Dedicated to the study, interpretation and conservation of our natural resources.
Dr. Melissa Grigione President
Melissa was raised in Scarsdale and developed her love for nature and animals as a result of spending time at the Weinberg Nature Center. Her fist job in college was "Staff Naturalist" at Weinberg! Melissa spends her professional life studying endangered animal species in the US, South America, Mexico and Africa. When at home in NY, Weinberg remains one of her favorite places. As open spaces and quiet places continue to be disturbed by development in NY, Weinberg becomes a refuge for both wild animals and humans alike. Melissa is honored to be part of a board that values and will protect this very unique treasure.
Ella Kohn Treasurer Secretary Program Chair: Advertisement
Bio and photo coming soon!
Lois Weiss Senior Advisor to the Board
Soon after moving to Scarsdale from Manhattan, Lois attended the initial organizational meeting of Friends of the Weinberg Nature Center, Inc. prior to its official formation and soon helped secure its 501(c) (3) not-for-profit designation. She was the board President for many years and continues to serve on the board even though she now lives in Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson River. An animal lover from birth, she has a B.S. in Business with a minor in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire where she worked on the University-owned large animal farm. Her home has always been inhabited by numerous creepy, crawly, furry and swimming critters - not counting her husband and three children.
Lois joined the New York Post as a freelancer in 2000, and her trademarked, Between The Bricks, real estate gossip column is a Wednesday must-read. Weiss also covers the "green" building movement as it pertains to commercial and multi-family residential properties. Weiss writes a weekly newsblast for CityFeet.com and a monthly Biz Buzz report for the luxury glossy, Gotham, along with occasional columns for other real estate industry publications. She was contributing editor to Real Estate Weekly for a decade and is also a photojournalist whose pictures often illustrate her articles. She is also a frequent speaker and moderator at industry events. Lois is the immediate past Chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Editors and has held several other senior board positions. On the weekends she can be found kayaking in the Hudson River or shooting her AR-15 in competitions.
Emily Herzfeld Program Co-Chair: K-12 Education Program Chair: Adult Education Program Chair: Nature Deficit Disorders: Psychological Importance of Nature
Bio and photo coming soon!
Steve Frantz Program Co-Chair: K-12 Education
Bio and photo coming soon!
Dr. David Oestriecher Program Chair: Native Peoples
Dr. David M. Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenapé (Delaware), our region's first inhabitants, having conducted linguistic and ethnographic research among the last tribal traditionalists for over 30 years. The late renowned elder and traditionalist Touching Leaves Woman (Nora Thompson Dean, 1907-1984) called him her "Key in the East," and she and other elders relied upon him to help preserve and disseminate knowledge of her people.
Oestreicher is curator of the award-winning traveling exhibition, In Search of the Lenapé: The Delaware Indians, Past and Present, which critic William Zimmer in the New York Times described as "an extended reverie," capturing "the vitality and poignancy of the Lenape saga." Oestreicher's writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals and books, and he completed the final portion of the late Herbert C. Kraft's The Lenapé-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 B.C. - 2000 A.D. -- a tome subsequently hailed by scholars as the seminal work on the Lenapé. Oestreicher's monograph, "The Munsee and Northern Unami Today" in The Archeology and Ethnohistory of the Lower Hudson Valley and Neighboring Regions (1991), marked the first ethnographic account of the Hudson River Lenapé (now the Canadian Delaware) since the work of anthropologists M. R. Harrington (1908, 1913, 1921) and Frank G. Speck (1945). In 1995 Oestreicher attracted international attention when he provided the first conclusive evidence that the Walam Olum, long believed by many to be an authentic Lenapé epic, is in fact a 19th-century hoax perpetrated by the well-known scholar and charlatan, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque. Consequently, the Archaeological Society of New Jersey received the outstanding Award for Excellence (an annual award granted for the best piece of historical writing in New Jersey) from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey for publishing Oestreicher's "Unmasking the Walam Olum: a 19th Century Hoax." Following the publication of Oestreicher's research, the Delaware tribe of northeastern Oklahoma officially withdrew its former endorsement of the alleged ancient epic.
Oestreicher holds a master's degree in Hebraic Studies from New York University (1985), and a master's degree and doctorate in anthropology from Rutgers University (1991, 1995). He has worked as a lecturer, consultant, curator, and independent scholar.
Sofia Qureshi Program Chair: Fundraising
Sofia holds degrees in Environmental Anthropology. She has been working in environmental education for 12 years both in the classroom and outdoors. The Weinberg Nature Center holds a special place in her heart as she grew up in Scarsdale. A resident of California, she misses the fall foliage of the Northeast, particularly at the Center and Saxon Woods.