the ONP team

Jennifer Hunt Managing Director Favorite Animal: Manatee Favorite Flower: Oakleaf Hydrangea What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The wonderful team of volunteers and staff. Born and raised in Winter Garden, FL. Jennifer has close ties to the Oakland Nature Preserve. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in Zoology with a focus on conservation and inquiry-based education from Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio. While completing her degree Jennifer had the opportunity to study coastal ecosystems in Belize, high desert systems and Whale sharks in Baja, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Jennifer is a Florida Master Naturalist Program Lead Instructor and is a member of the FMNP Advisory Board. Previously she served as Lead Environmental Educator where she developed new programs while leading a wonderful team of educators. Jennifer also has a great love of music, and in the past, has served as a Director of Music. Jennifer also has a great love for one of Florida’s iconic creatures, the Florida manatee. As a research assistant with Sea to Shore Alliance she has had the opportunity to track native juvenile animals, log behavioral observations, conduct physical examinations, and assist with rescues and releases of these wonderful animals. Other interests include scuba diving, nature photography, hiking, kayaking, and hanging out with family and friends. This position manages the daily operations, finances, marketing, fundraising and other general business for the Preserve. 

Jennifer Hunt
Managing Director

Favorite Animal: Manatee

Favorite Flower: Oakleaf Hydrangea

What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The wonderful team of volunteers and staff.

Born and raised in Winter Garden, FL. Jennifer has close ties to the Oakland Nature Preserve. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in Zoology with a focus on conservation and inquiry-based education from Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio. While completing her degree Jennifer had the opportunity to study coastal ecosystems in Belize, high desert systems and Whale sharks in Baja, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Jennifer is a Florida Master Naturalist Program Lead Instructor and is a member of the FMNP Advisory Board. Previously she served as Lead Environmental Educator where she developed new programs while leading a wonderful team of educators. Jennifer also has a great love of music, and in the past, has served as a Director of Music.

Jennifer also has a great love for one of Florida’s iconic creatures, the Florida manatee. As a research assistant with Sea to Shore Alliance she has had the opportunity to track native juvenile animals, log behavioral observations, conduct physical examinations, and assist with rescues and releases of these wonderful animals. Other interests include scuba diving, nature photography, hiking, kayaking, and hanging out with family and friends.

This position manages the daily operations, finances, marketing, fundraising and other general business for the Preserve. 

Denise Byrne Grants & Fundraising Coordinator Favorite Animal: Bobcat Favorite Flower: Passion Flower What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The tranquility of the Preserve is very energizing. Originally from Ireland, Denise found us as a student in the Florida Master Naturalist course held here in Fall 2015. Denise previously served as our Volunteer Coordinator, holds a degree in Marine Biology and is a certified SCUBA instructor.  Before coming to the U.S., Denise spent two years working at an aquarium on the west coast of Ireland, studying the captive breeding of lobster and seahorses to replenish local decimated populations. Denise is also a feline rescue specialist and enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring both underwater and topside. She also loves photography, kayaking and hiking. Denise helps coordinate our grants and fundraising events, manages the website and social media outlets, and also oversees Eagle Scout projects on the Preserve. 

Denise Byrne
Grants & Fundraising Coordinator

Favorite Animal: Bobcat
Favorite Flower: Passion Flower
What I Like Most About Working at ONP:
The tranquility of the Preserve is very
energizing.

Originally from Ireland, Denise found us as
a student in the Florida Master Naturalist
course held here in Fall 2015. Denise previously served as our Volunteer Coordinator, holds a degree in Marine Biology and is a certified SCUBA instructor.  Before coming to the U.S., Denise spent two years working at an aquarium on the west coast of Ireland, studying the
captive breeding of lobster and seahorses
to replenish local decimated populations.
Denise is also a feline rescue specialist and
enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring
both underwater and topside. She also loves
photography, kayaking and hiking.

Denise helps coordinate our grants and fundraising events, manages the website and social media outlets, and also oversees Eagle Scout projects on the Preserve. 

