Mattis a Communications Specialist for theTurtleRoom and is responsible for writing and researching content for the website, fundraising, and other organizational communications projects. Matt is an ecologist specializing in threatened and endangered reptiles and amphibians in the Northeast and currently works as a Science, Research, and Policy Associate with the nonprofit Delaware Riverkeeper Network. In this role, he provides direct support for the organization’s monitoring and advocacy programs. He is responsible for water quality data analysis, ecological assessments, mapping, and coordinating a network of volunteer pipeline monitors to better protect the waters that flow through the Delaware River Basin. He also conducts policy research and identifies key information related to local, state, and federal activities that affect the environment to assist the organization’s advocacy and legal efforts.
Matt has a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management with a concentration in Fish and Wildlife Management from American Public University and lives in South Jersey with his wife, Emily. Matt’s interest in turtles began at a young age when he often spent time exploring a small pond across the street from his house. Eastern Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta picta), Northern Red-Bellied Turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris), Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), and Red-Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) would sometimes wander into the neighborhood during nesting season. Matt would always help the turtles find their way back to the pond and make sure they didn’t get hit by cars. That passion stayed with him and lead him to a career in environmental conservation. Matt has field experience with Bog Turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata), Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin ssp.), and a variety of other herpetofauna such as Pine Barrens Tree Frogs (Hyla andersonii), Eastern Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus), and Northern Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus). In his spare time, Matt enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, and Star Wars.