top of page

Colonial SWCD Staff


Logan Ellis

Conservation Specialist I

I am originally from Tappahannock, Virginia, and I am a fifth-generation grain farmer with my father and uncle. I earned both my associate degree in Agricultural Technologies and my Bachelor of Science in Crop and Soil Science from Virginia Tech. I am passionate about conservation, and I feel lucky to have been able to bring conservation Best Management Practices back to my own farm.

(757) 778-0119

  • Email

Samantha Pereira

Conservation Technician I

I am a Pennsylvania native who moved to Williamsburg, Virginia in September 2019. I joined the district in January 2024. I previously worked in healthcare but had changed my career paths in 2022 and began work as a Farm Manager. I am passionate about the environment and sustainability and look forward to working with this community. In my spare time I enjoy reading in addition to spending as much time outside as I can whether it be kayaking, gardening, hiking.  

(757) 759-0528

  • Email

Emma Rich

Conservation Specialist I

I joined the District in January 2023. I am a New England native, but I moved south to assist with the administration of the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share program and to provide additional support to the district’s urban conservation programs. In 2019, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Maine. I am looking forward to using my education and experience to serve the communities within the Colonial District.

(757) 778-0631

  • Email
  • Facebook

Jim Wallace

District Manager

I returned to the Colonial SWCD in March 2016 after being away for several years. I have a solid background in district operations and program implementation, and I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of this organization as the District Manager. In my free time I enjoy fishing, gardening, and working in my blueberry patch.

‭(804) 654-1246‬

  • Email
Woolsey - Robyn Woolsey.png

Robyn Woolsey

Urban Conservationist

I am a native of Blacksburg, Virginia. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Science. After graduating, I spent time in West Virginia on a forestry field crew, and in far Southwest Virginia working in environmental education and community outreach. I joined the Colonial SWCD in November 2017 to help inspire and empower local youth and community members to become stewards of their environment, while promoting sustainable, community-driven urban conservation opportunities. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening, and spending time outside with my dog Clover. 

(757) 778-1216

  • Email

Senior Agricultural Conservation Specialist

I was born and raised in Essex County, Virginia and graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1992. Presently I am an elected member of the executive board for the Southern Cover Crops Council, member of the Ag and Forestry Advisory Board appointed by the Essex County Board of Supervisors, as well as past Chair of Virginia's Cover Crop and Nutrient Management Technical Advisory Subcommittee. In addition to working for CSWCD, I work for Brandon Farms, a third generation family farm, where we integrate cover cropping systems as a means of increasing soil health. Brandon Farms was selected as a case study with the American Farmland Trust, a national organization that highlights farms across the US that practice the highest levels of conservation and sustainability.

‭(804) 920-1202‬

  • Email
Screen Shot 2023-03-17 at 11.55.14.png

Office Coordinator

I joined the district in November of 2015.  I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I am originally from the Midwest, but I moved to Williamsburg in 2003 and worked previously in the Williamsburg-James City County school system. In my current role, I handle all administrative and financial tasks, and I help with Envirothon and other educational programs.

(757) 645-4895

  • Email
IMG_0161 copy.jpg

Amanda Whispell

Education and Outreach Specialist

I am originally from Maine, but most recently from. Pennsylvania. I moved to Virginia in 2023 – the same year I joined the District. I have my Bachelor of Science in marine biology and my doctorate in entomology. I am also the editor-in-chief of a small journal for the Dragonfly Society of the Americas, as my research is on dragonflies. After completing my PhD at Rutgers, I spent a few years teaching biology to undergraduate students. It was while teaching that I learned how much I love science outreach and public education. I love insects (invertebrates in general), photography, and artwork and I use the latter two to help me educate the public about the first. When I'm not working I enjoy hiking, photography, baking/cooking, and looking for wildlife.

   (757) 778-5348

  • Email
  • LinkedIn
  • Screen Shot 2023-03-17 at 11.55.14
bottom of page