Staff Bios

Executive Director Steven HufnagelSteven Hufnagel, Executive Director

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Steven has served as Executive Director of Coastal Rivers (formerly DRA) since 2009, having previously been DRA’s Director of Lands and Stewardship starting in 2003. Steven grew up along the Mianus River in Bedford, New York where he was active in the Mianus River Gorge Preserve and Town of Bedford Conservation Board. He attended Williams College, majoring in Geology (B.A.), and the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan (M.S.). His land use planning focus took him from Ann Arbor to Belize to study collaboration at a watershed scale among local land trusts and international NGO’s. Prior to graduate school, he worked for three years in Seattle as a project manager at the Cascadia Consulting Group assisting public agency clients in their outreach efforts to promote watershed stewardship and waste reduction.

Steven is interested in the intersection of land use planning, land conservation, public outreach and water quality. He loves trails – creating them and hiking on them – and islands. Steven and his wife Liza live with their two children in Damariscotta just a few blocks from the harbor.

Katie Beaver and daughter in the woodsKatie Beaver, Land Conservation Manager

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After graduating from the University of Vermont, where she majored in Environmental Science (B.S), Katie moved to Washington State. Her early career was spent in the field working for various government and non-government environmental organizations stomping around in the forests and along rivers treating invasive weeds, planting riparian trees, and monitoring endangered salmon species.

Katie attended the University of Washington in Seattle and received a dual master’s degree from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (M.S.) and the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance (MPA). After graduation, Katie worked for the City of Seattle managing its popular Trees for Neighborhoods program, which distributes trees to Seattle residents with the goal of increasing urban tree cover within the city. Before moving to Maine, Katie worked for King County for six years where she led land conservation and salmon restoration efforts within an urban river basin.

Originally from southern Rhode Island, Katie is thrilled to be back in New England and share the beauty of Midcoast Maine with her two young daughters. She lives in Newcastle with her husband, daughters, and chocolate lab.

Allyson BlakeAllyson Blake, Office Manager

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Allyson Blake joined the Coastal Rivers team in April 2023. Allyson grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and moved to the midcoast area in 2020 after completing her B.S. in Science, Technology, & Society at NC State University, with a specialization in Environmental Science and Food Systems. Some highlights of her undergrad include: conducting research in Science Communications, working in marketing with Red Bull and interning at North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Sciences. Allyson’s passion for food, people, and sustainability brought her back to the Damariscotta River where she had previously spent a season farming with Glidden Point Oyster Farms in 2019.

Over the following years, Allyson played pivotal roles in developing both the Farm Store and event programming at Glidden Point Oyster Farms, always with an emphasis on connecting people to their food and environment. A passionate cook, Allyson also found herself spending time in a few different Damariscotta kitchens.

Allyson lives in New Harbor with her fiancé Keegan and beloved dog-like cat, Chowder. She feels like the luckiest person in the world when she can spend time in the woods, stare off into the ocean, cook for fun, connect with friends, and dine at Shere Punjab.

Angela DesVeauxAngela DesVeaux, Education Assistant & Camp Director

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A graduate of Willamette University in Oregon, Angela majored in both Anthropology and Biology. Her previous related experience includes serving with AmeriCorps as a Conservation Crew member, acting as an Urban Forestry Unit intern, canvassing for The Nature Conservancy, and volunteering with an equine therapy program.

Angela and her husband live in Jefferson.

Ashley EugleyAshley Eugley, Climate Strategy Fellow

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Ashley grew up in South Bristol, Maine and graduated from Lincoln Academy in 2018. She earned her B.A. in Environmental and Urban Studies from Bard College in 2022. Throughout her undergraduate education, Ashley focused on the social side of environmental issues from an economics, policy, and global development lens.

After graduating from Bard, Ashley spent a year solo-traveling the world on a Watson Fellowship pursuing her project “Community Science as Community Agency.” During her Watson Year, Ashley traveled to seventeen countries across five continents engaging with participatory monitoring initiatives to explore the question: what is gained from bringing science to the level where life is lived?

Ashley first joined Coastal Rivers during the summer of 2021 as a Community Science Intern. During her internship, Ashley worked alongside Sarah Gladu to develop a pilot monitoring program for juvenile horseshoe crabs in the Damariscotta River Estuary. Ashley returned to Coastal Rivers in September 2023 as Climate Strategy Fellow. In this role, she aims to advance Coastal Rivers’ internal and external climate action initiatives, prioritize community engagement in local environmental issues, and promote mindful stewardship of our shared resources.

Ashley is an avid hiker, tea-drinker, and rock-collector. She is enthusiastic about geography and can name (nearly) every country in the world on a map. In her free time, Ashley can be found enjoying the outdoors, attempting to bake a non-calamitous loaf of sourdough bread, and spending time with her friends and family.

Sarah GladuSarah Gladu, Director of Education & Community Science

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Sarah Gladu has been running Coastal Rivers’ education program since 2005 and has worked in environmental education since 1992. Sarah currently coordinates Coastal Rivers’ varied citizen science projects and is Chair of MCOA (Maine Coastal Observing Alliance). Previously she worked for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension coordinating state-wide water quality monitoring programs.

