Deputy Manager - Volunteerism and Natural Area Preservation
Becky Gajewski, Stewardship Specialist
I am very excited to join the team at NAP as a Stewardship Specialist! I've always had a strong interest in learning about nature and ecological restoration, and that naturally led me to Ann Arbor to pursue my bachelor's and master's degrees from U of M's School of Natural Resources and Environment. After graduating, I spent three years completing natural resource management and restoration projects for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Now I am glad to return to Ann Arbor and give back to the city that has given me so much over the years.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43476
Juliet Berger, Ornithologist
I'm a lifelong birder, so I am thrilled to join the NAP staff as the new Ornithologist. With my backgrounds in both Social Work and Science, I operate at the nexus of birding, bird science and community organization. I have been President of Washtenaw Audubon Society for two years, and I love to lead bird walks and answer bird-related questions. I am a coach for Feathered Friends, a Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad event about birds, and I am a longtime NAP Breeding Bird Survey volunteer. I am excited to work with all the amazing NAP volunteers and staff.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43478
George Hammond, Field Biologist
George came to Ann Arbor for graduate study in ecology, got a
Master's degree, then never left. He worked in the Museum of Zoology, helping
build and manage the Animal Diversity Web website, then briefly taught at EMU
before getting hired at NAP. He has been a NAP employee for just a couple of
years, but was a NAP volunteer for many years previously, inspired by the (then
new) salamander survey. He volunteered with other NAP surveys, and started
coming to public workdays as well. He says "I very happy to be organizing
the surveys that I once volunteered for. I have a new appreciation for the work
involved! There are so many small wonders in our parks, so many great things to
find. I hope you will get out into our parks and nature areas, and find the
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43477
Tina Stephens, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator
Each and every day I am touched to see how much our volunteers give to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas and care for their neighborhood parks! I joined NAP in 2008 and enjoyed three years as the Adopt-A-Park coordinator. In 2012 I was honored to be hired as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for NAP and Adopt-A-Park. After growing up in southeast Michigan, I attended Ferris State University and studied Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor and Environmental. Working at NAP I get to express my love for Michigan, and use my talents and training to inspire in others a love of nature through volunteer efforts!
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43472
Meija Knafl, Park Stewards Coordinator
A recent graduate from the University of Maine's wildlife ecology program, I am incredibly excited to be joining the NAP team! Born and bred in Ann Arbor, it's a dream come true that I've been given the opportunity to bring my passion for the outdoors home. I've spent several summers as a seasonal naturalist for the MDNR leading groups of children in nature-based outdoor programming. These summers have further fueled my drive to create opportunities for people to involve themselves with the nature that surrounds them every day. I'm looking forward to working with Park Stewards and other independent volunteers, connecting people with our wonderful wild spaces in meaningful ways.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43474
Alex Cherry, Workday Coordinator
I graduated this spring from the University of Michigan with
a degree in Environmental Management and Political Science. As part of the
Outreach Team, I am excited to be a part of an organization that is incredibly
involved with the Ann Arbor community. My past occupations have involved
teaching people about the value of nature in our lives and reaching out to
groups to help environmental causes. Being a part of NAP allows me to coalesce these
skills by finding new methods to get more people involved with our parks in
bigger ways. I hope to meet many of you out in a park this year!
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43471
Rebecca Snider, NAP Communications
I fell in love with the outdoors as a Biology major nearly 20 years ago. Since then I have earned a Masters degree in Parks and Resource Management and worked as an environmental educator in museums, zoos, and nature centers. In 2008 I moved to Ann Arbor and I've been having fun exploring the city's parks and natural areas with my two boys. I'm delighted to join the staff of NAP and work with volunteers who share my love of nature. Phone: 734.794.6627 x43479
Dana Novak, Outreach Assistant
studied Environmental Science and Wildlife at The Ohio State
University, and then wandered around the states from the east coast to
the Rockies as a semi-professional volunteer before settling in Boise,
Idaho, working in the realms of storm water and environmental
consulting. The births of their two beautiful boys in 2008 gave them
a new definition of "tired" and a renewed sense of their collective
ability to make a positive impact. Dana can be found leading workdays,
but is no longer in the NAP office. She says, "I challenge you all to
get out there and join us at a workday, if you haven't before - or
attend one more workday than usual! If you're like me, it will
invigorate your body and refresh your spirit."
