Communications Coordinator & Outreach Assistant
Lydia (she/her) joined the BTLT team in June 2021. With a BA in Conservation Biology and Environmental Sustainability from Hampshire College as well as a graduate certificate in Food Studies from USM, she has a deep passion for our earth and all that it provides. She has professional experience working in outdoor and environmental education, food redistribution, marketing and communications, wildlife husbandry, and event management. Lydia is originally from eastern Massachusetts but has lived in Rhode Island, Vermont, North Carolina, and Australia. She now calls Lisbon Falls, Maine home with her partner and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys spin cycling, cooking, bowling, log-turning, and volunteering, serving on the Brunswick Pride planning committee.
Interim Executive Director
Caroline has a BA in English from Princeton and a Masters of Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and spent time raising a family and working in natural resource planning and policy at the state and regional level before working for BTLT/CREA. Caroline feels a deep connection to and interest in the natural world and loves being part of a community organization that connects people to nature through education. Caroline is delighted to be working with an organization that helps all generations appreciate and understand science and nature, especially the youngest generation. She hopes the youth we work with will carry their passion and knowledge into adulthood, where they can apply it to crafting innovative solutions to the environmental challenges of our time. Caroline served as Associate Director at BTLT from 2011 – 2017, and Executive Director of CREA from 2019-2023. She assumed the role of Deputy Director and Director of Education at BTLT after the BTLT/CREA merger.
Director of Stewardship
Margaret (she/her) joined the Land Trust in 2016 having previously worked for Maine Island Trail Association and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. She oversees and implements the stewardship work of the Land Trust by working with landowners and volunteers, planning, building, and maintaining trails, and managing the natural resources on the conserved lands in the community. She is a certified volunteer wildland fire fighter and enjoys gardening, kayaking, rock climbing, and skiing in her free time. She lives in Freeport with her partner.
Director of Development
Kristi (she/her) joined BTLT in January 2019 and oversees BTLT’s Annual Fund, Business Supporters Program, and Gift Planning. In this role she is reminded daily of the steadfast generosity of BTLT’s supporters — Thank you! She grew up in Bar Harbor, Maine, and is a graduate of Skidmore College and William & Mary School of Law. After stints on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and at a law firm in Boston, she was thrilled to return home to Maine in 2005. When not working, she welcomes any excuse to be outside or curled up with a good book. She lives in Brunswick with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
Jamie (she/her) joined the Land Trust in the spring of 2018 as a contractor, shifting into the role of Program Manager responsible for overseeing the Land Trust’s community and agricultural programs and events. Prior to this she worked in various agricultural roles as well as co-owned and managed a restaurant that integrated hands-on learning programs for children. She serves on the boards of Tedford Housing, Growing to Give, and Bath’s Development Corp. Alongside these responsibilities she works for the Merrymeeting Food Council, and she and her husband own Flight Deck Brewing. Jamie lives in Bath with her family.
Educator & School Program Coordinator
Sarah has over 20 years experience as an environmental educator in Maine, and can attest to the magic of outdoor teaching and learning, whether based in a secluded forest, a scenic lake, a messy compost pile, or a small green strip of weeds in the school parking lot. Before joining the team, Sarah first fell in love with nature-based education while teaching at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, leading summer programs at Maine Audubon Fields Pond Center near Bangor, and serving as the first Education Director at Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed in Augusta. In 2007, Sarah joined CREA as an Educator, launching CREA’s first camp programs and expanding its school programs. Since then, she has partnered with teachers in preschool through high school to develop hands-on place-based curriculum, delivers school field trips and eye-opening nature-based experiences for nearly 1,500 local students each year, and offers workshops that empower teachers to feel comfortable and confident teaching outdoors on their own. Sarah holds a BA in Environmental Science and Anthropology from Bowdoin College, and lives in Brunswick with her husband Trevor and two daughters. In her spare time, Sarah loves to be in the garden, plan outdoor adventures, and make time for music and game nights with family and friends. Her favorite veggies to grow in the garden are leeks, with brussels sprouts a close second.
Agricultural Programs Coordinator
Julia (she/her) joined the Land Trust in May 2021 as the Agricultural Programs Coordinator overseeing the Tom Settlemire Community Garden and the Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm. Julia holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a BFA in Photography from The New School in New York City. In addition to her NYC education, she has lived and worked on farms across New England and been involved in community gardens in Bar Harbor, Portland, and South Portland. When she’s not gardening, cooking, or talking about food, Julia can be found swimming in the ocean, bowling, or making photographs. She lives in South Portland with her partner and her two cats (and hopes to someday have chickens)!
