View looking out over a rolling valley bordered by a tall mountain that rises along the horizon. The valley is dotted with open farm fields and stands of trees.
South Mountain Landscape Kings Gap sits astride South Mountain and is included in the South Mountain Conservation Landscape Initiative that encompasses Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. © Matt Kane / TNC

Stories in Pennsylvania

Our People: Experts in Action

Working to create lasting solutions in Pennsylvania, Delaware and around the world.

Our Offices: Visit the chapter's Contact Us page for information about our office locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Media Inquiries: To schedule an interview with a member of our science, conservation or policy staff please contact Trent Knoss, Director of Communications and Marketing, at

Leadership Team

Candid outdoor headshot of Lori Brennan, PA/DE chapter executive director.
Lori Brennan Executive Director © Samantha Aquila

Lori Brennan, Executive Director

Lori’s responsibilities include implementing TNC’s ambitious conservation agenda that benefits both people and nature. She leads a team of more than forty across Pennsylvania and Delaware. Lori also works with other state chapters of The Nature Conservancy and external partners across the region to build cross-boundary approaches to ensure effective conservation in the face of large-scale threats like climate change and biodiversity loss.

“My work is personally fulfilling because I know that I am working to make the world a better place—I am a part of the solution to fight climate change and positively impact the planet. It’s important to me to create a positive and lasting impact for my daughter and for future generations.”

Candid photo of deputy executive director Donna Bowers on a hiking trail.
Donna Bowers Deputy Executive Director © courtesy Donna Bowers

Donna Bowers, Deputy Executive Director

Donna’s work is focused on fundraising and growing a network of supporters, building and strengthening our Board of Trustees and overall Chapter operations.

“I enjoy meeting and sharing experiences in nature with our donors, volunteers, and supporters. I enjoy collaborating and working alongside our incredibly talented and committed staff across The Nature Conservancy to achieve our critical conservation mission.”

A headshot of Tammy Bean
Tammy Bean Director of People & Operations © Courtesy of Tammy Bean

Tammy Bean, Director of People & Operations 


Tammy coordinates the people and operational needs of the PA & DE offices by overseeing day-to-day tasks and managing the administrative responsibilities related to human resources, office administration, and facilities.

“I enjoy working in my role as Director of People and Operations because it provides me the opportunity to put my values into action. Two of my core values are relationship building and implementation and this position has me living out these two values every day.”

Evan Endres head shot
Evan Endres Pennsylvania Director of Government Relations and Policy © courtesy Evan Endres

Evan Endres, Pennsylvania Director of Government Relations and Policy

Evan works to help Pennsylvania achieve reduction of the emissions that cause climate change. He works with constituencies, regulators and elected leaders to build Pennsylvania climate leadership and pass policies that contribute to healthy climate future for nature and people.

“I enjoy building a better climate future and helping people make the connection between their love of nature and our need to take action on climate.”

Professional headshot of PADE Director of Conservation Programs Keith Fisher
Keith Fisher Director of Conservation Programs © courtesy Keith Fisher

Keith Fisher, Director of Conservation Programs 

Keith leads a team of very talented conservation professionals focused on achieving The Nature Conservancy’s conservation goals and outcomes in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“I enjoy my work because it is challenging, diverse, and focused on meaningful outcomes that make a difference for the future.”

The Delaware state house. A neoclassical brick building with two el wings and a tall white cupola topped with a weather vane.
Emily Knearl Delaware Director of Government Relations & External Affairs © courtesy Emily Knearl

Emily Knearl, Delaware Director of Government Relations & External Affairs 


Emily serves as TNC’s outward-facing representative of The Nature Conservancy's priorities, projects and accomplishments in Delaware. In coordination with Executive Director Lori Brennan, chapter staff, Delaware trustees and volunteers, she plans, implements and coordinates efforts to further TNC's mission and goals in the First State.

“All my life I have loved public policy because it’s about people coming together to make the world a better place. I enjoy working with people, developing legislative strategy and communications, and that it all has a higher purpose—to protect the Earth.”

