Working to save the places you love.

We are a private, non-profit organization comprised of a small staff, a cohort of AmeriCorps VISTA members, and many volunteers. As your regional land trust, we work in collaboration with communities, partners, and landowners, to protect forever the natural habitats, rural landscapes, and open spaces of west Puget Sound.

Eva Blair

Eva was born and raised in Kitsap County and comes to the stewardship team with a strong background in natural resource management and a passion for the natural world. A graduate of Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Science, Eva minored in Geographical Information Science and interned at Kitsap Conservation District in the Backyard Habitat Program where she supported restoration work and education. As a Fisheries Research Technician with the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, she monitored endangered species like Hood Canal Summer Chum and Puget Sound Steelhead and developed a deep love of Pacific salmon. A self-described fish nerd, Eva’s free time is spent with her 5-year-old daughter, camping, hiking, and learning how to fly fish.

Nathan Daniel
Executive Director

Nathan (he/him) has dedicated himself to conserving ecologically valuable lands on the Great Peninsula since he joined GPC as Executive Director in 2019. He has over a decade of experience in non-profit management with a focus on public lands and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science. Nate knows that our region is an extraordinarily beautiful and special place and that as stewards it is our responsibility to protect the land and the native wildlife that call it home. He believes our children and all future generations should have opportunities to connect with the natural world. Nate knows the best way to get things done is through collaboration and is ready to work with community members who want to preserve habitat and protect biodiversity. When he’s not at his keyboard, you’ll find Nate and his partner Kim out sauntering through the forest, field guides and binoculars at the ready.

Aaron Gaul
Community Stewardship Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Great Peninsula Conservancy’s newest AmeriCorps member, Aaron will be aiding GPC’s efforts in land management and community engagement. Aaron is an Environmental Management graduate from Texas State University and was previously a public servant with Texas’s regulatory agency TCEQ, where he was an environmental investigator regulating air emissions in Houston, TX. Along with Aaron’s professional environmental experience he enjoys the spiritual value of nature via hiking, camping, kayaking, landscape photography, and more. His professional experience and passion for the environment led him to the Pacific Northwest and GPC.

Michelle Graves
Administrative Manager

As part of the Great Peninsula Conservancy administrative team, Michelle (she/her) is responsible for a variety of administrative and human resource functions that support GPC staff, board, programs, and mission. Prior to joining GPC, Michelle was a director of expedition development with Lindblad Expeditions and a program director with the Biomimicry Institute. She has also worked as a naturalist guide and expedition leader throughout the Americas and the Indo-Pacific. Introducing people to the natural world, helping them understand the interconnectedness of living systems, and inspiring them to value a healthy planet has been her lifelong passion. Michelle has called the Great Peninsula home since 2013, and is thrilled to apply her skills and experience in support of conservation, land stewardship, and environmental education here at home. Michelle holds a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and MS in Marine Biology.

Beatrice Lincke
Community Stewardship Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

As Great Peninsula Conservancy’s Community Stewardship Fellow, Beatrice (she/they) is committed to nurturing relationships between people and their local lands. A forever botanist, Beatrice has spent the past three years peeking and poking at plants from the tip tops of Colorado mountain peaks to the sandy basins of the Sonoran Desert to cultivate and protect ecosystem-wide biodiversity. Through building partnerships with community organizations and leaders, they enjoy creating spaces where people feel safe exploring and caring for their regional landscapes. Out of the office, Beatrice is most likely exploring the peninsula in a pair of sneakers or doodling comics for the sidewalk plants.

Brendan McGarry
Development and Communications Associate

Brendan (he/him) joined the team in 2023 bringing an extensive background in environmental non-profits in Washington State and is excited to support Great Peninsula Conservancy’s mission. He grew up in Seattle, obsessed with birds and nature and followed that into undergraduate work at The Evergreen State College studying biology and spent the following years as a field biologist and naturalist guide across the West. A desire to communicate about and connect people with their local ecologies led to a master’s in Environmental Education through Western Washington University. Brendan spends his free time studying birds and other organisms, tending his garden, recreating in local greenspaces, and making woodenware from green wood, documenting all the while with writing and photography.

Gabriel Newton
Community Engagement Coordinator

Gabriel joined GPC as the Community Engagement Coordinator in 2023 and is excited for the opportunity to help shape and expand our educational and outreach programming. Growing up exploring the shorelines and forests of the Puget Sound, he soon developed a love for spring tides, secret trillium, and the call of the Varied Thrush. It led him to a degree in Wildlife Biology from Washington State University and a journey that spanned across continents and genera, eventually bringing him back home with an interest in assisting others on similar journeys. After receiving a Master’s in Education, Gabriel began a 16-year adventure as a private and public school science teacher, connecting countless students to the wonder of their surrounding ecosystems. Currently, if he’s not kayaking his way to better glimpses of a guillemot or finding ways to perfect his bushcraft, you can find him in his office, trying to solidify ways to best give access to play in, learn from, and enjoy the beauty of so many of GPC’s properties.

