Meet the Experts

Meet the Experts

The Forest Preserve District's staff are experts in the fields of biology, ecology and cultural history. Many also bring years of experience teaching in our variety of school programs about plants and animals native to DuPage forest preserves, restoring natural areas and monitoring wildlife. 

Meet our experts.

Emaly Allison PIC small
Emaly Allison PIC small

Emaly Allison

Heritage Interpreter

Emaly Allison is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm. She leads the site's education programming and works both the agricultural and domestic sides of the farm. She enjoys working with the wide variety of heritage livestock breeds on the farm. She earned a B.A. in American history and civic innovation from Emory & Henry College and a M.A. in public history from the University of West Florida.

environmental-interpreter-dave-andrusyk
environmental-interpreter-dave-andrusyk

Dave Andrusyk

Fullersburg Woods Campus Coordinator

Dave Andrusyk is the Fullersburg Woods campus coordinator. He brings a wealth of knowledge about natural-areas management and geographic information systems to his more than 20-year career with the agency. He is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation. He enjoys teaching about fossils, plants and geocaching, and is the District's lead contact for scouting.

heritage-interpreter-dennis-buck
heritage-interpreter-dennis-buck

Dennis Buck

Heritage Interpretions and Collections Coordinator

Dennis Buck is a heritage interpretations and the collections coordinator at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. He enjoys teaching about American and Illinois histories, with nearly 25 years of experience. He earned a B.S. in history and an M.A. in history museum studies. He is a Certified Heritage Interpreter. 

Amy Caponigro PIC small
Amy Caponigro PIC small

Amy Caponigro

Heritage Interpreter

Amy Caponigro is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. With over ten years experience working on the farm, Amy leads the domestic program. She earned a B.S. in social studies education from Indiana Wesleyan University, with minors in fine arts and art history. She has a Masters Certificate in museum studies from Northern Illinois University and is currently working on her M.A. in U.S. history and public history with a focus on woman in the 1890's.

heritage-farming-program-coordinator-lisa-carpenter
heritage-farming-program-coordinator-lisa-carpenter

Lisa Carpenter

Heritage Farming Program Coordinator

Lisa Carpenter is the heritage farming program coordinator at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. She earned a B.A. in English and history and M.A. in American Studies. 

ranger-adam-carlson
ranger-adam-carlson

Adam Carlson

Assistant Site Manager

Adam Carlson is an assistant site manager with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation and certified to teach archery and kayaking to forest preserve patrons. He earned a B.A. in environmental law and public policy.

agicultural-specialist-matt-denhart
agicultural-specialist-matt-denhart

Matt Denhart

Agricultural Specialist

Matt Denhart is the agricultural specialist at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, and has over 15 years experience with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He works with the farm’s draft horses and drives the team for hay-wagon and sleigh rides. He earned an associate degree in recreation and wildlife management. 

environmental-interpreter-keriann-dubina
environmental-interpreter-keriann-dubina

Keriann Dubina

Environmental Interpreter

Keriann Dubina is an environmental interpreter with the Forest Preserve District. She enjoys teaching about freshwater biology, animal behavior, ecology, native gardening and design and also instructing teachers on STEM and professional-development opportunities. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpreters and a master naturalist. She earned a B.S. in zoology and M.S. in biology (ornithology), both from Western Illinois University.

Derek-Gronlund-240x245
Derek-Gronlund-240x245

Derek Gronlund

Environmental Interpreter

Derek Gronlund is an environmental interpreter with the Forest Preserve District. He has over 15 years experience working in outdoor education and enjoys sharing science and nature with a variety of audiences. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in animal sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a M.S. Ed. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on environmental and interpretive education from Northern Illinois University.

public-program-coordinator-carmen-guerrero
public-program-coordinator-carmen-guerrero

Carmen Guerrero

Public Program Coordinator

Carmen Guerrero is the public program coordinator at St. James Farm in Warrenville. She enjoys teaching English and history and holds specialized certifications in Type 09 secondary education with middle-school social studies endorsement. She earned a B.S. in psychology and English. 

wildlife-interpreter-nate-hambel2
wildlife-interpreter-nate-hambel2

Nate Hambel

Wildlife Interpreter

Nate Hambel is a wildlife interpreter at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. He enjoys teaching about wildlife, natural-resource management and outdoor recreation. He is trained in interpretation and wilderness first aid. He earned a B.S. in outdoor education and an M.A. in biology.
heritage-interpreter-wayne-hill
heritage-interpreter-wayne-hill

