Title: Educator and Author
City: Silver Spring, Maryland
Jennifer Chambers is an author, middle school science teacher, environmental educator and small business owner. In 2004, she started her own business, Hiking Along, LLC. to engage children in exploration of the natural world and encourage them to appreciate and learn about the environment and how humans impact it while hiking on scenic trails around the DC region.
As a volunteer with Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Jennifer helped implement PATC’s family hiking program, family weekend at Bear’s Den, created the grant-funded Student Trail Steward program at Northwood High School, and organized youth-focused trail building projects in her hometown.
Jennifer was an Environmental Education Specialist with the Audubon Naturalist Societies’ GreenKids program whose goal is to make environmental education and meaningful watershed educational experiences an integral part of the instructional strategy at participating schools and to create formative experiences for students that foster lifelong environmental literacy and stewardship.
She is currently a middle school science teacher at The Siena School; a private school whose mission is to educate college-bound students with mild to moderate learning differences.
Jennifer is a children’s book author of Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle, published by Tate Publishing in April 2013 and a hiking guide book, Best Hikes for Kids: Washington DC, The Beltway and Beyond, published by Mountaineers Books in September 2014.
Jennifer is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Hiking Society and is the Maryland State Advocate for Leave No Trace. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and two children who are an active outdoor family.
Scott has a long history with conservation, trail building and maintenance, and non-profit service. While in college, he helped launch a ground-breaking trail crew program at Philmont Scout Ranch, operated by the Boy Scouts of America. More than twenty years later that program has generated four similar conservation and trail building programs at the three other national BSA high adventure bases. Those programs have hosted more than 3000 Scouts who have built and/or repaired dozens of miles of trail and portages, as well as impacted marine environments throughout the the Boundary Waters and Florida Keys.
An Eagle Scout himself, Scott served as Program Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America’s ArrowCorps5 program, a 5,000 person service project conducted over five weeks in in five national forests. He served as co-chairman for the BSA’s SummitCorps program in 2011 with 1,500 Scouts and Scouters building 13-miles of trail in the New River National Park (WV). Scott has also served on the National Outdoor Adventures committee for the Boy Scouts of America.
Scott is an Advisory Board member of the Cottonwood Institute, a board member of the Denver Area Council (BSA), a national vice Chairman of the Order of the Arrow (BSA), and an avid outdoors person. His wife Adrienne currently reside in Minneapolis, MN. Scott is a partner with Insigniam, a world-wide consultancy in breakthrough performance and strategic and organizational transformation.
Title: Health Coach / Outdoor Adventure Leader
City: Atlanta, GA
I opened my first health food store in 1985. I expanded to 2 stores, a cafe and a sports nutrition store…all centered around healthy living. I improved my health and was helping others do the same, all while working for myself. I loved it!
As I continued living life to the fullest, this late bloomer, baby boomer, started playing organized basketball at age 50
I moved in 2001 to Atlanta Georgia, from Detroit, Michigan. Very soon after my arrival, I was introduced to Arabia Mountain. My first time there, I literally ran up the mountain…it was the most exhilarating feeling I had ever experienced…the fresh air, the clear skies, the view, the great outdoors, the freedom…wow! Soon thereafter, was my first real hike…up Blood Mountain, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in the North Georgia Mountains. I was hooked!
I now lead monthly hikes, twelve months a year. For the 5 plus years I have been leading my groups, I have newcomers each month. To see and hear how the experience gives them a new perspective on life renews my commitment and understanding how what I do for enjoyment is helping others in their quest for a better life. I have since added other outdoor adventures, including camping, kayaking, bicycling, whitewater rafting, zip lining, tree climbing, spelunking, and more. I am a certified Outings Leader, certified in Wilderness First Aid, and a certified Interpretive Guide. I am a community partner with REI, the Georgia Conservancy, and a member of the Diversified Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau. A Health Literacy Coach through University of Georgia; Health Coach through Emory University.
I was featured on the CNN AccentHealth Network for the month of January 2015 with my OPALs group. I was selected as one of the 50 Over 50 by the Huffington Post/TODAY show as one who has reinvented themselves, and have been featured in various print and online publications, radio and TV shows. I was also one of the winners chosen by L.L. Bean, for my outdoor activities, during their 100 Year Anniversary celebration.
I am founder of Hartfield’s Hikers, OPALs (Older People with Active Lifestyles), and three Meetup groups (Atlanta African American Adventurers, Atlanta African American Baby Boomers and OPALs). My network of almost 6,000 strong, and growing. I have developed an adventure program, Wonderful Outings in the Wilderness (WOW!).
My work and educational background is primarily in marketing. I have developed my own web sites, blog and online newsletter. I am not retired, but rather rejuvenated! I truly am ‘Living Life to the Fullest!!!’
