The Stewardship Team
John Cecil is Vice President for Stewardship for New Jersey Audubon, where he provides leadership and oversight to New Jersey Audubon's stewardship-related activities. John joined New Jersey Audubon in 2012.
Prior to joining New Jersey Audubon, John spent approximately 10 years with the National Audubon Society as the national Director of the Important Bird Areas Program. In that role John provided guidance and strategic vision to Important Bird Areas activities at the state and national levels, with a particular emphasis on site identification, prioritization, monitoring, and conservation planning and implementation. John served as the National Audubon Society's representative to several national and international organizations and partnerships, including the U.S. Shorebird Council (serving as Chair from 2006–2012), the U.S. National Ramsar Committee, Partners In Flight, and the BirdLife Americas Partnership. He provided staff support to the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Council and served as a board member of the Bahamas National Trust.
John previously worked for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Nongame Wildlife Program, where he was involved with wildlife research and monitoring projects in the southern Appalachian Mountains. John has also worked for several other state wildlife agencies in Delaware, Florida, and Virginia.
John received an M.S. from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where his research focused on the management of early successional habitat in roadside rights-of-way for the benefit of wildlife. He received a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Frostburg State University.
John has been involved in conservation activities benefiting a wide variety of wildlife, including: freshwater mussels, American Alligators, Bog Turtles, Southern Appalachian and Allegheny Woodrats, Northern Flying Squirrels, Wood Ducks, Mottled Ducks, Peregrine Falcons, songbirds, Piping Plovers, Wilson's Plovers, and numerous colonial waterbirds. John's conservation and birding interests have led him to travel extensively throughout the United States and the Americas.
John Parke is Stewardship Project Director--North Jersey for New Jersey Audubon. He has been with New Jersey Audubon since 2005 helping to enroll a multitude of farmers, landowners, and corporate entities into various conservation incentive programs. John also designs and assists with implementation of numerous habitat restoration projects in the northwestern part of the state on both private and public lands. In 2007 John's habitat restoration plan design for the Verizon Corporate Campus in Basking Ridge, NJ earned Verizon the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for the Healthy Ecosystem Category and in 2011 John's work with Troy Ettel on NJ Audubon's S.A.V.E. initiative earned NJ Audubon the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for the Land Conservation Category.
John received his B.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Geoscience from Ramapo State College of New Jersey. He has over 16 years of experience working in private-sector environmental consulting, where he served as Senior Biologist/Wetland Specialist as well as Project Manager for the ecological division of Brennan Environmental, Inc. John is also a certified Professional Wetland Scientist with the Society of Wetland Scientists and a Certified Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America. John is an alumnus of Class VIII of the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program and is extremely active with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Conservation Corps.
Jean Lynch is Stewardship Project Director--South Jersey for New Jersey Audubon and also oversees the Important Bird and Birding Areas program. She works with public and private landowners to restore native ecosystems and enhance habitat availability for native species.
Before joining the New Jersey Audubon staff, Jean was the Coastal Region Biologist for the North Carolina State Parks system. At NC State Parks she worked on restoration and management of a range of coastal plain ecosystems, from longleaf pine to pocosin to salt marsh. Jean is experienced with the use of prescribed fire in ecosystem management and with control of invasive species. She has performed monitoring and habitat management for a number of rare and endangered species, including Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Wilson's and Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns, several sea turtle species, and Venus flytraps. Jean has also worked on wading bird habitat in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary; on a colonial waterbird nesting island off the coast of Maine; and at a prescribed fire demonstration site in the Long Island Pine Barrens.
Jean has a Master's Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, where her training focused on landscape ecology and restoration and management of wetlands and fire-dependent ecosystems. She has a certificate in geospatial analysis from Duke University and is a certified wildland firefighter. Her bachelor's degree is from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is based at New Jersey Audubon's Center for Research and Education in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.
Don Donnelly is Stewardship Project Director--Forester for New Jersey Audubon, and oversees the forestry initiatives being undertaken by NJAS throughout the state, with a focus on ecological forestry at a landscape scale.
Don obtained his B.S. in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Forest Management from Rutgers University. Don has 17 years of experience working as a forester for several government agencies, including the Hunterdon County Parks Department, the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, and the Morris County Soil Conservation District. Don's work has included all aspects of wildlife and natural resource habitat improvements, including traditional forest inventory measurements, invasive species management, wetland and stream restoration projects, wildlife habitat enhancement, and timber management. Don also holds credentials as a NJ Approved Forester and NJ Certified Tree Expert. He is accredited by the NJ Community Forestry Council, is a Qualified Inspector for the American Tree Farm System and is certified as a Wildland Firefighter by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
Gylla MacGregor is Project Director - GIS for New Jersey Audubon. In addition to working on habitat restoration projects on both state and private land, she also oversees NJAS's 28 unstaffed sanctuaries and two conservation easements. Gylla is responsible for acquisition, trail installation and maintenance, biodiversity inventory, and land stewardship of NJAS property holdings. She also uses her extensive GIS/GPS experience to apply mapping and spatial analysis to restoration projects. Gylla has been involved in field research since 1996, working primarily with small mammals and reptiles. She has focused on habitat use, specifically the impact of habitat disturbance on small mammals, reptiles, and the Regal Fritillary butterfly. Gylla has also used radiotelemetry, GIS, and GPS to study habitat use and behavior in reptiles.
