This year, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is excited to welcome five new members of AmeriCorps Project Conserve. Over the next eleven months, each member will serve over 1,700 hours and help CMLC build and maintain countless trails, coordinate volunteers, steward conserved land, remove invasive species, educate the public, create and lead outreach programs, and plan events.
In this 12th year of AmeriCorps Project Conserve, 32 individuals were placed in full-time service positions at 18 non-profit organizations across Western North Carolina. Each member serves at least 1,700 hours over their 11-month term. Service is focused on fulfilling environmental and conservation needs in the region. Read more about how Project Conserve began or visit the AmeriCorps Project Conserve Website.
From Left to Right: Kate Lis, Jonathon Feldman, Adrienne Brown, Jen Adams and Madison Olle
Habitat Restoration Associate
Jen grew up in a small town in New Hampshire where her love for the environment first developed. She attended Elon University in North Carolina where she received a BS in Environmental and Ecological Science and a BA in International Studies with minors in Statistics and Biology. Her passion for non-profit work began when she joined a humanitarian aid organization at Elon called Periclean Scholars, which focused on youth and community development in Honduras and in the local Latino population. During Jen’s senior year, she worked on a project with the Haw River Trail and Alamance Recreation and Parks to survey exotic invasive plants along the Haw River and develop management plans for park staff. She looks forward to using her passion and experience to serve as the Habitat Restoration Associate for CMLC this AmeriCorps term.
Community Outreach & Education Associate
Adrienne had a diverse childhood filled with experiences that cultivated a love of nature within her. Her combined interests in environmental protection and cultural studies brought her to Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she received a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in German Studies. Her childhood spent exploring WNC drew her to service with AmeriCorps Project Conserve. As Community Outreach & Education Associate, she is looking forward to using her experience in outreach to grow the local connection to CMLC and the work our organization does. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her family and spending time on her family’s conservation easement in Pisgah Forest with her cat Uwharrie. When she is not here in WNC, she is most likely to be found in Germany.
Jonathan was born in Florida, but has lived in many other states throughout his life. He spent the last four years in North Carolina earning his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Greensboro in Recreation & Parks Management with minors in political science and geography. Since living in North Carolina he has fallen in the love with these old rugged mountains, spending many a day hiking and backpacking throughout western NC. He started his environmental stewardship career working with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Green Mountain Club, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks before coming to the CMLC. Jonathan hopes to put many miles of trail on the ground and inspire more people to get outside. Also, his dog is awesome.
Kate Lis was born and raised in central Massachusetts. She moved to Boone, NC after high school where she realized an appetite for the great outdoors. Unsure of what to study, she decided to leave Boone as a freshman at Appalachian State University and live, work, and climb the wild Midwest of Wyoming and Colorado. There she studied a little graphic design and realized that commercialized art was not for her. In Colorado, Kate first experienced conservation work with long days on the Great Thompson River removing Russian olive trees. Recognizing her love for the more welcoming western NC Mountains, and overwhelmed by the greatness of the west, Kate returned to Boone with an interest in biology and finished her studies in Ecology, some biochemistry, and GIS. In the midst of her university education Kate worked in the outskirts of the Amazon in Ecuador for a cacao pollination study, volunteered for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and spent time in both the ASU Cliff Ecology and Plant-Insect Interactions labs helping in the field, rearing plants, genetic analysis, and chemistry work.
Volunteer & Community Engagement Associate
Madison grew up in Charlotte, NC, but was ready for a change of scenery and ventured off to the Blue Ridge Mountains to attend the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She knew she wanted to save animals and the environment, but wasn’t sure how to do so. The road to her major changed constantly – Photojournalism, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, New Media... She finally decided to take advantage of UNC Asheville’s option to create your own major. Through the Interdisciplinary Studies program option she received a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Individual Degree Concentration in Environmental Non-Profit Communications. During her senior year of college, she joined Brother Wolf Animal Rescue as their Operations and Outreach Intern. Madison is passionate about protecting animals, but she also wants to adventure further into the natural world as a whole. She is excited to serve as the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate with CMLC and hopes to experience more of Western North Carolina with the great people she will meet.