I love hikes with waterfalls, a few include Tallulah Gorge, Amicalola Falls, Hemlock Creek, Dukes Cree Falls … and so many others. These are located in the Metro Atlanta area.
Title: Certified Public Accountant
City: Ligonier, PA
Kevin lives and works in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania and enjoys the many hiking, camping, backpacking, and kayaking opportunities available in the area.
Kevin volunteers with his local outdoors group, Venture Outdoors as a trip leader and as a member of VO’s Trip Leader Council.
He has participated in AHS Volunteer Vacations in various parts of the United States, and volunteers locally with the Ridge Runners, a trail maintenance group that works in conjunction with the Pennsylvania DCNR, helping to maintain the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
Title: Financial Advisor
Organization: Appalachian Trail Museum, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Gardners, Pa.
Title: Founder & President
City: New City, New York
Larry thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1980 and is the author of “Walking the Appalachian Trail.” He is the founder and president of the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Gardners, Pa. The Museum also sponsors the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame.
For many years, National Trails Day, which is sponsored by the American Hiking Society, has been an important part of his life. In 2007 the Museum opened the first exhibit of the A.T. Museum on National Trails Day at ATC headquarters in Harpers Ferry. In 2010 on National Trails Day, the A.T. Museum held its Grand Opening in Gardners, Pa., before a crowd of 750 people. Each year the induction ceremony for the A.T. Hall of Fame is held on the weekend of National Trails Day.
For 15 years he was Trails Chair of Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter and also served on the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter Outings Committee, New York City Executive Committee and Atlantic Chapter board.
For many years he has been a member of the board of the Earl Shaffer Foundation. An honorary life member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, he is also a life member of the Keystone Trails Association and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. In 2010 he was Grand Marshall of the Hiker’s Parade, Trail Days, Damascus, Va.
He married Frieda on Bear Mountain, the first section of the A.T., in 1984 and has three grown children.
Title: Professional Volunteer
City: Mohegan Lake, NY
Jane is a retired reference librarian. She served on the Trail Conference board from 1990-2011, including six years as board chair and on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) board from 1993-1999. In 2007, she chaired a committee hosting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 36th Biennial Confernece, an eight day event with over 850 attendees and 376 volunteers. Having built and managed trails, she understands trail issues from the shovel to the board room. In April 2013, she was named NY Trail Worker of the Year by American Trails. Jane is the president of NY State Trails Council, on the board of the Hudson Greenway Conservancy, the president of the Friends of FDR State Park and on the board of the American Hiking Society.
City: Boulder, CO
Jack joined the board in 2015 and has enjoyment in hiking and backpacking since his time as a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout as a youth in State College, PA. He still serves the Boy Scouts at both the local council and the national levels. He has hiked a good bit of the Appalachian Trail, been on many backpacking trips in the Colorado wilderness and hiked many of the mountain ranges in Nevada. This year (2015) he and his wife have taken the challenge to hike 100 miles in Rocky Mountain National Park in celebration of the park’s 100th anniversary.
Recently, after 13 years of service, Jack stepped down as the Executive Director of the Geological Society of America. Before coming to GSA in 2001 Jack work for the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and then spent 18 months working for Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) working on nuclear waste and water issues. He has served on a number of boards including the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Karst Waters Institute (Chair), Association of Earth Science Editors, Longs Peak Council Boy Scouts of America (President elect), Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, and Colorado Society of Association Executives. Additionally Jack serves on the US National Commission for UNESCO and the US National Committee for Geological Sciences.
Title: Writer & Regional Coordinator
City: San Francisco, CA
Melissa Avery is an outdoor family blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With camping, hiking and backpacking and anything outdoors among her activities she and her family are up for the challenge. She is also a youth leader at her local church, where she has integrated a wilderness program into the church’s regular youth activities with much success.
She received her B.S. at California State University Hayward (East Bay) in Business Administration/Accounting and entered the world of federal law enforcement for the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Even though her work experience has been primarily financial and law enforcement, Melissa continues to explore her love of outdoors locally as well as adventuring down to South America to backpack the Salkantay and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
She has been a church youth leader with her husband for nine years and has led many camping, hiking, backpacking and even international outreach/camping trips to Ensenada, Mexico with her Jr. High and High School students. Melissa believes that with all the difficult and complex issues our society is confronted with, it is beneficial to give young people the opportunity to gain real perspective on the world, understand true poverty, understand true service and develop integrity and character.
