In January of 2023, Andrew Fetterman joined the Berks Nature team as the organization’s first Vice President for Land and Conservation.
This role will focus primarily on overseeing the land, water, urban greening, and conservation programs Berks Nature implements across the county. To do so will require savvy both in relationship building, with individuals as well as organizational partners, and in matters of conservation and the environment. It is a challenge that Andrew is well-equipped to take on.
Andrew prides himself is his ability to both listen and connect with people of various backgrounds and origins. Navigating public and private partnerships was an integral part of his previous role as an environmental consultant, a position he held for 24 years. In his free time, Andrew also volunteers for various organizations including teaching hunter trapper education with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and painting songbird decoys for the bird conservation program at Willistown Conservation Trust.
In other words, Andrew has spent his career building relationships on common ground.
But Andrew is still an earth scientist and naturalist at heart. He boasts a Master of Arts in Earth Science Degree from the State University of New York, College of Oneonta and has been a Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania since 2002. Prior to his career in environmental consulting, Andrew studied freshwater mussel ecology in the St. Lawrence, upper-Delaware, and upper-Susquehanna River basins. It is from this unshakable foundation in environmental sciences that Andrew will lead Berks Nature’s conservation efforts.
Like so many members of the Berks Nature team, this work holds personal significance for Andrew. Born in Reading and raised in the Earl Hills of Berks County, Andrew now lives with his wife, Alison, and two children, Gus and Etta, in the Oley Hills.
Already, the Fetterman family models the conservation ethic that Berks Nature has been sowing in Berks County over the past 48 years. The Fettermans placed a conservation easement on their property in 2017, which not only protects their land but also obstructs development pressure seeking access to their neighbors.
It was this interest in and commitment to land protection that initially attracted Andrew to the VP for Land and Conservation position; he was impressed by Berks Nature’s proven track record of success protecting land from urban sprawl and over-development. But what Andrew is most excited for now, is working with the dynamic group of naturalists, educators, and defenders of the environment that make up the Berks Nature team.
“I want to work with people who share my interests in nature,” explains Andrew, “It is both energizing and humbling to be part of this team as I share a similar passion for the protection of land and freshwater ecosystems.”