The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Vermont’s conservation commissions and to encourage the establishment of more conservation commissions in the state. AVCC is a membership organization, with conservation commissions as well as individuals as members. Founded in 1990, AVCC is overseen by a volunteer board of directors.
Mark Nelson (Board Chair) Mark is a retired financial services executive who retired early to commit his time and energy to conservation, environmental, and social work. Since retiring, Mark has dedicated the majority of his time to the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club. He joined the Executive Committee in 2013 and became the Chapter Chair in 2014. After 4 years, he has stepped down as Chair so that others can take a leadership role. Mark also leads National Outings for the Sierra Club and is a Training Officer for national outings leaders. Mark’s passion for conservation and environmental protection is based on his desire to “be the voice for those that have no say in human decisions that have an impact on them”. Mark also served on the Board for Habitat for Humanity of Addison County as Chair for the Credit Committee. Mark is also Chair for the Ripton Conservation Commission, a member of the Ripton Energy Committee, the Ripton Energy Assistance Program (REAP), and an EMT, Wilderness EMT and firefighter with Ripton Fire & Rescue, and Middlebury Regional EMS.
Bill Dell’Isola is currently the Conservation Analyst for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. Recently he was the Conservation Biologist for the Teton Regional Land Trust in Driggs, Idaho, where he engaged in conservation planning, conservation easement stewardship, grant writing, and Sandhill Crane and Trumpeter Swan restoration projects. Before TRLT, he worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Trumpeter Swan Society, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Bill has a degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY-ESF and lives in Montpelier with his wife, Annie.
Caitlin Drasher (she/her) is a Research Assistant and PhD Candidate in the Natural Resources program at the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on evaluating landscape connectivity for wildlife across the northeastern US by building models of wildlife movement and gene flow using electrical circuit theory. Caitlin works closely with state, federal, and nonprofit wildlife and land management organizations to promote connectivity for wildlife and mitigate the impacts of fragmentation. Prior to graduate school, Caitlin worked for various state wildlife agencies on black bear and bobcat research projects. Originally from Manchester, Vermont, she currently resides in Burlington.
Greta Hasler is the Communications Director at Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC). She first joined VNRC in 2021 in a role where she supported energy and climate policy and the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN). Before joining VNRC, Greta worked on advocacy and engagement around responsible resource management and food system resiliency. She was formerly on the outreach team at U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Vermont office, led clean water permitting for agriculture at the Maryland Department of the Environment, and supported renewable energy policy work at both the Sierra Club and 350Vermont. Greta holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science from the University of Vermont and lives in Burlington.
Nancy Jones (Secretary) is Chair of the Conservation Commission in Bradford. She is also a Co-Chair on Bradford’s Conservation Fund Committee, which works to preserve precious natural resources and helps private landowners cover the up-front costs of conserving their land in Bradford. She is a retired teacher who taught Biology at Oxbow High School for 20 years, and taught in elementary schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 13 years.
Suma Lashof is the Donor Relations Manager at the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a global conservation organization united by a mission to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. Suma earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont, where she completed her senior thesis on bat conservation studies in partnership with Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Growing up surrounded by Vermont’s beauty fostered a deep connection with nature, and she is proud to dedicate her career to protect the natural communities that shaped her character.
Justin Marsh (they/them) is Political Outreach Director at Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) and the chair of the Cambridge Conservation Commission. Justin is a Cambridge native, growing up on their family’s dairy farm and sugar bush. In 2012, they ran for the state legislature and have worked on several historic campaigns since. They are a published editor (Tasteful Traditions, Red Barn Books, 2014), and have held or currently serve in several positions on local non-profit and municipal boards. In 2016, they helped write the grant known as The Silo Project, which transformed two abandoned concrete silos on preserved land into the largest outdoor public art installment in the state of Vermont. In 2020, they were instrumental in the conservation of 51 acres of land now known as the Peter A. Krusch Nature Preserve. They are the former Director of Communications & Development at Pride Center of Vermont, and an alum of Vermont State University.
Rebecca Roman (she/her) is interested in the intersection of conservation, ecology, environmental justice, and housing rights in Vermont. As a state, we have such a unique approach to projects that fall into some, or all, of these categories and it is exciting to watch it continue to evolve. Rebecca currently serves as an active member on the Burlington Conservation Board and the Open Space Subcommittee. She works at Vermont Land Trust (VLT) as a Regional Stewardship Manager for parts of Northern Vermont. Before that, Rebecca served for two years as a Vermont Housing and Conservation Board AmeriCorps member at VLT. Since 2017 Rebecca has been an assistant teacher at the Governor’s Institute of Vermont for the Environmental Science and Technology Program. She earned her BA in Environmental Sciences at the University of Vermont.
Marian Wolz (she/her) is the Resilience and Adaptation Coordinator at the Agency of Natural Resources’ Climate Action Office. She works closely with state and local partners to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change by supporting and building capacity in communities to implement adaptation actions. Before joining the Climate Action Office, Marian worked on statewide planning initiatives for climate change, emergency response and recovery, and community planning for affordability and multi-modal transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public and urban affairs from Virginia Tech and has served on the Montpelier Conservation Commission and the Montpelier Conservation Fund Advisory Board.