Board of Directors

There are many roles within the board but our overall goal is to oversee the operation and management of the organization. We set and execute strategic visions and goals, manage finances, plan events, handle membership and registrations, communicate with members and represent the interests of the membership.

Meetings are held at 6:30 pm at Springbrook Nature Center on the following days:

April 8 (starting at 5:30), June 10, August 12, September 30, December 9.

Would you like to run for the MNA board?
Being a part of the Minnesota Naturalists’ Association board of directors is a great way to give back to the interpretive community in Minnesota.  
Read on to see if it is right for you and how to run >>

Lisa Gilliland, President / Wargo Nature Center
Greetings! I have been in the field for over 25 years, which totally and unfortunately truthfully ages me, and a member of MNA for most of those years. I was actually the MNA Treasurer for two cycles back in the dark ages. I am currently the Program Supervisor - Operations for the Wargo Nature Center with Anoka County Parks and have been in various permutations of this position for 20 years. Before settling in at Wargo, I was the Director of the Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Program/Camp Director for Camp Fire and Program/Camp Director for the Girl Scouts. In my non-nature center life, I have two sons in their twenties who are both great wilderness trippers and both (currently!) living at home and it's great (really!), I do some triathlons and running events throughout the year, ride my horse, Eddie, as much as possible, and do all of those outdoor things. I am looking forward to the next two years with MNA!

Tara Rogness, Vice President / Springbrook Nature Center

I have spent nearly the last 20 years in the naturalist field working in both residential and day-use programs. I started my naturalist career at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center (which I loved), and have spent time working for both Wood Lake Nature Center and Springbrook Nature Center. I have been the Interpretive Program Supervisor at Springbrook for way more than a decade, and throughout that time I have learned about all aspects of our field. Throughout my career I have been a member of MNA, even a board member for a couple of those years. I have always touted the benefits of MNA (both professionally and socially) to the staff around me. I am a hard-working naturalist who is looking for more challenges, I am driven to make a difference and look forward to serving MNA in the role of Vice President. 

Victoria Thompson , Secretary / Lowry Nature Center
After a misplaced seven years as a climate change policy consultant, I discovered that my real life's work was in interpretation, and found a welcoming place to start my new career here in Minnesota, having moved here from Boston in late 2012. For the last three years or so I've been making the rounds as a seasonal naturalist, so far at Richardson, Springbrook, Eastman, and Harriet Alexander nature centers. Currently I'm a farm educator at Gale Woods Farm in Three Rivers Park District. I love being able to spark and nurture kids' love of the outdoors and being in a career where each day brings something fresh. I have a B.A. in Biology and a Master’s of Environmental Management. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, exploring the city by bike and foot, reading, cooking, and gardening.

Becky Pollack, Treasurer / Ney Nature Center

I am currently the Executive Director of the Ney nature Center in Henderson, MN. I am a graduate of Mankato State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and minors in Earth Science and Geology. I began working with Ney Nature Center 10 years ago scheduling and teaching naturalist programs. My background with project based learning, love of the natural world and experience in non-profit management made for an easy transition to Executive Director. My connection to the Ney Nature Center and love of the outdoors goes back to 1995, when the deformed frogs were found by my fellow classmates from the Minnesota New Country School. As students, we worked closely with scientists, the media, and local environmentalist to bring awareness to the water quality issues that harm the frogs and other wildlife. My husband, Nick, and I have two kids, Greg (16) and Sami (13) and many family pets. Recently we have begun rasing a heritage breed of pigs (Red Wattle) in a non-confinement, pasture style setting, fulfilling my husband’s lifelong goal of being a farmer. 

Katy Konrad, Communications Coordinator / Camp Fire Minnesota

Hi all! I’m a born and raised Minnesotan. I grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota. Having a dad who was a conservation officer sparked my love for the outdoors at an early age. I know that when I grew up, I wanted to be outside. I spent my college years at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and have a degree in Conservation. After college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I applied for everything. I ended up take a chance as a Naturalist Corps member at Fort Snelling State Park. It was there that I fell in love; taking hikes and sharing what I knew (among other programs) was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My path then went north to Long Lake Conservation Center during the school year and back to the cities and Three Rivers Park District during the summer. I became a naturalist fellow with Camp Fire Minnesota in the fall of 2015 and have transitioned into a new role as Outdoor Programs Coordinator. In my free time, I enjoy spending time at the family cabin, fishing and photography. 