Mike Hahn, Stewardship Specialist
For the past eight years I managed natural areas and
coordinated volunteers for a land trust in the Chicagoland area. My passion for
ecological restoration is continually growing and I am eager for the
opportunity to share that passion with the residents of Ann Arbor. I hope to
see you in the field!
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43484
Amy Wells, Conservation Worker
My name is Amy Wells, and I'm a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a degree in Plant Biology. As someone who has always loved exploring and protecting Michigan's natural areas, I'm thrilled to be joining the NAP crew! I've worked for Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum as a natural areas intern, and also as a landscape foreman for a private gardening company. What I enjoy most about these jobs is seeing the dramatic changes in landscapes as I remove weeds and invasive species to make way for gorgeous native plants and flowers. I'm looking forward to a great burn season this spring, and the wildflower blooms to follow!
Morgan Boyer, Conservation Worker
I graduated from the University of Michigan – Flint, earning a degree in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. My previous work with the DNR and the Genesee County Parks has focused on public education and conservation. I am excited to join the NAP field crew to see the restoration practices I have taught other people about put into use within the city park system. I look forward to working with the wonderful people of Ann Arbor in helping promote natural areas for everyone to enjoy!
Kayla McGuire, Conservation Worker
My interest in environmental science and ecology began in
high school when I took AP Environmental Science. At Purdue University, I was
able to pursue that interest further, but it wasn’t until I started a graduate
program at Eastern Michigan University that I found conservation as a passion.
I am in the process of completing a Masters degree from EMU and conducting
research concerning the impacts of road salt on carbon movement in wetland
ecosystems. Through my thesis research and volunteering at Southeast Michigan
Land Conservancy, I have been able to learn much more about the practical
applications of conservation. Working with NAP will allow me to use the
knowledge and experience I have gained to show the Ann Arbor area how
conservation practices are done and that the goals of conservation can be
pursued by anyone.
Anna Tawril, Conservation Worker
I'm excited to join the NAP team as a Conservation
Worker! I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in
Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainable Food Systems. In the past I
have worked on a trail crew in Tennessee and on sand dune restoration in
northern Michigan; but I am excited to spend more time in Ann Arbor's parks and
getting to know the volunteers. It's great to work in an area full of people
who understand the importance of conservation. My passion for restoration stems
from my love of the outdoors and the desire to share it with others, which I
have lots of opportunities to do at NAP!
Liz Berghoff, Conservation Worker
This summer, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University
with a degree in Environmental Science. Before moving over to NAP, I worked
with GIVE 365 where my love of Ann Arbor parks and leading volunteer groups
began. I spent the summer interning with the Southeast Michigan Land
Conservancy where I was able to gain experience monitoring and maintaining
nature preserves. I enjoy exploring all the natural areas Michigan has to offer
and petting as many dogs as I can along the way. I'm excited to learn more
about land conservation and lead volunteers in meaningful work.
Chris Robey, Conservation Worker
As a recent transplant from western North Carolina, I've only just begun to familiarize myself with Ann Arbor's natural areas and I am eager to come to know them through hands-on, engaged stewardship work as a member of NAP's conservation crew. Connecting people to places through stewardship and storytelling lies at the heart of what I do. I graduated from Appalachian State University with a self-designed Environmental Humanities degree and minors in English and Sustainable Development. Previously, I've written articles for the Appalachian Voice, a nonprofit environmental newsletter, worked on and led trail crews for Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), and learned the ropes (quite literally!) as a groundsman for a local arborist. Now, I am thrilled to join NAP's staff and our wonderful volunteers as we work to fulfill our mission of caring for our natural areas and nuturing an environmental ethic among those who frequent them.