A native of Parkersburg, Dr. Brent Bailey has devoted his career to outdoor education and conservation of natural resources. For almost two decades, he worked internationally, on projects ranging from migratory bird conservation, to organizing scientific explorations of remote Latin American tropical forests, to national park development in West Africa. Then for the Mountain Institute, where he led a regional conservation, education, and community development program. Brent studied biology and French at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, completed a Masters in Environmental Studies at Yale, and holds a Ph.D. in Forest Resources Science from WVU.
Ashton Berdine grew up in West Virginia and appreciates the kindness and independence of its people and the rural culture, which unites so many of our common experiences. Ashton joined the Land Trust after spending 13 years working for The Nature Conservancy protecting important wildlife habitat in West Virginia, through land conservation and restoration. He was previously a vegetation ecologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, contributing to the National Vegetation Classification. Early in his career, he was an inventory botanist, always looking for a rare plant or special natural area. Ashton earned a degree in Botany from North Carolina State University, and owes his passion for nature to the many people who nurtured his interest with their own enthusiasm and support.
Ashton’s work with the Land Trust focuses collaborating with landowners and communities to achieve conservation and restoration of West Virginia’s special places. With an interest in nature study, he especially loves the study of birds and botany. He also enjoys kayaking, exploring trails he’s never before hiked, and the pursuit of wild turkeys.
A West Virginia native, Debby Berry has been with the WVLT since March 2010. She is instrumental in our day-to-day procedures and is always ready to lend a hand. Debby is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone while she is coordinating events, meetings, and keeping the team on track. She attended the University of Charleston, Concord College, and Huntington College of Business.
The newest member of the WV Land Trust team, Jesse has a deep conservation ethic and a diverse education from West Virginia University spanning wildlife management and science communication, and a professional record of creating and implementing technology-based systems that prioritize function and collaboration. With a natural penchant for troubleshooting and an eye for detail, he adds a perspective that promotes efficiency, facilitates communication, and helps identify and address potential weaknesses before they become problematic.
Jesse comes to us from a position as Business and Operations Manager at a sustainable clothing company based in Morgantown that has reached into national markets, including licensed apparel for national sports teams and universities.
A child of the Appalachian Mountains, Jesse is originally from Roane County, West Virginia, and grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd County, Virginia. He has lived in the Morgantown area for more than 10 years; he and his wife Kristi have one daughter, Seneca, who naturally is being trained up as a budding conservationist – if a rebellious one.
A West Virginia native, Amy Cimarolli is a WV registered forester with 23 years experience encompassing private lands stewardship, forestry, and rare wildlife habitat management in the Central Appalachians. She has a B.S. in Forestry & Wildlife and M.S. in Forest Management, both from Virginia Tech, and has managed lands for private landowners, non-profit conservation organizations, and federal agencies.
Dr. Rick Landenberger is a forest ecologist with experience in natural resource management and protected area management. Prior to returning to school in 1994 he worked for the US Forest Service on the Monongahela National Forest as a wilderness ranger on the Cheat, Potomac, and Greenbrier Ranger Districts. After completing his Ph.D. in Forest Science at WVU in 1999 Landenberger took a post-doc position in Ecology and Remote Sensing, splitting his time between the Departments of Biology and Geology & Geography. His work has addressed detection and ecology of invasive plants, such as Ailanthus (tree of heaven), censusing a threated species and mapping of native trees in the mixed-mesophytic forest.
Before taking the Science and Management position with the Land Trust, he was the Executive Director of AmericaView, a national non-profit remote sensing organization comprised of over 300 academic and agency partners that supported the use of civilian satellite imagery for natural resource management applications. In his spare time, Rick enjoys skiing, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and fishing in the Monongahela National Forest.
A Clarksburg native, Jessica Spatafore earned a B.S. in Strategic Communications from the West Virginia University School of Media. Through the WVU student exchange program, she spent a semester in Hong Kong; also traveling to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Macau.
Jessica began her career working in an advertising agency in Washington, DC. After two years, she decided the “big city life” was not for her and returned to her home among the hills. Shifting her career path into the development field, Jessica was the Special Events Coordinator at the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, then the Director of Annual Giving for Fairmont State University. She has been with the West Virginia Land Trust for nearly five years.
With more than ten years of experience, Jessica is skilled in nonprofit organizations, communications, marketing, public relations, social media, event management, and fundraising. Her work with the WVLT focuses on conservation awareness and fundraising campaigns to help protect West Virginia’s special places, making a perpetual impact in her home state.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys exploring new West Virginia public lands with her husband, two sons, and goldendoodle.
Adam Webster is a West Virginia native. He earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries and M.S. in Journalism from West Virginia University. He has studied abroad, including Siberia, where he participated in a 10-week exchange program studying water resources management with the Tahoe-Baikal Institute. He has worked for industry, private consulting, nonprofit, and government organizations. He most recently lived in Oregon, where he helped develop and implement a source water protection and water quality monitoring program for the City of Salem Public Works. He has led stream surveying crews for the Bureau of Land Management in support of the Northwest Forest Plan, worked for a remote sensing company, and conducted wildlife surveys for the timber industry. Prior to living in Oregon, he spent time as a communications graduate assistant with the National Environmental Service Center at WVU and working with West Virginia Rivers Coalition and other state and regional nonprofits on water quality issues. He enjoys exploring mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans, but enjoys the hills and hollers of West Virginia most. He is excited to continue exploring the Mountain State with his wife, two daughters, and dog.