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. Tedesco’s vision statement
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.
Julie Blum joined us as a Research Scientist in early August. 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.
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.
Meghan joined the Research and Conservation Department at The Wetlands Institute in early May. Prior to joining us, Meghan spent five years as a wildlife biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. For four of those years she served as a partner biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the New Jersey Field Office, where she managed conservation and restoration projects on military lands and developed Beach Management Plans for the protection and recovery of threatened and endangered beach species. In addition to working with shorebirds and beach-nesting birds, Meghan has experience working with grassland bird species, barn owls, bats, and horseshoe crabs. She earned a B.S. in Biology at The College of New Jersey.
Research & Conservation Coordinator
Amanda Lyons joined The Wetlands Institute as Research and Conservation Coordinator in May 2022, after several years of involvement in our Research and Conservation department, first as a CCRP intern in 2018, then as a Visiting Undergraduate Researcher while conducting genetic research on diamondback terrapins in 2019, and finally as a Research Assistant in 2021-2022. She received her Bachelor of Science in 2020 and Master of Science in 2021, both from Brown University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is very excited to join the team full-time, become more involved in teaching and mentorship of our Coastal Conservation Research Program interns, and continue to contribute to research across the department.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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 the Director of Development assisting with donor database maintenance, maintaining memberships, and communicating with all of the Institute’s friends and supporters.
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 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.
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.
Visitor Services Coordinator
Kirsten Chervenak joined the Wetlands Institute team as our Visitor Services Coordinator in August. 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 Yellowstone National Park, South Korea, and much of Greece. She spends her time outside of the Wetlands exploring with her son and serving as an armament specialist in the New Jersey Air National Guard. Kirsten is so excited to be a part of TWI and is looking forward to working for an institution with such an amazing purpose.
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 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.