist
Deborah’s efforts focuses on ecological restoration at more than 30 Conservancy preserves across Maryland/DC and reaching into West Virginia, working to return natural processes—like fire—to the landscape to help maintain healthy, resilient natural systems.
"Sometimes I get satisfaction very quickly from my work, but other projects, like tree planting, will take years to see results. It’s very satisfying to know that I can do these long-term projects and they’ll continue on and on."
Kelly was part of TNC’s first coastal resilience project on Long Island in 2006. Since 2018 she has led our efforts in Maryland/DC to help coastal communities plan for and adapt to a continually changing climate and rising seas.
"It is incredibly rewarding to know that it is my job to make sure our coasts stay clean, healthy and protected so that future generations can continue to enjoy them."
Kate Livengood, Family Forest Outreach Specialist
As part of the western Maryland forests team, Kate's efforts are focused on increasing the number of landowners who are actively engaged in managing their privately owned land, working to help them navigate the many programs and opportunities available to them.
"It’s really exciting that my work will help to increase the percentage of privately owned land that is being well managed."
David Martin, Ph.D., Decision Scientist
David’s focus is on improving decision-making skills across TNC, collaborating with the chapter’s science team to develop the evidence base for making smart decisions and working with each of the chapter’s conservation programs in all aspects of their strategic planning.
“I enjoy facilitating discussions about our core values and how those values can be used to make actionable decisions that will improve environmental and human health conditions around the world.”
Chase McLean, Stewardship Field Assistant
Chase is a member of our land management team, focused on chapter properties throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His efforts involve preserve monitoring and maintenance, prescribed burning, invasive species control, and hydrological and biological monitoring projects.
"Knowing that the work I am a part of will help ensure that these natural resources will be around for others to enjoy in the future is very satisfying."
Jackie Specht, Coastal Science Program Manager
Jackie leads efforts focused on building resilience for Maryland’s coastal communities, developing and informing management strategies and policies that will aid the conservation of coastal landscapes as sea levels rise, including strategies to facilitate marsh migration, and ensuring that scientific data is informing our coastal management decisions.
"I enjoy being challenged to think creatively about how we can conserve and restore our coastal landscapes for the benefit of people and nature."
Laura Starr, Ph.D., Agriculture Conservation Specialist
Laura joined the chapter in January 2021 and will be working collaboratively with producers and partners to advance conservation practice implementation in order to improve water quality and agricultural landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay.
"Agriculture offers an enormous opportunity to improve the environmental health of our communities. I'm excited to use my expertise to advance the environmental and economic sustainability of agricultural systems in the Chesapeake Bay."
Steve Hills, Chair
Founding Director, Georgetown University Law Center Business Law Scholars Program
Chevy Chase, MD
Amy Boebel, Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
Esko Korhonen, Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Federal Capital Partners
Elizabeth Lewis, Nominating & Governance Committee Chair
Senior Engagement and Communications Officer,
International Finance Corporation
Chairman, Amis, Patel & Brewer, LLP
Chevy Chase, MD
President, Green Strategies Inc.
Walter Boynton, Ph.D.
Prince Frederick, MD
Mark Collins, Trustee Emeritus
Partner, Brown & Advisory Trust
Chairman and CEO, Hannon Armstrong
Barbara L. Franklin
Owner, Pine Island Designs
Founder and CEO, Daintree Capital
Chevy Chase, MD
Co-founder and CEO, Sparkfund
Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
President and CEO, DeVry University
Founder and Managing Partner, Norton Street Capital
Chevy Chase, MD
Founder & CEO, Lunchskins
Former U.S. Ambassador
David J. Steinberg
CEO, SnappCloud, Inc.
Crystal Romeo Upperman, PhD, MPA
Senior Scientist, Aclima
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