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RC&D Staff

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Allison Burnett

Executive Director

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Jessalyn Cockrell

Program Director

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Denitra Brawner

Administrative Associate

Jessica McGlinsey

Program Manager

Charlie Olmsted

Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps Member

Valinda Clark
NRCS Grant Employee -
Program Support Specialist 

Valinda Clark was born in North Carolina and came to the Washington, DC area at 3 months old. She has spent most of her life growing up and living in Prince George’s county. She moved to southern Maryland in 2009. She has 40 years of experience in the clerical and administrative fields. She attended Strayer University in Washington DC and Alexandria VA. She also has a young son that keeps her busy. Valinda joined the Southern Maryland RC&D team in January 2017 and she is based out of the La Plata NRCS office. 

Kimberly Reynolds
NRCS Grant Employee -
Program Support Specialist

A native of Talbot County, Kimberly attended Towson University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communications. Returning to the Eastern Shore to spend more time with her family, Kimberly worked for many years at a local title company, assisting buyers, sellers, realtors, and lenders with finalizing real estate transactions and loan closings. She later chose to change career paths, helping those with special needs obtain service funding through federal, state and non-profit programs. Kimberly looks forward to supporting NRCS participants and staff in Caroline and Talbot County.

Maria Drake

NRCS Grant Employee - Monitoring Biologist

Maria Drake is the Monitoring Biologist for Southern Maryland RC&D. This position is part of a cooperative agreement with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Maria is responsible for completing annual easement monitoring in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. These easements are enrolled in NRCS programs including Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) and lands formerly enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Originally from the Poconos, Maria grew up surrounded by forests, lakes, and wetlands. This fueled her love for nature and dedication to protect it. Maria attended Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where she received a bachelor's and master's degree in biology with a focus in Ecology and Environmental Conservation. After graduation she worked for a conservation society (Pocono Environmental Education Center) located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Maria looks forward to working with landowners and collaborating with NRCS to restore and maintain wetland areas.

Chase Kolstrom

NRCS Grant Employee - Forester – Southern Maryland

Chase Kolstrom was born and raised in Charles County, MD. After high school and one year at the College of Southern Maryland he transferred to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he majored in Forestry and minored in wildlife and fisheries science. Before coming over to SOMD RC&D he held a position as a Forester with Maryland DNR in Charles County. Chase is excited for this new career opportunity with RC&D and hopes he can continue to help landowners within Southern Maryland carry out good woodland stewardship on their properties for years to come. In his personal time Chase enjoys spending time with his dog and being outside doing activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, and hunting.

Casie Curry

NRCS Grant Employee - Soil Conservation Technician

Casie has been living in Anne Arundel County since 2001 and has been very active in the local dance community and has been in companies such as Chesapeake Ballet Company and Kinetics Dance Theater. She found her love of sustainability later on at the University of Maryland where she received a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture along with her B.A. in Dance. Since then, Casie has been spending her time trying to identify every plant and insect and their ecological value while supporting local farmers as a Soil Technician supporting NRCS. 

Kelli Tyler
NRCS Grant Employee -
Program Support Specialist 

Kelli Tyler is an Annapolis native who transplanted to the Eastern Shore in the 1990s. She is working on her bachelor's degree in history and will pursue a master's in history, concentrating on the Chesapeake Colonial Era and Archaeology. Kelli volunteers as a grant writer and artisan spinner/dryer/weaver at local historic sites and works part time as an Educator at the local Salisbury Zoo. Kelli's prior work experiences include Grant Writing and Administration, as well as Educational Program Development and Implementation for various historic sites. She has also worked as a Program Specialist for the Trio program at Wor-Wic Community College. Kelli joined Southern Maryland RC&D in July 2017. She is based in Wicomico County. 

Rachel Becker

NRCS Grant Employee - Program Support Specialist - Worcester & Somerset Counties

Rachel grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to Southern Maryland to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She hopes to pursue graduate studies, focusing on environmental science and toxicology. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Rachel stayed in Southern Maryland, but on the other side of the Chesapeake. She joined Southern Maryland RC&D in 2024 as a Program Support Specialist for both Worcester and Somerset counties. Previous work experiences include working for St. Mary’s River Watershed Association and various tutoring positions as an undergraduate

Vern Crocker

NRCS Grant Employee - Soil Conservation Technician – Prince George’s County

Vern was born and raised in Southern Maryland where he spent most of his life hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. Vern joined the Army in 2016 and served in the 10th Mountain Division as an Infantryman for four years. After the Army, he moved back to Maryland to work as a laborer and then heavy equipment operator with an environmental construction company. During his time in the environmental construction field, he took part in countless projects throughout Maryland conducting large sediment pond retrofits, stream restorations, and other storm water management projects. After seeing the importance in these conservation efforts to protect Maryland’s resources he transitioned to a position with RC&D where he is currently working as a Soil Conservation Technician.

Anna Hutchison

NRCS Grant Employee - Soil Conservation Technician

I’ve lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland my whole life. I was born into a farming family which helped fuel my passion for agriculture.  Growing up I was a member of 4-H and I joined FFA once I started high school and served as the Vice President for two years. I attend school at Chesapeake College working towards a Liberal Arts Degree. Prior to working with RC & D I worked as a grant employee under Maryland Department of Agriculture as a Soil Technician at Talbot Soil Conservation which helped me gain a lot of knowledge about conservation work with agriculture and resource concerns.

Shana Burke

NRCS Grant Employee - Soil Conservation Technician

Shana Burke was born in raised in Southern Maryland. She earned her associate degree at the College of Southern Maryland in Applied Science and Technology in 2017 and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland in Agriculture Science and Technology in 2021. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in business administration with the University of Maryland Global Campus. Shana joined the Southern Maryland RC&D team in January 2024 where she is based out of the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District office. Before landing this position as a Soil Conservation Technician, Shana spent 3 years working at the U.S. National Arboretum with plants and 5 years working with the University of Maryland Small Grains team where see assisted with the small grain studies and field trials.

Erin Kibelstis

NRCS Grant Employee - CREP/CRP Planner 

Erin Kibelstis is the CREP/CRP Conservation Planner for the Southern Maryland RC&D. Based in the Worcester Soil Conservation District office, she will cover Worcester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Dorchester counties. She originally moved from her hometown in southern New Jersey to Northeastern Pennsylvania to continue her education. She received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Keystone College, where she also minored in Environmental Science. From there she continued to Bloomsburg University to complete a M.S. in Biology focusing on environmental and ecological studies. Since completing her education, Erin has joined the team at the Southern Maryland RC&D and is excited to begin her role as a CREP/CRP Conservation Planner.

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