Julie M. Konkel, Ph.D. , 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!
Natalie Landry, Vice President
David Betchel, Treasurer
David Bechtel was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a small city on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the Appalachian Mountains. He started an M.S. program in Entomology at University of Tennessee fall semester 2017. David graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He has had a variety of occupations including Traffic Engineer, Bridge Project Engineer, US EPA Consulting, Peace Corps School Teacher, Organic Farm Apprentice, Emergency Management, and for the past two decades he has pursued Home Economics as a Stay-at-home Dad raising two lovely children. One is at home exploring and the other transferred to UT in August to begin his Sophomore year in pre-med. David has always worked with the goal of resource protection and conservation in mind. Before settling in Knox County, when Mary transferred to the Arconic aluminum mill in Blount County, David has been fortunate to live in several interesting places including Shanghai; Uis, Namibia; and Intercourse, Pennsylvania. David enjoys nature and its intricacies especially in the water where our fellow creatures live in an often complicated and mysterious symbiosis which may be unwittingly disrupted by our hubris. As a student of nature these mysteries are revealed to him more and more while spending time with the Stream Schools, studying entomology at UT, and reading great books like Rikki Hall’s Six Legs and a Buzz.
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.