Cindy was most recently employed as Director of Foundation Relations for the Natural Resources Defense Council. During her two years there, she helped an all-new senior leadership team revamp, grow and professionalize the organization's Development Department. Prior to that, Cindy worked at the U.S Fund for UNICEF, ultimately as Senior Director, Global Health for the Foundation Partnerships team. She was instrumental in growing the department from a team of three people raising $15 million in 2011 to a team of 14 sourcing $170 million from foundations in 2016. Before joining the U.S. Fund, Cindy worked as a consultant to UNICEF (New York) and UNESCO (Paris, France). Her work with these agencies was largely focused on developing policy, planning and advocacy guidelines and tools in the areas of health and education.
Prior to her UN work, Cindy worked for 12 years in senior management positions in non-profit organizations in California, designing, managing and raising funds to support community-based programs providing a variety of health, education and welfare services. She served as Executive Director for two of these organizations - the Buddy Program of the Monterey Peninsula and the Alliance on Aging - and was Director of Education and Volunteer Services at Planned Parenthood of Monterey County. She gained significant experience in all aspects of non-profit administration and fund development during this time.
Cindy received a Master of Sciences in International Health from Touro University International, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University. She speaks English and French.
Cindy came to New Jersey in 2018 to join her husband-to-be in their historic home along the Columbia Trail in Middle Valley. Having worked at a global and national level over many years, she now wants to make a difference in her own backyard. She loves and respects nature and thinks she should probably have been a farmer, as she can be happy digging in dirt all day.
Director, Policy and Grants
Alan R. Hunt, Ph.D. grew up along the Musconetcong River on his grandparent's small farm and greenhouse operation. The outdoors was like an additional parent, teaching him the ways of nature, recognizing both the changes and patterns of the natural world. Growing up in a time of rapid housing and commercial development, Alan was curious about how people decided to use the land and how to retain productive farmland. He pursued a B.S. in Environmental Studies at Bates College, in Maine, and while on a junior year abroad trip to England in 2002, he encountered his first farmers' market. He was inspired by farmers' markets and their potential to form community, generate farm income and help preserve farmland. With this vision, he laid a course to focus his undergraduate thesis and Master's Degree on the topic. After graduating from Duke University with a Master of Environmental Management, Alan began professional work in Washington, D.C. on a 4-year farm bill coalition at the Northeast Midwest Institute, and led policy on local food, food access and rural development. Ever curious about policy process, Alan became a Fulbright Scholar and earned his Ph.D. in Rural Development from Newcastle University, UK. He returned to the farm in 2013, and his family has been bringing it back to life after it skipped a generation.
Alan's family has been members of the MWA from just about its start. He served on the Board of Directors in 2016, and was brought on as Executive Director in the fall of 2016. His interdisciplinary background, which crosses environmental chemistry, toxicology, policy, economics, hydrology, and forestry, has been an asset in advancing the MWA's research partnerships. At MWA, Alan has a variety of roles, including serving on the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed's Steering Committee, the co-chair of the Asbury Mill Committee, and the Executive Director of the Musconetcong River Management Council.
Watershed Programs Manager
Kyle joined MWA in 2014 and is the Watershed Programs Coordinator. He works with municipalities, schools and the community to promote a sense of pride and stewardship for the Musconetcong Watershed as well as surrounding watersheds through education programs and restoration and green infrastructure projects. Kyle is also a shared employee with North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) where he works in the Neshanic Watershed to implement green infrastructure.
Prior to joining MWA, Kyle taught environmental education for 5 years at YMCA Camp Bernie, and he worked on developing STEM education curriculum for the Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (formerly Coastal Ocean Observation Lab) in the Maine and Coastal Sciences Department at Rutgers University. Kyle grew up in Naples, Florida and moved to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. Kyle also earned a certification in Watershed Management from Michigan State University in 2018. He serves on the executive board of the Rutgers University Band Alumni Association. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, scuba diving, snowboarding and spending time with his dog, Phoebe!
Karen joined the staff in March of 2016 and provides communication and administrative support to MWA, Staff and Board. Karen manages all social media posts, newsletters, and communications on behalf of the organization. She also coordinates outreach initiatives as well as for a few key events, including MWA's Annual Meeting and Run for the River.
A graduate of Rider University, she comes to us with experience in journalism, event planning and office management.
Water Quality Program Coordinator
Christa was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and moved to Washington, New Jersey in 2011. She always had an affinity for water and fell in love with the rivers in our region, so we went back to school to pursue a degree in science. She graduated from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in May, 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a focus in Stream Ecology and a minor in Geography with a focus in GIS.
Christa has interned with MWA for the past 3 1/2 years before the position of Water Quality Field Specialist was created. She is also the Research Field Specialist for Northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania with Stroud Research Center as part of the EnviroDIY sensor project in coordination with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.
Outside of MWA, she is the Vice President of the newly formed Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Ryan joined the MWA in January, 2021 and is involved with its many volunteer-driven initiatives. Specifically, he works on recruiting and training new volunteers for the MWA River Watcher program and environmental restoration projects. He also maintains the Education Trail along the river, assists with in-school educational presentations, and conducts outreach with public officials and other organizations.
Ryan was born and raised in Phillipsburg, NJ and caught his first trout on the Musconetcong River in Hughesville, c. 1998. After fishing the three “Congs” of Warren County throughout his childhood, he went away to the College of William & Mary to study biology. Ryan followed that up by completing his Master’s Degree in fisheries and aquatic sciences at the University of Florida, publishing his thesis on the ability of angler-provided data to inform recreational fisheries management decisions. Since then, he served as an ORISE fellow at the EPA’s Region 3 office in Philadelphia, a fisheries management specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, an AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for the state’s Upper Delaware River tributaries – where he was hosted by the MWA, and a support guide at the Ridge and Valley Charter School in Blairstown, NJ.
Jane brings over 20 years of experience managing projects at companies across a range of industries, and as an independent consultant.
Born in Grand Island, Nebraska and raised in Lebanon Township, Jane has a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Fordham University. An introductory class in environmental science, taken to fulfill her college science requirement, sparked her interest in environmental protection. Jane’s research on contamination at the Diamond Aerosol site not far from her home inspired her to join the Sierra Club, and her research paper earned her the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. as a volunteer lobbyist.
After graduating from Fordham, Jane stayed in New York and worked for several years in publishing and on Wall Street before returning to New Jersey. Jane currently lives with her family in Franklin Township, not far from the Myers Property (CERCLIS #NJD980654198).
Karen Buchanan has only recently joined the MWA. Karen started her own bookkeeping business in 1996, after leaving her position of Controller at a Real Estate Development Company, to raise her 2 children. As her children grew, she grew her business. Now that her children are grown and on their own, Karen's business grew to support 18 non-profit organizations and 4 for-profit businesses. Most of Karen's work supports organizations in the environmental industry, and she feels these organizations are contributing to provide a healthy environment (land, water, and air) for the present and future.