James Foster

President/Chief Executive Officer

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

As President of AWS, Jim is responsible for implementing the organization’s strategic plan, articulating our vision for a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River, securing resources, and building and leading the AWS staff in fulfilling our mission to clean the water, restore the shore, and honor the heritage of the Anacostia River. Jim has a broad range of experience in environmental restoration and management efforts up and down the East Coast, all focused on water. Jim and his family live just steps from the Chesapeake Bay, where he’s found on his rare off duty hours.

email: [email protected]


Erin Borgeson Castelli

Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

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

Erin leads the day to day work of the AWS management team, overseeing Operations and River Restoration Programs. As a member of the Executive Team, she actively participates in organization-wide policy decisions, strategic planning, fundraising strategy, Board relations, resource allocation, and representation of AWS’s mission and brand. Erin has more than 25 years of fundraising and management work experience for non-profit environmental organizations, more than one decade of which have been with the Anacostia Watershed Society and with The Nature Conservancy. She grew up exploring rivers, streams, lakes, and creeks in Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes!” and continues to share her passion for our local waterways as a 25-year resident of the Anacostia River watershed.

email: [email protected]


Ariel Trahan

Director of River Restoration Programs

EDUCATION: BA, Environmental Studies and History, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

As Director of River Restoration Programs, Ariel oversees our youth and adult education programs. On any given day you might find Ariel in a classroom teaching students about impervious surfaces, leading a group of 7th graders on a canoe trip, or planting wild rice with 4th graders in the mudflats of Kenilworth Marsh. Ariel serves on the Prince George’s County Public Schools Environmental Literacy Steering Committee, the Mid Atlantic Environmental Literacy Workgroup, and on the board of the D.C. Environmental Education Consortium. As a native Michigander who grew up swimming in crystal clear lakes and rivers, Ariel is passionate about making sure everyone has access to clean water.

email: [email protected]aws.org


Emily Conrad

Director of Development

EDUCATION: MPA, Environmental Policy & Management, American University, Washington, DC
EDUCATION: BA, Anthropology and Literature, American University, Washington, DC

Emily joined the AWS staff in 2010 and now leads the fundraising and communications strategy for the organization, responsible for identifying and researching new sources of revenue and stewarding relationships with our wonderful donors and volunteers that make our work to restore the Anacostia River possible. 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 has worked in the environmental nonprofit field for the past decade and is looking forward to safely swimming in the Anacostia River in the next decade!

email: [email protected]rg


Jorge Bogantes Montero

Natural Resources Specialist

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

As a Natural Resources Specialist, Jorge has been leading our restoration efforts in and around the Anacostia River, including reforestation with native tree species; wetland restoration, meadow restoration and invasive plant management. Additionally, Jorge helps our team of environmental educators teach youth and adults about the biodiversity of the river. Before joining AWS, Jorge worked for six years on biodiversity conservation efforts in his native Costa Rica. Jorge is often out on the river at dawn with his camera and shares his photography through the AWS Facebook page.

email: [email protected]


Emily Castelli

Development Coordinator

EDUCATION: BS, Criminal Justice, Elmira College

Emily Castelli has lived in the Anacostia River Watershed for over twenty years. A long-time volunteer with the Anacostia Watershed Society and a past intern, she now holds a position with the Development Team as the Development Coordinator. Emily uses her critical thinking skills to assist the Development Team and helps to coordinate volunteer projects. She is very excited to be working towards our vision of a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River by 2025.

email: [email protected]


P. Bryan Chasney

Production Manager

EDUCATION: BS, Plant Science, Horticulture and Crop Production, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

As part of the River Restoration team, Bryan’s primary responsibilities include managing our large annual Earth Day event, completing and maintaining the native plant nursery at the historic Bostwick House in Bladensburg, and providing field operations expertise for our restoration and sustainable stormwater management projects. Bryan's background brings horticultural knowledge and field experience to AWS, from his previous jobs within the green industry and the nursery industry. In his free time, Bryan enjoys hiking, exercising and generally anything outdoors.

email: [email protected]


Joshua Yetter Clark

Program Specialist: Green Infrastructure

Education: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Education: BA, Environmental Urban Planning, University of Pittsburgh

Josh is an environmental designer who specializes in innovative, resilient, and ecologically expressive landscape design, storm water management, and native plantings. He is responsible for managing, administering, and implementing programs and projects within DC and Maryland that engage communities and stakeholders in AWS’s restoration efforts. He has worked with conservation districts rehabilitating streams and floodplains, at nurseries developing horticultural expertise, and with planning departments and architectural firms tackling small and large scale design projects. He is passionate about environmentally conscious and sustainable techniques and materials that benefit local watersheds and the greater Chesapeake Bay.

email: [email protected]


Bill Cocke

Outfall Assessment and Outreach Project Manager

Bill has worked as a volunteer for AWS since 2013 and was also a consultant for us in 2015 and 2016. Recently joining our staff as a part-time employee, Bill is our project manager for our work on restoring outfalls in Prince George’s County as part of the Clean Water Partnership. Bill has over 33 years of experience working in management and project management roles at IBM. Bill lives a “stone’s throw” from the Anacostia, enjoys rowing crew on the river, biking along the river and is a strong advocate for the environment and our river.

email: [email protected]


Catherine Estes

Program Director, Saturday Environmental Academy

EDUCATION: MS, Environmental Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
EDUCATION: BS, Environmental Science, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA

Catherine directs our Saturday Environmental Academy (SEA), a free environmental education program for local 7th and 8th graders. She is passionate about SEA because it connects youth to their watershed/local environment in a rich and unique way - through semester-long, theme-based programs. She has extensive experience working with youth and adults in formal and informal education settings throughout the country. A native of D.C., her love of the environment developed as a child while enjoying the varied green spaces the DC area offers.

email: [email protected]




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