Conservation Trust for North Carolina is the proud host organization for AmeriCorps, a 10-month national service program in environmental education and outreach. Through CTNC AmeriCorps, we seek to reconnect people with the outdoors and to develop future leaders in conservation.

Kate Conery
North Carolina Coastal Federation

Kate is serving at the North Carolina Coastal Federation in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as the coastal community engagement specialist. She’s originally from the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York but moved to Wilmington in 2012. She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and minor in geospatial technologies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As a former intern of the federation, Kate was thrilled to come on board as an AmeriCorps member. She will be designing and implementing education programs, working on oyster restoration and stormwater runoff initiatives and working with volunteers in coastal communities. She also previously interned for the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. Through these opportunities, she was able to share her love of the environment with others. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga and playing with her dogs.

Michelle Durr
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

Michelle is serving at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in Asheville, N.C., As the Roan Highlands volunteer and outreach associate, Michelle focuses on stewardship efforts and outreach opportunities for those in surrounding areas. She is a recent graduate of Eckerd College with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. Most recently, Michelle worked as a unit leader at Camp Arrowhead in Lewes, Delaware and as a FoodCorps service member at the Kona Pacific School in Hawaii. “I am passionate about the southern Appalachian region and am excited to serve with CTNC to ensure that future generations can have the same experience.”

Anne Maxwell Ellett
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Anne Maxwell is an environmental educator for Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA). Prior to joining ECWA, she was an environmental educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Maryland after graduating UNC-Chapel Hill. During her time at UNC, Anne Maxwell studied biology and marine science and spent a semester in the Galapagos Islands studying marine ecology. At ECWA, Anne Maxwell leads Family Explorers Club and Explorers Club and also assists with nature walks: all of which aim to get Durham residents, big and small, outside and connected with Ellerbe Creek. She is also involved with the planning and implementation of volunteer workdays, assists with outreach for various programs through social media platforms and helps with fundraising for the education program. It was during her undergraduate career that her love for environmental science and educating the public was solidified.

Kristin Gibson
North Carolina Coastal Federation

Kristin is serving as the Coastal Community Engagement Specialist at the North Carolina Coastal Federation central office in Newport, North Carolina. During her time at the Coastal Federation, Kristin will be working with volunteers, creating and implementing educational programs for K-12-aged students, and participating in restoration projects. Kristin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in December 2016 earning her degree in Environmental Studies. Her passion for the environment was solidified during her time studying ecology in Germany. She began to focus on coastal ecology when she interned at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. In the future, Kristin hopes to attend graduate school for Environmental Science.

Emily Goetz
Bald Head Island Conservancy

Emily Goetz is serving as the community outreach and stewardship coordinator at the Bald Head Island Conservancy. She studied conservation biology at Middlebury College and has since used her degree in the areas of coastal field research and environmental education. She is particularly excited to apply these skills to her term as a CTNC AmeriCorps member, where she is contributing to public outreach efforts, developing citizen science projects and stewardship management practices, and assisting with volunteer coordination. While Emily enjoys working outdoors in any capacity, she especially loves introducing others to outdoor exploration. “During my service term, I hope to encourage more kids (and adults) to get outside, get muddy and climb trees.”

April Hausle
North Carolina Arboretum

April is serving as community outreach coordinator at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, N.C. Growing up in North Carolina, April was always taught by her family and community to cherish nature and time spent outdoors. She believes that educational experiences in nature should be available for all people and strives to make that possible through her position as a CTNC AmeriCorps member. April received her bachelor’s degree from UNC-Asheville where she studied international studies, Spanish and ecology. During her time at UNC-Asheville, April managed a community garden on campus and interned at Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). Since graduating in 2015, April has stayed active in the community by participating in a volunteer ESL program through International House in Charlotte, N.C., and engaging in various community gardening efforts. In her leisure time, April enjoys running or walking in the forest, riding her bike, singing, making crafts, dancing,and being with all the people she loves.

