Meet Our Team

Meet LGNC’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers.

LGNC Staff and Volunteers

The administration of LGNC is a mix of volunteer and paid staff members including:

Dan Kunkle

Dan Kunkle

Executive Director

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 2003, 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. Contact Dan at danlgnc@ptd.net

Chad Schwartz

Chad Schwartz

Director of Science and Education

Education: B.S. Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies, Muhlenberg College.

Chad Schwartz has spent his life studying and exploring the natural world, and enjoys sharing his passion with others through his work as an educator at LGNC. In his free time, Chad can often be found outdoors birding, hiking, and fishing, or at home painting PA Dutch hex signs and researching genealogy. He is also the Youth Coordinator of the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society. You can contact Chad at chad.schwartz@lgnc.org
Brian Birchak

Brian Birchak

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: brian.birchak@lgnc.org

Donna Gasser

Donna Gasser

Membership Coordinator

Education: B.Ed. Health and Physical Education, Montclair State University.

Donna left teaching in 1975 to raise three children in Ocean Township, NJ with her late husband Joe. During that time she also worked and volunteered in scouting, teaching swimming and water aerobics and running activities at a campground. In addition to the membership coordinator’s job, Donna has volunteered in the garden, at the front desk and with the education program. She has also helped produce quilts for the LGNC raffle and run many of our booths at local events.

 

Kate Brandes

Kate Brandes

Conservation Landscaping Program Manager

Education: B.S. Geology, Penn State; M.S. Geology, North Carolina State.

Kate Brandes has worked as a geologist and environmental scientist for over twenty years in public and private sectors. She currently manages the Landscaping for Communities and Wildlife Program at Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The program focuses on improving local ecology using native plants and sustainable landscaping practices in small public and residential gardens. Contact Kate at kate@lgnc.org

Color of Nature Program Leaders

Color of Nature Program Leaders

Darien Rivera, Antonio Martinez, Jose Reyes, Anais Martinez, and Ariel Bonilla

LGNC Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

Anita Collins, Ph.D.

Anita Collins, Ph.D.

President

Profession: Honey Bee geneticist, USDA (retired);
Prof. of Entomology, Penn State University

Diane Husic, Ph.D.

Diane Husic, Ph.D.

Vice President

Profession: Prof. of Biology; Dean, School of Natural and Health Sciences
Moravian College

Ron Kline, Ph.D.

Ron Kline, Ph.D.

Secretary

Profession: Psychologist
Director of Counseling Services
Moravian College

Robert E. Hoopes, P.E.

Robert E. Hoopes, P.E.

Treasurer

Profession: Management Corporate Services
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA

George Beam, P.E.

George Beam, P.E.

Board Member

Profession: Electrical Engineer
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA

Frederic “Fritz” H. Brock

Frederic “Fritz” H. Brock

Board Member

Profession: Director (retired)
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

Barb Egerton

Barb Egerton

Board Member

Profession: Elementary Teacher (retired)
Northampton Area School District

Towlene Jackson

Towlene Jackson

Board Member

Profession: Owner and Founder, Kula Children’s Center

Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.

Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.

Board Member

Profession: Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
of New York, (retired)

Jennifer Lansing, Ph.D.

Jennifer Lansing, Ph.D.

Board Member

Profession: Ecologist and Owner, Cardinal Directions, LLC

Nelson Markley, Ph.D.

Nelson Markley, Ph.D.

Board Member

Profession: Academic Dean (retired)
Lehigh University

Janet Maurer

Janet Maurer

Board Member

Profession: Biology Teacher, Cumberland Valley School District (retired)

Cheryl Novak

Cheryl Novak

Board Member

Profession: Guidance Counsellor (retired)

Board of Advisors

Keith L. Bildstein, Ph.D.
Profession: Director of Conservation
Science, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary,
Kempton, PA

John Dickerson
Profession: Plant scientist

Holly A. Heintzelman, Esq.
Profession: Private attorney

Roland Kushner, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor of Business
Muhlenberg College,
Allentown, PA

Christian F. Martin IV
Profession: Chairman and CEO
Martin Guitar

Donald A. Molde, M.D.
Profession: Physician, Retired

Carl Oplinger, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor Emeritus of Biology
Muhlenberg College,
Allentown, PA

Dan Poresky
Profession: Founder/Owner (retired)
Dan’s Camera City

David Shaffer
Profession: co-CEO
Just Born Candy

Sue Tantsits
Profession: Co-owner Edge of the Woods
Native Plant Nursery

Maria Tranguch
Profession: Professional Planner, Arborist

Committees

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.

Finance Committee

Nelson Markley, Chair
George Beam
Bob Hoopes
Ron Kline
Janet Maurer

Personnel Committee

Anita Collins, Chair
Fritz Brock
Bob Hoopes

Research Committee

Diane Husic, Chair
Anita Collins
Marilyn Jordan

Development Committee

Ed Newcomb, Chair
George Beam

Communications Committee

Donna Gasser
Dave Husic

Any member with skills in one of the above areas who wishes to serve on a committee should contact
the Executive Director (danlgnc@ptd.net) or President (frozenbeedoc@verizon.net).