Sophia Pelletier
Conservation Education Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Sophia (she/her) is extremely excited to be joining the Great Peninsula Conservancy Team as a Conservation Education Fellow AmeriCorps VISTA! Sophia is dedicated to developing skills in science communication and is delighted to share her love of nature through the Land Labs program. She studied wildlife conservation and oceanography at the University of California, Davis where she worked with all manners of critter from sharks to sea stars. Sophia has always been passionate about education – both sharing with and learning from others. At GPC, Sophia is excited to integrate her research background with her passion for education. Whether she is swimming with sharks or lifting rocks to search for sea stars, snakes, and many other critters, Sophia’s mind looks to reading and writing to reflect both on her work and her life. Sophia is looking forward to learning more about Pacific Northwest ecosystems and how this rich landscape can be valuable in conservation education.

Micaela Petrini
Stewardship Coordinator

Micaela cares for GPC’s protected lands and facilitates opportunities for community engagement. She comes to the Puget Sound area with seven years of experience working with non-profit organizations focused on experiential science education and natural resource and conservation stewardship. Whether it’s living with wolves in Colorado, eating bananas in Peru, or managing research in the Frank Church Wilderness, she values finding work that mirrors her enthusiasm for life, and loves finding new ways to play in the deep reaches of the Pacific Northwest.

Ali Querin
Conservation Project Manager

A born-and-raised Washingtonian, Ali studied Environmental Science at the University of Washington, and since then has been lucky enough to sample many of our local ecosystems: measuring trees from the Columbia Gorge to the Skykomish, quantifying ferns on the Olympic Peninsula, and pulling weeds and planting trees all around Puget Sound. Ali is incredibly excited to get to know the Great Peninsula and the dedicated stewardship volunteers who help protect it!

Erik Steffens
Conservation Director

Erik is the Conservation Director for Great Peninsula Conservancy, overseeing land transactions to protect wildlife habitat, forest, farmlands, and the rural character of the peninsula. He has spent two decades working on conservation, restoration, and wildlife biology projects in the Pacific Northwest, mostly in Western Washington, but with formative stints in Oregon and British Columbia. He also spent four years in Nepal as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Julie Steigerwaldt
Conservation Project Manager

As Conservation Project Manager, Julie carries out GPC’s initiatives involving the acquisition of land and conservation easements. Prior to this role, she drafted and facilitated habitat conservation agreements affecting West Coast forestland under the Endangered Species Act. As general counsel for a forestry and real estate consulting firm, she was involved in many aspects of real estate transactions and forestland conservation efforts. Julie has a background in editing and publishing and has produced numerous nonfiction books. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Katherine Tacke
Development & Communications Manager

Katherine was excited to join Great Peninsula Conservancy in the summer of 2018 and pair her interest in writing with her love for the outdoors. She grew up across the water next to an undeveloped greenbelt and spent her childhood exploring, counting birds, searching for frogs, and watching the rain against a backdrop of evergreens. Katherine received a degree in English from the University of Washington and worked in bookselling and publishing in Seattle for several years. Now she loves exploring the peninsula with her family and connecting community members to GPC’s conservation mission.

Dylan Tenney
Finance & Operations Manager

Dylan was thrilled to join Great Peninsula Conservancy as the new Finance and Operations Manager in November 2019. At GPC Dylan utilizes his experience as an accountant to help preserve and protect our beautiful little corner of the Pacific Northwest. Not your average “number-cruncher”, Dylan possesses a love of the outdoors that he has carried with him to all corners of the country, from climbing mountains in Hawai’i and Idaho to biking and kayaking all through Florida and Georgia. Now he is excited to give back to the Great Peninsula, a place he considers to be among the most beautiful and diverse.  When he has a moment to himself, you’ll most likely find him playing or watching one sport or another or studying up on a topic of interest. Conservation is a recent favorite!

Claire Voris
Community Engagement Manager

Claire joined GPC in 2019 and manages our programs, outreach, and special events. In particular, Claire is thrilled to support GPC’s phenomenal team of AmeriCorps VISTA members and to create outdoor education opportunities that empower the next generation of conservationists through GPC’s Land Labs program. Claire holds an MFA from the University of Montana and a BA from Washington University in Saint Louis. She’s participated professionally in conservation from inside a hazmat suit, behind a saw, atop a mule, and behind a desk – not usually at the same time. When she isn’t working, Claire loves getting to know the wild landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and the amazing people who love, protect, and recreate on them.

Jaime Webb
Conservation Education Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Jaime Webb (he/they) recently moved to Washington all the way from Northern Indiana to serve as a Conservation Education Fellow. They are dedicated to serving community schools to help support student success in STEM careers via GPC programs. He has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Environmental Education from Goshen College, with experience in teaching K-12, curriculum development, and land management involving environmental restoration. They are excited to explore the diversity of nature to be found in Puget Sound, from marine life to trees and ferns. Jaime enjoys using hiking experiences to inspire his artwork, in the form of paintings, drawings, and poetry.

Adrian Wolf
Stewardship Manager

Adrian joined GPC as the stewardship manager in March 2021 and is committed to maintaining and improving the ecological integrity of natural ecosystems. The seeds of his connection to the land and land ethic were sowed in South Africa (where he was born and raised) through his family’s month-long summer adventures to wild natural places. He has over 25 years of professional experience working with threatened and endangered habitats, and the species that depend on them. Adrian has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2003 and obtained his Master’s Degree from The Evergreen State College where his research work focused on bird use of epiphytes in an old-growth coniferous forest. He has extensive experience with handling birds through ecological research studies. His pastimes include birding, kayaking, and backpacking.