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
Krissy Elkins, Workday Coordinator
The City of Ann Arbor is lucky to have a whole team of
wonderful people dedicated to preserving and restoring our natural areas. I am
even luckier to be one of those people! I am a graduate of the University of
Michigan in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and am thrilled to help conserve
the very city that gave me my degree. I have spent time working for the UM
Herbarium, learning the ins and outs of plant collecting. I worked to digitize
part of the 1.75 million specimens in the collection. Now it is time to shift
from curated flowers to the real thing! I look forward to organizing workdays
that help connect anyone and everyone to our beautiful planet.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43471
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."
Renee Hytinen, Communications and Special Events
After a six-year pause, I'm coming back to my old position editing the newsletter and helping get the word out about NAP's good works. NAP is a unique workplace—as is the NAP community at large—and I am grateful to be back working with all you great people, and excited to start this new chapter. Both of my kids were born during my previous time with NAP, and I now I am returning with a first grader and a third grader! I'm looking forward to bringing them along to workdays and other NAP events once we are all able to gather safely again.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43479
Matthew Spoor, Park Steward Coordinator
Since moving to Ann Arbor in 2019, I have been in awe of what NAP provides for the citizens of this great city. Now, I get to be a part of this amazing team and could not be happier. I was born and raised in North Dakota, attended the University of North Dakota and worked in the renewable fuels industry for fifteen years. I am currently a student at Eastern Michigan University pursuing a mid-life degree in biology. I love birding, leading bird walks, removing invasive species from Ann Arbor nature areas, learning, teaching, and spending time with my kids.
Phone: 734.794.6627 x43474
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
Ashley Keesling, Conservation Worker
I recently graduated with a Master's degree from Ohio State where I studied systematics and host specificity in a species of parasitic plant, Ghost pipes (Monotropa uniflora). I was also secretary of my university's chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration where we managed a site along the Olentangy River and organized efforts to remove invasive Callery pear and Honeysuckle. In my spare time, I like to explore parks and take photos of plants, insects, mushrooms, and anything else that I find. What excites me most about working with NAP is the opportunity to learn more about methods in invasive species management and how to apply these methods to different species.
Ethan Glassman, Conservation Worker
Hi everyone, I'm really excited to be part of the NAP crew! I'm originally from Cincinnati and I went to BGSU and studied Ecology and Conservation Biology. I love spending time outside, looking for and photographing rare wildflowers. I'm new to the Ann Arbor area and I'm really excited to get to know everyone and all the natural areas!
Kathleen Gosselin, Conservation Worker
I am incredibly excited to be joining the NAP team! I received my bachelor's degree in ecology from Northern Michigan University where I worked with the Marquette/Alger County conservation districts throughout my college career. After I graduated, I spent a few years in Montana working in forestry. I am excited to be back in Michigan working in the field I love. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my two dogs and riding horses.
Michael (Max) Miley, Conservation Worker
I recently graduated with an Environment degree from the University of Michigan where I filled much of my course load with field classes about plants. Spending time outside and seeing the natural world change with the seasons has filled my free time since I was a kid, and I'm excited that working for NAP will let me continue those activities into my professional life. Outside of school and work, I enjoy photography, hiking, and identifying plants (usually all at once). I'm honored to be working for a local government whose residents so enthusiastically support its natural areas, and I can't wait to get out in the field!
Brady Friss, Conservation Worker
Hi all! I am a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife. Within my degree I concentrated on Conservation Biology so I am extremely excited to join the conservation crew here at NAP. In my free time I enjoy getting out on the water for some fishing or wakeboarding, taking photos of wildlife, and really any activity that involves the outdoors. I am grateful to be joining such a wonderful organization and having the opportunity to continue learning about many aspects of natural resource management!
Chloe Hernandez, Conservation Worker