Melissa grew up on Shelter Island, east of Long Island, New York—a coastal island one-third of which is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. She volunteered at Mashomack Preserve throughout high school and worked as a seasonal Conservation Assistant summers while studying biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, where she assisted an ecology professor researching the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly. For five years since graduation, she has worked for The Nature Conservancy on the Oregon Coast in one capacity or another, doing field surveys and working with coastal land owners to improve butterfly habitat. During that time she also partnered with NCLC’s stewardship director, assisting with stewardship projects, so she knew NCLC well even before moving to Astoria and becoming NCLC’s new stewardship director in March.
“I’ve really appreciated getting to know Melissa over the past several years during her work with The Nature Conservancy,” says Executive Director Katie Voelke. “She’s smart, practical, analytical, and fun and has a passion for conservation—a perfect fit for our team and our stewardship program.”
“I’m excited to be joining the NCLC community,” Melissa says. “I’ve admired the land trust’s work for a long time.” She is also happy to be back living in a rural coastal community not unlike the one she grew up in, and she has a sincere appreciation for her predecessor.
Please join NCLC in welcoming new Stewardship Director Melissa Reich to our community!