2024 Annual Meeting & Board Elections


NICHES Land Trust members are invited to attend the 2024 Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 22.

 Join NICHES from 1:30 – 3:00 pm at the John S. Wright Forestry Center, which is located in Martell Forest a 1007 N 725 W in West Lafayette. This year's meeting will feature the presentation the organization’s annual report and election of new and renewing board members. Members who cannot attend the meeting in person are invited to submit the absentee ballot found in the 2024 Spring edition of The Sprout.

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The meeting will be followed by a potluck reception. Everyone is invited to stick around for NICHES’ special Birthday Celebration from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., featuring cake, ice cream, and activities!


2024 Board Member Elections

Current members of NICHES are invited to take part in the annual election of board members. This year, we have 6 board members up for re-election and 4 members ready to serve their first term. Note: There is room on the board for all 10 candidates.

Members may vote for any candidates they wish by attending the Annual Meeting on June 22 or submitting an absentee ballot to NICHES no later than June 22.

New Board Members

Mike Bristol 
Mike Bristol is the owner and CEO of UpLync Communications, a telephone company based in Lafayette, Indiana. While growing up in rural southwest Missouri, Mike developed a love for exploring and spending time in nature. This continued into adulthood, reaching an apex in 2021 when he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. When he's not running UpLync, Mike enjoys spending time with friends and family, adventure biking, and relaxing in his hammock in some random remote spot.

Brad Carlson
Brad Carlson grew up exploring the outdoors in Minnesota where he got an undergraduate degree in biology. He then moved to Pennsylvania to earn a PhD in ecology, where he studied amphibian ecology and behavior. Since 2014, he has been a biology professor at Wabash College and conducts research primarily focused on box turtle ecology and behavior, including occasionally at NICHES Weiler-Leopold Nature Preserve. He frequently leads ecology course outings to natural areas in Indiana and to the Florida Everglades. Brad is passionate about protecting and restoring animal and plant populations and habitats and ensuring access to their benefits and beauty for generations to come. He lives in Crawfordsville with his spouse and their three children."

Krista Johnson 
Krista Johnson is a Botanist & Artist in Lafayette. They obtained their BA in Botany and minor in Horticulture from Purdue in 2020, and now work as a Greenhouse Lab Coordinator at the University. Krista has always gravitated towards community service, which has led them to work with organizations such as Felege Hiywot, NICHES and Grow Local. Krista’s goals are centered around intentional and impactful outreach, and ecological preservation and maintenance. In 2021 Krista established Lux e Noctis, a non-profit org aimed at educating about native plants, foraging, and ecological restoration.

Christian Knoeller 
Before relocating to Indiana in 1999, Christian has been actively engaged in various conservation causes over the years. This involvement includes working with Greenpeace in Oregon during the late 1970s, serving as a member of the Board of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) in Juneau in the mid-1980s, representing the Friends of Glacier Bay, and more recently advocating for the environment in Carroll County. Additionally, as an academic who has been teaching at Purdue University for the past two decades, Christian’s primary scholarly focus has centered on environmental history.

Returning Board Members

Jarred Brooke
Jarred Brooke is a long-time NICHES supporter, volunteer, and generally nature nerd. His full-time job is working as an Extension Wildlife Specialist at Purdue University, where he works with students, landowners, land managers, and conservationists to promote the sound stewardship of land and wildlife resources. In his free time, Jarred enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, foraging, hiking, and camping with his wife Macy and their young sons, Jack and JR.

John Graveel
John Graveel is beginning his seventh year on the NICHES board. John has served as the Director of the Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES) program at Purdue University and was a faculty member in the Agronomy Department. Since retiring in 2019 John has been actively involved in the renovation and updating of the trails at Clegg.

Trent Hanthorn
Trent joined the NICHES board in 2018. In his time on the board, he has served as the Development Committee Chair, Vice President, and President. Trent also serves as the Treasurer for NICHES Endowment Foundation. He serves on the Development Committee and Finance committee. Outside of NICHES, Trent is a native of Lafayette Indiana and a graduate of Lafayette Jefferson High School and Purdue University. He is a Small Business Banker for Centier Bank. He has been married to Kristen since 2007 and the two of them have 4 children. They enjoy hiking, camping, hunting and spending time outside as a family.

Jenna Isch
Jenna Isch joined the NICHES Board in April 2021 and serves as the chair of the Governance Committee and is a member of the Development Committee. Jenna’s involvement with NICHES started with her enjoyment of visiting Clegg Gardens and then becoming a corporate supporter of NICHES. Jenna owns a Farmers Insurance and Financial Services Agency in Lafayette. She is an Indiana native and has lived in the Greater Lafayette community for 17 years. She loves spending time outside exploring NICHES properties with her husband Andrew and daughter Quinn. Connecting with nature was a big part of Jenna’s childhood and being able to share that experience with her family and preserve equitable space for others to enjoy is what motivates her involvement with NICHES.

Mike Murr
Mike Murr takes pride in his six-year tenure serving on the NICHES board and acquisition committee. He eagerly anticipates continuing to support NICHES in reaching its preservation goals. In addition to his board service, Mike is a regular participant in NICHES controlled burn crew. Mike believes that collectively as an organization, we are enhancing North Central Indiana, making it a more favorable environment for people, plants, and wildlife.

Brent Talcott
Brent joined the NICHES board in 2021 and currently serves as the Treasurer of the organization and chairs the Finance Committee. In his service to NICHES Brent notes “We are constantly seeking to expand the reach of the organization, and having a strong financial footing allows NICHES to do what it does best which is steward land for current and future generations.” Outside of his day job as Regional President for First Merchants Bank, Brent enjoys coaching baseball, visiting national parks with family and friends, and being involved in a variety of community boards for organizations including Sunrise Christian Reformed Church, the United Way, the Purdue Center for Economic Education, and the Lafayette Parks Foundation.


For questions, please contact or call 765-423-1605.


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