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Elizabeth Crisfield Named ClearWater Conservancy’s Executive Director

State College, PA— Elizabeth Crisfield of Harris Township, a conservation scientist for more than 20 years, has been selected as the new Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy beginning May 1, 2024.

"I am so honored and excited to be joining the staff of ClearWater Conservancy,” Elizabeth said. “ClearWater has a 40-plus-year legacy of land and water conservation in Central Pennsylvania, and I am looking forward to contributing my experience and passion to furthering the mission." Throughout the interview process, Elizabeth expressed her goal to invest her efforts and expertise in securing central Pennsylvania’s natural resources in a meaningful and enduring way.


Crisfield comes to ClearWater with experiences ranging from working as a hydrologist and water rights negotiator as part of an interagency team for Everglades National Park in Florida to her current position as the founding consultant of the Strategic Stewardship Initiative. Since 2015, Elizabeth has been consulting with state fish and wildlife agencies with a focus on the prioritization of conservation actions to protect rare and declining species.


Elizabeth is also the president-elect of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, an all-volunteer organization of biological experts assessing the conservation status of taxonomic groups to secure and recover imperiled species. She assumes the presidency in January 2025.


Crisfield graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1994, received a Master of Science in Agronomy (soil physics) in 1999 and then received her doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University in Geography in 2012. Her dissertation focused on opportunities for climate adaptation in the Appalachian Mountains.


“This is an exciting time for ClearWater as we welcome Elizabeth as our new Executive Director to support our incredible staff, board members, and volunteers,” said ClearWater’s Board President Kevin McGarry.


Elizabeth and her partner, Doug Henry, a local architect, have two school-aged children. They enjoy hiking, bicycling and camping as a family.


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