After leaving the government and entering motherhood, Melissa understood that being outdoors was essential to parenting and continued her outdoor lifestyle with her children. In August 2012, she felt the need to start writing about her family outdoor adventures because so many of her friends and family were curious how her family spends so much time outdoors. She was given the trail name “Chasqui Mom” because of her Peruvian heritage and motherhood, but took this name as her blog identity because just as the Chasquis were the Incan Emperor mountain runners that relayed important information, she wanted to be a messenger of the outdoors to everyone and in particular Latino families and youth.
The Chochenyo and Lizard Rock Trail marsh pond hikes at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, CA.
Title: Board Member
City: Seattle, WA
Amy Csink has finally settled down in the Pacific Northwest after living in Georgia, Missouri, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. She has traveled throughout America and has hiked and backpacked in most of the states. After retiring from a career as a research geneticist and professor she joined the board of directors of Washington Trails Association (WTA) which is the largest state-based hiking organization in the country with more than 12,000 members and 108,000 hours/year of volunteer trail maintenance.
As a member of the WTA advocacy committee she has met with law makers to discuss issues important to hikers at both the state and national level such as fees on public lands, funding for trail maintenance and wilderness areas. She is particularly interested in advocacy because she believes that the relationship between citizens and the natural environment is important to our national character.
The northern most 100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail
Title: Director of Business Development and Marketing
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Kathleen has served with the AHS board since October 2013. She met the AHS board of directors at their Spring 2013 meeting in Phoenix Arizona where she led the group on a hike up the Peralta trail in the Superstition Mountains. In 2005, Kathleen started and continues to lead a small hiking club on monthly adventures in and around Arizona. “We have a strict rule in the CVL Hike Club, NO work talk in nature!” As Director of Business Development, Kathleen is responsible for creating strategic partnerships that will ultimately lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties. The Hike Club acts as a way to bridge the gap between work and play. A majority of the hikers are clients and employees and she finds there is no better way to forge a relationship then in nature. There is no pretense or barriers when we are on the trail.
Kathleen was born and raised in central New Jersey. Hiking every Sunday after dinner with her grandmother along the Raritan River, became a way to connect with nature. As she became older, the trails became more challenging and the adventures drew her out west to Arizona. “I found myself always coming back to Arizona to hike and camp on vacation, why only come on vacation, I should move to Arizona and hike every day.” Kathleen met her husband David on a Grand Canyon rafting trip in 2001. He was the trip leader and she was the ecological interpretive guide on that trip, the rest as they say is history! They married at the rim of the Grand Canyon in 2010 surrounded in the beauty of the place that they both deem the most magical place on earth.
When not working or hiking, Kathleen can be found with her husband David and daughter Kylee either camping, rafting or behind her tripod photographing. She is a published photographer with work gracing the covers of American Trails magazine and a feature in the AZ Highways blog spot. Kathleen holds a degree from Rutgers University in Environmental Health Science/Marketing and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.
Title: VP & Sales Manager
City: Westlake Village, California
An active hiker and outdoorsman, Howard has hiked and worked on many trail projects in his local area of Los Angeles as well as in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has served as a member of the management committee for the Southern California Steelhead Coalition and currently is the Volunteer Project Coordinator for the state’s Golden Trout Restoration Project.
A big proponent of youth education, Howard has served on the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow National Committee. He was a contributor for the BSA’s Fly Fishing merit badge pamphlet and was instrumental in the writing of a new fishing ethics book published by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Howard has been the recipient of a number of national conservation awards including recognition by the California Department of Fish and Game, US Forest Service, the Boy Scouts of America and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Title: Editor in Chief
City: Silver Spring, Maryland
Greg has served as President of American Hiking Society since 2005 and has more than thirty years of experience in biodiversity conservation, sustainable recreation, and natural resources program and policy development. This includes a strong track record of exemplary conservation and recreation planning, public-private partnerships, non-profit management and capacity building at all levels. Prior to joining American Hiking, Dr. Miller led a distinguished executive career as Vice President at The Nature Conservancy, where for more than 15 years he developed the Conservancy’s conservation strategy and biodiversity project portfolio for South America and co-managed the Latin America and Caribbean Parks in Peril program. Under his leadership the Conservancy undertook landscape scale projects and best practices globally in energy and biodiversity, debt-for-nature swaps, and forest protection and climate change.
He has served on the boards (including as board chair) of the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded global Biodiversity Support Program, Global Energy and Biodiversity Initiative, Outdoor Alliance, The International Ecotourism Society, Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, National Park Service Over-flight Advisory Group, and served as an environmental adviser for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
A native of California, Greg is fluent in Spanish and English. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in botany and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Miller was awarded a prestigious Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy Post-Doctoral Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Greg lived and worked in the Galapagos Islands and the Andes for many years and has held a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship, hiking, and the outdoors. He is a long-standing volunteer leader for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.
Yosemite National Park, California
Grand Canyon National Park