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
Stewardship Associate

Eva (she/her) 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.

Ben Crooke
Conservation Education Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Ben Crooke (he/they) studied ecology and conservation in college, where he realized his interest not only in science, but how nature intersects with society and policy. Completing his first term of AmeriCorps service as a Watershed Ambassador in New Jersey June 2022, Ben discovered the capacity and importance of coupling environmental solutions with local communities. Through his work, he learned that one of the first steps in developing sustainable change is awareness through education. Moving to California in September of last year, Ben interned as a Naturalist at San Mateo Outdoor Education where he cultivated and developed his passion of working with youth in outdoor settings. Now, Ben is ecstatic about taking his next step with GPC’s team to combine community engagement education with conservation and stewardship of Washington’s Great Peninsula. When Ben isn’t in work-mode, you can find him in the outdoors hanging out and exploring with friends, riding his bike/running in the forest, doing yoga, or figuring out some way to play and relax.

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.

Kora Freeman-Gerlach
Communications Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Originally from Northern California, Kora (she/her) is thrilled to be back on the West Coast after earning a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies in Vermont. She has spent the past few years advocating for climate justice, leading youth through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and working on a permaculture farm in Ecuador’s cloud forest. With experience in community outreach, environmental education, and grassroots fundraising, Kora is excited to dive deeper into conservation at GPC through environmental storytelling as the Communications Fellow. She can be found exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, attempting to grow veggies in her little urban yard, and taking long walks on the ocean.

Michelle Graves
Operations 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.

Ashlyn McGarrah
Community Stewardship Fellow (Americorps VISTA)

Ashlyn (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a BA in Environmental Studies, bringing a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to her role as Community Stewardship Fellow at Great Peninsula Conservancy. For her year of service, Ashlyn is dedicated to empowering communities to engage in conservation efforts and connect to their local lands. During her studies, she interned with Kitsap County Public Works and Seattle Public Utilities, gaining practical insights into community engagement projects and environmental education. Her passion for the environment extends beyond her professional life, as she actively explores the stunning PNW landscapes through hiking, photography, and restoration work.

Monica Montgomery
Conservation Project Manager

Monica Montgomery (she/her) was born and raised on the Kitsap Peninsula and joined GPC in 2024. As part of the Conservation Team, she manages the acquisition of land and conservation easements across Kitsap County, working with landowners and partners to protect wildlife habitat, rural farms, and community greenspaces. Prior to GPC, Monica contributed to community-led environmental initiatives with the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Kū’oko’a Strategic Initiative. She earned her MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, with a focus on collaborative and community-based natural resource management, from the University of Hawai’i and her BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Washington. In her free time, Monica can be found playing outdoors, oohing and ahhing at the diversity of species across our region.

Gabriel Newton
Community Engagement Coordinator

Gabriel (he/him) 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 (she/her) joined GPC in 2021, and cares for GPC’s protected lands and facilitates opportunities for community engagement. Originally from much drier parts of the western US, 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. When Micaela isn’t at work, you can catch her playing roller derby, laying in the sun, and marveling over tiny things… okay, those last two she does at work as well.

Ali Querin
Conservation Project Manager

As part of the Conservation Team, Ali (she/her) focuses on the acquisition of land and conservation easements in the southern half of GPC’s working region, and enjoys working with landowners, grant funders, and the many other people and partners who make conservation projects happen. A lifelong Washingtonian, Ali has a degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington and was lucky enough to spend time working in the woods and with volunteers all over western Washington before originally joining GPC’s Stewardship Team in 2019. Outside of work, Ali likes to exasperate her hiking partners by stopping to identify and admire every trailside plant.

Erik Steffens
Conservation Director

Erik (he/him) 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.

Katherine Tacke
Development & Communications Manager

Katherine (she/her) 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 Manager

Dylan (he/him) was thrilled to join Great Peninsula Conservancy as the new Finance 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. 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.

Claire Voris
Community Engagement Manager

Claire (she/her) 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.

Adrian Wolf
Stewardship Manager

Adrian (he/him) 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.