Andrew Gunnoe, President
Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Maryville College. Following a childhood spent in southwestern Ohio, he came to East Tennessee in 1998 to attend the University of Tennessee. He earned B.A. and M.A. in political science and then completed his Ph.D in sociology in 2012. After a two-year stint at Auburn University completing a Post Doctorate in the department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, he returned to East Tennessee, the place he now calls home. Andrew cultivated his love of the Little River over the course of two decades spent paddling whitewater in the upper stretches of the watershed. In recent years, he has come to know the lower stretches of the river more intimately as he frequently paddles it with his wife and two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys going down stream, playing guitar, cooking, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.
Julie M. Konkel, Ph.D. , Vice President
Julie is an environmental scientist and consultant who has lived in Knoxville for five years. A childhood split between the Florida West Coast and Kentucky Appalachian Mountains cultivated a love for the outdoors and an interest to pursue a career in environmental science and management. Julie has more than ten years of experience in soil and water quality work in a broad range of environments, including Florida aquifers, the Nevada Great Basin, the South American Andes, and the High Arctic tundra of Greenland. Happy to now call East Tennessee home, her recent work focuses on conducting research to better understand soil nutrient cycles and non-point source pollution in Tennessee watersheds. Additionally, Julie is engaged in efforts to bridge the gap between science, land managers, and the community. In her free time, you can find Julie running trails, bird watching, or exploring remote places with no cell service!
Jennifer Webster, Treasurer
Jennifer Webster grew up exploring the creeks and rivers of Alabama and studied Wildlife Biology at Auburn University. Her career has focused on field science education and sharing the natural world with students of all ages, including as a teacher/naturalist and school program director for Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Jennifer now spends her days as a 5th grade teacher at Clayton Bradley Academy in Blount County, where she enjoys a classroom full of curious kids to laugh and learn with each day. She lives in Walland with her husband Jesse, and son Lyle, where they enjoy spending time exploring and enjoying the Little River.
Jeff Killian, Secretary
Jeff is a native of Middle and East Tennessee growing up playing in the woods of the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachian Mountains. For over 20 years Jeff has kayaked, swam, canoed, and paddle-boarded every navigable stretch of the Little River and still enjoys floating the river with his two children Eva and Arthur. Jeff is a Certified Quality Engineer and Auditor serving as a Quality Assurance Coordinator at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also is currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee seeking a Master’s of Industrial Engineering.
Elan Young, Board Member
Elan is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in writing, editing, PR, digital strategy and writing education. She currently coordinates the communications activities for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee. In her spare time, she is a metal smith making jewelry inspired by the beautiful Smoky Mountains. As a resident of Walland who lives on the Little River, she has spent much of her time looking for crawdads, identifying fish and skipping rocks with her young son and husband. She chose to call Blount County home in 2003 and considers it one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
Clay Guerry, Board Member
Clay grew up on the coast of South Carolina and attended Francis Marion University where he received a BS in Biology. After a few years as a primate biologist on the coast, he moved to the foothills of the Appalachians for graduate school at Clemson University, where he earned an MS in Zoology as well as an MS in Parks and Protected Area Management. He has worked as an outdoor guide, instructor, naturalist, and for the past 15 years as a public land manager focusing on recreation and natural resource management, here in East Tennessee. He is passionate about the role of outdoor recreation as a vehicle for conservation, sustainability, economic growth, and the general improvement of the social condition. In his free time, he enjoys river pursuits, mountain biking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Nick Reynolds, Board Member
Nick joined the LRWA board in 2019, and is an educator and soil & insect ecologist. He earned a B.A., B.S, and M.S. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in Environmental Studies, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Entomology & Plant Pathology. His graduate and professional research focused on non-target impacts of invasive insect control methods and exploring mechanisms affecting arthropod diversity in forest soils. Since 2008, he has been a secondary Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science teacher. In his free time, he enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and hiking with his lovely wife and young son.
Wes James, Board Member
Wes grew up in Lenoir City fishing the local reservoirs and the Tellico River and tributaries with his father and uncle. He attended UT Knoxville earning a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in 1975. At TVA, where he worked for 37+ years, he held the positions of Wildlife Biologist and Natural Resources Management Specialist specializing in waterfowl and wetlands wildlife management, wetlands delineation and protection, and long-range natural resources management planning. Wes lived in Oak Ridge for 40 years where his wife Norma was a career teacher and his children attended Oak Ridge Schools. He and his wife moved to Maryville in 2018 to be closer to their son’s family and be more active as Grandpa and Grandma. Wes fly fishes in Little River regularly especially enjoying floats down the river with his son Kevin.