A new Landmark crew is ready to rock winter on the American Prairie Reserve. Get to know them here.

Deniz Bertuna


Deniz grew up in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, where he spent most of his free time in and around the ocean. He received his bachelor’s degree from Edinburgh University in Scotland and his Master’s from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where he focused on ecology, environmental science and biomimicry.
During his degrees, Deniz began working with a team in his hometown on an oyster reef restoration project that aimed at improving the associated ecosystem services. He has been a researcher on the project ever since. Deniz is applying to Ph.D programs focused on coastal conservation, adaptation and ecosystem services.
He is ecstatic to join the Landmark Crew.

Kimberly Wilson


Kimberly Wilson is a recently Returned Peace Corps Volunteer whose interests have taken her far from her native northern Virginia. For three years she worked as a protected area management volunteer in Madagascar, coordinating reforestation projects and advising nature reserves on ecotourism and environmental education. She holds a degree in Biology and a minor in French and Francophone Studies from Dickinson College.
Kimberly has also worked as a technical assistance and lab coordinator for the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, where she became passionate about citizen science, as a species mapping intern for Conservation International, and a field assistant studying painted turtles.
She is thrilled to contribute to the Landmark project and experience the beauty of Montana’s prairie ecosystem.

​Sydney Toni 


Sydney Toni grew up on the prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She spent summers on canoe trips or at her cabin in the boreal forest, and winters skating on the river. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on lichen communities in the boreal forest, and recently finished a Master’s in Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University.

For many years, Sydney worked as a backcountry guide in northern Ontario and Manitoba, leading canoe trips from two days to six weeks in length. Her unpaid adventures have included a meandering month-long bike trip down the Pacific coast, a month in the rainforest of Peru studying birds, and lying on the tundra identifying lichens in Wapusk National Park. She has been known to snowshoe around city streets after big storms before the snowplow comes, and she does a mean crossword.  

​Sydney can’t wait to be back on the prairie for the winter and is looking forward to bearing witness to its wildness.


Tanya Iretskaya


​Originally from St Petersburg, Russia, Tanya Ir graduated in Applied Ecology from the Russian State Hydrometeorological University. She is passionate about the outdoors, wildlife and exploring, and has visited five continents.
Tanya’s most memorable experiences include hiking in New Zealand, diving in the Galapagos, working as a research assistant with capuchin monkeys in Iguazu, Argentina, volunteering in Arizona and Utah and, most recently, working with leatherback sea turtles in Costa Rica.
Believe it or not, she says Montana and the Great Plains have an alluring image to Russians, and thus she is keen to see the immense sky and the some wild-roaming bison through her own eyes. Tanya’s hobbies include reading, photography and ping pong, of course.

​Lauren Thatch


Lauren Thatch grew up splitting time between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and received her professional engineering license in California. She has extensive experience in the environmental investigation and remediation fields, including work as an onsite field engineer for a tidal wetlands restoration project and a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study at an acid mine drainage site.
Whenever possible, Lauren spends her free time searching for new adventures, especially if it includes climbing, backpacking or kayaking.
She’s excited to join her love for working in the outdoors with the opportunity to experience a large-scale conservation project in action.

Learn more about Landmark and other ASC projects on our website, the Field Notes blog, and by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Google+​​​