 
22549961_1249378571834211_1239661643805088415_n.jpg

Laura
Environmental Educator

Laura develops the curriculum for and teaches our visiting classes and field trips.

Savannah Mulvey Wildlife Coordinator Favorite Bird: Sandhill Crane Favorite Tree: Mangroves What I Like Most About Working at ONP: You never know what you might come across out on the trails. Savannah was born and raised in Ocoee. She began volunteering at the Preserve three years ago and later joined our staff as Education and Wildlife Specialist. Savannah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida. Her favorite place to travel to is New Zealand, and her new favorite hobby is scuba diving.  Savannah cares for our captive and program wildlife. 

Savannah Mulvey
Wildlife Coordinator

Favorite Bird: Sandhill Crane
Favorite Tree: Mangroves
What I Like Most About Working at ONP:
You never know what you might come
across out on the trails.

Savannah was born and raised in Ocoee. She began volunteering at the Preserve three years ago and later joined our staff as Education and Wildlife Specialist. Savannah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida. Her favorite place to travel to is New Zealand, and her new favorite hobby is scuba diving. 

Savannah cares for our captive and program wildlife. 

Rachael Cravens Education and Programs Coordinator Favorite Animal: Raptors Favorite Plant: Powderpuff What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The peace of the Preserve, and to see the wonder and joy on the faces of the families and students when they learn something new.  Rachael was born in Ft. Lauderdale but was raised in Elmira, a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She grew up in a family of nature enthusiasts, hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Rachael even became a glider pilot at the age of 14 and one of her favorite things to do was to circle in a thermal with hawks!  Rachael has a degree in Zoology from State University of NY College at Oswego and has always known that she wanted to focus on education. She was a Biology teaching assistant when she first heard about Disney’s Animal Kingdom being built, and after graduating Rachael packed up and moved to Florida. She started as a performer in Entertainment at Walt Disney World, and then became an opening Cast Member of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Animal Programs. After several years at Disney, Rachael decided to travel the world as a corporate flight attendant.  After starting a family Rachael became an early childhood educator and music director. Upon discovering ONP she immediately felt at home and is excited to get back to her roots! Rachael’s passion is to inspire children to love and appreciate nature, and to encourage the teachable moments that children will retain and build upon. Rachael loves working with children and strongly believes that this younger generation will need to be leaders in preserving, restoring, and conserving our world. Rachael has three wonderful kids with her husband, Richard, and she is very involved as a Girl Scout assistant troop leader, coaches cheerleading and soccer, and even coaches her son’s robotics team! Rachael develops curriculum and teaches our educational programs, as well as coordinates our programs, guest speakers, and workshops.  

Rachael Cravens
Education and Programs Coordinator

Favorite Animal: Raptors
Favorite Plant: Powderpuff
What I Like Most About Working at ONP:
The peace of the Preserve, and to see the wonder and joy on the faces of the families and students when they learn something new. 

Rachael was born in Ft. Lauderdale but was raised in Elmira, a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She grew up in a family of nature enthusiasts, hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Rachael even became a glider pilot at the age of 14 and one of her favorite things to do was to circle in a thermal with hawks! 

Rachael has a degree in Zoology from State University of NY College at Oswego and has always known that she wanted to focus on education. She was a Biology teaching assistant when she first heard about Disney’s Animal Kingdom being built, and after graduating Rachael packed up and moved to Florida. She started as a performer in Entertainment at Walt Disney World, and then became an opening Cast Member of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Animal Programs. After several years at Disney, Rachael decided to travel the world as a corporate flight attendant. 

After starting a family Rachael became an early childhood educator and music director. Upon discovering ONP she immediately felt at home and is excited to get back to her roots! Rachael’s passion is to inspire children to love and appreciate nature, and to encourage the teachable moments that children will retain and build upon. Rachael loves working with children and strongly believes that this younger generation will need to be leaders in preserving, restoring, and conserving our world.

Rachael has three wonderful kids with her husband, Richard, and she is very involved as a Girl Scout assistant troop leader, coaches cheerleading and soccer, and even coaches her son’s robotics team!

