STAFF - Full Time
Anne Moore Siebecker - Trustee/Director
In addition to her role on our Board, Anne also serves as the New Weis Center's Director, and oversees the operations, education programs, marketing, development, partnerships and intern programs. Anne is a Ringwood, NJ resident with a deep appreciation for the region's rich history, natural beauty and abundant wildlife. After leaving the corporate world (Sony, Hunter Douglas) where she held positions as a marketing manager and project leader, Anne earned a certificate in Green Technologies and Sustainability from Bergen Community College, and was certified as a Rutgers Environmental Steward in 2016. She was the recipient of the 2017 NJ Governor's Jefferson Award for public service in Environmental Stewardship, and has been nominated for the Russ Berrie "Making a Difference Award" four times (2018-2021). She serves on the NJ Commission on Environmental Education, and the Morris County Vocational School's Academy for Environmental Science Advisory Council. She is also First Aid/CPR/AED certified and Mental Health First Aid certified. In addition to her work at Weis, Anne serves the community as a Ringwood Environmental Commissioner, a member of the Sustainable Ringwood Green Team, and the Friends of the Ringwood Library.
Reflections: "I’m grateful that my role with The New Weis Center has given me a path to channel my passion for connecting people with nature and share the importance of environmental education. I’m thankful to have this opportunity to support and enhance the community, to provide meaningful experiences to so many, and to know that I’m truly making a difference! I am also happy to have wonderful colleagues and co-workers, who continue to inspire and motivate me to achieve my personal and professional goals."
Erica Garfinkle - Senior Environmental Educator & Naturalist
Erica Garfinkle is a native of northern NJ who is excited to continue working with her community. After fifteen years of working in the nonprofit realm, advocating for and giving a voice to special needs youth, she became inspired by a new passion for nature and her innate need to learn more about the earth. Erica changed careers to outdoor education, and worked as an Outdoor Guide with Team Wilderness, and at Ridge and Valley Charter School as a Support Guide. During her two years at RVCS she connected with the K-8 grades by encouraging her students to think, wonder, and to question through experiential education, citizen science and promoting a sustainable future. Most recently, Erica was the Naturalist onboard the Osprey Birding by Boat tours in Cape May, NJ. She enjoys volunteering and has worked with organizations such as Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Bushkill Stream Conservancy and the NY-NJ Trail Conference. She is certified in First Aid & CPR/AED and Wilderness First Aid, and is a Center for Outdoor Ethics Leave No Trace Trainer. Erica is an avid adventurer, mentor to new outdoor enthusiasts, and loves spending time hiking, kayaking, camping, and birding.
Reflections: "I'm thankful to work at an organization with such a rich history that still holds a great sense of community within. I'm also truly grateful to foster experiences in connecting children to the natural world. I'm very lucky to work with such creative people that have such a diverse array of knowledge and experience that are always willing to teach, learn and grow."
Lauren Lynch - Lead Environmental Educator; Marketing & Administration
Lauren graduated from Ramapo College of NJ with a degree in Environmental Science. She completed an internship at The New Weis Center in the Spring-Summer of 2019, and did an excellent job as a field trip educator and summer camp counselor. Lauren previously worked for Plant Detectives Garden Center in Chester, NJ where she assisted customers with garden design and plant selection. She also worked at the children's garden at the Marydell Faith and Life Center in Nyack, NY, teaching children about organic gardening and the importance of our connection to our food. She is certified in First Aid & CPR/AED, Mental Health First Aid and Wilderness First Aid, and also brings an extensive plant knowledge and love of the outdoors to her role at Weis. In her role as a Lead Educator, Lauren leads field trips, scout badges and public programs, and coordinates the special needs transition programs. She developed and leads our Homeschool programs and Forest Bathing walks, and will introduce a gardening-based pre-K program next year.
Reflections: "I am so very grateful for being able to help bring people of all ages closer to nature through my involvement with Weis. I am thankful for this community, all that we learn, and for this beautiful land that we all share. The support of Weis and everyone involved has helped and continues to help me in my life, and I am very grateful to be part of this community!"
STAFF - Part-Time
Nicole Vaccaro - Environmental Educator
Nicole graduated from Ramapo College with an Environmental Studies degree, and has a background in community volunteer work and customer service. She joined our team as an education intern in Fall 2021, and did such a terrific job we hired her as a part-time educator when her internship finished! She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at Rutgers University, and plans to become a college professor after graduating.