Wayne Hill

Heritage Interpreter

Wayne Hill is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, with more than 30 years at the Forest Preserve District. He enjoys teaching forest preserve patrons about history and the environment. He earned a B.A. in behavioral science and M.S. in human-resource development and management.
ecologist-jim-intihar-2
ecologist-jim-intihar-2

Jim Intihar

Ecologist

Jim Intihar is an ecologist at the Urban Stream Research Center at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He brings more than 10 years of experience in natural sciences to teaching about native freshwater mussels, mussel propagation and aquaculture.  He earned a B.S. in biology from Northern Illinois University and certification as a burn crew member.

manager-jay-johnson
manager-jay-johnson

Jay Johnson

Heritage Site Logistics Manager

Jay Johnson is the heritage site logistics manager at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County where he has worked for over 35 years. His love for the outdoors comes across when teaching programs about outdoor recreation and natural-areas management. He instructs others on prescribed burns and river rescue as part of the Chicago Wilderness partnership. He enjoys working with special-needs audiences. He earned a B.S. in forestry.

environmental-interpreter-Jenny-Kamm
environmental-interpreter-Jenny-Kamm

Jenny Kamm

Environmental Interpreter

Jenny Kamm is an environmental interpreter and the STEM-outreach coordinator with the Forest Preserve District. She earned a B.S. in environmental health from Illinois State University, where she was also president of the Student Action Coalition and ISU Beekeeping Club. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of wildlife and teaching young audiences.

manager-keith-mcclow-1
manager-keith-mcclow-1

Keith McClow

Manager of Heritage Education

Keith McClow is the heritage experience manager overseeing Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago and Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.  With more than 20 years of experience in living history at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, he enjoys teaching late 19th-century and U.S. histories. He earned a B.S. in management and M.A. in historical administration. 

ecologist-andres-ortega
ecologist-andres-ortega

Andrés Ortega

Ecologist

Andrés Ortega is the invertebrate ecologist at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He works to restore beneficial insect populations and manage other insects that pose threats to human or environmental health in DuPage forest preserves. He leads the Hine's emerald dragonfly recovery efforts in DuPage forest preserves and manages partnerships to enhance this native species' population in the local region. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in biology, both from Northern Illinois University.
environmental-interpreter-glenn-perricone
environmental-interpreter-glenn-perricone

Glenn Perricone

Environmental Interpreter

Glenn Perricone is an environmental interpreter with the Forest Preserve District. He enjoys teaching natural history and science through hands-on experiences. He has a B.A. in biology and is working towards his M.A. in biology with a focus on community-based conservation and experiential learning. Glenn is also an avid birder.

environmental-interpreter-jennifer-rydzewski
environmental-interpreter-jennifer-rydzewski

Jennifer Rydzewski

Environmental Interpreter

Jennifer Rydzewski is an environmental interpreter with the Forest Preserve District. She brings more than 10 years of experience to her profession in environmental education, including outdoor, community, residential camp and zoo settings. She earned a B.S. in animal sciences and M.S. in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.A. in zoology with a focus on community-based conservation and experiential learning from Miami University. She enjoys sharing her excitement over nature with others.
manager-michael-shannon
manager-michael-shannon

Michael Shannon

Assistant Manager of Site Operations

Michael Shannon is an assistant manager of site operations at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He not only organizes outdoor recreational programs for forest preserve patrons but also delivers archery instruction. He is certified in wildfire management and conducts training for prescribed burns and herbicide application. He earned a degree in environmental studies.

ranger-david-sima
ranger-david-sima

David Sima

Senior Ranger

David Sima is a senior ranger with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. With more than 30 years of outdoor recreational experience, he is certified in archery and kayaking and enjoys leading cast-iron cooking programs. He earned a B.S. in forestry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

ecologist-dan-thompson
ecologist-dan-thompson

Dan Thompson

Ecologist

Dan Thompson is an ecologist at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He brings a wealth of  knowledge and experience about native mammals, reptiles and amphibians to his profession. He leads the Blanding's turtle recovery efforts in DuPage forest preserves and manages partnerships to enhance this native species' population in the local region.
education-specialist-stephanie-touzalin
education-specialist-stephanie-touzalin

Stephanie Touzalin

Education Specialist

Stephanie Touzalin is the education specialist at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation and brings nearly 15 years of experience in teaching about wildlife, animal behavior and conservation. She earned a B.S. in natural resources and environmental science with a focus on fish and wildlife conservation from the University of Illinois.
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