Joel E. Bronson
Joel (Jody) Bronson, a fourth generation land manager and forester, began working at Great Mountain Forest as a seasonal student forester in 1976 after attending Unity College’s Forest Technician program. He transferred to Keene State College as an environmental science and geography major and continued his seasonal employment at GMF. In 1978, he began his forestry career under the guidance of then forest manager Darrell F. Russ and in 1990, became forest manager upon Darrell’s retirement.
Jody oversees all phases of forestry operations including timber harvesting, wildlife habitat improvement, road building and maintenance, assisting researchers, and supervising student forestry interns, to name a few. Jody also manages the forest deer population through periodic census and oversees an annual deer hunting program. He is a member of The Society of American Foresters, Connecticut Forest and Park Association and is a Connecticut licensed forester. He is also a professional member of The Forest Guild. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Austin Cary Practicing Professional Award given by the New England Society of American Foresters. This award recognizes NESAF members who have shown exceptional achievement as practicing forest managers.
Jody and his wife Jean, GMF’s business manager and program coordinator, live in Falls Village, CT and have two daughters, Emily and Rachel. Jody’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell M. Russ
Russell Russ, a 1987 graduate of SUNY ESF with a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources Management, began his employment at Great Mountain Forest in 1984 as a student forester working on the summer crew. After graduation he briefly worked for the Connecticut Division of Forestry and then spent many years working in the landscape and building construction industries. In a career change that brought him back to the profession and lifestyle where he is deeply rooted he joined the full-time staff of Great Mountain Forest in 2001. Russell now holds the position of forester/weatherman. He is responsible for recording and monitoring daily weather activities for GMF and for the National Weather Service – a position formerly held by his father, forest manager Darrell Russ.
Russell’s main duties are weather observing and maintaining all weather records and managing the Yale Forestry Camp located at GMF. As manager for the camp he is in charge of overseeing all camp operations as well as scheduling and coordinating all camp groups. Assisting forest researchers, helping with on-site seminars, mapping/boundary work, timber harvests, maple syrup production and managing the GMF Shelter are just a few of Russell’s other duties. Russell is a Connecticut licensed forester and has been a continual member of the Society of American Foresters since 1987.
Russell grew up in Norfolk and now he and his wife Kim live in Colebrook, CT with their two children, Taryn and jack. Russell’s email address is
Communications, Development and Programs Coordinator
Jean Bronson, a graduate of Northwestern Connecticut Community College, first worked at GMF beginning in 1984 as a cook in the Yale Forestry Camp kitchen. Through this work, she got to know many of the people who have been involved with the forest over the years.
She began working as the GMF bookkeeper in 1993.
Currently, as Communications Coordinator, Jean serves as point of contact for GMF friends and visitors, maintains our website, writes our e-news and manages our Flickr photo archive.
As Development Coordinator, Jean maintains our mailing list, processes donations and thank you notes and coordinates donor events.
As Programs Coordinator, Jean develops educational programs and workshops for adults and children, recruits teachers and assists in program implementation. She also coordinates special events, receptions and field tours and manages our lecture series with local libraries.
You may run into Jean on GMF’s cross country ski trails or walking her dog Sierra through the woods. She lives in Falls Village, is married to GMF’s Forest Manager Jody Bronson and they have 2 daughters, Emily and Rachel. Jean’s email address is email@example.com.
Brandon Coleman is a 2016 graduate of the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Forest Resources. He began working on the Great Mountain Forest summer crew in May 2016 and is now a full-time intern forester after receiving his Connecticut forester’s license.
As an intern forester, Brandon works closely with the GMF staff to assist in forest operations, workshops, equipment maintenance, and the production of forest products including milled lumber, firewood and maple syrup.
In his work and spare time Brandon enjoys being outside and has an interest in rock-climbing and photography. Brandon’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.