Project Wingspan State Coordinators and Team Members

  • Andy Grinstead

    Andy grew up in Indiana, where he developed an enduring fascination for nature and exploration in the dense hardwood forests of the Hoosier National. He spent countless hours hiking, camping, building forts, and wandering the woods at night looking to uncover new natural mysteries. He wanted to share his passions for the outdoors and so pursued a degree in recreation with hopes of becoming an interpretive guide. Andy later discovered that to answer his childhood quandaries he needed to learn more about ecology and natural history, so he completed a masters specializing in ecological restoration. He has worked in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Great Plains of the Dakotas, mountains and foothills of Colorado, expansive deserts of New Mexico, and cascading gorges of Upstate New York. A common theme throughout his career has been community engagement and volunteerism in support of natural resource management initiatives. Andy is excited to share his enthusiasm for plants, pollinators, and human connection with Pollinator Partnership and community. If you'd like to volunteer with Project Wingspan in Indiana, please fill out this form and Andy will get in touch with you with more information. You can also reach Andy via email.

  • James Hart

    Originally from Tidewater Virginia, James developed a love of plants and the outdoors during family trips to the mountains of New England. These interests led him to pursue a BA in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he focused on botany and forest ecology. His undergraduate thesis project focused on the effects of drought and fire adaptations on longleaf pine seedling survival. James has worked numerous seasonal positions over the years, and after graduating he took part in two terms as an AmeriCorps member, one in the Palouse region of eastern Washington State and one in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Through his time in California, James has grown passionate about the conservation challenges that the region faces and the solutions being implemented across the landscape. He is excited to bring his enthusiasm for ecology and restoration to Pollinator Partnership, where he will be working to restore and promote pollinator habitat in California and beyond. When he’s not working, you can find him riding his gravel bike, working on some woodworking projects or playing music.

  • Kaleigh Obrock

    Kaleigh has a lifelong love of nature and conservation and spends as much time as she can outside hiking and exploring new areas. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Ecology with a minor in Environmental Science. As an undergraduate, she was involved in multiple research studies related to the conservation of local pollinators. After graduation, she worked for the local park system’s stewardship department where she managed native plants and improved pollinator habitat. She continues to be passionate about pollinators and conducts regular surveys and volunteer programs to promote pollinator health and education in her community. She is excited to be working toward improving pollinator education and conservation!

  • Eleanor Schumacher

    Eleanor began her career in agriculture and conservation in 2010, serving as an apiary inspector with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Fascinated by the correlation between pollinator habitat quality and bee health, she pursued studies in Pollination Ecology and received a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois in 2018. She worked as Resource Conservationist for the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District from 2017 through 2019, where she enjoyed conservation planning, engineering, event planning, and leading a prairie management collective, the Madison County Prairie Partners.

    If you'd like to volunteer with Project Wingspan in Illinois, please fill out this form and Eleanor will get in touch with you with more information. You can also reach Eleanor via email.

  • Gina Bartleson

    Born and raised in Iowa, Gina spent as much time as she could outside, usually in the nearby creek. While in college, she discovered a love for ecology and fieldwork (and travel!), taking volunteer trips to Montana to help set up transects for snowshoe hare population counts and to Utah for invasive tamarisk removal. She graduated from University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and then received her Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Memphis with a conservation focus, studying the effects of roads on the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay. After graduate school, Gina lived in Chicago for a few years before returning to Iowa. As a Iowa Master Naturalist, she spends most of her time volunteering with nonprofit organizations conducting bird and pollinator surveys, prairie restoration, invasive species removal, and collecting native seed. Gina also enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, and researching native plants to add to her yard and the pollinators those plants attract.

  • Maraiah Russell

    Maraiah was inspired to follow her interests in wildlife conservation while growing up on her grandparents small farm in Southeastern IN. Learning about gardening, beekeeping and animal care led to a lifelong concern for nature, starting with a career as a veterinary technician at Fort Wayne Children’s zoo. There she had the opportunity to contribute to local, state, and international conservation projects in addition to caring for wild ambassadors. In her personal time she pursued interests that supported pollinators, including organizing native plant sales, giving pollinator presentations, and supporting local nature organizations. She then focused on conserving and restoring wetland, prairie and wooded habitat at Little River Wetlands Project. She found working alongside her community and volunteers to build habitat for imperiled species, and partnering with conservation organizations to be very fulfilling. Maraiah is eager to continue working to support pollinator conservation while coordinating Project Wingspan in Indiana. If you'd like to volunteer with Project Wingspan in Indiana, please fill out this form and Maraiah will get in touch with you with more information. You can also reach Maraiah via email.