Suzanne Etgen
Executive Director

Suzanne Kilby Etgen is the founding Executive Director of the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA). Growing up on the shores of the South River, Suzanne has a deep love for local waterways. Now living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, she spends as much time as she can on or near the water with her daughters, Rose and Caroline, and husband Rob. She is the recipient of the Green Heron Award (Severn River Association, 2009), Sierra Club Environmentalist of the Year (Anne Arundel County Chapter, 2010), Jan Hollmann Environmental Education Award (2011), and the 2012 YWCA TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award.

Suzanne holds a BS in Environmental Science and a MA in Religion and Ecology. Suzanne is also a trained Community Based Social Marketing Technical Assistance Provider, assisting Stewards and organizations in the development of campaigns to change polluting behaviors. In addition to founding and managing the Watershed Stewards Academy, she has participated in water quality monitoring efforts (chemical and macro invertebrate surveys), instructed restoration education programs, directed environmental summer camps, served as Arlington Echo’s apiarist (bee keeper) and instructed the low ropes team building instructor certification course.

Suzanne enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, paddle boarding and her very large crazy family. In her off time, you can find her organizing family events or dreaming of being in Maine.

Fun Facts: Suzanne spent her 40th birthday sampling 40 different flavors of ice cream, and hosting an “iron chef” competition where 40 friends gathered to out-chef each other with the secret ingredient: Beets.

Favorite Native Plant: Serviceberry (amelanchier canadensis) because of its many “stories”


Noelle Chao
Program Coordinator

As WSA's Program Coordinator, Noelle supports several different initiatives, including Clean Water Communities, RiverWise Congregations, and the Master Watershed Steward Certification Course. She organizes events, provides mentorship and support to stewards, and measures WSA's impact by collecting and analyzing Steward stats.

A native of Los Angeles, Noelle has a PhD in English from UCLA, and spent more than a decade teaching literature courses at universities in California, New York, and Ohio before arriving in Annapolis with her family in 2013. Prior to joining WSA's team full time, she was an instructor at the United States Naval Academy.

Noelle enjoys hiking in regional parks with her family, and all things related to food. She's happiest when she finds ways to combine those two hobbies.

Fun facts: Noelle met her husband at a conference on British Romanticism in England's Lake District. She is a member of Master Watershed Steward Class 10, and a resident of Pines on the Severn, one of WSA's 2018 Clean Water Communities.

Favorite native plant: Bee Balm (monarda didyma)


Josh Clark, MLA, CBLP
Restoration Coordinator

As the Restoration Coordinator, Josh provides support for the Clean Water Communities program, the Riverwise Congregations program, the Master Watershed Steward Certification program, outreach and support to Consortium members, and management support for larger restoration projects.

As an environmental designer, Josh specializes in innovative, resilient, and ecologically expressive landscape design, stormwater management, and native plantings. He has 10 years experience in designing and installing landscapes for a variety of clients. He has worked with conservation districts rehabilitating streams and floodplains, at nurseries developing horticultural expertise, and with planning departments and architectural firms tackling small and large scale design projects. His design philosophy is derived from the idea that each site offers its own unique strengths and challenges and works to create functional, beautiful spaces that best serve the site and the client.

Josh grew up in rural Pennsylvania, surrounded by nature and farms, instilling in him a fascination with natural beauty and the satisfaction of working the land. This lead him to pursue an education in designing landscapes that work with the land to better the land. He received his Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Environmental Urban Planning and Religious Studies.

Josh is passionate about environmentally conscious and sustainable techniques and materials that benefit or affect local watersheds and the greater Chesapeake Bay.

Josh loves running, kayaking, and knitting. In his down time he is restoring a historic property in Prince George’s County.

Favorite native plant: American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

Fun fact: Josh LOVES bats!!

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Katie Foster
Development and Communications Coordinator

As WSA’s Development and Communications Coordinator, Katie engages with individuals, businesses, organizations and foundations to further develop WSA’s vision. She shares stories of Stewards making a difference in their communities through social media, e-newsletters, print publications and events.

Prior to joining WSA in June 2017, Katie worked as a Communications Coordinator for a Presbyterian church in Columbia. There, she discovered her passion for nonprofit development while providing support for a $2.3 million capital campaign. Katie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communication from Stevenson University.

In her spare time, you can find Katie wandering the aisles of the local library, organizing a game night with friends, or walking with her husband, daughter and pitbull around Crofton.

Favorite native plant: Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Fun fact: Katie has a knack for finding local bakeries and ice cream shops while traveling (and trying as many as she can)


Emily Harris
Strategic Support Specialist

As the Strategic Support Specialist, Emily organizes WSA’s program sponsorships, coordinates the Annual Conference and provides event and development support. Prior to joining WSA in April 2019, Emily worked as a Program Assistant at American Rivers and Watershed Manager for ShoreRivers. Emily has worked to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay tributaries by conducting water quality monitoring in the Chester and Sassafras River watersheds, managing citizen science volunteer programs, and coordinating the River-Friendly Yards campaign for ShoreRivers. She graduated from Washington College in 2015 with a BA in Environmental Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Law with a concentration in Environmental Law at University of Maryland, Baltimore.

In her spare time Emily enjoys kayaking, hiking, cooking, and baking.

Favorite native plant: Common waterweed (Elodea canadensis)

Fun fact: Emily cans her own jams and jellies

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Haley Denton
Outreach Coordinator

As WSA’s Outreach Coordinator, Haley supports the WSA network of Stewards and Consortium by organizing continuing education and networking opportunities. Additionally, Haley coordinates the Steward Action Groups, oversees the Backyard Buffer Program and manages Steward project tracking and mapping.

Haley graduated from Towson University in the May 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Studies with a concentration on Health. At Towson, she spent most of her time with the Student Environmental Organization advocating for environmental issues and coordinating local projects around the community. This is where she discovered her passion for restoring local communities. Haley joined the WSA team in August of 2017 as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer.

In her free time, Haley loves camping trips, live music, cooking and visiting her family.

Favorite native plant: Pawpaw Tree (Asimina triloba)

Fun fact: Haley loves cooking and has an affinity for Asian cuisine and mushroom recipes.

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Trish Hennessy-Webb
Systems Administrator

As the part-time Systems Administrator for WSA, Trish maintains the WSA database and day to day financial processing for the office.

Her background includes almost 20 years of environmental engineering and project management experience, including creating Watershed Management Plans and working alongside EPA developing the Stormwater Phase II Rule. In 2009, while she was a Steward in Class 2, she stepped in to help WSA while Suzanne was on maternity leave. After intermittently assisting WSA over the years, Trish joined the staff in 2015.

Since moving to Maryland in 2008, Trish is enjoying her semi-retirement by spending her time with her family on the Magothy River.

Favorite native plant: Black eye susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Fun fact: If Trish is not on the water, she can be found doing home renovations.