“As a young female professional, it is sometimes difficult to be taken seriously in the forestry industry. At the Guild, my knowledge is valued. I enjoy working with landowners, professionals, and community members who share the goal of improving forest health and the benefits to communities dependent on them.”
Southeast Region Coordinator
"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 is passionate about facilitating sustainable relationships between people and their environments. She is based in Seattle, Washington and is currently the Pacific Northwest Region Coordinator, involved in expanding Guild membership and organizing the Northwest Innovative Forestry Summit. Rhiley holds a B.S. in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University and a M.S. in Forest Ecology and Management from Michigan Technological University. She’s had work experiences that range from being a Timber Stand Improvement Forestry Technician with USFS, an Agroforestry and Extension Agent with the US Peace Corps in Senegal, and a Sustainable Landscapes and Investment Fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute in South Korea. Rhiley is excited to use her previous experiences to further expand the Guild’s work and membership in the Pacific Northwest.
Born in New Mexico and raised on the principles of responsible land stewardship, Rachel earned her B.S. in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology with a focus in Ecosystem Management from New Mexico State University. She spent her post-collegiate years immersed in forest thinning and fuels reduction and now works in her capacity at the Guild to support and expand community and organizational land management projects. From fire resiliency learning networks to programs designed to assist landowners reduce pests and disease, these proactive and collaborative projects address a spectrum of challenges facing the landscape and people of the southwest. A typical day may find Rachel assisting the Forest Stewards Youth Corps, in the field performing ecological monitoring, or facilitating wildfire preparedness knowledge sharing between experts and community members. When not at work Rachel enjoys hiking, rock climbing, baking, and settling down with a good book and mug of black tea.
Judi brings a diverse background of skills and experience in the environmental and healthcare world to her role as Business Coordinator for the Guild. While pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at UNC-Asheville she worked in the Grassroots Field Office of The National Parks and Conservation Association holding positions from administration to advocacy and outreach. After a summer volunteering with the Bureau of Land Management in SE Utah, she was hired as a Backcountry Ranger and then transitioned into the office to implement the first Fee Demo Program for the BLM. After several years with the BLM she moved back to Asheville, NC to be closer to family and to work as manager of Group Education Programs with the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Her love of learning led her to pursue a degree in the healthcare industry where her career has been focused (for the past 10 years). Joining the Guild has brought her back to her environmental roots. Judi lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and enjoys anything in the outdoors, listening to music, and most recently playing KLASK.
Sam Berry works on facilitating the return of good fire, building fire resilient communities, and supporting workforce development in the landscapes of New Mexico and beyond. Sam works on a variety of projects but leads the Guild’s Southwest Office’s Fire and Fuels Program and Forest Stewards Youth Corps program. His work in general seeks to build connections and do work on the ground that leads to better relationships between wildland fires, the natural world, and communities. Sam holds a MNR from the University of Idaho. He 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.
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.
Cody joined the Guild to work at the confluence of people and forests. With a background in prescribed fire implementation and research, community outreach, and ecological monitoring, Cody supports multiple programs throughout the Southwest. Ever learning, Cody is excited to combine landscape-scale planning with on-the-ground projects to restore, protect, and promote resilient forest communities. He has a B.S. in Resource Conservation from The University of Montana and an M.S. in Forest Resources from Penn State.
Maddie is passionate about science communication and outreach within the forestry and natural resource communities. They graduated from the University of Maine with dual degrees in forestry (B.S.) and botany (B.A.). During school and following graduation, they worked for the Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) specializing in invasive land plants, leading a field season, and tabling educational events. In 2019, MNAP introduced Maddie to the Guild, and they have been an enthused participant ever since. Originally from Pennsylvania, Maddie has deep roots in northeastern forest ecosystems. They are involved with the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange, Women Owning Woodlands, Seeing the Forest for the Queers, and quite a few other projects! Outside of work, they enjoy being outside to go botanizing (looking at cool plants), rock climbing, biking, hiking, and exploring with their dog.
