Tamara Muruetagoiena, a conservation and sustainability executive with a background in forest research, joined Great Mountain Forest in October as Executive Director.
Tamara comes to GMF with an impressive professional and academic record. She also brings extensive experience working collaboratively as a team leader to establish strategic goals that can be implemented and measured. GMF is delighted to have a leader like Tamara to help it grow into the future as it fulfills its mission in the community.
In her most recent role, Tamara was Senior Global Manager of Sustainability and R&D for Driscoll’s, the big California berry grower. She was responsible for setting a long-term sustainability mission, along with operating standards and principles, while working with many businesses and stakeholders. Before joining Driscoll’s, Tamara was an environmental program manager in the Dominican Republic and in New York City, as part of Columbia University’s management and implementation of USAID-funded projects supporting marine conservation and sustainable fisheries in the United States and in Latin America.
A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Tamara has managed research sites throughout the Yale-Myers forest in northeast Connecticut. She also was a forestry consultant to the Southern Europe Forest Owners Association, analyzing the effects of climate change, and was an adviser to the European Parliament on fisheries policy.
Tamara also holds an MBA and International Marketing Diploma, a joint degree, from the University of California at Berkeley and the ESEUNE Business School in Bilbao, Spain, and a BA from Washington State University.
The GMF Board welcomes Tamara to the team and looks forward to working with her to implement its vision of a progressive new forestry in the region that includes promoting research and public outreach, and continuing as an educational resource for students at all levels—from grammar school through graduate school.
Tamara and her husband, Noel Rodriquez, have one child. They live in Salisbury. Tamara’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel E. Bronson
Joel (Jody) Bronson, a fourth generation land manager and forester, began working at Great Mountain Forest as a seasonal student forester in 1976 after attending Unity College’s Forest Technician program. He transferred to Keene State College as an environmental science and geography major and continued his seasonal employment at GMF. In 1978, he began his forestry career under the guidance of then forest manager Darrell F. Russ and in 1990, became forest manager upon Darrell’s retirement.
Jody oversees all phases of forestry operations including timber harvesting, wildlife habitat improvement, road building and maintenance, assisting researchers, and supervising student forestry interns, to name a few. Jody also manages the forest deer population through periodic census and oversees an annual deer hunting program. He is a member of The Society of American Foresters, Connecticut Forest and Park Association and is a Connecticut licensed forester. He is also a professional member of The Forest Guild. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Austin Cary Practicing Professional Award given by the New England Society of American Foresters. This award recognizes NESAF members who have shown exceptional achievement as practicing forest managers.
Jody and his wife Jean, GMF’s Communications, Development and Program Coordinator, live in Falls Village, CT and have two daughters, Emily and Rachel. Jody’s email: email@example.com
Russell M. Russ
Russell Russ, a 1987 graduate of SUNY ESF with a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources Management, began his employment at Great Mountain Forest in 1984 as a student forester working on the summer crew. After graduation he briefly worked for the Connecticut Division of Forestry and then spent many years working in the landscape and building construction industries. In a career change that brought him back to the profession and lifestyle where he is deeply rooted he joined the full-time staff of Great Mountain Forest in 2001. Russell now holds the position of forester/weatherman. He is responsible for recording and monitoring daily weather activities for GMF and for the National Weather Service – a position formerly held by his father, forest manager Darrell Russ.
Russell’s main duties are weather observing and maintaining all weather records and managing the Yale Forestry Camp located at GMF. As manager for the camp he is in charge of overseeing all camp operations as well as scheduling and coordinating all camp groups. Assisting forest researchers, helping with on-site seminars, mapping/boundary work, timber harvests, maple syrup production and managing the GMF Shelter are just a few of Russell’s other duties. Russell is a Connecticut licensed forester and has been a continual member of the Society of American Foresters since 1987.
Russell grew up in Norfolk and now he and his wife Kim live in Colebrook, CT with their two children, Taryn and jack. Russell’s email address is
Communications, Development and Programs Coordinator
Jean Bronson, a graduate of Northwestern Connecticut Community College, first worked at GMF beginning in 1984 as a cook in the Yale Forestry Camp kitchen. Through this work, she got to know many of the people who have been involved with the forest over the years.
She began working as the GMF bookkeeper in 1993.
Currently, as Communications Coordinator, Jean serves as point of contact for GMF friends and visitors, maintains our website, writes our e-news and manages our Flickr photo archive.
As Development Coordinator, Jean maintains our mailing list, processes donations and thank you notes and coordinates donor events.
As Programs Coordinator, Jean develops educational programs and workshops for adults and children, recruits teachers and assists in program implementation. She also coordinates special events, receptions and field tours and manages our lecture series with local libraries.
You may run into Jean on GMF’s cross country ski trails or walking her dog Sierra through the woods. She lives in Falls Village, is married to GMF’s Forest Manager Jody Bronson and they have 2 daughters, Emily and Rachel. Jean’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org