Staff Detail

Catherine Rawson
Executive Director

Catherine Rawson is the executive director of Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, chair of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, council member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council, and a Greenprint Steering Committee member. A graduate of Bates College and Vermont Law School, where she studied environmental law, Catherine also has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, she served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Connecticut.

Under Catherine’s direction since 2011, Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy has achieved significant growth in its regional impact and capacity for long-term, sustainable conservation. Recognized today as a conservation leader in Connecticut and beyond, NCLC was awarded an EPA Environmental Merit Award in 2013 and accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2015. Through Catherine’s leadership NCLC initiated a partnership program, now offering an array of services to land trusts throughout Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties, while also tripling its staff size and by growing tenfold the reserve financial assets available to support its conservation work to $6.5 million. In 2017, the organization celebrated the protection of its 10,000th acre of land. In 2019 and 2020 respectively, NCLC merged with Brookfield Open Space Legacy and Naromi Land Trust. The latter merger resulted in a renaming of the organization from Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust to NCLC.

Catherine’s professional experience in the environmental field spans more than 20 years and includes serving as a law clerk for the Environment Division of the California Department of Justice and for General Electric’s Corporate Environmental Programs as well as work for three nonprofit organizations in environmental program management and education. Catherine was recognized for academic achievement at the Vermont Law School with American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Legal Writing. She also served on the Vermont Law Review and the Journal of National Security Law. In 2017, Catherine was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

Return to Staff
Paul Elconin
Director of Land Conservation

Paul Elconin is the director of land conservation at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy where he oversees acquisitions and stewardship.  Paul has a BS in environmental biology from Yale University and an MS in forest resources management from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).  While at ESF, Paul researched landowner motivations for granting and satisfaction with their conservation easements, and his findings were published and distributed to land trusts nationwide.

Paul has spent much of his professional career working in land conservation.  He was a wildlife ecology field technician on wolf and grizzly bear projects for government agencies and taught environmental education in Minnesota and California, was the stewardship coordinator at the Open Space Institute, the “circuit rider” for the Land Trust Alliance of New York, and a consultant to small land trusts in New York State. Paul currently represents NCLC on the Working Lands Alliance Steering Committee and its Farmland Access Working Group.

Paul grew up in New Haven, left Connecticut to explore the country, and is gradually returning to his roots.  When not active in land conservation, he is exploring the outdoors and trying to achieve his aspiration to be a hockey player.

Return to Staff
Carrie Davis
Stewardship Coordinator

Carrie Davis is a stewardship coordinator at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Carrie graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Since that time, Carrie has devoted her career to various environmental conservation efforts. Following college, she worked for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Environmental Management Bureau in Albany, New York where she led a water quality monitoring program, sampling and testing lakes and ponds at over 60 state parks. Most recently, at the Watershed Agricultural Council, Carrie managed the Croton Watershed office, where she spent over 12 years working with agricultural landowners on developing and implementing pollution prevention plans for the protection of New York City’s drinking water supply.

Carrie has also served on three not-for-profit boards where she has worked on a variety of projects that support the conservation of working farmland and access to the local food supply and has also implemented wildlife habitat restoration and forest management projects. Carrie grew up in Western New York and now resides in Connecticut. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and exploring the area’s parks and trails.

Return to Staff
Elizabeth Schrang
Membership Engagement Manager

Elizabeth Schrang is the membership engagement manager at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Elizabeth has a BS in environmental science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Studying environmental science sparked an interest in the connection between water quality and land use, as well as science writing. After graduating, Elizabeth interned at America Farmland Trust’s Farmland Information Center and then worked as a production editor for Wolters Kluwer Heath, Inc., a publisher of medical journals, in Baltimore, Maryland. Elizabeth has also worked on stream geomorphic surveys in Vermont. Elizabeth returned to school to study the connection between surface water and groundwater and has an MS in hydrogeology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Elizabeth grew up in New Milford, Connecticut, and after studying the maps in the office realized she’d been hiking Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy land the whole time. Elizabeth is excited to join the NCLC team because the most efficient way to protect water resources is to protect land. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking and painting.

[ccf_form id=”3427″]

Return to Staff
Dawn Burdick

Dawn Burdick is the bookkeeper at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy.

Dawn brings a depth of bookkeeping experience for a wide spectrum of corporate, individual, small business, and non-profit entities to our financial stewardship.

Dawn’s personal connection to land preservation and protection is evidenced by her 14 years as Director-Administrator of integral fundraising and event capacities at the Bridgewater Land Trust. Dawn lives with her family in Bridgewater.

Return to Staff
Amanda Branson
Director of Operations and Finance

Amanda Branson is the director of operations and finance at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy where she oversees business operations and planning, as well as the partnership program of NCLC.  Amanda was formerly the executive director of Naromi Land Trust in Sherman, CT.  As Naromi’s first executive director, Amanda led the organization through accreditation in 2018 and 2020 merger with Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust. Amanda also led all of Naromi’s numerous stewardship initiatives and all acquisition projects completed between 2016 and 2019.  Amanda is co-chair of Connecticut Land Conservation Council’s Accredited Land Trusts working group and chair of the governance sub-committee; co-chair of SALT (Small Area Land Trusts); and a member of the CLCC Conference planning committee.

Amanda led the CT Records Project, a joint program of CLCC and the Land Trust Alliance to coach small land trusts throughout Connecticut on sound recordkeeping practices and conducting a detailed review of each land trusts land records from 2013 to 2016.  Amanda provided consulting services and coaching to nonprofits on sound record-keeping practices, accreditation preparation support, and building organizational strength.  Previously she was a program associate at Rivers Alliance of Connecticut helping  advocate for Connecticut’s waters and to organize statewide conferences on hydropower and recreational liability.

Amanda lives in Kent with her husband and their three young children.  Amanda has a BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Art History from Maine College of Art. She has exhibited her art in Maine, Connecticut, and New York and maintains a studio practice.

Return to Staff