Programs Team

Susan Shingledecker, Vice President and Director of Programs

Susan runs the Chesapeake Conservancy’s programs, which include community-based conservation initiatives throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. She also provides leadership to the organization as a whole, working with the Annapolis-based nonprofit’s president and board of directors to determine and administer the organizations strategic direction in accomplishing its mission. Susan brings over 15 years of professional experience in consulting, public policy, state government and nonprofit management. She has worked in a number of positions for Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water since 2005. Most recently, Susan served as Vice President, where she oversaw day-to-day operation of the nonprofit and led environmental efforts at Boat U.S. and GEICO Marine Insurance. She also supervised the Foundation’s boating safety and clean boating programs including the development of interactive online learning courses, boater outreach and fundraising. Susan holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from American University. In her free time Susan loves getting out on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and two boys on their family sailboat or fleet of kayaks.

Carolyn Black, Interpretation and Partnership Associate

Working in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office, Carolyn assists with communications and outreach for the lower Chesapeake Bay segment of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Stationed at Historic Jamestowne in Virginia, she coordinates interpretive and educational programming for Werowocomoco and other Virginia partners who are featured on the Chesapeake Trail. Carolyn worked with NPS Chesapeake Bay in the summer of 2015 as an intern with the Student Conservation Association in the Cultural Resources program and returned as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps intern the following year. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Thought & Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was raised in the Greater Boston area where she was taught a respect for the outdoors through fishing, canoeing, and volunteering for environmental sustainability initiatives.

John Davy, Virginia Project and Partnership Coordinator

John brings more than 4 decades of leadership and management experience to the Chesapeake Conservancy. He was with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for 37 years and for his last 12 years there he was the Director of the Division of Planning and Recreation Resources where he oversaw the acquisition planning and development of VA state parks, handled the agencies Land and Water Conservation grants program, implemented the state’s scenic river and Virginia byways program as well as the development and implementation of the State’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan.  He also served as the Department’s liaison to the Bay program and chaired its multi-state public access work group.  For the past 8 years John worked for the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and served as their lesion and coordinator for projects in Virginia including the development of the first segment plan for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, worked with a variety of partners in developing new access sites and paddle-in campsites to support of the trail and coordinated trail efforts with local and state agencies.  John is a graduate of Virginia Tech and received a BS in Forestry and Wildlife as well as a Masters in Natural Resource Planning.  He will be serving part time as the Virginia projects and partnership coordinator for the Conservancy.

Carly Dean, Project Manager

Carly Dean is a project manager at the Chesapeake Conservancy where she facilitates data-driven collective impact throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. After completing her M.S. in Environmental Science at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, she researched sustainable development for a real estate developer in Beijing, China and social resilience at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis near Vienna, Austria. Her B.S. in Environmental Science is from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. At the Conservancy, her work is focused on creating and delivering innovative, customized datasets and tools for diverse partners to help restore farmland and improve urban stormwater management. She lives in Baltimore where she enjoys city life and spending time with her niece, Ruby.

Adrienne Gemberling, Susquehanna Technical Coordinator

Adrienne serves as the key on-the-ground coordinator for the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Implementing Precision Conservation in the Susquehanna River Watershed Project. As the Susquehanna Technical Coordinator, she collaborates with local partner agencies, universities, stakeholder groups, businesses, and conservation organizations to pilot precision conservation practices, assess best management practice effectiveness through data collection, and develop tools for local partners. Adrienne comes to the Conservancy with a breadth of local, on-the-ground knowledge of watershed management, natural resource needs, and data gaps within the Susquehanna River Basin. She is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College with a degree in Biology and has a master’s degree in Biology with a focus on freshwater ecology from Missouri State University. Adrienne is a native of central Pennsylvania and currently resides in the small town of Mifflinburg where she enjoys kayaking, fishing, hiking, and gardening.

