Since 1969, we have led the effort to protect the more than 700,000 acres of the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve.
Our Mission is To protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region.
Board of Directors
Helen K. Chase
Pamela Jean Orr
Armand B. Erpf
John F. Lyons
Larry S. Roadman
Frank E. Sanchis III
Jeff joined the Catskill Center in 2015 after working for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference as the program coordinator for the Catskill region and manager of regional trail programs. In addition to bringing non-profit, environmental planning and office management experience to his post, Jeff has had the experience of growing up and working in the Catskills and time in both rural and urban New England regions. Jeff has worked as an environmental planner for the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission; Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission; and for Waterman Design Associates. He also worked as a New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation assistant forest ranger in Greene County. Jeff is an avid hiker and outdoorsman who has spent a lot of time hiking and exploring in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and New England and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Hiking Society and WIOX, Inc. Jeff also hosts Catskill Digest on WIOX Community Radio. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Lyndon State College in Vermont, with a concentration in environmental science.
Kali is passionate about conserving the land and waters we have borrowed from our children, while strengthening the Catskill region's economic vitality and protecting its cultural heritage. After working as a program coordinator, educator, and land manager with several Hudson Valley regional non-profit organizations, she founded the outdoor adventure company Hike New York, dedicated to helping connect people with New York's most precious natural areas in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Kali is an avid trail runner with a serious mountain addiction and predilection toward run-by botanizing. She earned her Master of Science degree studying the microbial ecology of aquatic ecosystems at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station.
Catskill Interpretive Center Director
Sarah has a background in publicity and marketing for socially-minded small companies, non-profits, and individuals in the arts and entertainment industry.
She has also served as a sustainability consultant on film and commercial sets in New York City and beyond, working with production teams to reduce waste, conserve resources, and give back to local communities. A rare opportunity to run a historic bed & breakfast brought her family back upstate to the Catskills, and the natural beauty, rich culture, and vibrant small towns soon convinced them to settle down here for good. Sarah brings to the Catskill Interpretive Center a passion for sustainable tourism and community-building. She enjoys hiking, photography, fiber arts, and exploring the Catskills and Hudson River Valley with her husband and children
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Katie Palm joined The Catskill Center in November 2010. Prior to working at the Catskill Center, Katie was the Education Specialist at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. In this role, she created a volunteer program and planned all the educational programs for adults and children. She has also worked at Longwood Gardens, the Watershed Agricultural Council and for Cornell Cooperative Extension as the Broome County Consumer/Community Horticulturist. Katie holds a MAT in Museum Education from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and a BS in Horticulture from Cornell University.
Director of Communications
After spending years as a freelance photographer, Heather joined the Catskill Center in May 2017. A resident of the village of Delhi, she lives on the edge of the little Delaware River and thinks the combo of streamside living and a yard filled with beautiful old hemlocks and yet edged with knotweed, makes her life a virtual case study in the concerns of the Catskill Center.
Heather studied art at San Diego State and her photographs have been shown in San Diego, LA and New York. Her editorial work has been published in the NY Times, NY Magazine and the Watershed Post.
Jonathan returned to the Catskill Center in February 2017 as Executive Assistant. From 2010 through 2014, he was the Membership and Outreach Coordinator for the Catskill Center and this experience in communications, development, and community and fundraising events will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth transition into his new role. He looks forward to working with all the partnering organizations, volunteers, and staff affiliated with the Catskill Center.
Jonathan previously worked in development with the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Orange County Land Trust, and most recently with the Western Catskills Community Revitalization Council. He received a Master of Professional Studies in Community Services Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from Alfred University.
Land Trust & stewardship manager
Michael Drillinger brings to the Catskill Center his professional experience from a broad background in business, technology and the environment. He has an MBA from LIU and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from SUNY Purchase. As a hiker and camper since childhood, Michael has spent countless days and nights on the trails and in the forests of the Catskills. He is a DEC licensed outdoor guide and has taught outdoor skills and camp craft. With a deep love of the Catskills, its unique ecosystems, the wonderful people and its rich history, Michael intends to help protect these treasures through his work at the Catskill Center. Michael lives in Woodstock with his wife Rosalind.
John joined the Catskill Center in February 2016. For the past twenty years he has been collaborating with scientists and land stewards throughout southeastern New York State promoting science-based management and conservation. His broad interest in nature has resulted in published articles on ecology, vegetational history, lake dynamics, fish populations, climate change and phenology. He is certified as a wildland firefighter and has participated in prescribed fires in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York and the serpentine barrens of Pennsylvania. John earned his MS degree in Geology at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire. He currently serves as Vice President of the John Burroughs Natural History Society and is on the board of the John Burroughs Association. Working with those two groups, he is developing a stewardship plan for the Burroughs Sanctuary in Esopus. In his spare time, John enjoys birdwatching with his wife Jamie.