Reflection: I am extremely thankful for my opportunities here at The New Weis Center to not only learn something new every day, but to be able to share what I learn with others; whether that's in public programs, scouting events, or school field trips - it is such an important skill to have. As a scientist studying plant life, the opportunity to be able to share what I'm learning within the same week that I've been researching it is invaluable. The ability to learn and to share what we learn not only strengthens communities, but engages us into the beauty of the natural world.
Laney Darmiento - Environmental Educator
Laney graduated from the University of Scranton in May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She joined the New Weis Center team as a seasonal intern in summer 2021, and is now working as one of our part-time educators. She served as the 2022-2023 Northern NJ Source Water Protection Ambassador through AmeriCorps NJWAP. While her main experiences have been within the environmental education and community outreach sectors, she plans to pursue further education in environmental engineering and green infrastructure, with a focus on sustainable agriculture. In her free time, Laney enjoys reading, spending time in nature, and volunteering with her local animal shelter.
Reflection: I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to work at Weis. Not only has this position helped me to develop professionally in my field, but it has allowed me to grow as a person and explore new interests. I cannot thank the Director Anne, my coworkers, and the Highlands Nature Friends trustees enough for their endless support.
Morganne Vogel - Environmental Educator
Morganne is another former Weis intern who has continuing with us as a part-time educator! She graduated from William Paterson University with dual degrees in Environmental Sustainability and Disability Studies. During her time at WPU, she was President of the environmental club and the recipient of the Making a Difference Award, the Benevolence Award and the Environmental Science Award. She is an instructor for WPU's special needs Transition Program, teaching students from ages 18-21 career readiness skills and professional development. Morganne works at Staten Island C & D, LLC, where she tracks waste and handles administrative functions. In her free time, she is training for an OSHA certification.
Reflection: "I am grateful to be a part of The New Weis Center programs. I love teaching kids about the environment around us. I am always happy to see them enjoying the program that we put together. I am thankful to be a part of such an amazing team."
Tori Gooden - Environmental Educator
Tori has a a BA from Alvernia University, and received her Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification from New Jersey City University. She currently works as a Special Needs Teacher at the Windsor Learning Center in Pompton Lakes, NJ, where she provides classroom instruction to a range of neurodiverse students. Her previous experience includes a position at Starlight Farms in Ringwood, where she assisted with therapeutic riding lessons and coordinated summer camp lessons and activities. Tori has experience creating innovative lesson plans and comfortable learning environments. She is a former Girl Scout with a passion for the outdoors and hands-on learning, and brings enthusiasm, dedication and a positive attitude to her position at Weis.
Tina Yi - Environmental Educator
Tina has a BA from Hunter College, but started her education in horticulture and garden design at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she earned a Certificate in Horticulture and completed a seasonal internship. She worked as an urban garden designer on rooftops, terraces, and backyards in Brooklyn and Manhattan until she moved with her family to Ringwood in 2017. After working for a few years for large landscape companies in northern NJ, she realized that she wanted to have a different approach to garden design. Tina is an advocate for gardening for wildlife and planting more natives in public spaces and in private home gardens. She serves on the Ringwood Green Team, where she designed and helped plant a pollinator garden at the town library. She owns and operates a garden design and maintenance company called Blue Cabin Gardens. She is a lifelong student of the natural world and happiest when her hands are in the soil.
Maggy Rose Chamberlain - Environmental Educator
Maggy Rose is an Herbalist with a broad and ever-expanding knowledge of plants and their medicinal properties. Her education includes the Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist course. Making sustainable and accessible medicine is among her greatest passions. Maggy has a deep love for the history-rich land of the New Weis Center, and has been an active and dedicated volunteer since 2020. Maggy his happy to be joining us as a part-time educator.
Reflections: I am grateful for every day spent in the New Weis Center, and to have the opportunity to teach, learn, and grow with the wonderful community that shares the abundance of this land.
