Dr. Seewagen joined Great Hollow as the organization’s first executive director in May of 2016. He leads Great Hollow’s conservation science program, the planning of education programs and community events, fundraising, and all other aspects of the administration and operation of Great Hollow. Prior to joining Great Hollow, Dr. Seewagen was a Senior Wildlife Biologist and Technical Director at a New York City-based environmental consulting firm, and before that, worked as a Research Scientist and Intern Program Coordinator in the Department of Ornithology at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.  He has a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, an M.A. in Conservation Biology from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Western Ontario. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at UConn and the Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology at Columbia University. Dr. Seewagen’s primary research interests include the physiological ecology of bird migration, the impacts of mercury pollution on birds, the impacts of light pollution on bats, and the effects of non-native plants on wildlife habitat quality.
Benjamin Lee

Preserve Steward & Naturalist

Ben is a naturalist and insect ecologist who joined Great Hollow in the summer of 2023 as our new Preserve Steward and Naturalist. Ben received a B.S. in Conservation Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2016 and has since worked as a biological technician for Cornell University and the CDC, respectively assisting with research on insect-pest management and mosquito transmission of malaria. He has also led environmental outreach programs for SUNY-ESF and a local summer camp, and held prior positions involving landscaping, farming, and private estate maintenance. At Great Hollow, Ben is responsible for the maintenance of our trail network, grounds, and facilities, and habitat management for native plants and wildlife. Ben also coordinates and leads many of Great Hollow’s community events and outreach initiatives.
Tara Ewers

Education Coordinator & Camp Director

Tara develops and instructs Great Hollow’s environmental education programming for children and adults, and is the director of our Eco-Discovery Camp. She also assists with community events, fundraising, graphic design, social media content, website maintenance, raptor care, and just about everything else that goes on behind the scenes at Great Hollow. She’s a lifelong resident of Connecticut with a deep love of the outdoors, photography, and the combination of the two. Tara has a B.A. in Art from Western Connecticut State University and a Certificate of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the International Center of Photography in New York City. She is also currently working towards a master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University. Prior to joining Great Hollow, Tara taught photography as an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University and was the director of the Bank Street Theater in New Milford.
Sarah Deckel, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Deckel joined Great Hollow as research fellow in 2024 after completing her Ph.D. in Environmental Conservation from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. There, she received a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in support of her dissertation research on the implications of climate change for high-elevation breeding birds in the White Mountains. She previously earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of Rhode Island and completed internships with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. At Great Hollow, Sarah will be designing independent research on the ecology of migratory songbirds while assisting with Great Hollow’s other research projects and coordinating our summer internship program.