Gary Conley

Native Plant Nursery Manager

gary@ruralaction.org

Mr. Conley is a professional landscape ecologist with 20 years of technical and analytical expertise in ecological management and research projects. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geography with a Landscape Ecology/Biogeography focus and Bachelor of Science in Specialized Studies in Geology/Ecology. He is currently the Vice President of the Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC).

Mr. Conley launched the GreenReach, LLC in 2014 to provide ecological consultation to regional environmental efforts. Mr. Conley currently serves as the Owner, Senior Landscape Ecologist, and Ohio Licensed Nurseryman. Since its creation, GreenReach, LLC has engaged with the Ohio Supreme Court of Appeals and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to provide expert evaluation of contested mining permits, performed ecological assessments and land management strategies for numerous clients, managed high-level environmental monitoring projects, supported non-profit fundraising efforts through grant-writing, and provided important restoration resources for ecological projects.

Prior to engaging with the GreenReach full-time, Mr. Conley spent 12 years working for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. As the Research Supervisor, he coordinated and supervised applied ecological research projects relating to air quality, water quality, and ecological management with University faculty, staff, and students. He managed projects with external clients including the United States Department of Energy (DOE), Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), United States Forest Service (USFS), and other local and regional clients. Mr. Conley was responsible for generating technical reports, presenting project work at state, national, and international conferences, publishing data and findings in collaboration with project partners.

Mr. Conley has specialized training in United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetland Delineation and the Restoration of Streams and Riparian Areas;  OEPA Level III Wetland Biocriteria sampling for Amphibians (AmphiIBI) and Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI), Level II Ohio Rapid Assessment Methods for Wetlands (ORAM), Level II Macroinvertebrate Sampling, and Ohio Chemical Water Quality Assessment. Mr. Conley is an expert in atmospheric deposition of acid rain and air toxics, with a particular interest in the role of mercury (Hg) as an ecological pollutant.

Mr. Conley focuses on the application of best management practices and principles (BMPP’s) to restore ecological services on degraded landscapes and utilizes complex spatial data analysis to provide comprehensive and adaptive management solutions. He has conducted hundreds of surveys, created thousands of sample points, and generated millions of data records to contribute to the global body of ecological science. He continues to pursue opportunities to restore the integrity, resilience, and functionality of our ecological systems that are fundamental to the productivity and health of our natural and human communities.