Executive Leadership

Dr Lenore Tedesco

Executive Director


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.

Information on Dr. Tedesco

Dr. Tedesco’s vision statement 

One Page Bio


Dr Lisa Ferguson

Director of Research and Conservation


As the Director of the Research and Conservation Department, Lisa oversees diverse programs focused on coastal birds, diamondback terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and wetlands health and restoration. She prioritizes opportunities for collaboration, early-career development, and community engagement in the department. Her work explores the ecology of coastal species and habitats to address conservation, restoration, and management needs. Lisa received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology at Clemson University and joined The Wetlands Institute in her current position in 2013.

Julie Blum

Research Scientist 


Julie Blum joined us as a Research Scientist in August of 2022. She has a strong background in coastal landscape dynamics, and will work with the Institute to improve tidal marsh management and increase resilience by investigating the ecological, geological, and chemical factors related to coastal change.

Julie received a Master of Science in the Ecology and Evolution program at Rutgers University in 2020. Earlier in her career, she earned a Bachelor of Science at Gettysburg College and spent several years working with various State and Federal agencies on data collection, data management, and geospatial analysis related to watersheds, water quality, coastal geomorphology, and climate resilience. 


Samantha Collins

Research Scientist 


As a Research Scientist, Samantha (Sam) Collins helps manage coastal bird research projects and conservation efforts at The Wetlands Institute. Her research focuses on filling data gaps related to avian habitat use, population trends, nesting ecology, and species response to habitat restoration and enhancement efforts. Sam received a Master of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University in 2012 after completing a research project investigating limiting factors for American Oystercatchers nesting within a key area, and testing methods to enhance reproductive success for the species. She joined The Wetlands Institute in 2019 with an extensive background in avian research and monitoring, coastal habitat planning, and database management.


Meghan Kolk

Conservation Scientist


As The Wetlands Institute’s Conservation Scientist, Meghan Kolk oversees the Shorebird Steward Program and co-leads reTURN the Favor, a multi-partner horseshoe crab conservation program. She also contributes to various coastal bird research and conservation projects, specializing in beach-nesting birds. Meghan graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and joined The Wetlands Institute in 2022 with a background in threatened and endangered species management and habitat restoration in New Jersey.

Amanda Lyons

Research & Conservation Coordinator


As Research and Conservation Coordinator, Amanda Lyons plays an integral role in teaching and mentorship of our Coastal Conservation Research Program interns and contributes to research projects across the department, with her focus primarily on diamondback terrapins, wetland ecosystems, and horseshoe crabs. In 2021, Amanda received a Master of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Brown University, where her research focused on terrapin genetics. She began her current position at The Wetlands Institute in 2022 after several years of involvement with the Institute’s diamondback terrapin and horseshoe crab conservation initiatives.

Brian Williamson

Research Scientist


As a Research Scientist at The Wetlands Institute, Brian Williamson has been working since 2014 to continue our long-term diamondback terrapin research and conservation program, and also conducts research on other reptiles and amphibians, including eastern box turtles and gray tree frogs. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Science from Roger Williams University, and a Master of Science in Biology from Marshall University. Brian has over 15 years of experience working with reptiles and amphibians, and his past research experience includes work conducted on diamondback terrapins and eastern box turtles, as well as a variety of other species.

Environmental Education

Brooke Knapick

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.

Danielle Meeker

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.

Kelianne O’Shea

Environmental Educator


As Environmental Educator at The Wetlands Institute, Kelianne is responsible for the development and facilitation of environmental education programs for school, homeschool, and scout groups. She also manages The Wetlands Institute’s Summer Nature Program, which engages children ages 4-13 in hands-on summer fun through science experimentation and exploration of our coastal environment.

Erin Rawls

Outreach Coordinator


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.

Development & Communications

Devin Griffiths

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.


Carol Wyland

Director of Finance


Carol Wyland assumed the Director of Finance position at The Wetlands Institute in July, 2022.  She joined TWI last year and was previously in Visitor Services. Carol brings a very strong background in finance and financial planning, budgeting and forecasting, expense management, and financial reporting, with over 35 years of experience, primarily in the pharmaceutical sector. She earned her BS in Accounting and MBA from Villanova University.

Terrie Campbell

Finance Administrator


Terrie works with the Finance Manager on 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. Terrie has also been known to jump in as a maintenance tech when needed. 

Christine Whaley

Finance Analyst


Christine graduated from Stockton University in 2022 and joined the Finance Department in November 2023. She closely collaborates with the Director of Finance, managing monthly accounting processes, preparing budgets and financial statements, and reconciling inventory records. Christine is also a licensed Notary Public.


Anne Brickley

Director of Administration


Anne Brickley joined The Wetlands Institute as Director of Administration in March 2022. Anne has 10 years of Human Resources and Operational Management experience, including over five years in the nonprofit sector. Anne has numerous community interests including working part-time as a lighthouse keeper for Cape May MAC and several years prior having worked with the Disabled American Veterans in Del Haven. Anne is now looking forward to supporting The Wetlands Institute in her new role and working with the community who so graciously support TWI.

Kirsten Chervenak

Visitor Services Coordinator


Kirsten joined The Wetlands Institute team as our Visitor Services Coordinator in August 2022. Growing up in the mountains of northern New Jersey, she has always had a passion for the environment and all nature has to offer. She has a background in environmental science and forest management from time spent attaining a Bachelor’s degree from Stockton University.

Kirsten has had opportunities to travel the country – and the globe – exploring various places like several US national parks, South Korea, and much of Greece. She spends her time outside of TWI exploring with her son and serving as an armament specialist in the New Jersey Air National Guard. Kirsten is excited to be a part of TWI and working for an institution with such an amazing purpose.

Kimberly Dmytro

Tidepool Shop Manager


Kimberly works full-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.