"I work for the Guild because no other organization I know of so seamlessly blends lofty aspirations with the ability to get good work done on the ground. The Guild’s principles provide a vision for improving our world one stand at a time.”
“I enjoy helping people connect with their environment in a personal way. The Guild community and projects help a wide diversity of people find their way toward those connections.”
“A Guild strength is meaningful partnerships. Part of my job is coordinating field trips, workshops, and webinars on relevant topics that help put science into practice. Our partnerships make that possible.”
Zander was the Guild’s research director for 11 years prior to his current role. His research supports on-the-ground implementation of ecological forestry. He has a PhD from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and worked as a cartographer and spatial analyst with the US Geological Survey.
“In college, I became obsessed with environmental threats and thought the only way to make a difference was through international policy. In contrast, I learned there were opportunities to make a positive impact in forests right where I grew up in southern New England. With just a Master of Forestry and some blue paint, I could change the course of a woodlot for a generation. As the Guild’s executive director, it is incredibly rewarding to see the positive impact Guild members have in the forests they manage and how, collectively, we can tackle the environmental challenges that first motivated me."
The Southwest program continues the legacy started by the Forest Trust in 1984 to practice and promote excellence in stewardship by building a sustainable forest-based economy, developing future forestry leaders, practicing ecological forest restoration, and training and educating fire and forest workers and landowners. Eytan develops, funds, and implements projects to support these goals. The Southwest program currently works on landscape-scale restoration, youth education and training, wildland firefighter training, and effectiveness monitoring. Eytan is involved in several local collaborative efforts to improve forest management and serves on a wildland-urban interface risk reduction grant review panel. He received his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania after working as a field archaeologist in the Northeast and a fire effects monitor and wildland firefighter with the National Park Service.
Amanda’s role as Deputy Director builds on seven years serving as the Forest Stewards Guild’s Northeast Region Director. From her base in Maine, Amanda supports the national Women Owning Woodlands network, expands the Foresters for the Birds program begun in Vermont, organizes learning events for the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange, grows New England’s forest climate adaptation community of practice, and supports Guild members in advancing ecological forestry. Amanda is a licensed forester and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Southern Maine. She has been an active member of the Forest Stewards Guild and the Society of American Foresters since her student days, and is passionate about supporting succeeding generations of forest stewards.
Rhiley has a passion for facilitating sustainable and harmonious relationships between people and their environments. Rhiley holds a B.S. in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University and an M.S. in Forest Ecology and Management from Michigan Technological University. She was a part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program and served as an Agroforestry Extension Agent with the United States Peace Corps in rural Senegal where she conducted qualitative research for her master’s thesis regarding local perceptions of forest change through time. When not working, Rhiley can be found watching documentaries, spending time with her favorite people, cooking and eating large amounts of food, and being outside.
Sam facilitates the return of good fire to the landscapes of New Mexico and beyond by supporting Fire Adapted Communities, prescribed fire training exchanges, collaborative burning, and treatment implementation to improve fire resiliency. Sam also designs written and web materials to increase understanding of the relation of wildland fire to the natural world and communities. Sam has worked on various wildland and prescribed fire crews, engines and wildfire use modules in several states. He worked in the Klamath region of Northern California promoting fire adapted communities, running chainsaws on thinning crews, managing noxious weeds, and on fisheries crew. In Montana Sam developed and completed two oral history projects documenting lives rural communities. In his free time, he enjoys being with his favorite people and dogs, crafting things, cooking, and being outdoors.
Nick has worked as a field forester in North Carolina engaging family forest landowners in forest management activities and ecological restoration. He is interested in domestic, community-based forestry issues and the implementation of ecological forestry systems. Particularly, he is focused on developing innovative methods of reaching more family forest landowners and accomplishing landscape-level conservation and forestry goals in the highly fragmented and parceled landscape of the eastern United States. Nick holds a B.S. degree in (Environmental Studies and Sustainable Forestry) from Warren Wilson College and a Master of Forestry from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Esmé manages Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP) projects. Her work addresses wildfire on a fireshed scale, with a pro-active and collaborative approach to improve the health and long-term resilience of our forests and communities. Esmé also communicates science to the public through project outreach materials, website design, verbal communication andphotography, helping a range of audiences understand and engage in their natural world. Esmé holds an M.S. in Ecohydrological Science and Management from the University of Idaho in Moscow, and a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Her work has emphasized the mixed use of watershed and fireshed landscapes and the coupling between human and natural systems to manage forest and water resources at the landscape to regional scale. Esmé’s past research examines the interface between hydrologic and riparian systems and the ecological role of fire in forested watersheds for maintaining forest health and ecological resilience in a changing world.
Fred has been a Guild professional member since 1998 and served as the Guild's Executive Director from November 2014 - October 2017. He currently serves on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, and as the Executive Director of Wisconsin's Green Fire. Fred has a B.S. in Horticulture and Forestry from Michigan State University, and an M.S. in Forest Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In over 30 years in natural resources he has worked as a forest ecologist, a WDNR Service Forester, and the owner of a forestry consulting and contracting business. Fred served on the Wisconsin Council on Forestry from 2004 - 2014 and served three terms as a Wisconsin State Representative from 2009 – 2014. Fred and his wife Kerry live in Madison, Wisconsin.