Fallon focuses onoperations and employee interests.Herbackground is in the New Mexico timber industry.She worked for several years at a family-ownedsawmill started by her father that specializes in using local timber. Her experience is in operations management, accounting, project management, customer service and collaboration.She is originally from Santa Fe, NM and earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and MBA from the University of New Mexico. Fallonbecame interested in forest management and sustainable resource management while working in thetimber industry.Working at the guild has inspired her to expand her knowledge.At home, Fallon finds happiness in spending time with her husband, two daughters anda large extended family. She also loves sewing, learning new mountain biking skills, running, andremodeling her house.
Dana facilitates and coordinates collaborative processes for ecologically, economically, and socially responsible natural resource management in the Southwest. Her work also involves strategic partnership building and developing governance processes that support cross-disciplinary planning, collective work on the ground, and monitoring to inform adaptive land management practices. Her strategic work has supported effective project planning and management, attracted and leveraged funds for critical upland and watershed applications in Colorado and New Mexico, and always aims to invite new voices and perspectives into land management conversations.
Prior to joining the Guild, Dana worked as the Director of Forest Programs at the Mountain Studies Institute and as a secondary mathematics teacher in Pagosa Springs, CO. She holds an M.Ag in agricultural resource management from Colorado State University and an M.Ed in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse education from Adams State University. She also currently serves as a director on her local school board.
When she’s not bringing people together to think critically about land management issues, you can find Dana playing in the snow, floating down the San Juan River, loving on her two dogs, or settled in with a good book.
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.
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.
Maggie supports foresters and landowners through Guild programs including Women Owning Woodlands and Forestry for Maine Birds. The child of a maple syrup producer, she was steeped in the complexities of New England forests at an early age. Studies in forestry, ecology, and botany broadened her understanding of the surrounding landscape. Before joining the Guild, Maggie worked as a consulting forester in central Maine, helping landowners make and implement management decisions that considered the ecological, economic, and social realities of our forests. She holds an MS in Forest Resources from the University of Maine, Orono, where she explored the effects of ecological forestry on understory plants, and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. She is a licensed forester in the state of Maine.
Collin comes to the Guild with a passion for ecology and a wide range of ecological monitoring experience.He has conducted avian surveys, rare plant surveys, monitored rangeland health, and assessed efficacy of vegetation treatments. He has a B.S. in Biology with a focus in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Oregon.He is excited to be apart of landscape scale collaborative projects working to inform responsible land management. When not at work, you can find Collin birding, playing disc golf, or planning to go birding.
Alyssa is dedicated to interdisciplinary work—with a diverse background ranging from invasive species management to non-human primate pharmacodynamics, to isotope dendrochronology—Alyssa is passionate about approaching ecological issues through many lenses. Originally from Northern California, Alyssa has a deep connection to fire ecology and management, as her home has been affected by increasingly destructive wildfires throughout her life. Within the Guild, she will work as the Fireshed Project Coordinator, striving to improve forest health and promote fire-adapted communities across the Southwest. Alyssa holds degrees in Biology (A.S), Natural Resources (A.A.), Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (B.S.), and Forest Resources (M.S.).
Christian has been professional forester in the Lake States for over 25 years working with state agencies and Native American tribes. He has a passion for science-based, ecologically focused, and pragmatic forestry practices and believes people have a place in the environment and therefore a responsibility to be good stewards. Christian is proud to be part of an organization that promotes good, sustainable, science-based land management, research to fill knowledge gaps, and targeted outreach to help promote good stewardship. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Saint Cloud State University, completed the coursework for an M.S. in forest management at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, went through the National Advanced Silviculture Program, and holds certificates in GIS and computer programming. Outside of work, Christian is a disc golfer, mountain biker, canoe camper, hunter, amateur musician, and routinely slays (pretend) monsters in a game group.
Maura will be working with the Guild to maintain and expand membership in the Pacific Northwest. She hopes to gain a better understanding of members’ needs to help guide and broaden engagement through programs, policy, and meeting and learning from PNW locals. Maura grew up in NW Oregon, achieved a B.S. Ecology from Unity College in Maine, worked throughout the PNW in various forestry research projects, then worked in the ski industry in Utah to assist with environmental management within National Forest, and recently returned home to Oregon to continue her dedication to conservation. With her background in ecology and sustainability she hopes to help gain stride in achieving genuine conservation and understands, as well as enjoys, the collaboration, research, and hard work it takes with people and on the land to get there. In her spare time, Maura enjoys working on her own forested land, keying out vegetation, woodworking, fly fishing, skiing, and hiking.
