Matthew Kovach, Lake Erie Coastal Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy – Growing up on the shores of western Lake Erie, Matthew began his pursuit of an environmental career and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology and Environmental Science from Miami University (Ohio). After a brief stint as a research SCUBA diver at a biological research station, Matthew received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of North Texas. Matthew’s academic pursuits have focused on aquatic ecology and toxicology. Matthew spent five years working as an aquatic ecologist for environmental consultant firms. He has experience in the areas of fisheries research, ecological risk assessment, biological surveys, environmental emergency response, and nonpoint source pollution. In his current role with TNC, he is involved in coastal resiliency-related initiatives, coastal wetland and nearshore habitat restoration, invasive plant control, biological monitoring, and public relations outreach activities.