Meet Our Staff
Lukatch is a Hazleton native who has extensive experience in nonprofit administration and fundraising most recently working at the Greater Pittston YMCA and Wyoming Valley Children's Association, Forty Fort. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton with a degree in Philosophy. "I have two passions, fundraising and helping others," stated Lukatch. "Finding a position at a place where I can combine my love of the outdoors and conservation with a passion for fundraising is thrilling. I look forward to being a part of the Lacawac team."
Sarah DeVaul Princiotta, PhD
Director of Research and Education
Sarah's Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Princiotta is a phytoplankton ecologist with focus on trophic interactions between members of the plankton and the subsequent implications for community structure. She received her BS and PhD in biology from Temple University. It is there that she developed an interest in mixotrophic protists that combine photosynthesis with ingestion of particulate prey (bacteria) These organisms, nicknamed “venus flytraps of the microbial world” are unique in that they can obtain energy at two trophic levels, allowing them to act as both primary producers and consumers.
Jamie Reeger joins the Lacawac team with more than 20 years of Environmental Education experience. Environmental education has never been a job for Jamie but a true passion in which to share her knowledge and wonder of being part of incredibly perfect planet. She is excited to help build the programs at Lacawac and can see amazing potential with a wonderful team of dedicated professionals. Beyond environmental education Jamie enjoys spending time with her husband Larry, and two children, Leah (5) and Caden (3). Jamie is an avid gardener and tries to grow much of the family’s food for the year. Eating local whole foods is another way she believes she can affect positive change for Earth and her family. She also enjoys biking, skiing, camping, canoeing and anything outdoors.
Charlene began her education in the Art field but quickly took to Environmental courses. She began her own art business but would close her studio during the summer and volunteer at the local nature center. After many years it led to a position that made Charlene happy and passionate about what she was doing. She became the Environmental Education Director for Bear Creek Camp and years later the Water Education Specialist with Pennsylvania Resources Council. Charlene found what she enjoy most is providing innovative, interactive, hands on programming to children as well as adults. “It is not just about my love of nature, but also to share that love and knowledge in hopes that others will become curious and passionate also.” This love of all things natural has led Charlene to her current endeavors and her work as the Environmental Center Coordinator for Mechanicsburg Area School District, as Nature Specialist for Lake Naomi Club, the Events Committee Chair and Naturalist for the North Branch Land Trust and now with Lacawac Sanctuary
Heidi Van Leuven is an NEPA-based artist and recent Lacawac artist-in-residence who draws much inspiration from nature, drollery, and the intertwining microcosms of life. After receiving her BFA in Painting with a Minor in Art History from Marywood University in 2005, she interned as a studio assistant with Brooklyn-based sculptor Dennis Oppenheim. She later attended Georgia Southern University and completed her MFA in Painting in 2009. Currently, Heidi teaches painting classes while working on a variety of art, antiquing, and music projects in the Scranton area.
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Marisa obtained her B.A. in History from Ohio University and M.S in Parks and resource Management from Slippery Rock University. Her experience with environmental education stems from a lifelong passion for the outdoors and nature. In addition to camping and exploring parks and trails on a regular basis, she spent four months hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail with her husband and dachshund. Her professional experience entails a wide and diverse range from environmental education at Fort Drum Army Installation to working for Walt Disney World in recreation. Marisa has also served as an AmeriCorps KEYS member with Reading Is Fundamental Pittsburgh as a Site and Outreach Coordinator where she encouraged youth to love reading as much as she does. In addition she has also worked for the National Park Service at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River as well as Virgin Islands National Park. Marisa’s favorite quote that she feel sums up her view of environmental education is from Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, its not.”
Land Stewardship Manager/Operations Manager