Jessica grew up in Vermont and completed her undergrad there, at Castleton University. She worked on trail crews in the Sierras and at Glacier National Park, before moving to North Carolina to study Landscape Architecture at NCSU. Since 2009, Jessica’s work at Mountain Valleys has included wind turbine installations, over 40 renewable energy projects on farms, stream restorations, stormwater management projects at schools, and helped create the Ivy River Partners watershed group.
Mariah has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains her whole life, except for a few years when she was earning her graduate degree at NCSU in science education. A background in environmental sciences and work with nonprofits, a renewable energy start-up, and government agencies has prepared Mariah for the varied tasks at hand in resource conservation work. She joined Mountain Valleys in 2014 to help manage the formation of the Ivy River Partners watershed group and continues to coordinate the development of this project. She also manages Shade Your Stream and other water quality projects for Mountain Valleys.
Jen Haas Gustafson
Forest Program Manager
Originally from Raleigh, NC, Jen lived in western Montana for 10 years working on federal trail crews, state fire crews, obtaining a degree in Geography and GIS from the University of Montana, and coordinating volunteer programs and special events for the International Wildlife Film Festival. Since joining Mountain Valleys RC&D in 2019, Jen has worked with communities to coordinate community wildfire preparedness and mitigation efforts based on mitigation best practices. She participates on the US Forest Service's Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT). She has a passion for bringing people and ideas together to cultivate connection and growth, ultimately creating more resilient communities and landscapes.
Russell Blevins, Madison County
Richard Smith, Polk County
Andrew Brannon, Henderson County
Bob Carter, Buncombe County
Robert Watts, Buncombe County
Maurice McAlister, Madison County
Barbara Meliski, Rutherford County
Ashley Wooten, McDowell County
Loring McIntyre, Buncombe County
John Vining, Polk County
Albert Moore, Rutherford County
Lex Garey, Rutherford County
David Caldwell, Cleveland County