Headshot of Trent Knoss
Trent Knoss Director of Communications & Marketing © courtesy of Trent Knoss

Trent Knoss, Director of Communications & Marketing


Trent manages our print, web, video and social media communications channels in order to tell compelling conservation stories and boost TNC’s reputation as a leader in science-based management.

“Communications is mission-driven work for me, and I enjoy being part of an organization that is in the field making a real difference on today’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

PA/DE Staff

Candid selfie of Molly Anderson taking while hiking.
Molly Anderson Volunteer & Member Engagement Manager © courtesy Molly Anderson

Molly Anderson, Volunteer & Member Engagement Program Manager

Molly oversees the coordination, management and recognition of the PA/DE volunteer network as well as engaging partners, members and the general public for the advancement of conservation strategies across Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“I most enjoy connecting with staff, volunteers, partners and members who are passionate about conservation and want to do more to make a difference. Promoting TNC’s work, inspiring others to connect with nature and join the effort provides continuous motivation and enthusiasm.”

Candid portrait of Chris Arnott, Freshwater Project Manager, standing at the edge of a pool of water. A cascading waterfall is in the background.
Chris Arnott Freshwater Project Manager © courtesy Chris Arnott

Chris Arnott, Freshwater Project Manager

Chris works on a variety of projects aimed at protecting, restoring, and managing our freshwater resources in the Chesapeake and Delaware River Watersheds. She helps manage various collaborative partnerships aimed at restoring and reconnecting rivers, improving stream resilience, managing dam releases for ecological flows and reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural lands.

“I enjoy my work because I am a mission driven person and TNC’s mission aligns with my passion for protecting natural resources and clean water. TNC’s conservation strategies are grounded in science and partnership, and I strongly believe that science-based decision making will ultimately be the most successful.”

Kelsey Cannon head shot.
Kelsey Cannon Associate Director of Development © courtesy Kelsey Cannon

Kelsey Cannon, Associate Director of Development

Kelsey strives to build lasting relationships with supporters who are committed to preserving our natural world—both now and for future generations to come.

“I enjoy engaging with dedicated supporters to help further their connection to the inspiring work they are most passionate about.”

A selfie style photo of Jenny Case.
Jenny Case Fire and Facilities Manager © courtesy Jenny Case

Jenny Case, Fire Manager

As Fire Manager, Jenny works mostly with partners to educate and facilitate the use of prescribed fire on public and private lands in PA. As the Facilities Manager, she oversees several buildings and manages the Hauser Nature Center and its volunteer and public events program.

“I have always thought that the people who work for TNC are the reason I love my job.  Over the years, I’ve met some amazing people from the US and around the world who are passionate, creative and incredibly smart.  It has helped me to keep believing that people are generally good and care about our world and each other.”

Mari-Beth Delucia head shot/
Mari-Beth Delucia Interim Director of Land Protection © courtesy Mari-Beth Delucia

Mari-Beth Delucia, Director of Land Protection

Mari-Beth leads our Kittatinny Ridge Initiative to accelerate the pace of land protection along the ridge, a critical climate corridor. She also leads our migratory fish conservation and restoration work.

“I enjoy working with partners and being able to leverage TNC expertise and resources.”

Lyndon DeSalvo head shot.
Lyndon DeSalvo Urban Project Manager © courtesy Lyndon DeSalvo

Lyndon DeSalvo, Urban Project Manager

Lyndon’s work focuses on supporting green infrastructure projects that both improve water quality by managing stormwater and provide climate resilience and other co-benefits to local communities.

“I enjoy collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders to identify creative nature-based solutions to already complex issues, which will further be compounded due to climate change.”

Su Fanok in the field in an open wetland.
Su Fanok Director of Freshwater Conservation © courtesy Su Fanok

Su Fanok, Director of Freshwater Conservation

Su is the creative lead of a team of freshwater practitioners working in the waters of Pennsylvania and Delaware to ensure the health, sustainability, and resilience of freshwater ecosystems. 

