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Staff

Peter Punzi - Executive Director

Peter is native son of Bergen County returning from a 17 year hiatus in the Pacific Northwest. He has a B.S in Plant Science (Rutgers U.), a M.S. in Public Horticulture Administration as well as certificates in Nature Center Administration and Museum Studies (U. of Delaware). Peter comes with administrative and supervisory experience in nonprofits and government agencies. He has been a director of a public garden, Lead Professor of a college horticulture program as well as a horticulturist/naturalist at the McFaul Environmental Center (Wyckoff, NJ). Peter loves being in the woods and is honored to be a part of the stewardship of Tenafly's "Green Island".


Debora Davidson - Director of Education

Since 2003, Debora has dedicated herself to building the education programs at TNC. She also serves on board of trustees for the Alliance of NJ Environmental Educators and helps lead the Nature Program Cooperative in Bergen County. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Debora graduated with a degree in Environmental studies from the University of Oregon. Debora has also worked with the Queens College's Center for Environmental Teaching and Research, and the NJ Audubon Society. “I feel that the most important thing I can do to make a positive impact to the natural world is to help people make meaningful connections between people and their local environment.”


Alexander Braunstein - Environmental Educator / Public Programs

Alex is a 2016 addition to the Nature Center staff, and is excited to share his love of the woods with others. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Drew University and just recently adventured across country to hike the national parks.

When not at the nature center Alex works as a lacrosse coach at Pascack Hills High School and as a Swim instructor.



Heather Dugdale Environmental Educator

Heather has over ten years of professional experience working with and educating others about animals. She is currently obtaining her Master of Science in Anthrozoology from Canisius College and has focused much of her graduate research on conservation education and speciesism. Thrilled for the opportunity to educate the public about the natural world, Heather hopes to promote positive interactions with and attitudes toward all kinds of wildlife.

In her free time, she enjoys writing, cooking, hiking, and kayaking.


Kathleen Farley Environmental Educator

Kathleen joined the Nature Center staff in 2012 and is thrilled to be working outdoors with kids! Previously, she spent six years working as a middle school science teacher in Newark where she emphasized environmental connections through the curriculum. Kathleen graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Natural Resource Management and after completing a Masters in Biology from Montclair State University, she is currently obtaining her Ph.D. in Biology from Rutgers-Newark. Her previous research included the breeding population decline of American Kestrels (New Jersey), the mating behaviors of wild horses (Outer Banks), and nest depredation of the Band-tailed Pigeon (Arizona). In what spare time she has, Kathleen enjoys hiking, camping, dancing, and of course, birding.

Christina Holstrom Environmental Educator / Scout Programs / Membership & Donations

Joining the Nature Center staff in 2011 Chris combines her extensive background in wildlife, science, and education with a sense of fun to provide vibrant programs for children of all ages. Chris earned a Master's degree in Wildlife Management from Rutgers University and a Bachelor's in Biology from Mary Baldwin College. She is a former consultant for the NJ Audubon Society and has worked with the NJ Bald Eagle Project, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Engaged in her community, she is a substitute teacher for Wyckoff Public Schools, active in her PTO, and has been a Cub Scout Leader and Girl Scout Volunteer. Chris enjoys hiking and traveling with her family in her spare time.


Sharon Keigher Environmental Educator

Sharon Keigher is an educator and writer who gravitates towards paddling, swimming, and wandering in woods. She spent the past 22 two years at Trinity School in Manhattan, most recently as Dean of Students.  Recently returning to her Jersey roots, she relishes her role as an Environmental Educator, joining TNC in 2017, and happy to have “office hours” in the Nature Center. She also serves as an Adjunct at Montclair State University and College Scholars Teacher for NJ SEEDS out of Drew University. 

Sharon is a joyful pet rescuer and freelance writer. She is eager to explore, share, and engage with the vibrant TNC Community.



Jennifer Lo Dico Environmental Educator / Camps / Birthday Programs

Jen joined the Nature Center Staff this January and is excited to share her passion of the outdoors with others! She has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware and studied abroad to Tanzania and Costa Rica focusing on the wildlife and bird biodiversity. Previously, she interned at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida as an Environmental Educator. 

She loves nature photography, birding, snorkeling, and hopes to travel the world!


Carolyn Navarro Environmental Educator

Carolyn is our newest edition to the Nature Center. She has recently returned from doing an internship with Big Cats, Bears, and primates. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Rutgers University. Carolyn has experience with wildlife rehabilitation and husbandry. She has a passion for training, she feels it is an amazing way to bond with animals. Carolyn has worked in animal education for over 2 years.

Her hobbies include hiking, reading, camping, and cuddling with her dog Roscoe.

Carolyn is excited to begin this new chapter at the Nature Center. She can’t wait to help others learn about the amazing things nature has to offer.


Kate Pochini Environmental Educator

Kate is a wildlife biologist with 6 years of experience working in the woods. She has a Master’s degree in Forestry and Natural Resources from Purdue University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colgate University, and she is excited to put all that education to use! 

Kate’s research focuses on amphibian diseases, so be sure to ask her all your frog, toad, and salamander questions. In her spare time, she likes to cook, rock climb, and paint.


Maryann Nelson - Bookkeeper