Daniel is originally from north Florida, where fire is about as ubiquitous as fried mullet and sweet tea.
He started his fire career with The Nature Conservancy after graduating from the University of Florida, working on an engine module supporting inter-agency prescribed fire. He completed his PhD at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Daniel has helped put good fire on the ground across the US and consulted for DoD on wildfire issues. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and robot vacuum.
Gabe has a strong interest in the human dimensions of natural resource management and wants to develop forest and fire management that strengthens the connection between rural communities and the forestland that surrounds them. He holds a B.A in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College and a M.S in Forest Ecosystems and Society from the Oregon State University College of Forestry. During his graduate studies, Gabe learned to approach natural resource challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective, merging the social sciences with fire science and management. In his work as a social scientist contractor and research associate, Gabe talked with hundreds of natural resource professionals throughout the western US about their experiences, and hopes to bring these diverse perspectives to his work with the Guild. Gabe’s weekends are spent camping, biking, listening to live music, and road-tripping around the states with his girlfriend and their dog Magoo.
Director of Fire Management and Lead on the Gravitas Peak Wildland Fire Module
Dave has spent 20 years in Fire Management. He has worked as a suppression firefighter with extensive experience in Colorado’s Front Range and its recent history of catastrophic fires. He has had a diverse career, from running Daylight Again Restoration Forestry, which used draft horses as the motive power source to serving on Type 2 and 3 Incident Management Teams. A qualified Burn Boss and Incident Commander, Dave now focuses on workforce development and social justice issues to increase the pace and scale of prescribed fire implementation.
Michael focuses on regional research needs, collaboration opportunities, and natural resource planning at a landscape-scale. Michael has specialized experience developing integrated solutions to balance the multifaceted ecological, economic, and social needs of the Lake State’s forest resources. Michael holds a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College with majors in Biology and Environmental Studies and an MS in Biological Integration from the University of Minnesota. Prior to working for the Forest Stewards Guild, Michael worked with the Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota Forest Resources Council/Minnesota DNR, Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association, and USDA Forest Service. Michael also operates a southern Minnesota corn and soybean farm that pairs land and water conservation practices with production agriculture. He spends his time away from Guild and farming activities engaging in a variety of outdoor adventures with his wife and kids. Michael's office is located in Mankato, MN.
Kendal works with Guild partners to coordinate outreach, engagement, and peer learning around Fire Adapted Communities and collaborative forest restoration. She has a strong background in facilitation around natural resources and is passionate about facilitating science-based dialogue among agencies and the public to inform sound natural resource management decisions and strengthen community governance. Kendal was the Forest Program Associate at Sustainable Northwest where she provided technical assistance, network-based peer learning, and facilitation to several forest collaboratives in Oregon. Kendal has served as a Forestry Extension Agent with the United States Peace Corps where she focused on agroforestry and sustainable agriculture in rural Zambia. In her free time, Kendal roams the beautiful landscapes of the Southwest with her plant identification book and goes on long bike rides. Kendal has degrees in Sociology and Geography from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Governance from Portland State University.
Matt manages monitoring efforts for the Guild’s various forest restoration projects, engages local partners through the Fire Adapted New Mexico Learning Network (www.facnm.org), and supports community forestry in New Mexico. Matt has a background in environmental education and helps to manage the Forest Stewards Youth Corps Program. Before moving to New Mexico, Matt lived in Oregon where he was a trail crew leader for Northwest Youth Corps. In 2012, Matt received a fellowship to travel to Nepal and study their system of community forestry, bringing lessons learned back to New Mexico. Matt earned master’s degrees in Community and Regional Planning and Water Resources from the University of New Mexico. When not working for the Guild, Matt enjoys running and road biking in New Mexico’s mountains and spending time with his wife Carly and their two dogs Gila Monster and Dexter.
Colleen describes her perfect work as helping people recognize and acknowledge their own connections to their environment. She has a Bachelor's Degree in environmental education and a broad background in communications. After 10 years with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Forest Health Program and 14 years with the non-profit, Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, her knowledge directly relates to our communication needs. She understands our work with forests and the people who own, manage and recreate within them. Colleen maintains our website, member and donor communications, event registrations, e-news, magazine, and Annual Review. At home, she enjoys time in the woods and on the water, with her standard poodle, friends and family. She puts high value on locally sourced, healthy food. You'll often hear her say "I belong outside."
Kate travels with the fire module to support the increase in scale and prevalence of prescribed fire and coordinates the module’s project schedule. Kate grew up in northern California but has traveled across the West and Southeast with federal and NGO handcrews, helitack, and fire effects modules. She received her Bachelor’s in Forestry and Wildland Fire Management from Humboldt State University and completed some graduate coursework at Oregon State University expanding a fuels monitoring guide. Her professional interests include applied science, community engagement in natural resource management, and plant community shifts. When not at work, Kate can be found outside with her canine counterpart, utilizing her local library, or testing a new recipe.