Dr Lenore Tedesco
As the Executive Director, Lenore is responsible for leadership of The Wetlands Institute. She is developing an expanded vision of the Institute and implementing its mission with the staff and board. Lenore is responsible for the development of research, conservation and education programs, Institute public relations and fundraising. She works with the board, staff, and community to sustain a group of year-round volunteers, and promoting special events. Dr. Tedesco will continue to announce new initiatives and partnerships as the Wetlands Institute enters its next phase of growth and development.
Dr Lisa Ferguson
Director of Research and Conservation
As the Director of Research and Conservation, Lisa oversees a diverse coastal and wetlands research program that supports the vision of The Wetlands Institute. Lisa collaborates with visiting scientists, university students, and numerous partners in the development of conservation-focused research, and works closely with the Institute’s Education Program. Her research explores the habitat use, health, and behavior of coastal birds to address management and conservation issues.
Director of Finance and Administration
As Director of Finance, Bonnie manages the accounting / bookkeeping activities of the Institute and ensures that we are adhering to all Governmental Laws and Regulations and Accounting Standards. Bonnie’s various other responsibilities include: HR and payroll related issues, insurance coverage for both the employees and for the institute, technology updates/training support and other administrative requests from the Executive Director.
Director of Educational Program Development
As Director of Educational Program Development, Brooke is responsible for expansion of environmental education programs for children, youth and the general public at The Wetlands Institute and throughout southern New Jersey. Her primary responsibilities include developing unique place-based environmental education curriculum and content across all ages, assessing program impact and seeking new opportunities to consistently strive for excellence as the Institute develops nationally competitive educational programs.
Sam joined The Wetlands Institute as a research scientist in April 2019 to assist with ongoing efforts to monitor sensitive nesting species and assist in the development of conservation-focused research. Her research focus involves avian habitat use, nesting ecology, behavior and response to habitat restoration and enhancement efforts. Sam received her Bachelor’s degree from University of Vermont and earned her Master’s degree from Clemson University.
Brittany joined the Research and Conservation Department as a research associate in the spring of 2018. She has previously worked seasonally with The Wetlands Institute monitoring American Oystercatchers and Piping Plovers at Stone Harbor Point. After graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Penn State University she continued to work with seabird species in Maine and band owls in Idaho. Brittany will be conducting avian surveys on Ring Island and helping out on many other projects involving diamond back terrapins, shorebirds, and horseshoe crabs.
Brian was hired in October 2013 to oversee Diamondback Terrapin research and conservation projects at The Wetlands Institute. Brian graduated with a Master’s degree in Biology from Marshall University and has studied Diamondback Terrapins and Eastern Box Turtles.
Aquarist / Environmental Educator
Danielle is responsible for taking care of the aquarium exhibits and marine animals. All animals are well-fed, safe, happy, healthy and fun to watch thanks to her weekly maintenance and supervision. Danielle also assists with educational programs both at the Institute and on Traveling Environmental Education and Group Outreach Programs.
As Outreach Coordinator, Erin brings live animals and interactive Traveling Environmental Education and Group Outreach Programs to schools, libraries, campgrounds and other organizations throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Erin is also responsible for the coordination and management of the Science Education at Sea (SEAS) Program in Wildwood Crest, NJ and assists with all educational programs at The Wetlands Institute.
As Environmental Educator at The Wetlands Institute, Sue is responsible for the development and facilitation of environmental education programs to school and homeschool groups, as well as Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. She also manages The Wetlands Institute’s Summer Nature Program, which involves creating week-long themed activities, planning field trips, coordinating seasonal instructors, and supervising the Institute’s Summer Nature Program junior volunteers.
Development & Communications
Kristen Egan leads the Development team and is responsible for the strategic oversight and implementation of the Institute’s fundraising and donor stewardship programs. Kristen joined the Wetlands Institute family in March 2021 and is excited to return to the area. Kristen spent summers in Avalon and Stone Harbor and is passionate about the coastal community and helping to raise awareness of the Institute’s mission.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Devin joined The Wetlands Institute in May 2019, jumping with both feet into the role of Marketing and Communications Specialist. In this capacity, he’s responsible for managing the Institute’s communications–highlighting the Institute’s work in research, conservation, and education, keeping the public up-to-date on news and events, and helping ensure that its message and mission are widely received and enthusiastically supported.
Rae Griffiths started at the Institute in the summer of 2020, welcoming visitors as part of the front desk team. She began supporting office operations shortly after and now works closely with Kristen on the Development team assisting with donor database maintenance, maintaining memberships, and communicating with all of the Institute’s friends and supporters.
Financial Administrative Assistant
Terrie assists the Director of Finance and Administration with Accounting / Bookkeeping duties for daily, weekly and, monthly posting as well as reviewing, reporting, and reconciling accounts receivable and accounts payable. Terrie also assists with HR, insurance & administrative needs for the Institute. She works with the Administrative Assistant overseeing facility operations and Admissions & Front Desk activities as well as with the maintenance technician for facility needs. Terrie has also been known to jump in as a maintenance tech when needed.
Jeff Dix, a South Jersey native, joined The Wetlands Institute as our Maintenance Technician in February 2020. Growing up along – and often in – South Jersey’s bays and tidal creeks, he quickly developed a great love of the outdoors – a love that he’s never lost. Having over 30 years of experience in carpentry (he recently retired from the carpenters’ union), as well as in property maintenance, construction, landscaping, plumbing and electrical, Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge that will keep The Wetlands Institute’s buildings and property in tip-top shape for all our visitors.
Tidepool Shop Manager
Kimberly works part-time in the Institute’s Tidepool Shop. She joined us in 2017. She and her staff keep shop’s shelves stocked with fantastic books, art, toys, apparel, games and guides that appeal to any age group.
Front Desk Receptionist / Admissions Coordinator
Stephanie works part-time at our front desk. In addition to greeting and admitting visitors, she answers phone calls and provides information about our programs.