Educator & School Program Coordinator
Carey (she/her) has over 25 years of experience in education. Most of this has been as an environmental educator, working for NH Audubon, The Science Center of New Hampshire, Morris Farm in Wiscasset, and a variety of other organizations throughout the country. She also taught 4th grade at Hussey School in Augusta, which gave her an even greater appreciation for public school teachers. Carey has a BA in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College. When not tromping through the woods with a group of energetic students, she can be found gardening, canoeing, skiing or hiking with her own family. She lives in Bowdoin with her husband and two children.
Development & Administrative Assistant
Alice (she/her) joined BTLT in May 2021 to assist the Development team and is thrilled to be involved with an organization committed to supporting local communities and our natural lands. A recent suburban transplant to the Brunswick area from a rural Turner farm, she is a New Jersey native and has grown up striving for a balanced city and outdoors life. Though Alice loves backpacking, gardening, creating, and soccer-ing, she has learned to develop a new, full-time love for chasing a wild 4 year old through the woods and waters of Maine.
Board of Directors
Liz is a member of the Maine Bar and for many years specialized in environmental law. For the past decade or more, she has worked in the field of gift planning at two of Maine’s institutions of higher education—first at Colby College and now as Senior Associate Director of Gift Planning at Bowdoin College. In this role, Liz educates donors and friends about gift vehicles such as charitable gift annuities, trusts, and bequests. Earlier in her career, she was SVP/GC at an environmental liability acquisition firm after having served as Corporate Environmental Risk Manager at one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Liz also was Deputy Commissioner at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in the McKernan administration. A multi-generational native of Maine, Liz grew up in Brunswick but has now lived in Topsham with her husband for almost 4 decades where they raised their two children.
Doug, a resident of Topsham, Maine, is a retired educator. He served as President of Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana) from 1997 to 2011. Previously, he served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Council of Learned Societies (1994-1997), as Provost at Reed College (1989-93), and as Professor of Political Science at Temple University (1973-1989). He was educated at Haverford College and Yale University and is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He has served on governing boards and committees for Haverford College, Friends Seminary (NYC), Germantown Friends School, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is married to Ellen Trout Bennett.
Ellen Trout Bennett
With degrees in geology and education, Ellen brings experience as a former middle school earth and environmental science teacher. She also directed regional professional development programs for science teachers, served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation’s Statewide Systemic Initiatives in Math and Science, and facilitated post-secondary study for first-generation college students, raising over $5 million in program support. Committed to both understanding and protecting our environment, as well as community engagement, Ellen currently volunteers to teach science enrichment activities alongside a group of retired scientists in local schools and enjoys spending time exploring the wilds of Maine with her family.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Bill Ferdinand has resided in Brunswick with his family since 1994. He served on the Brunswick Conservation Commission for many years and has been involved with open space planning, comprehensive planning, and land conservation for the Town. Bill is an attorney with Eaton Peabody, where he represents a variety of clients on public policy issues in the Maine Legislature and in regulatory matters with state agencies and municipalities. Prior to Eaton Peabody, he was a Senior Planner with the Maine State Planning Office where he worked on environmental policy issues and economic development initiatives. Bill was educated at St. Lawrence University, Tulane Law School, and Vermont Law School. Bill likes to spend time with his family and friends exploring the oceans, mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests of Maine and beyond.
Averil Fessenden, a longtime resident of Brunswick, loves the natural beauty of our area and the ease of moving between town and country. We are fortunate to be able to arrange a personal mix of time with people and events and times of more solitude in natural areas.
As a social worker, Averil worked with children and families for many years toward solving problems and creating fulfilling lives. She maintains a deep interest in how human communities and nature enhance individual lives. She has a BA from SUNY Binghamton and an MSW from Boston College, and is a Cooperative Extension Master Gardener. She is a lifelong lover of nature and activities outdoors – skiing, walking, cycling, gardening and kayaking.
Rol worked at LL Bean for 30 years, and in the last 15 years created and ran their world-wide supply chain. He was responsible for extending LL Bean’s partnership ethic to suppliers all over the world, ensuring that quality standards were met, and enforcing Bean’s human rights standards. Bean was a founding member of President Clinton’s factory human rights initiative in the 1990s.
Rol has volunteered for various organizations, including Brunswick Town Planning, Maine Department of Education, the National Alliance for State Math and Science Coalitions, Mid Coast Hospital, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and others.
Rol loves to be outdoors, whether it is daily walks with his wife Averil or mountain climbing and backpacking with friends. The outdoors is where he goes to find healing.
