Strike Team Staff
Melissa holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University and has over 10 years of experience in education, land stewardship, and project management. Melissa was an original co-chair of the Strike Team and served on the initial Board of Directors of the Strike Team during its formation as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2011 before transitioning to the Director. She also serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Pest Council.
Central Region Coordinator
Rachel is the land steward at the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space through which she is contracted to manage all stewardship and outreach activities in the central region. Rachel has been working with the Strike Team since inception in 2008. She is also a committee member of the Sourland Planning Council and is a nature photographer.
Southern Region Coordinator
Michael is the Habitat Assessment & Volunteer Coordinator for South Jersey Land & Water Trust through which he is contracted to manage all stewardship and outreach activities in the southern region. He has over 30 years of experience in field work, volunteer training and invasives species control. Michael has been with SJLWT since 2008 and has worked with municipal representatives, nonprofit, State, Federal and regional agencies and with private stakeholders on a variety of projects. Michael serves on the Weymouth Township zoning board, shade tree and environmental commissions, and chairs the Atlantic County Parks and Environmental Advisory Board.
Michael Van Clef, Ph.D.
Mike is the owner of Ecological Solutions, LLC through which he contracts with the Strike Team as the Science Director. Mike has a Ph.D. in ecology from Rutgers University and over 20 years of experience in land stewardship, planning and research, working extensively in the evaluation and management of rare and invasive species. He has consulted with over 30 organizations in NJ including the NJ Invasive Species Council for which he prepared the New Jersey Strategic Management Plan for Invasive Species.
Board of Directors
Jon holds a BS in biology from Richard Stockton College, as well as a Master of Forestry Degree from Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental studies. He is the Vice President for Conservation Programs for Conservation Resources Inc. He has had extensive experience with land acquisition, stewardship and, restoration projects on behalf of several non-profit conservation organizations. Jon is also the Director of Land Acquisition and Stewardship for Schiff Natural Lands Trust in Mendham. Jon was previously the Director of Stewardship and Assistant Director of Land Acquisition and Stewardship for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, served as Chair of the Mendham Township Open Space Trust Committee and was a Trustee of the Washington Township Land Trust. He was also on the NJ Forest Stewardship Committee and the Pinelands Forestry Advisory Committee.
Vice Chair, 2011-2012
Ken is Director of Watershed Protection for the NJ Water Supply Authority. He manages the Authority's activities in source water and watershed protection in the Raritan River Basin and Manasquan River watershed, and represents the Authority on statewide watershed policy issues. Ken worked for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for 20 years, eight as manager for watershed protection and water supply planning. Ken is active with many municipal and non-profit boards, including the the Tewksbury Land Trust (of which he is President), the NJ Conservation Foundation, and the NJ Highlands Development Credit Bank.
Susan holds a B.A. in Education and an M.B.A., and is currently working with conservation organizations in New Jersey and Florida on policy and communications initiatives. She was the Executive Director of the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium and co-founder of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council. She has worked in a variety of positions with Girl Scout Councils in Missouri and Georgia and is a former member of the South Florida Water Management District's Water Resources Advisory Committee, the Lee County Local Planning Agency and the Boards of Directors of many community organizations including RiverWatch, Audubon of Southwest Florida and the Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida.
Alda has her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and a BA in Political Science. Before moving to NJ in 1991, she practiced commercial real estate law in Maryland. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Cora Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills through which she has implemented a woodlands restoration plan, which includes deer fence construction, trail relocation and renovation, invasives removal, native plantings and outreach with volunteers. She is a Certified Master Gardener (Essex County) and a Board Member of the Youth Orchestras of Essex County and Millburn High School Music Boosters.