Explore the many exciting things happening this Fall!

Leopold Week   •   Phenology Calendar   •  Virtual Programs

Susan Kilmer

Photo of Susan Kilmer

Development Manager

(608) 355-0279 ext. 265

Joining the Leopold team as the Development Manager in 2022, I’m thrilled to bring my nearly 15 years of nonprofit and development experience to the team. My role is to help you support the Aldo Leopold Foundation, whether you wish to build our Future Leaders Program, restore land health, or preserve the Shack for future generations.

My multi-branched path to the Aldo Leopold Foundation began by growing up in the Hudson River Valley near the Catskill Mountains of New York. I’ve had a love for nature and all things wild since childhood and began working as a teenager at Olana, NY State Historic Site for 5 years.

Prior to joining the Aldo Leopold Foundation, I served as the Development Director for Community Shares of Wisconsin for over 5 years and Development Coordinator for 1 year. Before those roles, I served simultaneously as the Member Services Assistant at the Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA) and as the Senior Research Specialist/Staff Horticulturist at the UW-Madison Arboretum. I also served as Development Assistant at Olbrich Botanical Society prior to my time at WWA.

In my role at the Arboretum, I was able to live Leopold’s land ethic because my position focused on growing native species and engaging volunteers, visitors, and students in land restoration through seed collecting and planting for 13 years.  In 2010, I presented Legacy of small-scale adaptations in large-scale restorations: The effects of seed dormancy on species composition within a community at the Society for Ecological Restoration.

“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”, said Leopold, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m also inspired by the works and lives of E.O. Wilson, Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, and Robin Wall Kimmerer.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Anthropology from SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s in Natural Resources with an emphasis in horticulture from the UW-Madison. My favorite pastimes include creating bumblebee habitat, growing native plants, nature journaling, and backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains of Upper Michigan.