John Griffin, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Program Manager

As Partnership Coordinator, John works to advance large landscape conservation initiatives in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by convening diverse, multi-disciplinary stakeholders. The Partnership seeks to extend the conservation of large landscapes throughout the region to benefit multiple values, including sustainability; scenic, historic and cultural heritage; working lands; important bio- diversity and wildlife habitat; water quality and supply; and overall quality of life. John is the former Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources under two Governors, the Deputy Secretary of the department, the General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and served as Chief of Staff for Governor Martin O’Malley. He brings decades of experience with resource conservation and environmental protection as well as relationships across the Chesapeake watershed. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Niagara University and Master of Arts in social work from the Catholic University of America. He has five children and three granddaughters and lives in Annapolis with his wife Michele and their twin boys.

Jessica Hammond, Conservation Coordinator

Jessica, who goes by Jessi, is the conservation coordinator for the Conservancy, increasing the capacity of land protection efforts in the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Jessi works extensively with federal, state, and NGO conservation partners to achieve land protection goals and promote the enhancement of protection efforts through the use of technology for strategic prioritization, and implementation of restoration and resilience practices into protection projects. Prior to joining the Chesapeake Conservancy, Jessi worked with The Nature Conservancy on land protection, restoration, and coastal resilience.  She also worked in California’s Central Valley implementing large-scale floodplain restoration projects, and understanding how local and landscape scale factors influence restoration outcomes for a variety of metrics affecting wildlife, habitat succession, hydrologic, and geomorphic processes.  Jessi is originally from Washington DC, and though her life and work have afforded her the opportunity to work in diverse geographies across the country, she is excited to return to her hometown watershed of the Chesapeake Bay, and joining the exciting team at the Chesapeake Conservancy.  Outside of regular business hours Jessi can be found birdwatching, running trails with her dog Patch, paddling on the water, and adventuring or just spending time with friends and family.

Joseph McCauley, Chesapeake Fellow

Retired from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Joe brings vast conservation experience, both at the policy level and in the field, to the Conservancy. As Chesapeake Fellow, he serves as a mentor to the Conservancy staff and enhances the organization’s conservation efforts in Virginia. Joe most recently served as regional chief, Division of Realty, Northeast Region, USFWS, where he was responsible for overseeing real property acquisition within the 13 Northeast States. His accomplishments included adding nearly 18,000 acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System, working with the Rivers of the Chesapeake Landscape Conservation Collaborative, the Conservancy’s Envision the James Core Team, and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Steering Committee. A graduate of West Virginia University, Joe lives in the Richmond, VA area. He and his wife Julia have two grown sons. In his spare time, Joe enjoys fishing, gardening and birding.

Gabrielle Roffe, Project & Partnership Coordinator

As the project and partnership coordinator, Gabrielle (Gaby),  works closely with the National Park Service on the Gateways and Watertrails Network to help promote stewardship in the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to working at the Chesapeake Conservancy, Gaby worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service building urban partnerships and community engagement programs in Kansas City and Denver as well as with the National Aquarium in Baltimore. She completed her MS in Environmental Science at Towson University and her BA at the University of Southern California. Outside of work, Gaby loves to collect bugs, do yoga, brew kombucha, travel, and spend time with family.

Kaitlyn Gardineer, Programs Intern 

Kaitlyn is an intern from Susquehanna University who is working with the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Susquehanna Technical Coordinator as well as University faculty. Kaitlyn is majoring in Earth and Environmental Science.

Brett Miller, Programs Intern

Brett is an undergraduate student at Susquehanna University, majoring in Public Policy and Environmental Studies. He grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania where his passion for the outdoors and conservation began. Brett had the opportunity to intern as a research assistant at Susquehanna’s Freshwater Research Initiative where he worked to collect data on native trout as indicators for stream health. He hopes to one day work in Environmental Policy at the government or non-profit level. In his free-time, Brett enjoys fishing, kayaking, and playing rugby for Susquehanna University.