John is a professor emeritus of Biology and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College. While at Bowdoin, he served as Director of Environmental Studies and conducted research on the effects of elevated CO2 on forest ecosystems, the ecology, history, and biogeochemistry of Merrymeeting Bay and Maine rivers, and most recently, ecological recovery in coastal Maine. This recent work examined the ecological links between Maine’s rivers and the marine food web supporting Atlantic cod and other groundfish species. At Bowdoin, he taught classes in community and ecosystem ecology, environmental science, and biodiversity and conservation science.
John has interests in restoring and maintaining functioning local ecosystems as well as in local agriculture and sustainable fishing operations. He has been a member of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for several years.
Richard (Mers) Mersereau
Mers worked for 44 years at Bowdoin College in various administrative capacities, including admissions, communications. president’s office and board of trustees operations, and development, before retiring in 2015 as Secretary of the College Emeritus.
A long-time board member of BTLT, he also serves on the board for The Ecology School (Saco, ME) and Broadway Housing Communities (West Harlem, NYC), and is a former board member of Curtis Memorial Library.
Mers is a Bowdoin graduate, with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Wesleyan University. He lived in Harpswell for 25 years and has been a Brunswick resident since 1997. He is the father of Kyle and Elena.
Jeff grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Brown University with a B.S. in engineering and then worked as a research scientist at M.I.T. He and Ann married and moved to Vermont where Jeff worked for GE and where their children, Todd and Sarah, were born. Jeff was active in VT Audubon and the Ludlow Fire Department. After moving to NH Jeff obtained his M.S. in conservation biology from Antioch University. Jeff & Ann were among the founders of the Bedford Land Trust. Jeff also served on the Bedford Conservation Commission and was a trustee of New Hampshire Audubon. Jeff and Ann moved to Topsham in 2006 and Jeff has been on the Board of BTLT since 2008, serving on Lands and Governance and ad hoc committees. They enjoy exploring and appreciating the ecology of mid-coast Maine.
Matt worked for the State of Maine for over a decade as the Deputy Director of the Maine Coastal Zone Management Program. In July of 2019, Matt left the State to focus on his PhD, his business, and his family. He founded Muddy River Farm Aquaponics, a saltwater recirculation facility in Bath, Maine for upland oyster production. Additionally, he consults with municipalities and other companies regarding marine resource assessments, permit enforcement, and water quality monitoring/analysis. He also works as a project manager at Tetra Tech specializing in offshore energy permitting and living shorelines/habitat restoration. He’s the landowner relations chair for the Topsham Trailriders, a Mason, and also serves on Topsham’s Board of Selectmen and the Sagadahoc County Budget Advisory Committee. Matt’s front yard is the Muddy River, where he lives with his wife, two daughters, a good dog, eight chickens, and four ducks.
Tim is the Senior Marketing Manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Maine, responsible for delivering stories about the many facets of TNC’s work to help advance conservation, development, and public policy goals in the state. Tim came to The Nature Conservancy after more than 20 years as a marketer at L.L.Bean where he played an integral role in the company’s successful retail store growth from a single location in Freeport to twenty stores in nine states. His marketing acumen is built upon a broad range of professional experience, including project management, strategy and content development, graphic design, art direction, and copy writing. Tim and his wife Kathy live in Topsham and keep very busy raising their twin boys, who have enjoyed many sessions of CREA Summer Day Camp over the past several years.
Keisha is the Director of Sustainability at Bowdoin College, an office she has managed since 2001. In this role Keisha focuses on both engaging faculty, staff, and students in Bowdoin’s sustainability efforts as well as ensuring that Bowdoin integrates sustainable practices and policies in operations across campus. Current efforts focus on plans to become a fossil fuel-free campus by 2042. Keisha’s early career work focused on environmental education, working as an educator for both the Chewonki Foundation and Maine Audubon. Keisha received a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies as well as a master’s degree in Community Planning and Development from the University of Southern Maine. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. Keisha enjoys spending her free time gardening, running, hiking, boating and spending time with her husband, two teenagers and their dog.
Susan has a background in fundraising for community-based and mental health organizations in NYC, and social work in NYC and Maine. After years of experiencing the wealth of diverse communities in the city, she returned home to Maine, choosing Topsham for its amazing rivers, trails, and proximity to everything important, including Auburn/Lewiston where she was born and grew up. In retirement, Susan devotes herself to service on town committees and not for profit boards, including CREA/BTLT. A love of the outdoors, and the potential for bringing together people of all ages, is her motivation.
