Getting to Know You: TLC’s New Communications Manager

September 23, 2014


Greetings! My name is Diana Hackenburg and I am extremely excited to introduce myself as Triangle Land Conservancy’s new Communications Manager. I’ll be working with TLC staff, board, and members to make sure all of the great conservation work being done to safeguard clean water, protect natural habitats, support local farms and food, and connect people with nature is known and recognized throughout the area! Instead of just writing out another biography, I thought I’d explain a little bit about myself and my background through photos.


I grew up on a small family farm in Northern Ohio where we primarily farmed corn, soybeans, and wheat.

My family’s chickens lay the tastiest eggs!

I attended Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio to pursue my love of the environment and science as well as my interest in leadership. My college career spurred a love for travel, which has led me to places like Costa Rica.

A curious Costa Rican Capuchin monkey wonders, what's for lunch?

I had the great privilege of interning in the State of Washington for the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, a nonprofit conservation organization, and in New Orleans as a student researcher at Loyola University – New Orleans.

Maple Pass, North Cascades, Washington; That's me on the right, collecting Phragmites along the Mississippi River near New Orleans, LA

Before graduating in 2009, I realized my true passion was connecting science to people so I decided to pursue further studies at Indiana University – Bloomington. While there, I studied both environmental science and public affairs.

Electrofishing for a Fish & Wildlife Management lab while at Indiana University

I worked as field botanist with Purdue University’s Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and as a biological technician with the USGS in South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills. I also served as a management fellow at Shalom Community Center, daytime resource center for people living in poverty and experiencing difficulties including hunger, homelessness, and a lack of access to basic life necessities where I became even more interested in nonprofit communications.

The life of a field botanist in Indiana's Yellowwood State Forest; My summer neighbors in South Dakota were awfully quite fellows (Mount Rushmore)

After Indiana University, I moved to Roanoke, Virginia with my now husband, Jesse. I began my professional career as Project Manager for the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy (BRLC), a nonprofit working to conserve land in six Virginia counties. I did a little bit of everything – from communications to stewardship to community outreach.

BRLC even let me form and lead an after-school garden club for local elementary school students

Seeing an opportunity to broaden my experiences and make a big impact in water quality, I left BRLC to work for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as a watershed field coordinator. While there, I worked with stakeholders to develop clean-up plans for impaired waters that focused on reducing nonpoint source pollution.

Sampling for PCBs on the New River

This summer, Jesse and I made the bold decision to move to the Triangle area for all the reasons that make it a great place to live – the cultural events, career opportunities, culinary scene, neighborhoods, weather, central location and of course, the abundance of accessible open space and outdoor recreation activities. We’re still settling into our new jobs and getting to know our new home. In our free time, we enjoy walking and hiking with our dog, Lucy.

Lucy is not impressed by the view from McAfee’s Knob on the Appalachian Trail

I am passionate about food in all its forms and enjoy cooking, baking, eating, and drinking (especially craft beer). 

Homemade pizza is my specialty

I also greatly enjoy listening to and making music (I play the French Horn), reading, and of course, traveling and exploring.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Multnomah Falls, Oregon; and horseshoe crabs near Edisto Beach, South Carolina

So now that you know a little bit more about me, I want to know more about YOU!

Do we share any common history or interests? Have you always been curious to know more about water quality and TMDLs (probably not, but maybe)? Where do you like to visit most in the Triangle and what are the not-to-be-missed restaurants? Getting back to the TLC side of things, what brought you to the blog today and maybe even, why do you support TLC’s work?

I’m so looking forward to getting to know YOU, why YOU support TLC, and what YOU want to hear about on this blog and through other TLC publications.



 Follow me on Twitter @dihacken

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