New-Native Foundation Staff

We are all-volunteer!

As a volunteer organization, we employ the most talented and progressive contributors we can find to take the mission forward. Without your unique skills, we could never reach our nationwide grassroots goals. If you think you have what it takes to help bring our team to the next level, please inquire about the open position that fits your experience best!

To learn more about New-Native Volunteer Opportunities, click here!


Founder/Director - Keith M. Cowley

As a Naturalist Educator and New-Native Forager, Cowley brings his intimate experience with the natural world to the table, pioneering his vision for an American Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ATEK) system. With the mission of networking together sustainability-minded educators he founded the New-Native Foundation in 2012. As the volunteer resident Naturalist and Program Coordinator (and Community Garden manager) for The Westerly Land Trust, he helps develop educational programs that support the mission and strengthen partnerships. He has also been employed in a similar capacity with the Tomaquag Museum, which focuses on preserving the stories and culture of Southern New England Tribes. For over ten years has worked as a scientific illustrator, exhibit designer, and creative consultant, services he now utilizes to enhance the reach and visibility of causes he believes in.

Cowley is the author of Presence, and Environmental Connection: A New-Native Initiative (Wild Animal Publishing, 2012). He resides in Westerly Rhode Island where he offers workshops, seminars and lectures, foraging walks and awareness/immersion hikes to his community.

(860)961-7720   |  | Keith's Personal Website:

Environmental Connection interview with Cowley in the Westerly Sun: click for article

New-Native Foundation interview "Modern Day Thoreau" with Cowley in Sun Chronicle: click for article

"Foraged of the Earth" Fundraiser article with Keith Cowley as New-Native Forager: click for article

Administrative Assistant - Ashley Self

After experiencing traditional herbalism concepts, philosophy and mentorship in her youth, Ashley was inspired to develop her own salves and remedies. Taking it to the next level, she attended the Women's Herbal Conference (twice) reinforcing her lifepath as an Earth advocate. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English Literature. She now contributes her writing and research skills as a volunteer for New-Native Foundation's mission.

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Database Administrator - Brian Fonnemann

The Database Administrator is responsible for the development, improvement and upkeep of the New-Native Foundation Educator Database, the most crucial and challenging initiative. As an Administrator, this volunteer position requires team management experience, persistent problem solving skills,  cross-platform integration and strategic planning, all while reporting only to the Director.

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Outreach Coordinator - Matthew J Costello

Matthew J Costello (Momo) grew up in the wildlands of northwest Rhode Island. There he spent much of his time avoiding school so he could frolic in the woods reading contraband copies of Walden and Call of the Wild. After nearly decade suffocating in the retail furniture business, intermittently having outdoor adventures whenever possible, he set out west for Oregon where he spent time working as a wilderness therapist, a meditation teacher, and a stint as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He returned to RI in 2011 and earned a master's degree in Holistic Leadership, and did a lot of kayaking and bodyboarding. He is currently setting up an eco-coaching business, attempting to finally connect his random adventures with the consistent passion of (e)connecting others in a systematic, holistic manner to nature. 

The Outreach Coordinator is responsible for successful introduction and maintenance of potential New-Native Educators in our publicly searchable database. Through strategic coordination of volunteers and interns, the Outreach Coordinator compiles educator referrals, interview and article submissions. This opportunity allows the Outreach staff to interact directly with Knowledge Keepers from across the nation.

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Marketing Coordinator - Kimberly Meneo

Kimberly Meneo grew up in Charlestown, Rhode Island, where she spent much of her time at the beach and exploring the marshes of the salt ponds. Kimberly graduated from Connecticut College in 2016 with degrees in English literature and Environmental Studies. She intends to use her writing and social media skills to inspire people to get outside and explore the natural world. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, and networking at-risk shelter animals.

The Marketing Coordinator is responsible for maintaining quality and continuity across all New-Native Foundation assets, branding, social media venues, events and strategic planning. Reporting to the Director, together they make development decisions that ensure the successful progression and sustainability of New-Native Foundation's public presence.

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Content Editor - Charlotte Kading

The Content Editor is responsible for maintaining quality and continuity across all New-Native Foundation assets, blog, interviews and articles submitted by New-Native Educators.  Reporting to the Marketing Coordinator, together they approve all content for user experience.

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