The Adventure Scientists Team

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Gregg Treinish

​Founder/Executive Director

Madelyn Underwood

Head of People

Lydia Freeman

Chief of Staff

Gabe Leum

Accounting Manager

CJ Chao

CJ Chao

Executive Assistant

Nico Kneler

Operations Lead


Sarah Bush

Josephine Roberts

Head of Development

Sarah Bush

Lindsey Schwartz

Major Gifts Officer

a young woman with soft wavy hair smiles in front of a background of mountains

Devynn Maclure

Grants and Development Senior Manager

a young woman with soft wavy hair smiles in front of a background of mountains

Madelyn Venable

Communications Intern


Catherine Workman

Head of Programs

Luis Pabón-Zamora

Head of Strategic Partnerships

Nate Trappe

Associate Director of Project Creation

Alison Ormsby

Associate Director of Design/Forest Specialist

Samantha Smith

Project Coordinator

Alisa Futritski

Senior Manager Volunteer Recruitment & Community Engagement

Ricky Jones

Senior Manager of Data Science

CJ Chao, Executive Assistant (he/him)

CJ Chao

CJ, our Executive Assistant, is a passionate advocate for citizen science and conservation. CJ draws from his experiences as a field scientist and passion for the outdoors to assist Senior Leadership in assessing new project ideas, create committed partnerships, and ensure Adventure Scientists is actively addressing key impact areas to the fullest extent possible.

CJ obtained his bachelors of arts in environmental policy and analysis from Boston University and spent 3 years working as an Environmental Scientist and Research Assistant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His career choices reflect a love for conservation and the outdoors, bolstered by his passion for rock climbing, skiing and SCUBA diving. He gained a foundation in client services, market data analysis, and project administration while working in Real Estate but returned to environmental work at Adventure Scientists to follow his passions. Day to day, CJ has the great pleasure to work with AS Senior Leadership to push forward impactful conservation initiatives.

Lydia Freeman, Chief of Staff (she/her)

Lydia grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, where she spent much of her time running around outdoors. She obtained a B.S. in Finance from West Virginia University and has built a career in business and financial analysis, product management, and consulting. She recently became a Virginia Master Naturalist to facilitate her career transition into conservation.

Outside work, she volunteers extensively by walking and training dogs and cats, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, teaching English, maintaining trails, removing invasive plants and planting native species, and much more. You can find her hiking, biking, kayaking, doing home renovations, or pet-sitting while traveling.

Alisa Futritski, Sr. Manager of Volunteer Recruitment and Community Management (she/her)

Alisa sits on the Programs team and supports program management of AS projects, focusing on recruitment, communications, and creating the volunteer experience.

Areas of expertise: program management, product management, teaching & facilitating, event management, Asana, Jira, foreign languages.

Alisa received her Bachelors of International Relations at Boston University, and has supported educational, environmental, and sustainable projects at international organizations, including Camfed, UNESCO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and Facebook. She also trained as a tour guide, earning Wilderness certifications and working through the US and Canadian National Parks. Alisa leads recruitment and community efforts at Adventure Scientists, building volunteer experiences and creating partner relationships. She believes that together, we create and protect the world that we want to live in.

Samantha Smith, Project Coordinator (she/her)

Samantha Smith Profile Picture

Samantha supports the project management team by managing volunteers and project equipment, supporting the design and build of projects, and processing samples to assure quality and quantity of data to scientific partners.

Areas of expertise: volunteer experience, management, ecology, conservation biology.

Samantha graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. Her senior thesis focused on the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, which sparked her relocation to Bozeman, MT, where she crossed paths with Adventure Scientists. Samantha’s decade of experience in customer service and management, coupled with her scientific background, plays a crucial role at AS. She oversees the successful data collection by volunteers and ensures that scientific partners receive top-notch research-grade samples.

Ricky Jones, Senior Manager of Data Science (he/him)

Ricky is a core member of the programs team developing strategies for project data infrastructure, management, and visualization.

Areas of Expertise: Data science, data visualization and storytelling, statistical analysis, GIS, R programming, Salesforce administration, field data collection, field protocol development, printer whisperer

Ricky holds a BS in Soil and Water Sciences from Montana State University and certificates in full stack web development, data visualization and storytelling. A dedicated volunteer turned full time staff member, Ricky is a member of the local climbing and mountain biking coalitions, and as always, a passionate volunteer for Adventure Scientists’ land based projects. Ricky brings nearly a decade of experience in systems administration and data management, as well as a lifetime of stoke for science in the great outdoors.

