North Carolina Staff
Michael (he/him/his) first developed his love for public lands by growing up next to the Stones River National Battlefield in middle Tennessee. He started working with young adults in the outdoors with summer camps in 2005 and in 2011 served a yearlong AmeriCorps term building trails and conserving land with Coconino Rural Environmental Corps.
In the years since he has worked with Southeast Conservation Corps, American Conservation Experience, Arizona Conservation Corps, and Conservation Legacy more broadly. Michael moved to North Carolina in 2019 and in 2021 joined Conservation Corps North Carolina as Program Director.
When he’s not on the trail on behind a chainsaw you can find him fly fishing, painting landscapes, and attempting to garden.
Jan joined Conservation Legacy in May, 2019. She launched the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) in 2013 and served as its Program Director while at Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC). Prior to starting NCYCC, she served in development and communications positions for CTNC, a statewide land trust serving 23 local land trusts across the state. Prior to CTNC, Jan was the Director of Environmental Education for Legacy, Inc., an Alabama non-profit that partnered with state agencies to deliver environmental education materials and training to K-12 teachers. Jan’s love for education is rooted in teaching, especially middle school that she taught for five years.
Her love for the land stems from growing up on a Kansas wheat and cattle farm. With impactful times abroad as a Rotary Scholar and international community service volunteer, Jan hopes to provide the same kind of experiential educational experience for others through service in a Corps. Jan earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and a M.S. in Geography from the University of Alabama. Away from the office, Jan can be found running through local neighborhoods, figuring out how to raise two teenage daughters with her husband, and nurturing a dog and two cats.
Silas (he/him/his) started exploring North Carolina and working with CCNC in 2020. As a born and bred Mainer and a recent graduate of the University of Montana, he’s excited to be back east to work for people and landscape. Silas worked in the corps world through college and served a term crew-leading with Montana Conservation Corps after graduation. He loves the complexity of this work and is always learning more about the interpersonal relationships, ecologies and technical skills that make it possible. He also loves vintage mountain bikes.
Andy (he/him/his) got his first taste of exploring public lands in his hometown of Corbett, Oregon. There, he developed a deep affinity with the landscape surrounding him. After graduating from Oregon State University in 2013, Andy found his calling in working on the trails crew for the U.S. Forest Service in Bend, Oregon. He was able to experience serving as a wilderness trails lead, taking volunteers on backcountry hitches to perform trail work on the Pacific Crest Trail, performing extraordinary projects on the PCT from southern Oregon to northern Washington state.
After having a great time working for the Forest Service as a trails supervisor, serving as an Oregon State Parks park ranger, and working in natural resources for the City of Bend in Oregon, Andy found his way to North Carolina in 2019, finding his way to work in conservation with CCNC. When Andy isn’t out in the field, you can find him exploring new hiking and cross country ski trails, or building wood furniture on his back porch.
CCNC is operationally supported by Appalachian Conservation Corps Staff
Zach has a background in leading conservation corps crews in Vermont and Colorado as well at home building crews in Tennessee. Zach believes that the corps model is one of the best ways to give young people the opportunity to grow their skills and personal connection to place. Originally from the Shenandoah Valley, he is proud to see his community supporting conservation service and education.
Michelle joined the Appalachian Conservation Corps family in early 2018 with a background in archaeology and conservation corps programming. She's worked with Conservation Corps North Carolina since 2019. Michelle was born and raised in Maryland, earning her degree in Sociology/Anthropology from St. Mary's College of Maryland. She then spent several years working in contract archaeology before serving in a 1700 hour AmeriCorps term with Coconino Rural Environment Corps where she work in and led conservation crews around Arizona. The Corps world was life-changing for Michelle—the community, the impact, the challenge. After several more years of field archaeology, she returned to Arizona Conservation Corps as Recruitment and Member Support Manager. In 2017, Michelle returned to the east coast for the humidity and to be closer to family. She loves unintentional puns, action movies, food, succulents, hiking, her husband Jon and her dog Lilah. She is passionate about the outdoors, community and the impact of Corps programs.
Robert worked in both State and Federal legislative bodies before beginning his work in conservation. He spent a season working on a backcountry chainsaw crew in Utah, and then came back East to lead crews for ACC. After leading three crews in projects that ranged from battlefield restoration, disaster response, trail building and maintenance, and boundary marking, he began his position as program staff. Robert has found his passion in conservation work, and hopes to use his background to shed light on the importance of National Service as it relates to young adults, their communities, and the public lands they serve in.
Eleanor has been with Appalachian Conservation Corps since 2017, assisting with Conservation Corps North Carolina since 2019. She started as a crew member, then led 6 crews, including a disaster deployment, before transitioning to staff. Her degree is in Geology and Sculpture, but she grew up with crafty parents, and has been doing carpentry, metalwork, and yardwork from a young age. She has found her niche in the Corps world, with its variety of work, its funky people, and its diverse opportunities. Eleanor enjoys every opportunity to teach new skills to members and leaders; she especially likes being able to put her line cook experience to good use, making sure everyone is eating well in the field!