Rachael develops curriculum and teaches our educational programs, as well as coordinates our programs, guest speakers, and workshops.  

Emily Haft Volunteer Coordinator Favorite Animal: Pollinators Favorite Non-Animal Organism: Fungi What I Like Most About Working at ONP: Being immersed in nature with other people who feel as passionately about its preservation as I do.  Although Emily is originally from Central Florida, she spent over a decade living in Northeast Ohio before returning to her Floridian roots just two years ago. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Kent State University, where she focused much of her independent research on both pollinators and marine biology. She spent some time working as a conservation outreach specialist in Brevard County, and is currently an informal science educator at two different facilities (including ONP). One of her greatest joys is inspiring young people to embrace and learn about nature, conservation, animals, and ecology while fostering a sense of stewardship that will grow with them throughout their lifetimes. Emily is always a passionate environmentalist and conservationist, but she is also a ceramicist, illustrator, singer, succulent gardener, and cat mom in her spare time. Emily manages all the Preserve's volunteers, provides visitor tours and trains volunteer tour guides.

Emily Haft
Volunteer Coordinator

Favorite Animal: Pollinators
Favorite Non-Animal Organism: Fungi
What I Like Most About Working at ONP:
Being immersed in nature with other people who feel as passionately about its preservation as I do. 

Although Emily is originally from Central Florida, she spent over a decade living in Northeast Ohio before returning to her Floridian roots just two years ago. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Kent State University, where she focused much of her independent research on both pollinators and marine biology. She spent some time working as a conservation outreach specialist in Brevard County, and is currently an informal science educator at two different facilities (including ONP). One of her greatest joys is inspiring young people to embrace and learn about nature, conservation, animals, and ecology while fostering a sense of stewardship that will grow with them throughout their lifetimes.

Emily is always a passionate environmentalist and conservationist, but she is also a ceramicist, illustrator, singer, succulent gardener, and cat mom in her spare time.

Emily manages all the Preserve's volunteers, provides visitor tours and trains volunteer tour guides.

Alecia Spence Accountant Favorite Animal: Cardinal Favorite Flower: Azaleas What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The amazing staff who all have a heart for preserving a bit of our natural habitat and educating the public, especially children, about the importance of understanding nature.  Alecia was born in Orlando and has lived in West Orange County all of her life. She graduated from West Orange High School, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Southern College and is a Certified Public Accountant. She has worked as an accountant for 31 years, 17 years as a Public Accountant. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Rick, for 30 years, and they have been blessed with twins, Caleb and Cassandra.  Alecia enjoys traveling, reading, movies and spending time with family and friends. Alecia manages all aspects of ONP’s day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting processes, and maintains accounting procedures, policies and systems of internal controls to ensure the integrity of all financial systems.

Alecia Spence
Accountant

Favorite Animal: Cardinal
Favorite Flower: Azaleas
What I Like Most About Working at ONP: The amazing staff who all have a heart for preserving a bit of our natural habitat and educating the public, especially children, about the importance of understanding nature. 

Alecia was born in Orlando and has lived in West Orange County all of her life. She graduated from West Orange High School, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Southern College and is a Certified Public Accountant. She has worked as an accountant for 31 years, 17 years as a Public Accountant. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Rick, for 30 years, and they have been blessed with twins, Caleb and Cassandra.  Alecia enjoys traveling, reading, movies and spending time with family and friends.

Alecia manages all aspects of ONP’s day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting processes, and maintains accounting procedures, policies and systems of internal controls to ensure the integrity of all financial systems.

 
Screenshot_20171120-095138 (002).jpg

Brittany Palombini
After School Science Club Coordinator
Favorite Animal: Vultures
Favorite Non-Animal Organism: Hibiscus
What I Like Most About Working at ONP: Getting to teach and learn while being out in nature!

Born and raised in Florida, Brittany holds a degree in Zoo Animal Technology from Santa Fe College, and has worked as both a zoo keeper and education specialist for seven years. 

Brittany develops the curriculum for, and teaches our After School Science Club.