The day-to-day operations of Lehigh Gap Nature Center are managed by co-directors, Chad Schwartz and Brian Birchak:
Director of Science and Education
Education: B.S. Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies, Muhlenberg College.
Director of Communications
Education: AA Graphic Design; Kutztown University, Anthropology; Moravian College, Biology; Muhlenberg College, Biology
Brian Birchak is a life long outdoors enthusiast with a background in biology, education and graphic design. He also has a background in web design and IT and it shows in his hobby of building computers. Brian has enjoyed being a part of LGNC for years and is thrilled to be a part of the education team. When he’s not out playing on the mountain with insects and plants you can find him relaxing with his banjo or playing with his computers. You can contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org
LGNC Board of Directors and Board of Advisors
Anita Collins, Ph.D.
Profession: Honey Bee geneticist, USDA (retired);
Prof. of Entomology, Penn State University
Diane Husic, Ph.D.
Profession: Prof. of Biology; Dean, School of Natural and Health Sciences
Ron Kline, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling Services
Robert E. Hoopes, P.E.
Profession: Management Corporate Services
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA
George Beam, P.E.
Profession: Electrical Engineer
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA
Frederic “Fritz” H. Brock
Profession: Director (retired)
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
Profession: Elementary Teacher (retired)
Northampton Area School District
Profession: Owner and Founder, Kula Children’s Center
Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.
Profession: Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
of New York, (retired)
Jennifer Lansing, Ph.D.
Profession: Ecologist and Owner, Cardinal Directions, LLC
Profession: Biology Teacher, Cumberland Valley School District (retired)
Profession: Guidance Counsellor (retired)
Board Member, Director Emeritus
Education and honors: B.S. Secondary Ed, Biology, Kutztown University; M.S. Biology, Kutztown University; Together Green Fellow (2010); Rider Pool Fellow (2015-16); honorary Doctorate awarded by Muhlenberg College (2016).
Dan Kunkle was a high school science teacher for nearly 30 years until leaving his position to dedicate his time to the creation of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. Since 2002, Dan has worked tirelessly to restore the land at Lehigh Gap, educate children and adults about nature, and build a diverse community of support for conservation. Dan retired from his position as Executive Director at the end of 2019 and is currently serving as Director Emeritus on the LGNC Board of Directors.
Board of Advisors
Keith L. Bildstein, Ph.D.
Profession: Director of Conservation
Science, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary,
Profession: Plant scientist
Holly A. Heintzelman, Esq.
Profession: Private attorney
Roland Kushner, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor of Business
Christian F. Martin IV
Profession: Chairman and CEO
Donald A. Molde, M.D.
Profession: Physician, Retired
Carl Oplinger, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor Emeritus of Biology
Profession: Founder/Owner (retired)
Dan’s Camera City
Just Born Candy
Profession: Co-owner Edge of the Woods
Native Plant Nursery
Profession: Professional Planner, Arborist
Committees provide guidance and recommendations to the Board of Directors and are comprised of Board members and other LGNC members. The Executive Director and Board President are ex officio members of all committees.
Nelson Markley, Chair
Anita Collins, Chair
Diane Husic, Chair
Ed Newcomb, Chair
Any member with skills in one of the above areas who wishes to serve on a committee should contact
the Executive Director (email@example.com) or President (firstname.lastname@example.org).