“I enjoy learning about the charismatic diversity of life that inhabits the rivers and streams of Pennsylvania and Delaware and working hand in hand with people and communities to conserve them.”

Headshot of Tyler Fisk in a forest
Tyler Fisk Land Protection Program Specialist © courtesy of Tyler Fisk

Tyler Fisk, Land Protection Program Specialist


Tyler coordinates project approvals and legal reviews of real estate acquisition projects, including maintaining and updating conservation land databases and aiding in conservation planning with the land protection team.

“I enjoy working collaboratively across disciplines and backgrounds to help conserve open space. This work is rewarding as TNC can leverage its science-based decision making to have lasting impacts for the planet and people.”

Tamara Gagnolet head shot.
Tamara Gagnolet Conservation Science & GIS Manager © courtesy Tamara Gagnolet

Tamara Gagnolet, Conservation Science & GIS Manager

Tamara guides data management, spatial analysis, and map production to inform our conservation actions in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and the Appalachians Program. Our PA/DE GIS Team helps prioritize land protection efforts, designs data collection systems for monitoring and management activities on the lands we protect, creates maps and web maps for communicating our conservation work, and supports collaborative data analysis, management, and mapping in a shared workspace in the cloud.

“I enjoy providing GIS support for colleagues across multiple teams, telling stories with maps, and helping advance our geospatial systems for TNC as a whole.”

A headshot of Michelle Giles.
Michelle Giles Pennsylvania Federal Policy Manager © Courtesy of Michelle Giles

Michelle Giles, Pennsylvania Federal Policy Manager


Michelle serves as the federal lobbyist to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation. Through meetings with legislators and their staff, she seeks to influence policy in order to move us closer to reaching TNC’s 2030 goals.

“I enjoy the feeling that I am making a difference on an issue that is incredibly important to me. Climate change and the myriad of issues that stem from it are the biggest threat to our planet and I am grateful that I get to work to be part of the solution.”

George Gress head shot.
George Gress Fire Specialist & Land Steward © courtesy George Gress

George Gress, Fire Specialist & Land Steward

George performs maintenance and management of TNC preserves in Pennsylvania and Delaware; assists with prescribed fire management and training, conducts research on bog turtles, assists freshwater and forest teams with management projects and controlling of invasive species.

“I enjoy the variety of work, being able to work outside and the great people that I work with and have had a chance to meet during my time at TNC.”

Kim Hachadoorian head shot.
Kim Hachadoorian Stream Stewards Project Manager © courtesy Kim Hachadoorian

Kim Hachadoorian, Stream Stewards Project Manager

Kim manages Stream Stewards, a watershed stewardship program in Wilmington, Delaware. The core objective of the program is to provide community members with hands-on opportunities to connect to their local waterways through volunteer water quality monitoring, youth engagement programs and community outreach and events. The goal of this work is to inspire people to prioritize clean water and empower them to help protect it.

“I enjoy engaging with diverse groups of people and partners including residents of Wilmington, high school and college students and staff at community and conservation organizations throughout the Delaware River Watershed. It is very rewarding to provide people with opportunities to discover the threats to our waterways and an understanding of science-based conservation, especially as that process unfolds to reveal a deeper appreciation of the connection between people and nature.”

Elizabeth Hanson head shot.
Elizabeth Hanson Land Steward & Fire Specialist © courtesy Elizabeth Hanson

Elizabeth Hanson, Land Steward & Fire Specialist

Elizabeth's work centers around habitat management, restoration, and maintenance of our preserves in Pennsylvania. Some of her specific job duties include monitoring and removing invasive species, monitoring fee and easement properties, surveying bog turtles and assisting TNC and partners on prescribed burns.

“I enjoy being outdoors, my knowledge and use of a variety of equipment/machines, creating recreational opportunities for folks and protecting/managing habitat for a diversity of wildlife.”

