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Staff & Board


Kelley Tucker - Executive Director

Kelley has worked in the non-profit conservation field for more than 20 years developing and leading science-based regional, national, and international efforts to protect birds, other wildlife, and the ecosystems that support them. She served as Vice-President of Conservation for the International Crane Foundation working with staff in 22 countries to conserve cranes and their freshwater habitats. Earlier, at the American Bird Conservancy, she was director of the Pesticides and Birds Campaign and effectively advocated for pesticide regulations more protective of birds. Kelley holds degrees in economics and political science from Rice University, and pursued her doctoral work at the University of Chicago. Besides overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Ausable River Association, Kelley leads the organization's natural stream restoration programs. She plans and implements collaborative projects that help streams regain their balance, improving wildlife habitat, water quality, and flood resilience. Kelley also coordinates a model program of culvert replacements in the watershed, engineering designs to reduce flood damage, restore stream resilience and habitat, and enable aquatic and amphibious organism passage. She lives in Upper Jay with her husband two fine cats, a trusty dog, and rides her horse through the lands in and around the Jay and Sentinel Mountain Wilderness.

Carrianne Pershyn - Research Associate

Carrianne Pershyn has worked in many capacities for the Ausable River Association since 2014. In late 2018, she became a full-time research associate for the organization, supporting our Biodiverse Habitats program and monitoring brook trout and other native organisms that rely on Ausable streams. She holds an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY and a B.S. in Ecology from Plattsburgh State University. Her masters thesis research focused on Brook Trout habitat use, recruitment, and population genetics in high elevation, groundwater-fed tributaries of the headwaters of the Ausable River. She is formally trained in natural history and ecology of freshwater habitats, with a variety of past research experience on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. Her 2018-2019 field projects with AsRA include expanding and maintaining a network of temperature loggers across the watershed, designing and implementing eDNA field and lab studies to map the spatial distribution of brook trout and other salmonids, and planning future research projects that focus on Brook Trout ecology and conservation in the Adirondacks. She has worked in Adirondack conservation and lived in the Park for more than a decade, and when not working, can be found adventuring on Adirondack waterways and in wild forests.

Gary Henry - Stream Restoration Associate

Gary has worked in the environmental field for nearly two decades. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology and has been a licensed professional geoscientist since 2006. His professional connection to rivers began in graduate school when he started working part-time on geomorphic surveys of rapidly urbanizing streams in north-central and central Texas. After a stint at the Brazos River Authority during his final year of graduate school, he took a full-time position as a hydrogeologist/project manager at an environmental engineering firm in Dallas. In 2009, Gary joined the faculty at SUNY-Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh where he developed and taught environmental coursework in two degree programs. During his tenure at Clinton, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Working closely with AsRA’s Executive Director, Gary will transition to leading the survey, assessment, design, construction, and long-term monitoring of stream restoration projects, including climate-ready-culvert replacements. Gary lives in Peru with his wife and son and likes to spend time working in his backyard garden and hiking/camping in the Adirondacks. He has been a live musician since the late-1990’s, performing as a soloist (vocals/guitar) at local venues for the past decade.

Tyler Merriam - Donor Outreach Associate

Tyler fell in love with the Adirondacks and its waterways while spending summers at his family’s cabin in Tupper Lake. He moved to the Adirondack region permanently in 2010 and has been working with a variety of businesses, colleges, and nonprofits ever since. Tyler holds a B.S. in Outdoor Education from Houghton College and M.S. in Recreation Management from SUNY Cortland. He also holds credentials as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, Paddlesport and Wilderness Medicine Instructor, and Licensed New York State Guide. At the Ausable River Association, Tyler is responsible for donor outreach and engagement, communications, and marketing efforts. In his free time Tyler can be found paddling, skiing, biking, hiking, and camping throughout the Adirondacks and beyond.

Jill Buckpitt - Finance and Operations Manager

Jill recently moved to Peru, NY from Vermont with her husband and two children. Although born and raised in Vermont she has loved the Adirondacks since attending Paul Smith’s College, over 20 years ago, where she earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduation, she knew that she would be back to live in the Adirondacks. She enjoys kayaking and hiking with her family and driving around the North Country checking out all it has to offer. Education and continual self-development are important to Jill; she has a certificate in Accounting and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in August 2020. Management, human resources, finance management, and payroll are some of the knowledge, skills, and experience Jill possesses. Jill is excited to work for an organization that focuses on preserving the river, lakes, and streams and educates communities on how they can help steward this incredible resource. She is also eager to learn the ins and outs of the organization as well as how she and her family can help keep the Adirondacks beautiful.

Board of Directors

Liz Clarke - Chair

Ken Brownell - Vice Chair

Charlie Cowan - Treasurer

Wally Walters - Secretary

John Braico

Richard Conney

Audrey Hyson

Larry Master

John Schuler

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AsRA is working hard to protect the Ausable River.
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