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Deb Nieuwenhuis

Donor & Database Management Associate

As the Donor & Database Management Associate, I provide administrative and technical support to the Development Director. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the strength of the foundation by using my skills to promote the legacy of Aldo Leopold, and by helping to cultivate and nurture relationships with existing and potential donors. 

My first exposure to A Sand County Almanac was in an undergraduate Environmental Studies class, but my interest in humanity’s responsibility to care for the earth extends back to my earliest memories. As a child, I was always fascinated by the natural world, but I was acutely aware of the damage caused by misuse. I grew up in an industrialized area near a pond that was so polluted it never froze (even during the coldest winters), and often displayed unnatural coloration due to wastewater discharge from upstream factories. There were no fish, frogs or turtles to be found along its banks, and wading or playing in the water was strictly forbidden. I always knew that I wanted a career that would help make a difference in restoring and protecting natural resources. 

My academic and professional background is in the natural sciences; I have a Master’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology from William Paterson University, a certificate in Broadfield Science Teaching from Edgewood College, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Michigan State University. Following graduate school, I was employed for several years at an environmental laboratory, and then worked as a Naturalist and Outreach Coordinator for a conservation nonprofit. For the past 20 years, I have been self-employed as an aquatic biologist, evaluating water quality through taxonomic studies of freshwater algae and zooplankton. I am passionate about helping to make the world a better place, and I believe strongly that teaching and promoting a land ethic is key to a sustainable future.