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Appalachian LCC Staff

Jean Brennan, LCC Coordinator & Chief Scientist

Dr. Jean Brennan is the Coordinator and Chief Scientist/Science Coordinator for the Appalachian LCC where she has served since 2010. As an ecologist she has worked extensively internationally, conducting research on primates in Kenya; carnivores on Madagascar; Asian elephants and other endangered large mammals on Peninsula Malaysia; and orangutans and proboscis monkeys on Borneo, Indonesia.  She holds graduate degrees in Population Biology and Genetics from the University of Tennessee; Forest Ecology from Yale University School of Forestry; and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught “Conservation Biology” at the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, and “Air Resources” at the University of California Davis.

Before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jean worked as a Senior Climate Change Scientist, most recently with a DC-based environmental NGO, and previously as a Senior Conservation Scientist for the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Jean also served as a staff scientist for the U.S. State Department, Office of Global Change.  Her work as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earned her recognition and she was recognized for her contributions and selected by the IPCC to share the honor the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  Her current interests focus on the application of science at a landscape-scale and synthetic research into the impacts and adaptation to climate- and major land-use change.

Matthew Cimitile, Communications Coordinator

Matthew Cimitile worked for the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center prior to joining the Appalachian LCC team as a writer and multimedia specialist where he produced press releases, feature articles, online content, and helped develop a video podcast series that went on to win a USGS Shoemaker Award in audio and visual communications. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Tampa and a master’s in environmental journalism at Michigan State University.  During his time at Michigan State, Matthew interned with The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Health News, and was part of the initial team that started the environmental reporting website Great Lakes EchoIf you have any questions regarding the Appalachian LCC or this website, please contact Matthew.

Gillian Bee, Landscape Conservation Fellow

Gillian Bee is the new Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Fellow, stationed at Clemson University. In her current role she will be working with partners in the Tennessee River Basin to provide science-based decision support. Prior to her new role, Gillian was the Stewardship Director for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. For the past five years she has focused her efforts on the collaborative conservation of private working lands. She is passionate about building relationships that encourage proactive conservation for natural resources and rural culture. Gillian received her bachelor’s in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont and her master’s in wildlife biology from Clemson University.

Marilyn Knight, GIS Specialist

Marilyn Knight is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist/GIS Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a joint position with the Appalachian LCC and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program stationed in Gloucester, Virginia. She provides technical and financial assistance for wildlife habitat restoration and improvement projects throughout Virginia and GIS and website support for the Virginia Field Office. Before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2002, she interned for the Red Wolf Recovery Program at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. In December 2002, she joined the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's South Florida Ecological Services Office in Vero Beach, Florida, and served as an endangered species biologist working primarily on the recovery of bats, reptiles, and plants.

Kelly Rene, Communications & Outreach Intern

A recent graduate of George Mason University, Kelly René recently began working for both the Ohio Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Appalachian LCC through the Student Conservation Association. Kelly is leading the Appalachian LCC social media effort and developing various outreach products as well as conducting collaborative educational outreach using interpretive materials to allow visitors to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Refuge and its role in the surrounding landscape.

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