Board of Directors
There are many roles within the board but our overall goal is to oversee the operation and management of the organization.
Meetings are held virtually at 6:30 p.m.
If you are interested in attending, please email Becky Pollack (email@example.com) at least 3 days before the meeting date for the meeting link.
Would you like to run for the MNA board?
Becky Pollack, President / Ney Nature Center
I am currently the Executive Director of the Ney Nature Center in Henderson, MN. I am a graduate of Mankato State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and minors in Earth Science and Geology. I began working with Ney Nature Center 10 years ago scheduling and teaching naturalist programs. My background with project based learning, love of the natural world and experience in non-profit management made for an easy transition to Executive Director. My connection to the Ney Nature Center and love of the outdoors goes back to 1995, when the deformed frogs were found by my fellow classmates from the Minnesota New Country School. As students, we worked closely with scientists, the media, and local environmentalist to bring awareness to the water quality issues that harm the frogs and other wildlife. My husband, Nick, and I have two kids, Greg (16) and Sami (13) and many family pets. Recently we have begun rasing a heritage breed of pigs (Red Wattle) in a non-confinement, pasture style setting, fulfilling my husband’s lifelong goal of being a farmer.
Christina Palmisano, Vice President/ Lowry Nature Center
I have been an interpretive naturalist in Minnesota for over 20 years. I began my career at Dodge Nature Center as an intern and currently work for Three Rivers Parks at Lowry. My passions include creating outdoor opportunities for autistic audiences and I hope to grow more of these types of programs throughout the region. I also work closely with Hamline University, both as a continuing education instructor and student.
Stephanie Rathsack, Secretary / Cannon River STEM School
Elizabeth Sheppard, Treasurer / Ney Nature Center
My love for nature was fostered by my grandfather who worked with The Nature Conservancy. I grew up in WI and spent summers with him in Iron County. I graduated from UW - Stevens Point with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. After volunteering with The Raptor Center as an education crew member for 4.5 years, I went back to school to become a teacher. I volunteered at Richardson Nature Center from 2015 to 2017. I started at Staring Lake Nature Center in 2015 as a volunteer and have been working there as a Naturalist since 2017.
I have worked as a summer camp counselor for The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and a field research assistant as a seasonal throughout the US. I love working with our preK programs, am passionate about program modifications to be more accessible by all learners, and have found MNA to be an invaluable resource, both personally and professionally. I am excited to serve my first term as Treasurer on the MNA Board.
Molly Dulka, Communications Coordinator / River Bend Nature Center
I am originally from the Twin Cities, but lived in Chicago while attending Loyola University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. I've worked for multiple organizations such as Three Rivers Park District, City of Richfield’s Wood Lake Nature Center, and Minneapolis Parks and Recreation before landing at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault. My favorite part of being a naturalist is getting people excited about being outdoors and learning about nature. In my spare time, I like to try new restaurants, go kayaking around the chain of lakes or hiking at state parks.
Rachel Giemza (she/her), Professional Workshop Coordinator / Wolf Ridge ELC
Erin Tone, Conference Co-Coordinator/ Lake Superior Zoo
Eva Clelland, Conference Co-Coordinator / Ney Nature Center
Hi there! My name is Eva and I am currently the Programs & Marketing Coordinator at Ney Nature Center in Henderson. I am looking forward to my time with MNA as the conference co-coordinator. My role is to help plan and organize the conference to make sure it is one to remember! A little about me, I grew up in Saint Paul and found my love for the outdoors at summer camp doing canoeing and backpacking trips. My environmental education journey started in high school as a Junior Assistant Naturalist at Tamarack Nature Center, and then I headed to Iowa where I graduated from Drake University with a B.A. in Environmental Science. I have been lucky enough to work in environmental education in Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. On my days off, you can find me walking or skiing the lakes in Minneapolis where I live, or searching for new houseplants to add to my growing collection.
Alex Colling, Member-At-Large / Ney Nature Center
I currently work as the Resource Manager at the Ney Nature Center on the bluffs of the Minnesota River Valley near Henderson. I am excited to serve on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Naturalists’ Association. I was born and raised in southern Minnesota developing a deep connection to the Big Woods and Ravines of the Minnesota River Valley, so it became natural to make it my profession! I received a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University (Go Jacks!) in 2019 and a MAED in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University in 2021. I have been a member of MNA since I was a Junior in college and firmly believe in the importance of community around our field. I, just like many naturalists, have a mile-long list of outdoor hobbies but especially love snowshoeing in the winter and fishing in the
Open, Member-At-Large 2
Open, Member-at-Large 3