ArcheWild is a professional landscape restoration company servicing federal/state agencies, conservancies, farms up to 500 acres, and large landowners. ArcheWild also consults on restoration design, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, master planning, nursery operations planning and construction. Click the button to meet our staff.
Meet ArcheWild Staff
Mark Brownlee, Head Ecologist
Mark Brownlee leads our ecological restoration research program by inventing new methods, discovering new plants/genotypes and discovering new uses for obscure species. Mark built the philosophical foundation of the Ecoregion-centric nursery model and teaches others the method. Mark also leads our largest programs with state and federal agencies and leads our consulting and business/nursery planning services. Mark holds a BS/MS from Carnegie Mellon.
Fun facts: Mark planted his first garden at six years old and has been growing and propagating plants ever since. If you cannot find him fiddling with plants or teaching others this craft, he’s probably in West Virginia or Virginia trying to save some obscure species that no one has ever heard of from oblivion.
Lauren Foltz, Researcher
Lauren graduated with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Temple University. She has worked both in the private and public sectors, but always outside. An avid hiker, Lauren is passionate about conserving nature and improving how we interact with it. With a background in data collection and analysis, Lauren is playing a key role in documenting plant communities and understanding the site conditions that form them.
Fun facts: Lauren explores many creative outlets including drawing, painting, and photography. She hopes to visit as many National parks as possible and is slowly crossing them off her list.
Collin Furchner, Propagator
Collin grew up in New Tripoli, PA and graduated from Penn State with a degree in Biology and a minor in German. he is an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. Collin has spent much of his early career in data-intensive and R&D roles and excels at discovering and documenting the nuances of germinating the challenging native plant species for technical restoration programs. Collin heads our propagation function.
Fun fact: Collin provides food and housing for a Gargoyle gecko named Blue and built her custom vivarium filled with live plants and bugs.
Jay Kaminksi, CERP Ecologist
Jay Kaminski joins ArcheWild with a background in ecological restoration, native plant propagation, and permaculture design. He obtained a BS in Environmental Science with a concentration in Earth Systems and a BS in Sociology from Oregon State University.
Jay has a strong passion for the multitude of native plant communities across the country and has over six years of experience practicing ecological restoration in many different ecosystems in both the Eastern and Western U.S.
Fun Facts: Jay is certified by the Society of Ecological Restoration as a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner, one of only two people in Pennsylvania. In addition to having a green thumb, Jay is also quite the finger picker on guitar.
Larissa Bernecker - Specialist
Larissa is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s of science degree in Geosciences, with a concentration in watershed management and is working to strengthen her knowledge of restoration and conservation work while positively contributing to preserving our natural resources. Throughout schooling, my internship, and community involvement, Larissa developed the knowledge of watershed systems (riparian zones, wetlands, urban impacts, forest management impacts, etc.), and developed many skill sets to determine environmental impairments and develop action plans.
Larissa’s degree is emphasized as interdisciplinary, where my classes covered biology, chemistry, geology, geography, and regional planning related subjects and has practiced creating different restoration plans throughout the past four years. In her watershed restoration, geoscience research, and watershed management courses, Larissa conducted hands on research and restoration plan writing for environmental impacts on streams in Tioga/Potter County.
Iveta Gigova, Principal and CFO
Iveta Gigova is one of our founding Principals and holds a majority stake in the firm. Iveta focuses primarily on servicing our strategic nursery accounts while managing both the finance and accounting functions. With multiple Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s from Princeton, Iveta provides the intellectual and analytical foundation that helps us to continue growing.
Fun Facts: Iveta speaks at least seven languages, has consulted for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and hosted George Soros on a week-long hunting trip in Europe.
Josh Schwartz, Project Manager
Josh is ArcheWild’s go-anywhere, do-anything guy that enjoys getting a good job done well better than almost anything else. While Josh’s true love is building metal art sculptures, he expertly leads teams to tackle the most demanding aspects of our projects. Strong as an ox and funny as a loon, Josh is the glue that helps keep everyone together. Josh studied at the University of Colorado.
Fun facts: An accomplished wrestler and an experienced crew (rowing) competitor.
Zach Haake, Restoration Specialist
Zach has traveled across the county working on different restoration projects from wetland delineations in Yellowstone to beach front restoration in Massachusetts. Zach has a very deep knowledge of invasive plant removal and control techniques, which is a critical aspect of habitat restoration. Zach studied ecology at the University of Akron and enjoys plant identification while hiking in the mountains. At the age of 16, Zach started working on a Christmas tree farm and loved to work outdoors ever since.
Lauren Martino, Client Manager
Lauren is a graduate from Salisbury University with a B.S. in Geography and Earth Science. She discovered her love for geoscience on a field study of the Colorado Plateau. Lauren is an energetic worker, always ready to take on a challenge and to learn along the way. Lauren joined ArcheWild in the Client Manager track helping customers take full advantage of our services.
Fun fact: Lauren became a PADI certified Adventure Scuba Diver while traveling in Australia. She was able to scuba dive parts of the Great Barrier Reef and even participated in a night dive.
P.S.: We look froward to seeing Lauren don her scuba gear to perform underwater planting tasks for EPA Superfund sites on the Buffalo and Hudson rivers!
Justin Keil - Restoration Specialist
Justin joins ArcheWild bringing a broad array of professional experience from his tenure with AECOM, a large national restoration consulting firm. Justin holds a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and has experience monitoring and protecting threatened and endangered species. Justin’s passion is protecting fragile ecosystems and restoring degraded habitats, with an eye towards protecting wildlife. Justin is an avid birder and enjoys all outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Other hobbies include playing the guitar and reading.
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