Conservation Technology Team

Jeffrey Allenby, Director of Conservation Technology

Jeff is the Director of Conservation Technology at the Chesapeake Conservancy. His team explores new ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Conservancy’s projects and focuses on developing new ways to empower partner organizations by providing them with innovative ways to access geospatial data and analysis tools that will create beneficial management outcomes. He is currently investigating the use of high-resolution imagery and LIDAR elevation data to map land cover at the large landscape scale and is constructing interactive tools to better target BMP implementation and riparian conservation and restoration projects. Before joining the Conservancy, Jeff worked with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources managing a competitive grant program that provided technical and financial support to local communities to realize and proactively adapt to climate change and coastal hazards. Jeff has a Masters of Environmental Management and Certificate in Geospatial Analysis from Duke University and a Bachelors of Science from the University of Richmond. Jeff enjoys running, mountain biking, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and two cats.  

Jacob Czawlytko, Geospatial Analyst 

Jacob is a recent addition to the Conservation Innovation Center. He is assisting with automating data pipelines and GIS analysis using Python to support cutting edge high-resolution land cover mapping projects. Previously, Jacob worked with the Chesapeake Bay Program in Annapolis on land cover modeling. He graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and a Certificate in GIS. In his free time, Jacob fosters dogs for the Maryland SPCA, enjoys getting outdoors, rock climbing, cooking, and has just started to learn woodworking.

Louis Keddell, Senior Geospatial Analyst

Louis is a member of the high resolution land cover team and leads geospatial projects for several conservation projects here at the Chesapeake Conservancy.  Louis has a Master of Arts degree in Geographical Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Virginia Tech.  A local resident of Virginia and Maryland areas, Louis is excited to join the Conservancy in protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed by applying his geospatial experience for environmental analysis and conservation.  He also enjoys traveling and trying new foods. 

LeeAnn King, Geospatial Program Manager

LeeAnn is the geospatial program manager of the Chesapeake Conservancy where she helps lead the Conservation Innovation Center in developing creative and innovative strategies that use the most advanced technologies and tools for environmental conservation. She works closely with our team and in partnership with government agencies, private foundations and corporations to advance conservation efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay Basin and beyond. Before joining the Conservancy, LeeAnn worked with USGS and USDA on conservation research, monitoring and implementation. She also studied and worked at the University of Maryland, College Park where she received a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.S. in Geographical Sciences. Her previous positions have involved extensive collaboration with international teams to develop environmental conservation strategies and methods for estimating agricultural production for food security; both using remote sensing, geospatial tools, machine learning and field measurements, synergistically. LeeAnn loves to promote well-being, serving on the board of directors of The Bike House, teaching free yoga at her neighborhood library, creating art with her community and sharing good food and nature with friends and family.

Jacob Leizear, GIS Fellow

Jake works with both the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and the Chesapeake Conservancy to achieve shared geospatial project goals. A recent graduate from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Certificate in GIS, Jake has a background in human GIS application, event planning, graphic design, and project management. Before coming on as the GIS Fellow, Jake assisted the Conservancy in developing the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Middle Branch Paddle Guide and worked closely with the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition to connect Baltimore residents with Baltimore’s parks and green spaces. In his free time, Jake enjoys going to the movies, cooking, and camping.

Emily Mills, Senior Geospatial Analyst

Emily’s work focuses on identifying and prioritizing restoration opportunities, as well as developing data and web-based tools for partner organizations. She also supports Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership projects, such as analyzing change detection methodologies and mapping best management practices for water quality. She graduated with a Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University in May 2017 and has a background in landscape ecology, conservation GIS, and remote sensing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the Ohio State University. Emily loves eating, traveling, reading, hiking, and playing/watching basketball.

Michael Norton, Research Manager

Michael Norton oversees analytical projects with the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership. Some of his projects will include evaluating change detection methodologies and comparing different land cover classification techniques. Mike has a background that includes agricultural economics research and the Peace Corps; most recently he was consulting for the World Bank and finishing his PhD in Geography at University of California, Davis. He holds a master’s degree from UC Davis in Agricultural and Resource Economics, a master’s degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Mike likes watching baseball and superhero movies and hanging out with his wife and two young boys.   David is a member of the geospatial team whose work focuses on high-resolution stream mapping and terrain analysis. Prior to joining the Chesapeake Conservancy, David worked for the United States Geological Survey Eastern Geographic Science Center mapping headwater streams using LiDAR and modeling sediment fluxes throughout the Bay watershed. David holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and has a background in hydrology and geospatial analysis. A native of Southern Maryland, David enjoys fishing, brewing beer, and spending time outdoors.

Rachel Soobitsky, Geospatial Project Manager

Rachel helps to develop data and analyses in support of Chesapeake Conservancy’s conservation programs. Before joining the CIC, she held GIS analyst positions at NASA and NOAA on a variety of environmental projects. In addition, she gained experience in the field as a layout foreman at a stream restoration company. Rachel has a Master’s in Geospatial Information Science and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with a minor in Sustainability, both from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Her hobbies include traveling, yoga,  reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

Katie Walker, Geospatial Analyst

A Maryland native, Katie has been camping and enjoying the outdoors since she was born. In high school, she got involved with environmental and outdoor education, which led her to pursue a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Washington College. While there she found a passion for sustainable food systems and anthropology, as well as delving into the complexity of the Chesapeake region. Before joining the Conservancy, Katie worked at the Washington College GIS Program, where she trained undergraduates how to utilize GIS for professional projects as data raconteurs. She likes to spend her free time cooking, playing board games, or learning new things.

Emily Wiggans, Geospatial Analyst 

Emily is a new addition to the Conservation Innovation Center team. Before joining the CIC, she spent three years in the environmental consulting world working on a variety of GIS and remote sensing projects. Highlights included working with a state transportation agency to identify BMP opportunities to offset nutrient loading to the Chesapeake Bay, and land cover change detection in Fort Pickett, a Virginia Army National Guard facility. Emily grew up around Yorktown, Virginia, and spent lots of time on the Chesapeake Bay kayaking with her family. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, with a focus on GIS and astronomy. Outside of work, she enjoys hosting trivia night at a local brewery, sharing views of the night sky with her telescope, traveling, podcasts, and exploring Washington, D.C.