James Foster


EDUCATION: Environmental Resource Management, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

The President is responsible for implementing the organization's strategic plan, meeting requirements of the Board of Directors, and providing strategic input to advance the mission of the organization.


Simon Plog

Office Administrator

Simon coordinates and manages financial accounts, payroll, and benefits; provides administration, and clerical support; participates in organization-wide efforts such as community events; and assists in proposal and report preparation. Before coming to AWS, he was owner/operator of a bookshop/coffeeshop. He also worked in contract management for 11 years at a Maryland based health consulting firm.


Steve Kinzer

Maintenance Engineer

Steve works hard to keep things running smoothly at AWS and around the George Washington House. He has previously worked as a plumber, electrician, painter and carpenter and now brings his expertise to AWS.


Erin Borgeson Castelli

Director of Development

DEPARTMENT: Development
EDUCATION: BA, French and Psychology, Colby College, Waterville, Maine

Erin works with the Anacostia Watershed Society's Development Team to build relationships and raise funds from major donors and prospects, including foundations, governments, individuals, and corporations. If you would like to make a contribution (cash, stock, or planned gift such as putting us in your will) or to learn more, feel free to contact her.


Emily Conrad

Development Coordinator

DEPARTMENT: Development
EDUCATION: BA, Anthropology and Literature, American University, Washington, DC

Originally hailing from the Texas Hill Country, Emily first developed an appreciation for the environment and the outdoors while going on camping trips with her family as a child. She joins AWS as a member of the development team researching new funding streams and grant opportunities while helping to maintain AWS’s current committed relationships. Feel free to contact her if you have any questions on how you can support AWS’s critical work to restore the Anacostia Watershed.


Mary Vasse

Major Gifts Officer

DEPARTMENT: Development
EDUCATION: BA, Urban Studies, Hobart & William Smith
EDUCATION:MA, Regional/Environmental Planning, University of Pennsylvania

Mary brings her perspective of fundraising as a partnership between donors and AWS. Her role in the Development Team is to build long-term partnerships with corporate and individual donors. Mary became a conservationist hiking, running, and climbing in her hometown mountains in Upstate New York. She is a fan of canoeing and has her sights set on canoeing from the Anacostia to the Chesapeake Bay. Her experience includes supporting river restoration and sustainable forestry as a grant maker and fundraiser. Contact Mary to become a part of growing the Anacostia Watershed Society’s good work.


Ann DeSanctis

Volunteer Coordinator

DEPARTMENT: Development
EDUCATION: BA, Geography (minors Anthropology & International Studies), University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Ann is the third Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer at AWS. She assists with the Education Team's three-part service learning environmental education programs, including Rice Rangers, RiverSmart Schools, and the SONG Project. Her experience comes from time with Climate Summer, the Student Conservation Association, University of Kentucky's Organic Horticulture Research & CSA Farm, and the National Geographic Society. She loves being outdoors and keeps busy with activities ranging from ultimate frisbee to bike polo and is excited to develop her paddling skills on the Anacostia and other waterways of the region.


Mary Abe

Manager of Stewardship

DEPARTMENT: Stewardship
EDUCATION:BLA, Landscape Architecture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Mary is a landscape architect passionate about using her skills to help both the environment and her community. As a watershed resident and former AWS Board Member, Mary's interest in our organization and the Anacostia River led her to become part of our staff in 2012. Native to the Washington metro area, Mary leads our Stewardship team and provides project and staff oversight for all bio retention and watershed restoration projects from design to build.  As a senior landscape architect and LEED AP, she guides our Stewardship team to pursue projects, which both encourage and teach watershed residents sustainable development practices and stewardship.  


Jorge Bogantes Montero

Natural Resource Specialist

DEPARTMENT: Stewardship
EDUCATION: BS, Natural Resources Management and Protection, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, San José, Costa Rica

Before coming to AWS, Jorge worked for six years in biodiversity conservation issues and natural resources management in Costa Rica. Since April 2009 he has been working with the staff of the Anacostia Watershed Society doing reforestation, wetland restoration, as well as other revegetation projects, and invasive plant management. To do this work Jorge leads volunteer events engaging watershed residents and the public in meaningful outdoor stewardship activities. Jorge also helps AWS's team of educators to teach people about conservation and restoration issues. Additionally, he supervises our stewardship interns from spring to fall. AWS's restoration programs improve habitat quality for many native plants and wildlife, as well as the outdoor experiences of hikers, joggers, bikers, and others using our shared parkland every day.


Ashley Parker

Restoration Project Manager

DEPARTMENT: Stewardship
EDUCATION: MS, Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development (Floodplain Ecosystem Management), University of Wisconsin – Madison
EDUCATION: BA, Environmental Studies (emphasis in Geology and Minor in Anthropology), Lawrence University

Ashley is very excited to join the AWS team and focus her efforts on improving the Anacostia River.  She will be implementing a variety of stormwater management projects and stream restorations, funded by a large grant administered by MD DNR, with the support of other community groups, schools, and local and state agencies.  Ashley grew up in Wisconsin and fell in love with the outdoors at a very early age.  Her conservation hero is Aldo Leopold, and she became passionate about his ideologies after finishing her Master’s thesis for the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, WI.  Ashley moved to the DC Metro Area in 2009, and spent the last 3.5 years working in the Stewardship Department at the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.  While there, she gained experience in interpreting and enforcing conservation easements, and increased the capacity of the education and outreach program.  In true Leopold fashion, Ashley hopes to continue reconnecting local communities to the natural world through hands-on stewardship and education initiatives at AWS.  




Want to make a difference in your community and our world right away? Join our AWS family today!



Stay informed of the latest watershed issues by subscribing to our free email updates & event announcements.



Supporters Spotlight


The Summit Fund of Washington, D.C.Supporters of environmental advocacy and stewardship on the Anacostia River.