Matt Wagner, Ph.D.

Interim Operations Director

Dr. Wagner is currently working as a project administrator under contract with the Wildlife Management Institute. Recently retired from state service after 33 years, Matt was the deputy director for the Wildlife Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He supervised the administrative functions of the division including over 300 employees, a $30 M budget, and multiple federal grants, contracts, and wildlife research projects. His 28-year tenure with the department included four years as program director for nongame and endangered species science and policy, and eight years as a technical guidance biologist working with private landowners in east-central Texas. ... Read More Matt received a Ph.D. from Texas A&M in Regional Planning in 2005. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Biology Department at Texas State University, where he teaches Wildlife Law and Policy. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M, where he serves on several graduate committees. Matt is a certified wildlife biologist, and a certified professional in rangeland management. He has served on numerous regional and national committees of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and is past president of both the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and the Texas Section, Society for Range Management.

Shannon Harris

Program Manager

Shannon manages programs at Texan by Nature and facilitates their success for the prosperity of all Texans. She developed and implemented Monarch Wrangler in 2016 to include certification of monarch butterfly habitat recovery efforts among four sectors: residents, civic organizations, corporations, and landowners in Texas. She manages Conservation Wrangler which recognizes and supports innovative, transformational Texas-based conservation projects with tailored aid, resources, and visibility. ... Read More Shannon is a native Texan with a background in program management at the Center for Sustainable Development and the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and interned with the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. Shannon has a B.A. in Geography and an M.S. in Sustainable Design from UT Austin. She researched water conservation initiatives through the SWIFT Program in Texas, as well as the beautification policies of Lady Bird Johnson and the Johnson Administration and how nature in the city affects health, social issues, the economy, and the environment. Shannon lives in Austin with her husband.

Emily Hayduk

Development and Events

Emily holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and has been working in non-profit fundraising and development for 19 years in both Colorado and Texas. Emily’s experience includes assisting multiple organizations in obtaining their 501(c)3 status, writing successful foundation and government grants, organizing and executing special events and managing annual and major donors. Emily worked on capital campaigns for the building of the Florence Crittenton School and Colorado Ballet, and managed budgets of over $2,000,000 at multiple organizations as a Development Director and Director of Major Gifts. Emily has been with Texan by Nature since 2015 and manages all development and events for the organization.

Amy Snelgrove

South-Central Monarch Butterfly Project Coordinator

Amy is project coordinator for the South-Central Monarch Butterfly Project at Texan by Nature.  She works with partners throughout Texas and Oklahoma to accomplish the project goals and outcomes as part of a larger tri-national effort to recover the species. Amy has over 20 years of experience working on natural resource and endangered species issues.  Before joining Texan by Nature, she was manager of the geospatial and information technology resources team within the Natural Resource Institute at Texas A&M University. Amy has a B.S. in Urban Forestry and an M.S. in Forestry with a Geographic Information Systems emphasis from Texas A&M University.

Kent Nutt


Kent Nutt is a marketing and communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in technology and nonprofit industries. He has worked in a wide range of technology startups, Fortune 500 companies, and a scientific non-profit. He began his career in the telecommunications division of Datapoint Corporation in San Antonio, Texas after graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was then recruited by Dataquest Corporation in San Jose, California as a telecommunications industry analyst and later joined his first technology startup, Aspect Telecommunications. ... Read More After a decade in Silicon Valley, Kent became the first marketing manager for DTM Corporation; an early 3D Printing company based In Austin, Texas. He held marketing management positions at IBM/Tivoli Corporation; Chicory Systems, acquired by Parthus Technologies; and Conformative Systems, acquired by Intel Corporation.

In 2010 he became the first communications director for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST), an organization composed of the Texas-based members of the National Academies (National Academies of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences), the state’s nine Nobel Laureates, and 18 member institutions.

Taylor Keys

Conservation Associate

Austin, TX

Taylor recently received her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University, home of the bobcats (Lynx rufus). She has been with Texan by Nature since May of 2016 and enjoys educating others about Texas’ amazing flora and fauna. Also, Taylor is a member of Stewards of the Wild with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and a Texas State Park Ambassador with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. On the weekends she enjoys spending time with her dog Sanford and exploring the great outdoors!

Caley Zuzula


San Marcos, TX

Caley has been with Texan by Nature since August 2017. She earned a B.A. in Biology in 2014 from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Population and Conservation Biology at Texas State University.  After college, she worked as a Resident Naturalist at the University of Georgia’s satellite campus in San Luis, Costa Rica, and as an Education Intern at the Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Johnson City, Texas. In addition to working at Texan by Nature, she teaches undergraduate biology labs at Texas State. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, birding, and insect collecting.