Mateo brings diverse international experience to the Guild, having worked for a decade and a half in biodiversity conservation, agroecology and intercultural education throughout South and Central America, southern Africa and the US. Mateo’s interests include traditional ecological knowledge, ecological restoration, protected areas governance and intersections between environmental and social justice. Mateo is ecstatic to join the Guild’s efforts to collaboratively manage forest landscapes in northern New Mexico for resilience, biodiversity conservation and the benefit of local communities. Mateo holds a MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds (UK) and a BA from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Mateo is an avid outdoorsman, linguist and songwriter-singer.
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. Outside the Guild, she is a Wisconsin Master Naturalist course instructor, a Certified Mindful Outdoor Guide, and enjoys time in the woods and on the water with friends and family. She puts high value on locally sourced, healthy food. You'll often hear her say "I belong outside."
My passion with this work goes hand in hand with my previous work experience. I’ve spent a decade working in my hometown as a Wildland Firefighter for the City of Santa Fe Fire Department (SFFD). My focus was wildfire and assisting the WUI specialist, but I’ve done many different things from Fire suppression on a hand crew and an engine, to acting as an EMT-I for medical/rescue assignments. Outside of work I have a fitness background Powerlifting in college at NMSU where I have a bachelor’s in communication. I’m also a martial arts practitioner with 16 years of experience. I hope to incorporate all I know with the Guild’s mission.
Cora is passionate about helping young adults develop professionally within the fields of forestry and conservation. She first discovered this interest as a canoe guide for teens in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where she enjoyed developing relationships and seeing youth grow in their confidence and understanding of the world around them. Cora continued to pursue her passion by joining the Peace Corps as an agroforestry volunteer in Senegal, Africa, where she worked with middle school aged girls to promote gender equality and environmental leadership. Upon the end of her service, Cora moved to New Mexico, where she fell in love with the mountain and desert landscape and discovered the Forest Stewards Guild. She now works extensively with the Forest Stewards Youth Corps, visiting and supporting crews across Central New Mexico. When she’s not outside with crews or in the office, Cora enjoys going for bike rides, kayaking, hiking, painting, and eating burritos.
Shawn Swartz is a Registered Forester in NC, an SAF Certified Forester, and ISA certified Arborist. He holds an AAS in Forest Management from Haywood Community College and a BS and MNR in Natural Resource Management from Oregon State University. He feels at home working for the Forest Guild because his approach to forest management involves silvicultural methods that mimic historical disturbance regimes and natural ranges of variability. His professional interests include the restoration of forest species including American chestnut, longleaf and shortleaf pine, and eastern hemlock; non-timber forest products such as American ginseng, goldenseal, ramps, tree syrups, and woodland mushrooms; and woody perennial crops such as American hazelnut and pawpaw. When not working, he enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, playing guitar, and riding his motorcycle.
Dakota Wagner is passionate about bringing the concepts of ecological forestry to all types of communities, particularly those not traditionally involved in natural resource management. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina and is currently the Southeast Program Manager with the Forest Stewards Guild, involved in coordinating the Women Owning Woodlands Network, and on the Executive Board of ForestHer NC. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in ecological forestry from Warren Wilson College. In her role at the Guild, her responsibilities include community engagement, forestry education coordination, and forest restoration project management.
Dayl comes to the Guild with a love of the Southwestern wilderness and many seasons of environmental field work under her belt. Her background lies in ecological monitoring—conducting botanical and soil surveys—and technical trail maintenance projects—constructing rock and timber structures and cutting new tread. She also has experience working as a sawyer on forest thinning treatments, and in prescribed fire, wilderness medicine, native habitat restoration, and permaculture design. She studied the intersection of sustainable agriculture and earthen construction techniques and received her Directed Studies degree (B.A.) from Northland College. Dayl was drawn to the Guild because she wants to engage in work that supports and enhances the health of our forests and the communities that surround them. When not at work, you might find Dayl drawing pen and ink critters, tending to her plants, playing her flute, or getting outside and being active.