Staff

Michele Richards – President/Director

Bringing a Master Naturalist program to Pennsylvania has been one of Michele’s passions. She serves as the President and Director of the organization and is based in northeastern Pennsylvania. Since attending Juniata college, she has directed her career towards natural resource education and conservation.  That career path has taken her into private, nonprofit and governmental arenas.  Previously, she co-founded and directed the PA Institute for Conservation Education and established the Wildlife Leadership Academy and PA Master Naturalist during her tenure. Prior to this, she coordinated the education program of the American Wilderness Leadership School in Wyoming, directed the outdoor education program for a regional Girl Scout Council, and worked as a naturalist and educator for a Conservation District, a PA State Park and an Arboretum in Ohio.  She has lead nature tours to Africa and loves going outdoors discovering nature with her children.

Ellyn Nolt – Program Coordinator (Southeast Region)

Ellyn is responsible for overseeing program activities, building partnerships, and working with Master Naturalists in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is based on Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ellyn holds degrees in biology education and environmental science and is enthusiastic about helping others discover the value in conserving our natural areas.

Maeve Rafferty – Program Coordinator (Southwest Region)

Maeve lives in Pittsburgh and travels throughout southwestern Pennsylvania overseeing program. She works with citizen volunteers and partners to implement a regional Master Naturalist program. Maeve comes from Northern Ireland with extensive background in biological sciences specializing in plants and conservation. She has worked in Ireland and Pennsylvania. In addition, you can find her assisting with education programs at Allegheny Land Trust and volunteering at Tree Pittsburgh. She enjoys immensely sharing her knowledge and passion for natural history.

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