Staff

Chad Seewagen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

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 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 Research Scientist in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at the University of Connecticut (faculty webpage) and an Adjunct Lecturer in 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, and the effects of non-native, invasive plants on wildlife habitat quality.

johnfoley

John Foley
Naturalist & Preserve Steward

John is a self-taught naturalist who has spent years working in and around Great Hollow, studying the local plants and animals that make the area so special. He is a Connecticut-certified Master Wildlife Conservationist and has worked as a field technician for multiple agencies and organizations, such as the Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources and Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Great Swamp and the Naromi Land Trust. John’s passion is turtles, and he has spent the past several years collecting valuable data on the movement patterns and survivorship of turtles inhabiting Great Hollow and neighboring natural areas. At Great Hollow, John works hard to maintain the trails that so many people enjoy hiking while also managing the land to optimize habitat for native plants and wildlife. John also maintains Great Hollow’s many facilities and coordinates and leads many of our events and outreach initiatives.

Maggie Cozens, M.S.
Education Coordinator

Maggie develops and instructs all of Great Hollow’s environmental education programming for children and young adults, and is the director of our Eco-Discovery Camp. She emphasizes field research techniques and exploratory learning in all her lessons, and brings to Great Hollow a variety of prior experience teaching environmental and STEM education to students ranging from Pre-K all the way up to college. Prior to joining Great Hollow, she most recently worked for the Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore, where she developed and instructed marine and coastal science curricula for middle-school students. Before that, Maggie led the graduate teaching assistant program for the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s Environmental Science Department, which involved teaching various introductory and advanced environmental science classes and labs to undergraduates. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a B.A. in International Sustainable Development, with minors in Spanish and Geography from Appalachian State University.

Tara Ewers
Program Assistant

Tara assists with Great Hollow’s education programs, Eco-Discovery Camp, community events, fundraising, website maintenance, and just about anything else we can think of. 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. Prior to joining Great Hollow, she taught photography as an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University and was the director of the Bank Street Theater in New Milford.

Robert Clark, Ph.D.
Visiting Scientist

Dr. Clark joined Great Hollow as a Visiting Scientist in the spring of 2021. He holds a joint affiliation with the Department of Entomology at Washington State University, where he has been an Assistant Research Professor since 2020 and before that, was a Post-doctoral Fellow. Originally from Connecticut, he earned his B.S. and M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from Central Connecticut State University, and his Ph.D. in Biology from Wesleyan University. Dr. Clark’s research focuses primarily on the roles of insects in forest and agricultural food webs, and invasive insect management using advanced data science techniques. At Great Hollow, he is designing and leading studies involving tri-trophic interactions among plants, insects, and birds in forest food webs, invasive insect ecology, and citizen science as a tool to study forest entomology at large spatial scales.

Wales Carter, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Carter is a physiological ecologist who is currently developing studies that he will lead for Great Hollow on the nutritional ecology of migratory songbirds. He also coordinates Great Hollow’s summer internship program, providing mentorship to aspiring ecologists. Dr. Carter joined Great Hollow in the spring of 2021 following a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rhode Island, where he studied the diet and spatial behavior of translocated New England cottontails. He earned his B.A. in Biology from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. in Biological and Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island studying the effects of dietary fatty acids and antioxidants on the energy metabolism of songbirds.