Meet the Team
Matthew A. Young, M.S. President and Founder of the Native Orchid Conservation Network (NOCN):
Matt has been observing and enjoying nature since a very young age. He’s lived in Central New York the past 23 years and it was during this time when he really started studying everything from birds to orchids, and bogs and fens. Matt received his B.S. in Water Resources with a minor in Meteorology from SUNY-Oneonta and his M.S. in Ornithology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry/Syracuse University in 2003. Matt did an independent study on orchids in bogs and fens of Central New York while doing his masters research on avian diversity in restored wetlands of central New York at the Great Swamp Conservancy. He was a Regional Editor of the Kingbird for 10 years, the state ornithological journal in New York, was an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Studies at SUNY-Cortland, and currently teaches an Intro to Birding class for Cornell University and is the Board Chair at The Wetland Trust.
He’s worked as a social worker (and is currently) with special needs adolescents for close to 10 years, and worked at the Cornell Lab across 15+ years where he did extensive field work for the Lab’s Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers atlas projects, and was project lead on the Lab’s first Finch Irruptive Bird Survey for Bird Source in 1999. He was the Collections Management Leader/Audio Engineer at the Macaulay Library ~12 years where he edited sounds for several Merlin packs around the world in addition to being the lead audio engineer on guides, the Songs of the Warblers of North America, Audubon Society Voices of Hawaii’s Birds, and the Cornell Lab’s Guides to Bird Sounds, the North America Master and Essential Sets. He’s been a tour guide leader for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, written finch species accounts for breeding bird atlases and Birds of the World, and has published several papers about the Red Crossbill vocal complex. He also has published papers on the Spiranthes orchid complex, one for the first state find of Fragrant Ladies’ Tresses Orchid (Spiranthes odorata) on Onondaga Lake and described a brand new species, Old Field Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes sheviakii) at 3 Rivers WMA; and is the President and Founder of the Native Orchid Conservation Network-mail: email@example.com
Michael Hough: Michael is a botanist and full-time lecturer at SUNY Cortland and teaches occasionally at SUNY-ESF. He has led many outings for the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, the New York Flora Association, and the Leatherstocking Botanical Society. He curates the vascular plant collection at the SUNY Cortland Herbarium (CORT) and is the author of the book Flora of Cortland and Onondaga Counties, New York. He also has published papers on the Spiranthes orchid complex, one for the first state find of Fragrant Ladies’ Tresses Orchid (Spiranthes odorata) on Onondaga Lake and described a brand new species, Old Field Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes sheviakii) at 3 Rivers WMA.
Donald Leopold: Leopold earned his B.S. in ornamental horticulture/nursery management from the University of Kentucky in 1978 and M.S.F. in forest ecology from the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky in 1981. After earning his Ph.D. in forest ecology from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University in 1984, he joined the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology at SUNY ESF (Syracuse) in August 1985. He has taught dendrology, among other courses, every year since and established ESF’s first freshwater wetland ecology course in 1986. In 1998 Leopold was promoted to SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, the highest professorial rank in SUNY, and in 1999 was awarded the first SUNY ESF College Foundation Award for Exceptional Achievement in Teaching. In 2004, he received the SUNY Research Foundation Excellence in the Pursuit of Knowledge award, and in 2007 the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Leopold was Chair of his Department from July 2005 until January 2018, then reinstated from September 1 until he stepped down at the end of February 2019. In March 2014, he was recognized as one of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture Distinguished Agriculture Alumni . Leopold has garnered over $40 million of extramural funding as principal or co-principal investigator, and has finished over 70 M.S., M.P.S, and Ph.D. students. He was editor of the Natural Areas Journal for 6 years (1993-1999; associate editor 1990 – 1992), associate editor for the Journal of Forestry and on the editorial board of the Northeast Naturalist . He is a former chair of The Nature Conservancy, Central New York Chapter, and was given their Friends of the Land Award in 1995. Leopold was panel manager for USDA’s Competitive Grants Managed Ecosystems Program in 2006 and 2007. Since 2007 he has served on the US Army Corp of Engineers National Technical Committee on Wetland Vegetation, one of only three academics in the U.S. on the committee.
Leopold has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and seven books (as author, not editor). Four of his books are major treatments of trees in North America ( Textbook of Dendrology ; J.W. Hardin, D.J. Leopold, and F.M. White, 2001, McGraw Hill), the Midwest ( Trees of the Central Hardwood Forests – An Identification and Cultivation Guide ; D.J. Leopold, W.C. McComb, and R.N. Muller; Timber Press), of New York ( Trees of New York ; D.J. Leopold, 2003, Syracuse University Press), and of the South ( Native Trees of the Southeast ; L.K. Kirkman, C.L. Brown, and D.J. Leopold; 2007, Timber Press). The Textbook of Dendrology is the primary dendrology text in North America, and is widely used in other countries. His fifth book, Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide for Gardening and Conservation (Timber Press, Portland, OR) is a comprehensive guide to over 700 native trees, shrubs, vines, graminoids, wildflowers, and ferns that are valuable for garden and restoration plantings, and in 2006 was given the Garden Writers Association Silver Media Award for excellence in horticultural writings. In August 2009, he received the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association George L. Good Gold Medal of Horticulture Award for outstanding contributions to horticulture in the state of New York. His seventh book (with co-author Lytton Musselman), Wildflowers of the Adirondacks , will be published by Johns Hopkins Press in February 2020. Like many of his book projects nearly all of the 300+ images used were taken by him. Leopold’s research primarily focuses on the ecology of native plant species and natural communities, examining drivers of diversity and rarity at micro to macro scales; the restoration of unique plant communities on alkaline industrial wastes in urban areas; and applications of this research to sustainable, urban landscapes and green solutions. He has long been a member of the Ecological Society of America, the Society of Conservation Biologists, and Society of Wetland Scientists .
Ethan Muller: Ethan works as a wildlife biologist at a private consulting company. Outside of work he is an avid birder, botanist, and wildlife photographer.
The address of the Native Orchid Conservation Network is 3762 State Route 41 Cincinnatus, NY, but please send any donations payable by check to PO Box 5431 Cortland, NY 13045. You can also call Matt Young at 607-345-7713 to inquire more. You can also email Matt Young at info@orchidsandconservation or call at 607-345-7713 to inquire more.