Sarah is a Registered Maine Guide with a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Brandeis University, where she also attained a Teaching Certification and a Wildlife Management Certificate. In 1998, she received a Master of Environmental Learning and Leadership from the University of Minnesota. Sarah lives in Waldoboro with her two daughters, her husband Tim, four Norwegian Elkhounds, two fish, two horses, chickens, ducks, sheep, one goat and one cat.

Jim GrenierJim Grenier, Trails & Facilities Manager

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Jim came to Coastal Rivers in 2016 through a partnership with the Veterans’ Administration, which later evolved into a permanent part-time position managing DRA’s multiple facilities on two campuses and assisting the Lands and Stewardship Director with managing Coastal Rivers’ extensive trails and conservation properties.

A 2015 graduate of Unity College with a BS in Parks and Forest Resource Management, Jim also brings 28 years of experience as a carpenter and contractor, along with experience in commercial fishing, marine maintenance, and landscaping.

Jim and his wife live in Somerville. In his free time he enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, and all things outdoors.

Dante MaskellDante Maskell, Trails & Facilities Assistant

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A graduate of Lincoln Academy, Dante works with Jim Grenier on trails and facilities maintenance.

Hannah McGheeHannah McGhee, Communications Director

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Hannah joined the Coastal Rivers team as “inspiration agent” in January 2016, after having contracted with the organization for a few years on various graphic design and print projects. Hannah was a self-employed graphic designer for several years creating websites, logos, posters, business cards, t-shirts and other designs for print or web. Prior to that, she worked as a social worker for ten years.

Hannah has an Associate Degree in Communications and New Media from Southern Maine Community College in South Portland and a BA in Political Science, German and French from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She serves on the boards of the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP, Inc.) and the Seacoast Youth and Community Orchestras. Hannah enjoys playing viola with the orchestra, photography, running, and learning new things. She and her husband live in Newcastle.

Gunnar NurmeGunnar Nurme, Lands and Stewardship Coordinator

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Gunnar was Coastal Rivers’ Stewardship and Facilities Intern for the 2022 season, now returning as a full-time member of the team. He grew up in New Hampshire spending lots of time outdoors skiing, hiking, and recreating in other ways that have led him to build an appreciation for the environment. Gunnar cares about protecting special places and ecosystems while expanding outdoor access so that experiences with nature are accessible to more people and to future generations.

Gunnar graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2021 with degrees in Environmental Studies, Economics and Business. As Stewardship Coordinator, he will help care for preserves and facilities and assisting with land conservation projects. Outside of work, you can find Gunnar biking, running, and exploring all of the beautiful places that Maine has to offer.

Joan RayJoan Ray, Director of Land Conservation

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Joan is a native of Damariscotta. A Colby College grad, she has an MBA from Boston University and is certified as a Maine Master Naturalist. She worked for a time in the computer industry and volunteered for conservation organizations.

After living 11 years in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado, Joan moved back to the area around 2005. She worked for the Medomak Valley Land Trust for nine years until it merged with Midcoast Conservancy, where she worked for one year before joining the Coastal Rivers team in 2019.

Joan’s happy place is outdoors: traveling, hiking, mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and playing with her dog.

Susan TakanoSusan Takano, Membership and Database Manager

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Susan grew up amongst the towering redwoods, rolling vineyards, and rocky coastlines of Northern California. In the spring of 2021, she relocated to Maine. Susan joins the Coastal Rivers team with over a decade of experience in supporting membership and non-profit organizations, retail establishments, and public and higher education organizations.

Susan holds a B.A. in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis, and is excited to be a part of the vibrant midcoast arts community. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, and knitting. She and her partner live in Waldoboro.

Brad WeigelBrad Weigel, Stewardship Director

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Brad grew up in southern Indiana where he had free rein to fish, hunt, and explore the creeks and forests around his home. His interest in the natural world led him to major in Environmental Science at Indiana University, where he graduated in 2004. His early career was spent gaining experience working seasonal jobs for various agencies and nonprofits including The Nature Conservancy, US Geological Survey, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

This winding path eventually led him to realize his passion for ecological restoration, native plant establishment, and land conservation. He has spent fifteen years working for a private ecological restoration firm, as stewardship manager at NICHES Land Trust in Northern Indiana, and as assistant superintendent of grounds at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD. Brad moved to Maine in early 2020 and most recently served as Lands Manager for Boothbay Region Land Trust.

In his free time Brad enjoys fishing, backpacking, paddling, gardening, live music, and watching IU Basketball. He lives in Bristol with his wife Cindy.

Sara CawthonSara Cawthon, Twin Villages Foodbank Farm Manager

Sara has a wide range of agricultural experiences in New England and the Midwest. Together with her partner, she has operated a CSA farm, founded and worked for a growers’ cooperative supporting disadvantaged farmers, helped start a beginner farm incubator, and has worked with several educational food and farm programs.

Sara holds a Master of Science degree from Antioch University in Environmental Studies with a focus on agriculture and has most recently served as the Bowdoin College Organic Garden Manager.

Learn more about the farm at