Staff

Joni Carswell

Executive Director

Austin, TX

We’re pleased to introduce Joni Carswell as our new Executive Director where she will be responsible for leading our mission to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources. As a proud, fourth generation Texan, Joni plans to pair her business strategy, engineering and technology background with her passion for Texas and the outdoors to realize Texan by Nature’s vision of bringing both science-based and community-organized initiatives to the forefront. ... Read More

Prior to Texan by Nature, Joni was the President and CEO of LivingTree where she grew the company from 1000 to 73 million interactions and 1M+ users. Under Joni’s tenure, LivingTree was recognized with the Stevie Women in Business Gold Award for Community Involvement Program of the Year and Silver Award for Mobile App of the Year. The National School Board Association also named LivingTree to the Innovation Showcase in 2017. Before LivingTree, Joni held leadership roles in planning and strategy at Polycom and Dell where she managed three-year planning for multi-billion dollar product portfolios.

As a top graduate of the Kellogg School of Management (Masters, Business Administration) and Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering (Masters, Engineering Management), Joni is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and served on the Advisory Board for the Kellogg Women’s Business Association. Joni holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University #GoAggies! She and her husband Scott reside in Austin with their two boys, Dixon and Rigby.

Taylor Keys

Program Manager

Austin, TX

Taylor received her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University. 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!

Jenny Burden

Program Manager

Leander, TX

Jenny received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and her MA from Texas State University in Public History. She joined Texan by Nature in February of 2018 and is thrilled to be working to spread a sense of conservation as integral to Texan identity with others. She has been working in the nonprofit field since 2011 as a project coordinator and fundraiser and has also worked as a Park Ranger at both the federal and municipal level. She is a volunteer board member for the Austin Ridge Riders, a Central Texas trail building, and advocacy organization. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, bow hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, trail running with her Blue Heeler, Hammer, or finding any other way to be outdoors!

Matt Wagner, Ph.D.

Project Development

Austin, TX

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.

Amy Brown

Director of Community Development

Austin, TX

Amy Brown brings over 20 years of experience in strategy, product management, business development and sales with many companies including 3M, Dell, Inc., Polycom, and several others in Texas, New York, Singapore, and Shanghai.  Amy also enjoys supporting the Austin, Texas community with her involvement in Black Fret, KLRU and as the Board Chair of Austin International School. She first came to Texas as a child with her military parents and received her BBA in Finance and MBA from UT Austin. Big Bend National Park is one of her favorite places on Earth and she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children in the Texas Hill Country where they own and care for land in Fredericksburg.

Emily Hayduk

Development and Events

Denver, CO

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

Data and Project Management

San Antonio, TX

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.

Patrick Kelleher

Data Intern

Austin, TX

Patrick is the data analysis intern helping compile and organizes the information for collaborative conservation efforts.  He is currently working on his Professional Science Masters in Environmental Management and Sustainability at St. Edwards University. His master’s program focuses heavily on the restoration of damaged habitat and management of wild populations. Patrick hopes to further his experience in ecological restoration and take his data analysis experience into his research. Patrick has his B.A. In Environmental Science with a concentration in wildlife management.

Amanda Crotzer

Social Media and Marketing Intern

Austin, TX

Amanda is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Public Relations. She has developed a passion for creating and maintaining a positive brand image for organizations. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her best friend and trying new food.

Kennedy Perry

Programs Intern

Austin, TX

Kennedy is finishing up her B.S. in Biology at the University of Texas, completing the requirements for the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior option in Fall 2018. In addition to being an avid birdwatcher, she spent dozens of hours in the field as part of her coursework at UT, honing taxon-specific identification skills. She is passionate about biodiversity preservation, habitat restoration, and hopes to pursue a career in conservation or wildlife biology. In her free time, Kennedy enjoys hiking, birding, and “herping” (observation of reptiles and amphibians), as well as wildlife photography and painting.