Peter Punzi - Executive Director
Peter is native son of Bergen County returning from a 17 year hiatus in the Pacific Northwest. He has a B.S in Plant Science (Rutgers U.), a M.S. in Public Horticulture Administration as well as certificates in Nature Center Administration and Museum Studies (U. of Delaware). Peter comes with administrative and supervisory experience in nonprofits and government agencies. He has been a director of a public garden, Lead Professor of a college horticulture program as well as a horticulturist/naturalist at the McFaul Environmental Center (Wyckoff, NJ). Peter loves being in the woods and is honored to be a part of the stewardship of Tenafly's "Green Island".
Debora Davidson - Director of Education
Since 2003, Debora has dedicated herself to building the education programs at TNC. She also serves on board of trustees for the Alliance of NJ Environmental Educators and helps lead the Nature Program Cooperative in Bergen County. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Debora graduated with a degree in Environmental studies from the University of Oregon. Debora has also worked with the Queens College's Center for Environmental Teaching and Research, and the NJ Audubon Society. “I feel that the most important thing I can do to make a positive impact to the natural world is to help people make meaningful connections between people and their local environment.”
Alexander Braunstein - Environmental Educator / Public Programs
Alex is a 2016 addition to the Nature Center staff, and is excited to share his love of the woods with others. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Drew University and just recently adventured across country to hike the national parks.
When not at the nature center Alex works as a lacrosse coach at Pascack Hills High School and as a Swim instructor.
Kathleen Farley - Environmental Educator
Kathleen joined the Nature Center staff in 2012 and is thrilled to be working outdoors with kids! Previously, she spent six years working as a middle school science teacher in Newark where she emphasized environmental connections through the curriculum. Kathleen graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Natural Resource Management and after completing a Masters in Biology from Montclair State University, she is currently obtaining her Ph.D. in Biology from Rutgers-Newark. Her previous research included the breeding population decline of American Kestrels (New Jersey), the mating behaviors of wild horses (Outer Banks), and nest depredation of the Band-tailed Pigeon (Arizona). In what spare time she has, Kathleen enjoys hiking, camping, dancing, and of course, birding.
Jillian Henthorn - Environmental Educator
Jillian is a new staff member to the Tenafly Nature Center. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's in Environmental Studies and Management at Fordham University. Jill has worked in a classroom setting before and volunteered at several environmental centers in New York and New Jersey. She has a passion for learning and educating.
In her free time, she can be found exploring new hiking trails, exercising, or gardening.
Elizabeth Hinckley - Environmental Educator
Elizabeth brings an eclectic and diverse background to her role as an Environmental Educator. Passionate about both nature and teaching, she brings her experience as a former nature center manager, yoga teacher, pet trainer, and occasional wildlife rescuer to her new role.
She holds a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies and an RYT certificate in yoga instruction, and recently completed an independent study of NJ Forestry. She has published one novel, and spends her spare time tracking in the woods, adventuring around the state, and writing.
Christina Holstrom - Environmental Educator / Scout Programs / Membership & Donations
Joining the Nature Center staff in 2011 Chris combines her extensive background in wildlife, science, and education with a sense of fun to provide vibrant programs for children of all ages. Chris earned a Master's degree in Wildlife Management from Rutgers University and a Bachelor's in Biology from Mary Baldwin College. She is a former consultant for the NJ Audubon Society and has worked with the NJ Bald Eagle Project, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Engaged in her community, she is a substitute teacher for Wyckoff Public Schools, active in her PTO, and has been a Cub Scout Leader and Girl Scout Volunteer. Chris enjoys hiking and traveling with her family in her spare time.
Sharon Keigher - Environmental Educator
Sharon Keigher is an educator and writer who gravitates towards paddling, swimming, and wandering in woods. She spent the past 22 two years at Trinity School in Manhattan, most recently as Dean of Students. Recently returning to her Jersey roots, she relishes her role as an Environmental Educator, joining TNC in 2017, and happy to have “office hours” in the Nature Center. She also serves as an Adjunct at Montclair State University and College Scholars Teacher for NJ SEEDS out of Drew University.
Sharon is a joyful pet rescuer and freelance writer. She is eager to explore, share, and engage with the vibrant TNC Community.
Jennifer Lo Dico - Environmental Educator / Camps / Birthday Programs
Jen joined the Nature Center Staff this January and is excited to share her passion of the outdoors with others! She has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware and studied abroad to Tanzania and Costa Rica focusing on the wildlife and bird biodiversity. Previously, she interned at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida as an Environmental Educator.
She loves nature photography, birding, snorkeling, and hopes to travel the world!
Asai MasChang - Environmental Educator
Asai MasChang joined the center's team in 2017. A recent graduate majoring in Environmental Studies from Stockton University, she is absolutely dedicated to creating a better world for current and future generations through education, conservation and preservation. Asai has spent her last two summers working as an environmental educator at a marine science camp in South Carolina and at an environmental center in rural Pennsylvania.
She was a member of The Girl Scouts of America until her senior year of highschool, is a beekeeper and a PADI certified recreational diver.
In what free time she has, you can catch her hiking, hammocking, gardening, traveling or spending time with her family.
Carolyn Navarro - Environmental Educator
Carolyn is our newest edition to the Nature Center. She has recently returned from doing an internship with Big Cats, Bears, and primates. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Rutgers University. Carolyn has experience with wildlife rehabilitation and husbandry. She has a passion for training, she feels it is an amazing way to bond with animals. Carolyn has worked in animal education for over 2 years.
Her hobbies include hiking, reading, camping, and cuddling with her dog Roscoe.
Carolyn is excited to begin this new chapter at the Nature Center. She can’t wait to help others learn about the amazing things nature has to offer.
Rebecca Noah - Environmental Educator
Rebecca loves to be outside and communicating about wildlife, ecosystems, and sustainability. She believes that developing a connection to the natural world is one of the strongest ways to cultivate a culture of sustainability that aims to protect and conserve the planet’s finite resources. She can’t wait to connect with you in nature! Rebecca has a B.S. from Rutgers University where she double majored in marine science as well as ecology, evolution, and natural resources. She is currently working on her master’s degree at NYU in environmental conservation education and will graduate in December 2017. Rebecca has studied primatology in Kenya and coral reef ecology in the Cayman Islands. She has worked extensively in the marine husbandry and used to lead outdoor trips as part of Rutgers’s outdoor recreation program. She is a registered RYT 200-hour yoga teacher and is currently in a 300-hour yoga training. In her free time, you can find Rebecca tending to her plants, catching any yoga or fitness class she can, or cuddled up with her partner, two cats, hedgehog, and a good book.
Heather Schinn - Environmental Educator
Heather has over ten years of professional experience working with and educating others about animals. She is currently obtaining her Master of Science in Anthrozoology from Canisius College and has focused much of her graduate research on conservation education and speciesism. Thrilled for the opportunity to educate the public about the natural world, Heather hopes to promote positive interactions with and attitudes toward all kinds of wildlife.
In her free time, she enjoys writing, cooking, hiking, and kayaking.
Maryann Nelson - Bookkeeper