Jonathan Hill
Keep Durham Beautiful

Jonathan Hill serves as Keep Durham Beautiful’s community outreach and volunteer coordinator. Born in Durham and raised in Raleigh, Jonathan returned to his hometown to attend Duke University, where he graduated with highest honors and a dual degree in public policy and history. Jonathan fell in love with the environment through course work and his time with the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps. He has worked as a lobbyist for environmental groups on the state and federal level and currently serves on CTNC’s Future Leaders of Conservation board. Jonathan joined CTNC AmeriCorps to continue serving environmental nonprofits in his native state and has coordinated record-breaking litter cleanups. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys visiting historical sites and going on runs or vigorous hikes on trails less traveled throughout North Carolina and beyond.

Lauren Huffstetler
Piedmont Triad Regional Council
Lauren is serving as an environmental educator with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council in Kernersville, N.C. She holds a B.S. in environmental sciences with a minor in applied ecology from N.C. State University. College coursework and past work experiences with N.C. Coastal Reserve & NC National Estuarine Research Reserve and NCSU’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology led her to pursue a career in environmental education. While serving with PTRC, she assists in coordinating the Stormwater SMART program by facilitating community volunteer events and providing environmental education on water quality and conservation issues. Born and raised in North Carolina, Lauren’s free time is spent traveling and exploring the outdoors as much as possible. “I love the diverse landscape of our state and hope to foster a love and appreciation of this diversity in others. I joined CTNC AmeriCorps to inspire others to take ownership of their environment.”

Reilly Kelly
North Carolina Coastal Federation
Reilly Kelly is serving at the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s northeast office in Wanchese, N.C. as the coastal community engagement specialist. As a CTNC AmeriCorps member, she will be creating and implementing environmental education programs, assisting with volunteer management and helping with the Federation’s restoration projects. Reilly graduated from Mary Baldwin University in May of 2017 earning a B.S. in biology with a minor in math. Although she attended school in the Shenandoah Valley, she is a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Growing up on the coast is what fostered her love for the ocean and surrounding habitats. “I am excited to motivate my community, through CTNC AmeriCorps, to get outdoors and learn about the beautiful ecosystems that surround them.”

Dawn Keyser
Keep Durham Beautiful

Dawn is serving as the environmental outreach and volunteer coordinator at Keep Durham Beautiful. She was born and raised in Moore County, N.C., and now lives in Raleigh. Dawn earned her B.S. in zoology from N.C. State University and worked at the Wake County Animal Shelter and as a vet assistant. She is passionate about all things concerning animal and environmental welfare, conservation and waste reduction. Dawn is also passionate about service and is always finding new ways to volunteer. She has spent many years volunteering in the Mammal Collections Department of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the Well Fed Community Garden and as a board member of Oaks & Spokes, a Raleigh-based cycling advocacy group. When she’s not picking up roadside trash or trying to convince people to bring their own cups to get coffee, Dawn is enjoying the company of her two cats and foster kittens, working in the yard, doing yoga and attending as many bike events as she can. “After many years of experience in the food-service industry and witnessing the waste that occurs there, I decided that the work that called me most was waste management and sustainability.”

Kayla Kohlmann
Piedmont Triad Regional Council

Kayla is serving at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council in Kernersville, N.C., as the Piedmont Legacy Trails coordinator. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in environmental biology and ecology, a minor in geography and a certificate in GIS. Kayla is working on a regional trails initiative in the Piedmont and hopes to connect the local communities to nature while increasing wellness. Some of her goals include organizing a 12-county trail system database, building/maintaining a mile of trails while leading volunteers, and organizing a trails summit for 2018. Growing up, Kayla spent a lot of time outdoors and grew to love animals and nature. In her free time, Kayla enjoys watching movies, hiking, walking on trails and spending time with her dog. She grew up in Kernersville and is proud to come back and serve in her hometown. “I joined CTNC AmeriCorps to pursue my passion for environmental stewardship and outreach. I hope to spark that same passion in others across the Piedmont-Triad region.”

