Dr. John E. Wear, Jr.
Dr. John E. Wear, Jr., is the Founding Director of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College and Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science. During his tenure at Catawba, he assumed responsibility for establishing the college's Environmental Program, coordinating the faculty's creation of four different degrees.
He has committed his energies to environmental initiatives at the local, regional and state level. His leadership has been instrumental in launching a number of sustainability initiatives in the state relating to air and water quality and land conservation.
In the 1990's he served as the Founding Chairman of the N.C. Watershed Coalition, which, at that time, held the second largest statewide watershed conference in the nation. He was also a founding board member and past president of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina and the founding chairman of one of North Carolina's only countywide Sustainable Community Development Commissions. He was instrumental in the development and acquisition of the South Yadkin Wildlife Refuge and in the creation of one of the Southeast's first higher education "green" buildings, the Center for the Environment facility, for which he provided design oversight. He has served on a number of state and regional boards and commissions including the North Carolina Smart Growth Alliance; "Connect," a regional sustainability initiativeof the Centralina Council of Governments; and other regional planning initiatives. He serves on the national board of the "Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska" television series.
Dr. Wear recently contributed a chapter called "Creating the Educational Foundations for Change" to the book Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness. He is a fellow of the American Leadership Forum and was named the 2003 N.C. Conservationist of the Year by the Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards Program; a 2002 "Guardian of the Earth" by The Charlotte Observer; and the 2001 Green Builder of the Year by the Carolina Recycling Association (the nation's largest recycling organization). In addition to these awards, the Salisbury Civitan Club recognized him in 2001 for work in his community with the Citizen of the Year Award.
He teaches college courses that focus on environmental concepts, issues and the creation of sustainable solutions. He also lectures broadly on a variety of environmental topics, including shifting communities toward more ecological thinking and fostering leadership to advance sustainable solutions.
Dr. Wear holds a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University; a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University.
Cathy Green serves as the Center’s director of operations. She oversees all functions of the Center, including helping to plan and orchestrate events and programs; coordinating work-study and volunteer activities; assisting with all communication, both print and electronic; and serving as the Center’s chief photographer. A graduate of Mary Baldwin College, Ms. Green has been associated with the Center for the Environment since 2006, initially working as a volunteer.
Katie Cavert Ferrell
Katie Cavert Ferrell joined the Center for the Environment in 2015 to continue coordinating the N.C. Green Schools program for the Center, which has assumed leadership for the effort.
She has been an educator since 1998 and has worked in the field of sustainability since 2009. Before directing the N.C. Schools Program, she served as production assistant for BotaniPharm, communications coordinator for the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute and an education and outreach assistant for the Appalachian State University Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.
Ferrell holds a bachelor of science degree in geology from the University of the South and a master of science degree in technology from Appalachian State University. Her graduate studies concentrated on appropriate technology, defined as “creating sustainable solutions using renewable resources to address community needs.”
Matt Hendricks joined the Center for the Environment as the Stanback Ecological Preserve keeper in 2008. He maintains the trail system, manages invasive plants, maintains the Elizabeth Stanback Wildlife Garden, coordinates preserve volunteers and supervises work-study students as well as providing logistical and technical support for Center events. A work-study student at the Center for the Environment during his college years, he graduated from Catawba College in 2007 and has begun the process for pursuing a graduate degree in biology.
Laura Richards assumed the position of graphic artist at the Center for the Environment in 2009. She has done a variety of projects for local and national clients since 1983 when she founded Richards Creative Imagery in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. She has done brochures, logos, books, fliers and other printed material for clients like the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Drawing Board, Verizon and Lead Concepts. Richards holds a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University and an associate’s degree in graphics from the Art Institute of Dallas.
Juanita Teschner serves as director of communications for the Center for the Environment. She writes and disseminates information to the media on the various environmental initiatives of the Center. She also serves as the editor and primary writer of the Center's newsletters, websites and brochures. A graduate of Missouri State University, Ms. Teschner has worked for Catawba since 1985 and exclusively for the Center since 2001.
Halley Brantley joined the staff as a Stanback Intern in the Summer of 2010 and is continuing to work with the center part-time as web content manager. Her responsibilities include updating and maintaining the websites for the Center for the Environment and the Campaign for Clean Air. She has a BS in Chemistry from Davidson College and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University.