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 about native plants and animals to DuPage forest preserves, restoring natural areas and monitoring wildlife in our variety of school programs. 

Meet our experts.

naturalist-dave-andrusyk
naturalist-dave-andrusyk

Dave Andrusyk

Naturalist

Dave Andrusyk is a naturalist at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. 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, especially to Boy Scouts.  

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

Dennis Buck

Heritage Interpreter

Dennis Buck is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. He enjoys teaching about American and Illinois histories, with nearly 25 years of experience. He earned a B.S. in history and M.A. in history museum studies.

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

Lisa Carpenter

Heritage Farming Program Coordinator

Lisa Carpenter is a 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

Senior Ranger

Adam Carlson is a senior ranger with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, where he has worked for five years. 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.

naturalist-abby-dean
naturalist-abby-dean

Abby Dean

Naturalist

Abby Dean is a naturalist at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. She enjoys teaching about ecology, zoology, botany, biology and geology. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation. She earned a B.S. in outdoor recreation and resource management. 

aquatic-research-coordinator-jessi-demartini
aquatic-research-coordinator-jessi-demartini

Jessi DeMartini

Aquatic Research Center Coordinator

Jessi DeMartini is the research center coordinator at the Urban Stream Research Center at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. She brings 25 years of natural sciences experience to her profession and 15 years teaching about habitat restoration, stream ecosystems and macroinvertebrates, including freshwater mussels. She earned a B.S. in biology, RN and art degrees, and certification as a naturalist.

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

Matt Denhart

Agricultural Specialist

Matt Denhart is an agricultural specialist at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, and has worked for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for 15 years. 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. 

naturalist-keriann-dubina
naturalist-keriann-dubina

Keriann Dubina

Naturalist

Keriann Dubina is a naturalist at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. 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.

manager-sandy-fejt
manager-sandy-fejt

Sandy Fejt

Manager of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education

Sandy Fejt is the manager of wildlife rehabilitation and education at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, where she has worked for 20 years. She brings vast knowledge about native plants and gardening, insects and butterflies, and nature to the center. She earned a B.S. in geography from Elmhurst College and has a master’s certificate in leadership studies.

heritage-interpreter-kate-garret
heritage-interpreter-kate-garret

Kate Garret

Heritage Interpreter

Kate Garrett is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, where she has worked for nearly 10 years. She enjoys teaching about rural American life in the 19th century as well as women’s studies and technological and lifestyle changes in agricultural communities. She earned a B.A. in classical and art history.
manager-debbi-gayon
manager-debbi-gayon

Debbi Gayon

Manger of Natural Sciences Education

Debbi Gayon is the manager of natural sciences education at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook, where she has worked for nearly 25 years. She enjoys teaching forest preserve patrons about native gardening and formal educators about natural history and resources. She holds a B.S. in pre-med zoology and botany and a master’s certification in leadership studies and ethics.

heritage-interpreter-carmen-guerrero
heritage-interpreter-carmen-guerrero

Carmen Guerrero

Heritage Interpreter

Carmen Guerrero is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, where she has worked for 15 years. 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. 

naturalist-nate-hambel2
naturalist-nate-hambel2

Nate Hambel

Naturalist

Nate Hambel is a naturalist 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 is working towards a 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.
aquatic-technician-jim-intihar-2
aquatic-technician-jim-intihar-2

Jim Intihar

Aquatic Techician

Jim Intihar is an aquatic technician at the Urban Stream Research Center at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He brings nearly 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

Manager of Site Operations

Jay Johnson is the manager of site operations at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County where he has worked for nearly 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.

naturalist-leigh-korreck
naturalist-leigh-korreck

Leigh Korreck

Naturalist

Leigh Korreck is a naturalist at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. She works as part of a team that helps to educate forest preserve patrons about native wildlife and rehabilitate nearly 9,000 orphaned and injured animals each year at the center. She is also a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation. She enjoys teaching about biology, zoology, animal husbandry and behavioral management.

aquatic-technician-joe-limpers-2
aquatic-technician-joe-limpers-2

Joe Limpers

Aquatic Technician

Joe Limpers is an aquatic technician at the Urban Stream Research Center at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. He brings nearly 10 years of experience in natural sciences to teaching about native freshwater mussels, mussel propagation and aquaculture.  He earned a B.S. in zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

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

Keith McClow

Manager of Heritage Education

Keith McClow is the manager of heritage education at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago.  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 an 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 earned a B.S. and M.S. in biology, both from Northern Illinois University.
stem-outreach-coordinator-glenn-perricone
stem-outreach-coordinator-glenn-perricone

Glenn Perricone

STEM and Teacher Coordinator

Glenn Perricone is the STEM and school outreach coordinator at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. He enjoys teaching natural history through hands-on experiences and you’ll often see him at STEM events or student-engagement fairs. 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.

naturalist-krystle-piwowar
naturalist-krystle-piwowar

Krystle Piwowar

Naturalist

Krystle Piwowar is a naturalist at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. She has worked not only as a ranger at the Forest Preserve District but also as a veterinary technician at the wildlife center. She enjoys teaching about native wildlife, and she is knowledgeable in animal-behavior management, wildlife biology and zoology. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpreters. She earned a B.A. in biology from Trinity Christian College.

naturalist-jennifer-rydzewski
naturalist-jennifer-rydzewski

Jennifer Rydzewski

Naturalist

Jennifer Rydzewski is a naturalist at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. She brings more than 10 years of experience to her profession in environmental education, including history in the classroom, community, outdoor, 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 nearly 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. 

heritage-interpreter-kendra-strubhart
heritage-interpreter-kendra-strubhart

Kendra Strubhart

Heritage Interpreter

Kendra Strubhart is a heritage interpreter at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. She holds certifications in museum studies and methods of interpretation and is a Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation. She enjoys history and fine art. 

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.
naturalist-stephanie-touzalin
naturalist-stephanie-touzalin

Stephanie Touzalin

Naturalist

Stephanie Touzalin is a naturalist 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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