Ashley Meredith
Durham Public Schools Hub Farm 

Ashley is serving as the curriculum development & volunteer coordinator at the Hub Farm where she coordinates volunteer workdays, manages the farm’s social media presence and helps lead field trips. Originally from Virginia, Ashley has spent a lot of time in the mountain forests of the Blue Ridge, the marshes of the Chesapeake Bay and everywhere in between. It was these outdoor experiences that cultivated her love of the outdoors, as well as a need to share it with others! She is excited to witness others as they experience new aspects of nature for the first time. Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology and conservation/marine biology from the College of William & Mary. After farm hours, you can find Ashley out hiking/climbing, cooking or playing volleyball!

Jannette Morris
Eno River Association

Jannette is serving at the Eno River Association in Durham as their conservation and education coordinator. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2015 with a B.S. in geology and environmental science. At William and Mary, she had the opportunity to conduct geologic fieldwork across the states of Virginia, Arizona and Utah. Jannette’s undergraduate research thesis centered on understanding landscape changes in several Appalachian Mountain watersheds in western Virginia. Since graduating, she gained a variety of experiences in environmental education, including working with and presenting raptors, reptiles, and amphibians at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Georgia, and working with and teaching about plankton, oyster reefs, and nearshore estuarine environments at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland. At the Eno River Association, she is leading education and outreach programming about the Eno River and surrounding conservation lands, monitoring conservation lands, and leading volunteer workdays to maintain trails, remove invasive species and remove litter. She is passionate about strategy board games, traveling, singing, dancing and chocolate!

Joy-Lynn Rhoton
Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Joy-Lynn graduated in May 2016 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and a minor in marine science. She has a passion for water resource conservation and water quality. Through CTNC AmeriCorps, Joy-Lynn hopes to educate those in the Highlands and Cashiers communities through stewardship of the trails, leading environmental education programs and being a ranger for the public properties and trails. Furthermore, she will be in charge of the volunteers for the trail creation on Brushy Face. Joy-Lynn looks forward to earning N.C. Environmental Education Certification and further developing her skills in environmental education, GIS analysis and volunteer management. After the completion of her AmeriCorps service term, Joy-Lynn plans to apply to be a park ranger with the North Carolina State Parks. “The Highlands and Cashiers communities are beautiful and already in the mindset of conservation. I believe that the next generation is the key to the future of conservation, and I would like to keep the conservation mindset of the community by educating the youth about different environmental topics and their connections to the world outside of their homes.”

Molly Richard
Triangle Land Conservancy

Molly is serving as the community outreach and education associate at Triangle Land Conservancy. She graduated from Iowa State University with her B.S. in animal ecology. Molly is responsible for providing volunteer opportunities and environmental education to under-served communities; as well as managing TLC’s Citizen Science and Hiking Challenge programs to increase community involvement at TLC preserves. Molly joined CTNC AmeriCorps to further her ability to communicate with people about nature. “I enjoy serving because I get to teach and inspire kids and adults to love the outdoors as much as I do.”

Bethany Sheffer
Balsam Mountain Trust

Bethany earned her B.A. in public administration and liberal studies on social and political development in Latin America with a minor in Spanish from Grand Valley State University located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned her Master in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit leadership in 2016. A native to the forested lands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she grew up exploring nearby creeks and catching crayfish in the tiny town of Rapid River. These experiences, paired with her father’s enthusiasm for the outdoors, instilled a lifelong appreciation of the natural world. Bethany is thrilled to be serving at Balsam Mountain Trust where she hopes to not only contribute her nonprofit expertise but gain quality experience sharing the wonders of the natural world with underserved populations in western N.C. She relishes every moment outdoors in the mountains and enjoys hiking, biking, drawing, traveling and hanging out with her two cockatiels in her free time.

Jade Woll
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

Jade attended Lynchburg College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science with a minor in studio art. Jade will serve as N.C. Coastal Land Trust’s environmental education and volunteer coordinator where she leads creating a pollinator curriculum, which will then be implemented into local schools, along with Venus flytrap and Longleaf curriculums. She is also working to expand NCCLT’s environmental education program to three new counties along the coastal plain. While working at MarineQuest this past summer, Jade was searching for positions that would allow her to continue working in the environmental education field along the coast. “I knew that working with the Land Trust would be an amazing opportunity to connect with my community and build relationships with other members who have similar passions in land conservation and education.”