Habitat & Stewardship Specialist
(540) 347-2334 ext. 7086
Celia began working as the Habitat & Stewardship Specialist in Fall 2015 after spending 2 1/2 years as PEC's Sustainable Habitat Program Assistant. Celia is also attending the Environmental Science and Policy graduate program at George Mason University where she is researching the occurrence of the parasite Nosema bombi on bumble bee populations in Virginia under Dr. Rebecca Forkner.
Before returning to PEC as the Habitat & Stewardship Specialist, Celia completed a Smithsonian Graduate Fellowship at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. As a graduate fellow she worked as the Grassland Plant and Pollinator Coordinator for the Virginia Working Landscapes program.
Celia grew up on a 172 acre tree and sheep farm in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. This fostered a passion for the natural world and a healthy land conservation ethic in her at a very young age. Celia completed a Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley College in 2011. While in school Celia held positions as a County Park Ranger and interned at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, both in the state of New Jersey.
After completing her degree, Celia worked as a Wildlife Management Consultant for the Appalachian Forestry Service in Newton, NJ. In the summer of 2012 before moving to Virginia, Celia interned as a Stewardship Assistant for Sudbury Valley Trustees, a land trust in Sudbury, Massachusetts. This was her first experience working for a land trust and she found that she enjoyed the work immensely!
Celia has also spent time working at Hill House Farm and Nursery in Rappahannock County under owner Janet Davis, learning everything she can about gardening with native plants. When not working at the PEC, Celia enjoys working on her native plant garden at her home in Bristow and also hiking with her husband Graham and their dogs Juno and Stevie.
Senior Editor & Public Relations Manager
(540) 347-2334 ext. 7021
Paula Combs is a Fauquier County native and Liberty High School graduate. She traveled west to receive a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and she majored in Broadcast Production Management with an emphasis in Photojournalism. After graduation, she traveled even further west to Los Angeles, California to work in film production and branded entertainment.
Though Paula enjoyed working in the entertainment industry, she wanted to use her skill set to make a difference. After transitioning to an environmental public relations firm, she worked on a variety of behavior change campaigns for issues such as stormwater management, public health, ocean pollution, recycling, littering and zero waste. In addition to her public relations responsibilities, Paula oversaw the outreach and evaluation strategies for projects such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund site, which educated Southern California anglers on safe consumption habits and sustainable fishing practices.
Paula relocated to Virginia in January 2013 and joined PEC’s staff in January 2014. She is extremely happy to be back in Virginia and working for an organization that protects the land she calls home.