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:
March 21, June 5, September 4, October 23, December 11
Would you like to run for the MNA board?
Lisa Gilliland, President / Wargo Nature Center
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
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
Mary Burch, Member at Large 3 / Dodge Nature Center
Cody Rossetti, Member-at-Large 4/ Wargo Nature Center
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!