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.


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, community events, fundraising, animal care, 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.