Gylla received her B.A. in Biology from The College of New Jersey, and her Master's degree in Biology/Ecology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Gylla holds a current NJDEP Commercial Pesticide Applicator License and has taken advanced courses in GIS, including spatial analysis and remote sensing.
Suzanne Treyger is Stewardship Project Coordinator with New Jersey Audubon, where her work is focused on wildlife habitat management and restoration on public and private lands, public outreach activities, managing data for the Important Bird and Birding Areas Program, and coordinating volunteers. Suzanne has more than ten years of experience working as a field biologist on numerous wildlife projects, including wintering Hermit Thrushes, Eastern Bluebirds, Piping Plovers, Blanding's turtles, and big and little brown bats. She has conducted breeding bird surveys, habitat assessments, and wildlife and vegetation monitoring throughout the eastern U.S., and has worked in a variety of habitat types for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, Cornell University, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Suzanne is experienced with radio telemetry, GIS, and banding songbirds. She also taught horticulture and environmental science to middle school students in Danville, Virginia, for two years.
Suzanne received a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of New Hampshire, and a M.S. in Natural Resources Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where her research focused on invasive species management issues on private lands in the Adirondack State Park.
Jeremy Caggiano, Stewardship Project Coordinator – Forester for NJA, serves as the crew leader for landscape level forest inventories throughout northern New Jersey and works closely with the organization's Stewardship Project Directors on various program initiatives including their Forest Stewardship Council Group certification efforts.
Jeremy earned his B.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine's School of Forest Resources and has been practicing his trade throughout the northeast and inland northwestern regions of the United States for more than a decade. He is an active member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and several state forestry and timber product associations. Jeremy holds certification as a Wildland Firefighter and is certified as a Wetland Delineator by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to his work with NJA, Jeremy was Director of Stewardship for one of New York's foremost nongovernmental conservation organizations. In this role he assumed responsibility as a SmartWood Group Manager and worked directly with international certification bodies to develop guiding policies promoting sustainability through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Jeremy has overseen large scale forest inventory, timber marking, prescription burn, and sale activities as a Certified Forester and is owner and proprietor of a natural resources consulting firm.
Lisa Dunne is Stewardship Technician—Forestry working on forest inventories on public and private land throughout North Jersey. Lisa earned a B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from Rutgers University's Cook College.
Before starting with NJA, Lisa worked for the Winooski Valley Park District in northwestern Vermont as an environmental educator focusing on invasive species identification and removal. She has also served as an AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. In this position she surveyed waterways throughout the state and identified problem areas for restoration.
Liz O'Rourke is Stewardship Technician—Forestry and is based in North Jersey. She conducts forest inventories on public and private lands, including the Sparta Wildlife Management Area and more than 30,000 acres in the Pequannock Watershed.
Liz received a B.S. in Environmental and Natural Resources with a concentration in Conservation Biology from Clemson University's Calhoun Honors College. At Clemson she worked on a research project that focused on the function of microbial fuel cells in intermittent wetlands, earning an Honorable Mention in an EPA P3 Competition. After graduation Liz volunteered for the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. She was involved in a variety of conservation projects and fieldwork, including wetland and stream restoration, wildlife habitat creation, and land surveying.
Kristen Meistrell is Stewardship Technician—South Region for New Jersey Audubon and works closely with the Stewardship team on habitat management and restoration. She participates in a variety of projects on both private and public lands, working to create healthier ecosystems while also restoring and managing habitats for native wildlife and plants.
Kristen earned her B.S. in ecology and natural resources from Cook College, Rutgers University, and has more than three years of field biology and environmental education experience. During college, she worked as a seasonal naturalist for both the Hunterdon County and Somerset County Parks Departments, where she created and presented environmental education programs for children and adults. She worked with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program, studying a variety of rare wildlife species, including Bog Turtles, Wood Turtles, Longtail Salamanders, Timber Rattlesnakes, and various vernal pool species. Kristen has experience working with radio telemetry and GIS technology as well as habitat assessment and habitat management projects. She regularly volunteers for the Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project as well as amphibian migration surveys and continues to participate in other volunteer opportunities with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and the Wildlife Conservation Corps.
Judith Bland has been a Volunteer with the Conservation and Stewardship group of New Jersey Audubon since 2004. She continues to be involved in a variety of NJAS activities including stuffing envelopes, refinishing furniture, clearing brush, writing, and editing. Judith has completed more than one thousand hours of volunteer work and is well on her way to two thousand.
Judith earned a B.A. degree in Biology from Thomas More College; and then completed both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Ecological Microbiology at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. Prior to retirement Judith worked in a variety of positions, including postdoctoral appointments, teaching, research, and environmental work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Associate Naturalists and Conservation Interns
- Joseph Hernandez – Associate Naturalist
- Nathaniel Hernandez – Associate Naturalist
- Silas Hernandez – Associate Naturalist
- Ruth Murphy – Conservation Intern
- Wade Veselka – Conservation Intern