• Continuing board members for 2020 include: Benjamin Knoll, Ruth Bamberger, Dick Shore, Don Dott, Tracy Powell-McCoy and Jena Scott. (see information on current board members here).
  • Incumbents who are up for re-election include Kay Harker and Dr. Tamara Sluss.
  • Members may vote for up to seven candidates for 2020 plus opportunity for write-ins.
  • Incumbent and first-time candidate biographies for the 2020 election listed below.



Joyce Bender

Joyce managed the Kentucky State Nature Preserves for 31 years and retired in 2017.  She continues to assist with natural areas management and to educate the public about being good stewards.  During Joyce’s career, she reviewed legislation and reported on potential impacts for natural resources relating to her agency mission.  “I was always grateful for KCC’s work to protect Kentucky’s natural heritage and continue to appreciate the efforts undertaken by this vital organization.  I am honored to be considered for board membership.”


Nat Colten

Nat Colten is a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture and a place-based, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter. During his time at the University, he had the pleasure of helping develop moveable high tunnel systems (unheated greenhouses) and conducting educational programming for regional livestock producers. His work at UK focused on helping agriculturalists meet production needs in ways that conserve or protect soil and water resources. Through his experiences conducting research and working with farmers and preservationists, at home and abroad, he has developed a belief that Kentucky’s private lands are one of the greatest opportunities for conservation in the state. He currently works to advocate for food, fiber and timber production practices that utilize agroecological principles to optimize multifunctional land use. Nat has been recognized for his academic work by the Western Seed Association and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts. He is also a member of the KY Natural Lands Trust’s Pine Mountain Collective – through which he has been inspired to dedicate more of his time to writing music about the land and life that support so many wonderful Kentuckians.


Kay Harker

Kay worked in the Department for Environmental Protection from January of 1985 until her retirement in 2007, serving in the Division of Waste Management, the Division of Water and the Commissioner’s office. Prior to 1985, she taught high school in Kentucky, Florida, and Michigan, worked on a dude ranch in Arizona. Kay has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Austin Peay State University and did post graduate work at the University of Kentucky. She grew up on a large family farm in Tennessee and in retirement lives on a small farm in Franklin County. She has been on the board of the Woods and Waters Land Trust since 2009 and was on the board for the Family Abuse Center for several years.


Tyler Hill

Tyler Hill is the Western Kentucky Campus Organizer with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC). In addition to supporting student environmental groups in Western Kentucky, Tyler facilitates KSEC’s Political Working Group (PWG), a statewide team that focuses on engaging young people in Kentucky elections and the General Assembly’s legislative process. As a member of the PWG since 2016, Tyler has researched legislation, managed rapid response campaigns for and against bills, and planned lobby days.


Alice Jones

Dr. Alice Jones, Professor of Geosciences at Eastern Kentucky University, is an integrative geographer and environmental planner with more than 20 years of research, teaching and planning practice centered on the relationship between land use and water quality, community health, and environmental quality. She has been active with Kentucky River Watershed Watch as a sampler, area coordinator, trainer, and science advisor since 1998, and has also served as a science advisor for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and for Headwaters, Inc.—a community watershed organization in Letcher County. Dr. Jones holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin; a Masters of Applied Geography from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State); and a Ph.D in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen

Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen is an artist and mechanical engineer, retired from 3M who moved to Frankfort from Austin, Texas ten years ago. Growing concern for the survival of natural areas and a need to understand the relationship of people to their environment have encouraged Anna Marie to explore nature related themes in her art. Anna Marie recently completed a four-year term on the board of directors of Frankfort’s municipal utility, the Frankfort Plant Board.


Tamara Sluss

Dr. Sluss is a native of Ashland, Kentucky.  After receiving her degrees (B.S. Biology, M.S. Biology, Ph.D. Environmental Biology) with Dr. Jeffrey Jack at the University of Louisville and teaching at Jefferson Community and Technical College, and is currently an associate professor of biology at Kentucky State University.  Her primary research interests lie in large river ecology, but she has also worked on a variety of projects with students including biomass research, invasive plant species and habitat fragmentation, amphibian surveys, and macroinvertebrate communities in relation to water quality in central KY streams.  At Kentucky State University she teaches a variety of courses including Life Science, Modern Topics in Biology, Environmental Biology, Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, and Population and Community Ecology, a requirement for KSU’s Master’s of Environmental Studies program.  She is the faculty advisor for the Green Society, a student environmental club at KSU, and works with numerous student summer programs.   Tamara loves spending time with her two daughters, Olivia and Harper, as well as rock climbing with her friends in the Red River Gorge and all over the country.