tanglewood nature center and museum


Elaine with Minerva ("Mini") the Cooper's Hawk

Elaine Smith, Executive Director
Joined us January 2003

Our Executive Director is Elaine Smith. In addition to being a bluebird expert, she is a visionary leader and has guided Tanglewood through a period of extraordinary growth. Elaine provides administrative leadership. Represents and is accountable to the Board of Directors and administers policies and procedures as set by the Board.  Leads the effort to secure financial support for programs.  Supervises Tanglewood employees and is responsible for timely completion of all reports, budgets, proposals, and other documents necessary for operation. Provides leadership in developing programs to address needs in outdoor and environmental education.  Elaine also provides leadership for Tanglewood Nature Center’s relations with government and community leaders, funding agencies, educational institutions, the media, civic and special interest groups, and the public.

Deanna with Lucy, the Barred Owl

Deanna O'Brian, Office Manager
Joined us February 2011

As Office Manager, Deanna oversees the daily operations and keeps us in line! She manages all financial transactions including payroll, invoicing, check and cash handling.  Maintains records of activities associated with Tanglewood, including membership, camp registrations and rentals.  She also maintains the office, gift shop and office supplies and handles routine correspondence, and is generally your best bet with any question you may have. 

Ian and one of our Eastern Box Turtles 

Ian McLaughlin, Curator, and Educator
Joined us January 2006

Ian is resident naturalist and educator as well as our curator at Tanglewood. If you schedule an educational program, you're likely to benefit from Ian's years of experience with all animal groups and ecosystems! He is particularly great with school and Scouting groups. And if there's a mysterious animal track or sighting in your yard, Ian's your best bet for identification.  As Curator, Ian designs and updates our museum and exhibit halls, and manages our animals -- he oversees their health, enrichment, and the acquisition of new animals. As the curator, Ian oversees all aspects of animal management; consisting of approximately 45 species of animals – birds of prey, mammals, songbirds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and arthropods (native and exotic species). As an educator, he also provides educational programs to schools and the public both in house and off site.  He writes curriculum in tandem with other educators.

Maggie with Zeus, the bearded dragon

Maggie Groce, Volunteer Coordinator, Educator and Camp Co-Director 
volunteer.tanglewood@gmail.com and 

Joined us December 2019

Maggie came to work at Tanglewood after a position at Sea World Orlando - she traded sting rays for owls! Maggie coordinates volunteers, supervises interns, and handles the group/corporate volunteering opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering or applying for an internship, please email her! As educator, when she's not designing and curating STEAM and nature-based curriculum in the office, Maggie is out in the field, traveling across five counties with animal ambassadors in tow. Maggie writes curriculum in tandem with the other educators. As Camp Director, Maggie manages all aspects of our summer camps. She hires and supervises our seasonal staff and ensures that all our campers have a safe, fun, educational and nature-based summer!

(Photo coming soon!)

Ryan Donnelly, Marketing, Educator and Camp Co-Director 
Joined us August 2021

Ryan is eager to reach new audiences and share the wonderful work that we do with your community! Ryan develops and implements detailed marketing plans in coordination with staff and Fund Development Committee to align with quarterly and annual initiatives. Maintains weekly emails, social media pages and website. Develops program flyers and fundraising invites. Serves as educator and curriculum writer when needed. Ryan will be working across the Twin Tiers and Finger Lakes to teach STEAM and FOSS curricula to all ages. He also recruits, trains and manages volunteers, including Board members. 

(Photo coming soon!)

Sydney White, Educator

Joined us September 2021

Sydney is our educator and provides educational programs to schools and the public both in house and off site throughout the Twin Tiers and Finger Lakes. Sydney writes curriculum in tandem with other educators. She supplies the public with the most accurate and current environmental, museum and trail information available.

Bob Kurcoba, Grounds and Maintenance Supervisor

Our Grounds and Maintenance Supervisor manages our two trail systems and hundreds of acres of property. He provides cleaning and oversight of maintenance of indoors, grounds and trailsIf you have questions or concerns about our facility, or wish to get involved with trail maintenance -- this is the one to email!

Nature Center and Museum location:
443 Coleman Avenue Elmira NY 14903

Phone: (607) 732-6060

Nature Center and Museum hours: OPEN Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm, and Saturday 10am-4pm. CLOSED Sunday-Monday. Trails are open dawn to dusk year-round.

Admission to the Nature Center and Museum is FREE to all. Please consider becoming a member of Tanglewood!

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