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.
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 (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Virginia and has lived or worked in all the major college towns in the state. She prefers the mountains where she attended summer camp as a kid and worked as a counselor through college to the coast where she grew up, but has a healthy nostalgia for the Tidewater region. After getting a B.S. in Geology and Sculpture from William & Mary, she moved to the mountains, spent two years as a line cook, and found the corps world on Craigslist. Since her first season as a member with ACC, she hasn’t looked back, continuing as an Adult and Youth crew leader, Field Supervisor, and now Crew Program Coordinator. If she could change her job title, it would be Shop Dragon; taking care of tools and tinkering with chainsaws are some of her favorite parts of a job that includes recruiting, training, project assistance, and more. Eleanor loves words, reading, memes, food, and crafts, and lives with her blacksmith partner, their two dogs, and a host of old vehicles.
Sarah (she/her/hers) was born in West Virginia but now calls the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia home. She has a degree in Justice Studies from James Madison University where she discovered her passion for environmental justice. In her free time, you can find Sarah reading, hiking, kayaking, or at the dog park with her beagle, Mia.
Maddie Interdonato (she/her) is a native of Virginia where she studied Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2017, she moved out to rural Colorado to serve as an AmeriCorps member. She quickly became passionate about service work and returned a second year as a VISTA, and a third year as the Program Coordinator. During this time, she got involved with environmental work through program partners and decided to pursue work in conservation. Maddie worked with the Utah Conservation Corps before returning home to Virginia, bringing with her a new found connection to nature, way too many new hobbies, and an adventure pup named Tug. As the IP Program Manager, Maddie works with ACC’s partners to develop meaningful experiences for service minded individuals.
In 2021, Laura (she/her) spent her first year serving with Americorps at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, Virginia, where she fell in love with conservation work — and Virginia. She spent a second year as a resource management member at Deep Creek Lake State Park in Oakland, Maryland, where she learned to operate a chainsaw, build trails and spotted her first black bear. Laura received a degree in journalism from Appalachian State University in 2020 and hopes to tell the stories of ACC members and the conservation work they are doing in her role as IP Member Support Coordinator. In her free time, Laura enjoys live music, writing poetry and painting.
Christian started his Corps experience as an Americorps member in 2020 with Appalachian Conservation Corps. After graduating with a degree in environmental science form Goshen College, he embarked on what he thought was going to be a single fun season before he had to get a “real job.” This single season turned into eight seasons of trail maintenance, technical rock work, and chainsaws before he started as Forestry and Watersheds Program Coordinator in 2023. In his off time, Christian can usually be found hiking, mountain biking, and rebuilding tired old chainsaws and other small engines.
Kathleen Koehnke is the field supervisor with the Appalachian Conservations Corps based in Virginia. After graduating from Loyola University Chicago in 2020 with a degree in history, she joined Conservation Legacy as an Americorps Crew Leader on a youth crew. From that first summer, she has continued to lead crews as an Americorps Lead, Staff Lead, and finally the Head Crew Leader for her final year of leading in 2022. With ACC, Kathleen has worked on numerous trail building and maintenance projects all across the Appalachian region. She has worked on projects ranging from rock work, to rigging, to disaster relief, to tree planting. Going forward as the field supervisor, she will be responsible for assisting crews in a field with technical work and general support.
Lauren (she/her/hers) started what she thought would be just a summer job as a crew member with ACC in 2019. After graduating from the College of William & Mary in 2020 with degrees in Biology & Environmental Science, she returned to ACC to lead crews. She has done a wide variety of work including technical rock work, trail building, and chainsaws before starting as the Youth Program Coordinator in 2023. She enjoys hiking, reading, and various tree cookie crafts in her free time.