Nico Kneler, Operations Lead (he/him)

Nico supports our mission by optimizing our team’s internal workflows for enhanced productivity and streamlining our service delivery to partners and volunteers.

Areas of expertise: UX design, product development, no-code automation, organizational efficiency.

Having pursued Industrial Design at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nico discovered his passion for digital products and enterprises. With over 15 years of experience in various roles—as a founder, full-time employee, and consultant for startups and companies spanning e-commerce to education—Nico offers valuable insights.

Guided by a commitment to innovation and a focus on leveraging software for optimization, Nico is dedicated to shaping a dynamic future for Adventure Scientists.

Gabriel Leum, Accounting Manager (he/him)

Gabe supports Adventure Scientists and its staff by overseeing financial operations, ensuring transparency, compliance, and the strategic allocation of resources.

Areas of Expertise: financial reporting, FP&A,taxation, forensic accounting, corporate finance, risk management, compliance and regulation.

Gabe graduated from the University of Montana with Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finance. His diverse expertise across multiple industries greatly benefits the organization by providing valuable insights and innovative solutions. Beyond managing day-to-day financial activities, Gabe strives to provide strategic guidance to our leadership team by generating accurate financial forecasts and recommending actionable insights to support decision-making. Additionally, Gabe works with external auditors and regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with accounting standards and reporting requirements.

Devynn Maclure, Grants and Development Senior Manager (she/her)

a young woman with soft wavy hair smiles in front of a background of mountains

Devynn supports the Development team with grant writing and operations support.

Areas of expertise: grant research and writing, development operations, Salesforce, and graphic design.

Devynn holds a BA in Sustainability Studies from Alaska Pacific University, and has served the conservation and agriculture sectors for the State of Alaska.

Devynn supports Adventure Scientists’ Development Team through grant writing, data management, and partner stewardship planning. With a passion for protecting both people and the planet, she brings her unique background in local farm promotion, rural community outreach, and federal grants management into her work here at Adventure Scientists.

Alison Ormsby, Associate Director of Design / Forest Specialist (she/her)

a young woman with soft wavy hair smiles in front of a background of mountains

Alison supports the Programs team by designing the methods for projects focusing on our forests impact area, using our participatory science model to collect data at large scales.

Areas of expertise: forests, biodiversity conservation, research project design, sustainability, environmental education.

Dr. Alison Ormsby has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England, a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the College of William and Mary. She is a certified Environmental Educator, certified Interpretive Guide, and is SCUBA certified. She has served on the boards of numerous environmental organizations, and on the Sustainability Advisory Committee for the City of Asheville, NC and is currently co-chair of the Tree Protection Task Force for Buncombe County, NC. She brings to Adventure Scientists her 30 years of work experience in biodiversity conservation, as a professor of Environmental Studies for 20 years, and a wide variety of other work experiences – as an environment/parks Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, a Fulbright scholar in India researching sacred forests, a journalist with the United Nations reporting on environmental treaties, and an educator with the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society.

Luis Pabon-Zamora, Head of Strategic Partnerships (he/him)

Luis leads our international expansion by forging and managing partnerships with international and multilateral organizations, agencies, and governments to build meaningful projects and collaborate globally.

Areas of expertise: international conservation, negotiation, international policy, strategic partnership development.

Luis actively engages Adventure Scientists in global processes including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, and various other global and regional treaties.

He works to build capacity required across the organization to fill gaps in our readiness to operate internationally, including the design of environmental and social safeguards and promoting the inclusion of civil society organizations and other groups to participate in our projects.

He is responsible for recently signing a partnership with the French Development Research Institute (IRD) for supporting an Amazon wide mercury monitoring system led by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization. Luis is currently negotiating a number of international projects with international and regional agencies, as well as Multilateral Banks and global environmental organizations.

Josephine Roberts, Head of Development (she/her)

Josephine leads Fund Development and Communications for Adventures Scientists.

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising Strategy, Donor Relations, Grant Writing and Management, Strategic Communications, Brand Management, Marketing and Public Relations Strategy, Community Engagement, Performance Measurement and Evaluation.

An established philanthropic practitioner, Josephine brings over 15 years of comprehensive fund development and nonprofit management expertise as well as 7 years leading a conservation organization to the team. Prior to working in the conservation sciences field, she spent over half a decade working in Detroit’s nonprofit education systems as a philanthropic capacity builder including the funding, marketing and implementation of educational innovations. B.S. Psychology

Lindsey Ford Schwartz, Major Gifts Officer (she/her)

Sarah Bush

Lindsey raises funds from individuals, foundations and corporate donor partners to support Adventure Scientists’ work.