Marc Healy head shot.
Marc Healy Urban Spatial Planner © Courtesy of Marc Healy

Marc Healy, Urban Spatial Planner 

Marc provides technical and scientific support for the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter’s Urban Conservation Program. He conducts analyses and manages projects to advance the urban program’s strategies and initiatives with a heavy emphasis on urban climate resilience and adaptation.

“I really enjoy the applied nature of the work and being able to collaborate with community partners to effect meaningful change.”

Will Helt head shot.
Will Helt Director of Oceans & Coasts © Courtesy of Will Helt

Will Helt, Director of Oceans and Coasts

Will oversees the Delaware Bayshore & Seascape Program where we are currently seeking to improve coastal resiliency along Delaware’s coast in the face of climate change.

“What I enjoy most about my work is the opportunity to work with communities to think of green solutions that help both communities and nature adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

John Hinkson headshot.
John Hinkson Communications Manager © courtesy John Hinkson

John Hinkson, Communications Manager

John provides marketing and communications support to the PA/DE Chapter and its staff to advance TNC’s mission locally. He works with conservation, development and marketing colleagues to produce printed and digital materials, ranging from social media posts to annual reports.

“I grew up in the country, spending nearly all of my time outdoors and becoming a life-long lover of nature in the process. Working for TNC is a dream come true—I get to help protect and conserve nature alongside my talented and interesting colleagues—people who share my concerns for our natural world and are trying to make the Earth a better place.”

Richard Johnson head shot.
Richard Johnson Urban Climate Resilience Manager © Courtesy of Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson, Urban Climate Resilience Manager

Richard advances nature-based solutions to climate change in cities across Pennsylvania and Delaware. In his role, he contributes to the analysis, development and implementation of urban conservation strategies that benefit both people and nature in a changing climate.

“I love that I get to work with communities, not only preparing them for climate change but also improving their quality of life.”

Headshot of Jake Leizear.
Jake Leizear Conservation GIS Specialist © Courtesy of Jake Leizear

Jake Leizear, Conservation GIS Specialist


Jake works on our Conservation Operations team providing mapping and analytics support for our chapter. He focuses on data management, GIS analyses, and cartographic product creation.

“I most enjoy the diversity of my work. I work on a wide variety of projects, and it makes sure no one day is exactly the same!”

A headshot of Daniel Mayer
Daniel Mayer Policy Advocacy and Outreach Associate © Courtesy of Daniel Mayer

Daniel Mayer, Policy Advocacy & Outreach Associate


Dan works on our Government Relations and Policy team. He helps develop engaging advocacy and policy content while also helping to maintain coalitions, legislative relationships, and partnerships.

“I enjoy the collaboration that comes with crafting engaging advocacy content and helping to shape policy that will further TNC’s climate and conservation goals.”

A person stands in front of a brown field in fire looking out into the distance. A controlled fire burns behind them.
Jacob McDaniel Land Steward © courtesy Jacob McDaniel

Jacob McDaniel, Land Steward

Jacob is a land steward for our preserves in southern Delaware. His work is comprised of preserve monitoring, participating in prescribed fire operations, habitat restoration, and maintenance of equipment and stewardship facilities.

"I enjoy seeing the tangible results of my work. The feeling of watching the understory or a meadow green back up following a successful burn, looking better than before, is very rewarding."

Pat McElhenny head shot
Pat McElhenny Pennsylvania Stewardship Manager © courtesy Pat McElhenny

Pat McElhenny, Pennsylvania Stewardship Manager

Pat is responsible for leading the Stewardship Team’s management and maintenance of our preserves in Pennsylvania and ensuring that the annual legal monitoring responsibilities are completed. Pat also assists the Fire Manager with fire management responsibilities on chapter and partner lands and has been responsible for managing the PA Game Commission/PA Fire Grant since 2009.

“I enjoy seeing the positive change that we can make to our preserves or landscape projects through active land management (stewardship and prescribed fire). I also enjoy working outside with TNC staff and partners.”

Candid headshot of Land Protection Specialist Victor Motts at a TNC preserve.
Victor Motts Land Protection Specialist © courtesy Victor Motts

Victor Motts, Land Protection Specialist

Victor’s role is to assist landowners in the implementation of TNC's land protection goals, in terms of developing a conservation easement on their property or acquiring their property fee simple.

“I enjoy helping people understand why it is so important to conserve land and water resources and how that ties in with all larger-scale conservation efforts."

Stream and Wetland Restoration Specialist Jon Niles. He is standing in a shallow stream using a dip net to transfer marine specimens from the water into a bucket.
Jonathan Niles Stream and Wetland Restoration Specialist © courtesy Jon Niles

Jonathan Niles, Stream and Wetland Restoration Specialist

Jon’s work with TNC is focused on the Chesapeake Bay watershed of Pennsylvania. The program’s objectives are to accelerate stream and wetland restoration in the watershed to meet both water quality, wildlife and fisheries co-benefits in south-central Pennsylvania. As part of the program, Jon and his team are developing a robust regional partnership to accelerate stream and wetland restoration by performing targeted outreach, identifying potential projects and implementing stream and wetland restoration projects in the region.

“I love that TNC is a science-based conservation organization that works to advance the best conservation practices in a global, regional and local boots on the ground model. The ability to contribute to global advancement of science-based restoration and conservation while contributing regionally and locally to water quality and wildlife habitat enhancement is the most rewarding part of my work.”

Nicole Norris head shot.
Nicole Norris Finance Manager © courtesy Nicole Norris

Nicole Norris, Finance Manager

Nicole provides accounting support for both the PA & DE business units. This involves not only the day-to-day journal entries and cash receipts, but also regular meetings with budget managers to ensure that they understand their financial results. She also organizes and presents financial information for the board of trustees, including quarterly financial statements and budget data.

“I enjoy being a part of an organization that is doing so much good to protect the planet we live on.”

Headshot of Denny Nurkiewicz
Denny Nurkiewicz Land Protection Manager - Allegheny Front © Courtesy of Denny Nurkiewicz

Denny Nurkiewicz, Land Protection Manager, Allegheny Front

As the Land Protection Manager, Allegheny Front, Denny is responsible for the conservation and protection of a unique area within the Appalachian Mountains called the “Allegheny Front” which is located in parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia and has been identified by TNC as a “Critical Focal Landscape”. 

“I enjoy working as a member of the Allegheny Front Land Protection Team in PA, WV and MD because I’m able to spend time in the field interacting with the unique people of Appalachia and being surrounded by the beauty and wonder of our mountains, lakes and streams. My work is rewarding because I know that I’m part of a team that’s building a legacy that will bring innumerable benefits and much enjoyment to so many people for a very, very long time.”

A person stands in front of a grassy field with large mountains in the background.
Charlie Ritter Legal Compliance Specialist © courtesy Charlie Ritter

Charlie Ritter, Legal Compliance Specialist

Charlie oversees the annual legal monitoring program of all PA/DE lands, as well as provides direct technical GIS support to our Stewardship Team. Additionally, he serves as the liaison between landowners, the legal and stewardship teams, and the public to ensure all lands held by PA/DE are in legal compliance.

“I enjoy working alongside multiple stakeholders every day that share my passion for conserving and protecting the Appalachian landscape to create a resilient and connected network.”

Headshot of  Stephen Ruswick
Stephen Ruswick Land Steward & Fire Specialist © courtesy Stephen Ruswick

Stephen Ruswick, Land Steward & Fire Specialist

Stephen helps restore and maintain The Nature Conservancy preserves in Pennsylvania and Delaware. This responsibility often includes using prescribed fire to enhance habitats for threatened fire-adapted flora and fauna.

“I love the people; TNC employees, volunteers and conservationists at other organizations all coming together to make meaningful change. I also enjoy getting to spend so much time outside.”

Formal headshot of  Executive Assistant & Trustee Liaison Kelsey Shady.
Kelsey Shady Executive Assistant & Trustee Liaison © courtesy Kelsey Shady

Kelsey Shady, Executive Assistant & Trustee Liaison

Kelsey's role is to provide direct administrative support to the PA/DE Chapter’s Executive Director as well as serving as the liaison for the Board of Trustees. This position requires a high level of organization, coordination and behind-the-scenes management in order to advance TNC’s priorities.

I am proud to work for a company who are champions for science, the environment and who are invested in the well-being of our future. It is exceedingly important work and I love that I can be a small piece in the puzzle.”

Candid photo of Development Program Associate Melisa Soysal in an open plateau with sandstone formations lining the horizon.
Melisa Soysal Digital Marketing & Development Coordinator © courtesy Melisa Soysal

Melisa Soysal, Digital Marketing & Development Coordinator

Melisa manages Pennsylvania and Delaware's digital channels, sharing stories of the chapter's conservation efforts and successes across social media, and TNC's monthly e-newsletter, Nature News. She also supports the fundraising and operations teams by providing administrative support and working on special projects.

“I enjoy coming up with creative ways to share our conservation goals and projects while working with people who share my passion for protecting our natural world."

Candid photo of Development Program Manager Kristen Stevens in a forest.
Kristen Stevens Development Program Manager © courtesy Kristen Stevens

Kristen Stevens, Development Program Manager

Kristen oversees the Chapter’s development operations including gift coding, gift processing and fundraising systems to optimize use of fundraising systems and ensure donor intent is met. She works on strategies to ensure sufficient funding for current and future year priorities and works closely with development staff to set and meet long term objectives.

 “I enjoy using my fundraising experience and analytic skills to maximize program success and contribute to the larger mission.”

Candid headshot of Director of Urban Conservation Julie Ulrich.
Julie Ulrich Director of Urban Conservation © Marc Steiner

Julie Ulrich, Director of Urban Conservation

 Julie leads a team that is focused on nature-based solutions to environmental challenges, like water quality and flooding problems, in Philadelphia and Wilmington. In Philadelphia, Julie’s team is working to build green stormwater infrastructure projects in support of the city’s Green City, Clean Waters plan.

“What I love most about my job is showing how nature—in our cities, across our neighborhoods, in our urban rivers, in our backyards—can achieve significant and long-lasting benefits for nature and people.”

Candid photo of Natasha Whetzel during a controlled burn on TNC land.
Natasha Whetzel Delaware Stewardship Manager © Courtesy Natasha Whetzel

Natasha Whetzel, Delaware Stewardship Manager

Natasha is responsible for overseeing management and restoration of our nature preserves in Delaware. The overall conservation goal is to protect the natural plant and animal communities that inhabit our preserves. She is also an integral member of the PA/DE fire team and commonly travels throughout the region to assist on TNC and partner burns. 

“I enjoy my work because by protecting and restoring our natural lands, I am supporting a more sustainable future.”

Land Protection Manager
Nicole Wooten Land Protection Manager © courtesy of Nicole Wooten

Nicole Wooten, Land Protection Manager


As a Land Protection Manager focusing on the Kittatinny Ridge, Nicole works with state agencies, local land trusts, and directly with landowners to protect critical climate-resilient lands.  She also supports regional planning efforts (e.g. Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership, Highlands study group) to develop landscape-level land protection plans.

“I love considering how one puzzle piece—a 500-acre acquisition, a new partnership strategic plan, or a particular community’s needs—fit into the overarching goal to protect the Appalachians.  It feels meaningful, in the face of the climate crisis, to contribute to a more balanced, resilient world.”

Candid photo of Conservation Forester Kevin Yoder in a forest.
Kevin Yoder Director of Land Management © courtesy Kevin Yoder

Kevin Yoder, Director of Land Management

Kevin works to enhance forest resilience and carbon storage on TNC’s Working Woodlands projects and preserves. He also helped launch the Family Forest Carbon Program (in partnership with the American Forest Foundation) to help private landowners increase carbon sequestration on their properties.

“I enjoy the diversity of people, projects, and habitats I get to work with. Adapting to new challenges and opportunities keeps my work exciting and each day a little different.”