Olivia Trezza - Environmental Educator
Olivia is a Sustainability major at Ramapo College, where she maintains a 3.9 GPA. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society. After working as a garden and program assistant at Ort Farms for three years, she took an environmental science course that led to her appreciation and passion for environmental preservation and education. At Ramapo, Olivia is President of Debate Club, Vice President for 1STEP environmental club and the Garden Club, and is an officer for Ramapo Green, assisting with social media and promotion for events. She is also a member of Ramapo’s chapter of the Sunrise Movement (climate change and sustainability activism) and the NJ Food & Water Action, where she worked to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure development in NJ. Olivia previously interned for an online wholesale construction marketplace, where she helped develop a sustainability roadmap for vendors and contractors, and assessed their products using the LEED sustainability rating system. In 2023, Olivia also began interning for the NJ Composting Council. She was the recipient of the Ramapo College May H. Weis Environmental Award for 2022-2023, which included a scholarship and full year internship at The New Weis Center, during which she served as a lead camp counselor and environmental educator. After finishing her internship at our Center, she joined us as a part-time Environmental Educator. Her post-graduate plans are to obtain a Ph.D. in Sustainability and become a college professor. She is certified in First Aid & CPR/AED.
Fu-Xin Wilson Rupprecht - Environmental Educator
bio coming soon
Peter Lindell - Environmental Educator
Peter received an Associate in Science degree from Bergen Community College in 2020, and is currently a student at Ramapo College of New Jersey pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in geological studies. He initially served as an environmental intern from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023; after completing his term he joined the team as a part-time Educator. Peter enjoys teaching school field trips and seasonal programs (such as maple sugaring), and specializes in geological programs. He is a certified Scouts BSA Merit Badge Counselor, is First Aid & CPR certified, and looks forward to obtaining more outdoor related certifications in the near future. He aspires to use his college education to further enhance his ability as an environmental instructor, to teach those who are also passionate about the outdoors and all it has to offer. During Peter’s spare time you can catch him hiking in North Jersey and New York, fishing the east coast and New England’s freshwaters, or practicing fieldcraft in the Ramapo Mountains.
Jeremy Strube - Marketing Administrator, Tech Support, Gardens & Grounds
Jeremy has been involved with the Weis Center (then known as the Weis Ecology Center) since he came for his first visit as a toddler to see the lifecycle of the butterfly sign. He attended many programs here through the years, and began volunteering in 2018 before transitioning to part-time staff. In addition to assisting with marketing communications and administration, he also assists with the design and upkeep of the garden and grounds, helps maintain the facilities, and has worked to categorize and display documents and artifacts in our history room and virtually on the website. Jeremy received the rank of Eagle Scout in 2018, and built a gaga ball pit by our pavilion for his Eagle project. Currently, he is pursuing a degree in Plant Science at the University of Delaware with a minor in Insect and Wildlife Conservation, where President of the Native Species Initiative, and active in Students for the Environment, The Wildlife Society, Hydroponics Club and French Club. Jeremy is continuing to work at Weis remotely and when he's home on school break.
Daniel Costic - Buildings & Grounds and Program Assistant
Daniel is a Ringwood resident who has been coming to Weis since we re-opened in 2016. He is currently a student at Passaic County Technical Vocational School where is pursuing an interest in biomedical life sciences. Daniel previously worked as a lifeguard He loves music and plays piano and saxophone in his free time. As a Ringwood resident, Daniel is happy to be working at Weis and giving back to the community.
Matthew Porta - Buildings & Grounds and Program Assistant
Matthew is a Ringwood resident and Lakeland Regional High School school student who attended summer nature camp at our Center for several years. He joined us as a regular volunteer in 2022, before transitioning to p/t staff in 2023. Matthew plays the violin, enjoys camping and loves to be outdoors. He is a favorite with our staff and the public, as he is enthusiastic, helpful and always ready to lend a hand.
We are fortunate to have college interns from Ramapo College join us every year, as part of the "May H. Weis Environmental Award". The award was established In 1984 with a generous donation in May Weis’ memory by her son, Leonard W. Weis, Ph.D. It is a joint program between Ramapo College and The New Weis Center. Recipients of the award participate in a one-year paid internship and receive a full tuition scholarship for one semester at Ramapo College. They receive extensive training and professional development, and assist with environmental education programs including field trips, nature camps, scout badges and public programs. Our May H. Weis interns for 2023-2024 is Alexa Hergenhan
We also accept seasonal interns of all ages throughout the year on a rolling basis. Depending on their experience and the requirements of the specific internship, they may assist with field trips, nature camps, scout programs, public programs, conservation, gardening/landscaping, marketing, non-profit administration and outreach. Learn more about our current Interns and Internship programs
Meet Our Staff