Field Projects Manager
Daniel originally joined the Catskill Center for a 10-month internship to work on the biocontrol of invasive species within the Catskill’s region, focusing on hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer. He continues assisting with local education and outreach projects related to invasive species. Daniel attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where he received a degree in Ecology and Evolution. Originally from Bowie, Maryland, Daniel spent 4 months working at an internship with the National Park Service in New River Gorge, West Virginia releasing Laricobius nigrinus and controlling invasive species. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, and board games in his free time.
real estate project manager
Julia brings a background in land conservation and sustainability planning to her work with the Catskill Center. She will promote the program to eligible streamside landowners, visit with interested landowners at their properties, and work with interested, eligible landowners through the initial stages of the acquisition process.
Julia grew up in Rochester and received her undergraduate degree in biology from Cornell University and her master’s degree in conservation biology and sustainable development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is thrilled to be back in her home state working and playing in the Catskills. She loves hiking, canoeing, and camping with her husband and two young children.
REAL ESTATE closing MANAGER
A lifetime resident of New York State, Lisa enjoys hiking, volleyball, golf, and travel—especially when those activities include the company of her family.
Lisa comes to the Catskill Center with over twenty-five years of experience in the legal, title insurance, and land services industries. She manages the later stages of the property acquisition process for the Streamside Acquisition Program. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating, reviewing, and documenting all closing-related activities, including managing contracts for services and other technical and legal aspects of the closing process.
DATABASE MANAGER – FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
Susan joined the Catskill Center in 2010. She manages finances, memberships and runs the online store. Susan grew up in Connecticut but has lived with her family in Delhi for 20 years. In her free time, Susan enjoys hiking with her dog, crafts, and spending time with her daughter.
Land Trust Project Assistant
Dara Trahan is an AICP certified planner with over 17 years’ experience in land use and environmental planning. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University and a Masters in Regional and Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Albany. Ms. Trahan currently serves on the Board of the Greene Land Trust (GLT) and has drafted many of GLT’s management plans. She is proficient in GIS, creating site maps for the organization as needed.
Additional business enterprises include hanging various local art shows and land use consulting work. While she has focused on digital art in the past, her recent artistic expressions take the form of custom made masquerade masks of which she has sold over 700.
Visitor Services Associate / CIC
Jennifer has a background in art history and museum studies and a strong interest in American history and tourism. After relocating to the Hudson Valley in 1997, she and her husband purchased a 15-acre farm complete with an 1850's farmhouse. There they have raised a daughter surrounded by a menagerie of colorful chickens, geese and ducks. They produce and sell seasonal, organic vegetables, small grains and honey. As a board member of the Ulster County Historical Society and on staff at the Catskill Interpretive Center, Jennifer works to promote the Catskills through its amazing history, farming and the breathtaking nature that surrounds her.
Visitor Services Associate / CIC
A long-time nature and wildlife enthusiast, Collin has developed a connection to the Catskills while earning his M.S. in Environmental Policy from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy where he was awarded the Aldo Leopold Award for leadership through community service. As a two-term AmeriCorps member, he has focused his early career around creating local and equitable solutions to environmental challenges.
Collin comes to the Catskill Interpretive Center with an interdisciplinary background in Environmental Science and Policy and experience in land conservation, environmental education, and natural resources management. A resident of Saugerties, Collin spends many an evening and weekend getting out of doors and into the Catskills camping, birding, hiking, snowboarding, and studying plants and animals, usually with his camera. He spends the rest of his free time volunteering with the Northeast Wildlife Trackers and spending time with family and loved ones.
Visitor Services Associate / CIC
As a child, Richard Hennings's family had a log cabin on the slope of Overlook Mountain near Woodstock and he went there every summer for many years becoming attached to the region. He earned how to hike, identify trees, and about the night sky which was way darker than at home in New Jersey, In 1979 He moved here full time and went on to climb most of major mountains and develop an interest in birding. Richard joined the Catskill Interpretive Center in 2016 as a part time visitor associate and staffs the center on the weekends. Richard holds an Bachelor's and Master's degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University with an emphasis on water quality. Richard is a past member of the Ulster County Environmental Management Council and the Town of Olive Conservation Advisory Committee.