North Carolina Staff
Jessie (she/her/hers) was born and raised in the woods of central North Carolina where she discovered a passion for nature. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Management from NC State University in 2009 and her M.S. in Wildlife Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2012.
Prior to joining Conservation Legacy Jessie worked for the NC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and NC State University as a conservation practitioner, program manager, and leadership educator. Jessie is a dedicated community volunteer serving on the Orange County Parks and Rec Council and Commission for the Environment. She is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist and works as a mentor for young adults considering a career in conservation.
In her free time she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and birding and is an active member of the Feminist Bird Club’s Durham Chapter. Jessie and her husband live in rural Orange County with their rescue pup Ella.
Stephanie Dunton (she/her/hers) grew up in rural Maine and graduated from the University of Maine with a BA in Psychology and a minor of Sociology and the desire to make a difference. In 2017-2018, Stephanie joined AmeriCorps NCCC in the Southwest region where she served on Disaster for Hurricane Harvey in around the Houston, TX area. Then she went on to serve in Tahlequah, Oklahoma with Cherokee Nation and Habitat for Humanity as well as a teaching farm in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Stephanie continued to work with AmeriCorps NCCC out of the Pacific region serving on the Paradise Fire in Oroville, California, doing various environmental projects all around Oregon, and serving the Boys and Girls Club of Ronan, MT as well as United Way in Kalispell, MT. From then on, Stephanie worked as a Hall Director at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, where she expanded her professional resume working with training, professional development, mentoring, advising and other various skills. Ultimately, in 2022, wanting to get back to her roots of serving communities and working with AmeriCorps, Stephanie now serves as the Recruitment and Member Support Coordinator for Conservation Corps North Carolina. In her free time, Stephanie likes to hang out with her cats Ellie and Hermione while knitting, watching movies and hiking in the great outdoors.
Drew (he/him/his) grew up in Durham, North Carolina, never too far from the mountains or the beach. He moved to Boone in 2018 and received a B.A. in Advertising with a minor in psychology. He first discovered the world of conservation through Conservation Corps North Carolina as a trails crew member within the Leadership Development Program. From there, his love for the outdoor world and for the conservation efforts that improve that world grew explosively, igniting a desire to make work in the field of conservation a mainstay in his life. Drew would go on to serve as an assistant crew lead in the Youth Program and afterwards, in the Fire Crew Program. Following his initial experiences with CCNC, he joined the Forest Service as a crew member on a Type II IA crew from Idaho City, that would serve as his primary connection to the outdoor world for two fire seasons. Eager for a return to his home-state and to continue conservation-based efforts, Drew now serves as the Fire and Forestry Coordinator for CCNC. Outside of the field or office, one can find him camping or climbing, backpacking and snowboarding whenever possible, or simply cozying up with movies. Additionally, Drew is a mild coffee snob and avid gearhead so he’s always happy to talk shop with those who share similar interests.
Mallory James (she/her/hers) grew up just north or Durham, North Carolina. From a young age, Mallory loved nature and spent summers chasing frogs and inspecting local rocks. If you had asked her as a child what she would do when she grew up, she would have told you an ‘animal scientist’. Mallory received a Bachelor’s in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Environmental Biology from Appalachian State University. During that time she furthered her interest in nature and eventually conservation while interning with the Houston Zoo’s Collegiate Conservation Program as well as with the Naturalist Department with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. Mallory also found a love for leadership and personal development through serving as a Resident Assistant for 3 of 4 years at App State. Eventually, Mallory found her way to conservation corps by happening upon the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps where she lead a young adult crew for 16 weeks. She found that conservation corps are a beautiful way for her to marry her love for the conservation of the natural world and personal development in youth and young adults. Mallory went on to lead for the Montana Conservation Corps and then served as the Field Training Coordinator for the Northwest Youth Corps and Idaho Conservation Corps. After the 4 seasons of traveling and working with different conservation corps all over the US, Mallory felt it was time to come home to the state she loved and to family that was waiting on her. She’s particularly obsessed with her 2 year old nephew, Logan. Mallory is incredibly excited for the opportunity to do conservation work around the state she calls home.
Jackie (she/her) grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. While attending Xavier University she led two Spring break service trips that ignited a love for simultaneously serving others and helping nature. Upon graduating college, she served with AmeriCorps NCCC in Baltimore, MD. During that time, she was a wildland firefighter, beet farmer, and disaster relief worker. She then relocated to Washington DC where she served with the Stewards Program in Conservation Legacy and worked in the volunteer department at the National Mall with the National Park Service. While she loved being in the city, the mountains were calling, and she took a seasonal job at Grand Teton National Park. After roaming around Wyoming for a summer she moved to Durham, then different mountains started calling and she worked another seasonal job at Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Jackie then came back to the Raleigh area and is now the Youth Program Coordinator with CCNC. When not working you can find Jackie working out, cheering on her Cincinnati sports teams, or howling with her Husky pup Dexter.
Renzo (he/him/his) got started in the conservation and AmeriCorps world back in 2016 when he joined AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) Southern Region and spent the next 10 months falling in love with trail work, disaster relief and the crew life. After NCCC Renzo spent a season working on a crew with VYCC (Vermont Youth Conservation Corps) as a crew member and from there started leading crews for CCNC. After a few seasons with CCNC, Renzo took some time “off” and did a season with AZCC (Arizona Conservation Corps). Renzo then came back to CCNC and lead crews for another couple of seasons before taking a few years off from the conservation world. Besides his love of outdoors work, Renzo is a huge history nerd (especially ancient history) and will gladly go on and on about whatever obscure history fact he just learned from a book or podcast, you have been warned.