Eric Vehe, Professional Development Workshop Coordinator / Wargo Nature Center

I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor's in Recreation/Outdoor Education and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a master's in Recreation Management. Before entering the naturalist world I worked in the recreation field as a climbing instructor, sea kayak guide, trip leader, and program coordinator. As a naturalist I have worked for Three Rivers Park District, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and Wargo Nature Center. This is my first term on the board. I am excited to continue sharing the great wealth of knowledge found in the naturalist community through professional development and training programs. In my spare time I enjoy getting outdoors in just about any capacity, but especially while canoeing, backpacking, and birding. I hope to meet as many people as possible at workshops during the next two years!

Ashley Smith, Conference Coordinator / Kroening Interpretive Center
I am currently an Interpretive Naturalist with the Three Rivers Park District at Coon Rapids Dam, but it took me several years to get here. I started this journey of turning my love of the outdoors into a career at Concordia College, where I majored in Biology and Religion. After graduating from Concordia, I continued my education at Melbourne University in Australia and got a master’s degree in Environmental Education. It was there that I got my first naturalist job (talk about a fish out of water!) and really knew that it was the first job for me. Since graduating and moving back to Minnesota I have been a seasonal naturalist at many different parks, including: Dodge Nature Center, Dakota County Parks, Springbrook Nature Center, Long Lake Conservation Center, Lowry Nature Center, and the Outdoor Recreation School. I am so excited to be a part of the MNA Board. It, and the people that are a part of it, have greatly helped me in getting me to where I am now. I am very much looking forward to being able to give a little something back. In my spare time I like to read, do nature photography, and playing really nerdy board games with my friends.

Mary Burch, Member at Large 3 / Dodge Nature Center
I graduated this past spring with a degree in Environmental Education from the U of M and am currently very excited to be working as a naturalist fellow with Dodge Nature Center. My past work and volunteer experience has included stints with Warner Nature Center, Lowry Nature Center, and the Raptor Center. Although I think everything about my job is awesome, I especially love working with education animals and anything and everything to do with plants. When I'm not working or playing outside I love reading, cooking, fostering rescue dogs, and spending time with my friends and family. I'm really looking forward to helping out with MNA for the next few years!       

Cody Rossetti, Member-at-Large 4/ Wargo Nature Center
Hello! I am currently a naturalist with Wargo Nature Center where I teach programs for children, adults, and families. Additionally, I have 5 years of interpretive experience from working at Tamarack Nature Center, the International Wolf Center, and Barrier Island Education Program. Besides education, I have also worked as a field biologist studying birds and crayfish, though not at the same time, and as an administrator organizing international internships. I look forward to joining in the board for the next two years and helping grow MNA as resource for Minnesota environmental educators and naturalists, as a forum for discussion and learning between professionals, and as an organization that advances environmental education in Minnesota.

Emily Meyer, Member-At-Large / ISD 15

I’ve always been a bit of a nature nerd. During my undergrad years, I found myself drawn to the sciences, but hating the laboratory. I wanted to be outside, sharing what I was discovering with people, in a way they could understand. Now after two seasons as a naturalist with Three Rivers Park District, I am sure that this field is where I will dedicate my life. Because of that, I want to be deeply involved within the naturalist community. I pride myself on being organized, driven, willing to help, and a great team member. I hope to gain valuable insight into the naturalist community by supporting and networking with other naturalists around the state. My hope is that the MNA board grows in influence, allows members to feel they have a voice in this community, and keeps the community strong, united and organized. 

Amber Taylor, Member-At-Large / MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge

I was a middle and high school science teacher for three years before making the decision to leave the classroom and pursue a career in environmental education. Over the last few years, I’ve worked various seasonal and intership positions including at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth, Three Rivers Park District, and currently, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. In addition to my position as the lead environmental educator at the refuge, I keep busy working to complete my master’s in Natural Sciences and Environmental Education at Hamline University. Outsde work and school, I volunteer at The Raptor Center and enjoy hiking, reading, yoga, agate hunting, and birding. I am really looking forward to being part of the MNA board!

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