Areas of expertise: fundraising and philanthropic growth, meaningful donor engagement, building values-based relationships and networks, revenue management and reporting, communication.

Lindsey has a BA from Colgate University. A development and philanthropy leader with a lifelong commitment to social change, she believes in the power of philanthropy and has seen what is possible when organizations have the resources they need to realize their visions. She is dedicated to building partnerships that support the long-term sustainability of organizational missions and outcomes while also bringing fulfillment to donors.

Nate Trappe, Associate Director of Project Creation (he/him)

Nate works with researchers, organizations, and government agencies to create projects and training programs for collecting large-scale, rigorous data to solve conservation challenges.

Areas of expertise: Conservation behavior, outdoor recreation, sustainable travel, youth development, program design and evaluation, and partnerships.

Nate is an enthusiastic collaborator focused on supporting others in collecting data and building scalable systems that make a positive difference. He is a part-time Ph.D. student in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University and earned his master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Measurement, and Evaluation from UNC-Chapel Hill. Since 2003, he has worked at the intersection of conservation and recreation. He is passionate about engaging diverse communities in outdoor activities that educate and inspire action toward a more sustainable future. Nate has traveled to over 50 countries and led groups on multi-week adventures and research expeditions on five continents. He loves being outside and helping others explore and learn about nature.

Gregg Treinish, Founder/Executive Director (he/him)

Gregg founded Adventure Scientists in 2011 based on his passion for exploration, scientific discovery and galvanizing “the choir” to more directly participate in conservation.

National Geographic named Gregg Treinish “Adventurer of the Year” in 2008 when he and a friend completed a 7,800-mile trek along the spine of the Andes mountain range, and he has participated in multiple ecologically focused expeditions around the world. His field work has included projects focused on wolverine, lynx, bears, owls, sturgeon, and more. Gregg holds a biology degree from Montana State University and a sociology degree from CU-Boulder.

In 2015 he was named a DRK Foundation social entrepreneur and one of Men’s Journal’s “Most Adventurous Men.” In 2017, Gregg was named an Ashoka Fellow, and in 2020, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He was named to the Explorer’s Club 50 and the Hatch 100 in 2023.

Madelyn Underwood, Head of People (she/her)

Madelyn supports Adventure Scientists’ mission by ensuring that our culture supports team members in their work to help accelerate conservation and climate change solutions.

Areas of expertise: full lifecycle talent management, total rewards, employee engagement, DEI.

Madelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Cornell University and is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She brings more than 25 years of experience with organizations such as the Ford Foundation, Mt. Cuba Center and Longwood Gardens, where she successfully led organizational efforts to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent. She also volunteers for community service organizations that support gender equality and women’s empowerment. Madelyn leads people initiatives across all functional areas of human resources; her focus at Adventure Scientists is on elevating employees and building strong teams while helping to foster inclusion. She is a collaborative and consensus building colleague committed to creating and maintaining a progressive and innovative employee culture.

Madelyn Venable, Communications Intern (she/her)

Madelyn serves Adventure Scientists as an intern helping support the communication needs of the organization.

Madelyn grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she was able to enjoy both inland and coastal outdoor activities. The closeness of Virginia Beach inspired her love for the oceans at a young age and encouraged her to practice living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Madelyn is currently studying Strategic Communication and English at Washington and Lee University. Outside of those courses, she has taken Environmental studies and biology courses to foster her investment in conservation. Outside school and work, you can find Madelyn competing on her university’s track team, reading, walking her dog, and spending time with family and friends.   

Catherine Workman, PhD, Head of Programs (she/her)

Catherine oversees the strategic development, design, implementation, and measurement of Adventure Scientists’ programs, ensuring integrity and conservation impact in our projects. She leads and manages the programs team.

Areas of expertise: biodiversity conservation, illegal wildlife trade, endangered species, anthropology, inclusive leadership, scientific grant-making

Prior to joining Adventure Scientists, Catherine oversaw the National Geographic Society’s research, conservation, and technology funding as the Vice President of Science, served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of Forestry and Biodiversity at USAID, and worked in Denver Zoo’s Conservation Biology department. She currently serves on the Board of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition and on the Editorial Board of the Vietnamese Journal of Primatology. She holds an MA in anthropology from the University of CO, Boulder and a Ph.D. in evolutionary anthropology from Duke University. Catherine brings more than 15 years experience in the conservation sector with strategic planning, research, policy, impact evaluation, and communication of biodiversity conservation, combating wildlife crime, global grant-making, and developing and leading high-functioning teams.

Want to join the team? Check out our current openings: