Derek Shiels began work as the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Conservation Easement Specialist and transitioned to Stewardship Director. The stewardship staff oversee the wise care of LTC’s working forest lands and nature preserves and conservation easement monitoring. Derek spent his childhood exploring a large parcel of wild land right near his home, prompting an early desire for a career in the outdoors. Derek spent a semester in Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Grand Valley State University, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Taylor University, a Master’s in Biology from Central Michigan University, and is a graduate of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Prior to LTC, he spent two years in Missouri working for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a cave biology technician monitoring endangered gray bats and crawling, canoeing, and rappelling into caves to document other cave life.