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.


Erin Borgeson Castelli

Chief Operation Officer

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

Erin has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising for non-profit environmental organizations. She grew up loving and exploring rivers, streams, lakes, and creeks in Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes!"  She works with the Anacostia Watershed Society's president, board, and staff to build relationships and partnerships that raise funds to help achieve a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River.  She engages and seeks partnerships with individuals, corporations, foundations, governmental agencies, and various organizations. To learn more about how you can help restore the Anacostia River and its watershed communities through a financial or in-kind contribution, pledge, or planned gift (i.e. naming AWS in your will), please feel free to contact her or any member of our development team.


Steve Kinzer

Maintenance Engineer

DEPARTMENT: Operations

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.


Emily Conrad

Development Manager

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.


Simon Plog

Administrative Manager

DEPARTMENT: Operations

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.


Mary Vasse

Director of Development

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

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.


Joanna Fisher

Volunteer Program Manager

DEPARTMENT: Development
EDUCATION: MA, Environment and Development, American University
EDUCATION: BA, Anthropology, Colby College

Joanna has worked on connecting people to their nearby nature in a variety of ways in several cities, and she is thrilled to be at the Anacostia Watershed Society as Volunteer Program Manager. In this position she has the opportunity to not only share these urban natural landscapes with others, but also provide people with hands-on opportunities to make a positive impact on the watershed.


Mary Abe

Chief Architect of Restoration and Sustainability Programs

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

Acting Director of Stewardship

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 helps manage a variety of stormwater management retro 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 1/2 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.




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