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Hannah Ornelles

Conservation Coordinator


B.S. in Environmental Studies, University of North Carolina Asheville

M.S. in Water Resources Management, UW – Madison


Primary Responsibilities

Execute land protection projects including conservation easement and fee title transactions.

Work with landowners to manage and uphold existing DALC conservation easements.

Build and maintain relationships with landowners, volunteers, partners, and stakeholders.

Assist in administering land management and restoration projects.


Past Jobs & Experience

Following undergrad, Hannah spent two years serving as the AmeriCorps Land Protection and Education Associate at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) in Asheville, North Carolina. While at SAHC, Hannah contributed to protecting over 3,200 acres of pristine mountain habitats and sustainable farms by facilitating conservation easement and fee title property acquisitions. In working on these projects, she was inspired by the deep 'love for the land' of conservation-minded landowners and discovered a passion for helping property owners advance their conservation goals.


In 2021, Hannah returned to school to pursue a master’s in Water Resources Management (WRM) at UW Madison. A keystone of the WRM degree is an interdisciplinary practicum project in which Hannah and her cohort researched the parameters impacting wild rice growth on Lake Koshkonong. While at UW, Hannah also worked as a teaching assistant for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where she was responsible for leading weekly undergraduate discussion classes on various environmental topics. Hannah enjoyed fostering a connection to the natural environment with her students and encouraging them to think critically about environmental issues and possible solutions.


Favorite thing about the Driftless Area

“The rolling hills, prairies, and spectacular cliffs! I grew up visiting family in De Soto, WI, and remember being in awe of the picturesque hills of wildflowers in bloom in the summer - truly magical!”


Hobbies & Interests

Hannah enjoys doing just about anything active and outdoors. As a former college athlete, she’s an avid runner, swimmer, and cyclist and can often be found exploring Madison’s many bike paths. Since moving to the Midwest, she’s also been trying her hand at gardening – though admits she still has a lot to learn! Most of all, she loves taking her dog, Sadie, for long walks and adventures in the woods.

Hannah Ornelles
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