Tom grew up in a very conservation focused farm family in Ohio and the natural world has been his home all his life. He has been active in Maine in many areas of agriculture serving on local and state wide committees focusing on farm land conservation, food production, and marketing. He has BS and MS degrees from Ohio State University and a PhD in biochemistry from North Carolina State University. Tom served as Vice Chair of the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Committee from 1979-2007, he co-founded the Downtown Brunswick Farmers Market and along with his family operated a sheep and vegetable farm in Brunswick from 1970-2008. He has been a long time BTLT Board member and served twice as president. He is professor emeritus of Biochemistry at Bowdoin College.
Jan earned a B.S. in biology from Duke University and an M.A. from the Naval Postgraduate School. A former summer field ecology researcher and seasonal National Park Service ranger-naturalist, he served 22 years in naval aviation, then owned an insurance and financial services agency for 13 years and serves as a volunteer financial counselor for military retirees and other veterans. Jan has served as CREA’s treasurer, finance committee member, member of the development and programs committees, and is a past president of CREA.
Wherever he is, Sandy hopes for a daily trail. At home in Brunswick, that often takes him out to public lands.
Beginning in 1986, he wrote for or edited (1989 – 1999) the Appalachian Mountain Club’s journal, Appalachia. At the same time, he became a teacher, drawn centrally to the work of Henry David Thoreau and to the sentence-by-sentence teaching of writing. The 17-year-olds he taught were ideally suited for the explorations both subjects asked.
Other Life Facts: English teacher, coach and dean at Concord Academy, Concord MA (31 years); AMC member; author of Critical Hours — Search and Rescue in the White Mountains (UPNE, 2018); once upon a time, a tennis pro. Current: writer, trail-ambler, sea-kayaker, on Brunswick Conservation Commission. Married to teacher and writer, Lucille Stott.
President, Board of Directors
Emily is business manager of Pine Island Camp, a boys’ camp that has been in operation since 1902. She served on the BTLT board in the early 1990s, when she was involved in the capital campaign for Crystal Spring Farm, and rejoined the board in 2011. She served on Brunswick’s first Comprehensive Plan Committee and Downtown Master Plan Committee, for many years served on Brunswick’s Village Review Board, and currently volunteers with Curtis Friends. She is an avid bird watcher, forager, and traveler. She and her husband Ben have lived in Brunswick since 1987 and are glad their three grown children all live close by in Portland.
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Jamie Tatham is a CPA and is the Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer at Bowdoin College. He recently served on the Board of the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program where he helped launch and manage the “Backpack Program,” which provides supplemental weekend groceries for chronically hungry children. Jamie has always enjoyed the outdoors and has spent countless hours fishing, mountain bike riding, snowboarding, boating, and whitewater rafting (he became a registered Maine guide in 1995). Jamie joined the BTLT Board in the summer of 2017. He lives in Brunswick Maine with his wife and two children.
Lloyd Van Lunen
Lloyd retired from his internal medicine practice in Maine in 2013. He practiced with the Bowdoin Medical Group, which he helped to found in 1994. He formerly served on the board of Midcoast Health Services for many years and was a past president of the medical staff of the hospital. He has been on the BTLT Board since 1995 and was president of BTLT from 2002-2008. He lives in Brunswick and is an avid sailor, hiker, cross-country skier, and music lover. In the past few years he has completed voyages to Newfoundland and Labrador as well as numerous cruises along the Maine coast.
Nick grew up in Texas and attended Middlebury College for three years before leaving to grow organic vegetables with his wife, Laura.
After his uncle sold the farm, Nick and Laura moved to Topsham where they raised their two awesome sons, Ben and Dan.
In 1986 Nick founded Morningstar Stone and Tile, now 100% employee owned. In 2012 Ben, Nick and Laura established Whatley Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm, where Nick can indulge in his passions: care of the land, fostering the soil food web, playing bass fiddle in his band, and playing with his two grandchildren.
Vice President, Board of Directors
Margaret has lived in Brunswick since 1996, moving here from Madison, Wisconsin where she first started working on land conservation with the Ice Age Trail. She served as a Board member, an active volunteer, and used her skills as an attorney to help acquire land for the trail corridor. She practiced land use law for three years after moving to Maine and has served on several local municipal and non-profit boards including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Brunswick Planning Board, the Brunswick Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, Zoning Rewrite Committee, and United Way of Mid Coast Maine. At BTLT, Margaret has served as the Lands Committee Chair since 2010, assisting with projects from their initial phone call to closing, leading site walks, and actively participating in property monitoring, trail creation and maintenance as part of BTLT’s group of stewardship volunteers.
Jym St. Pierre