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.  

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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.

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.


Garret Hendrix, Board member

Board member Garret Hendrix is a professional mechanical engineer with experience in water/wastewater engineering, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Florida. Currently, Garret works for Rockwell Automation as a sales engineer, a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company for industrial automation components and services. Outside of work, Garret loves to travel, hike, and camp with his wife and two daughters and fly fish in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  He also takes annual trips to fish blue ribbon waters throughout North America. Finally, other hobbies include converting used cooking oil to biodiesel for use in his old diesel Mercedes and roasting his own coffee.

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