John E. Johanson, CPHC, LEED GA

Coordinator, Design

The Post Contemporary, Special Projects Manager

John E. Johanson is an upstate New York based project manager, designer, and natural resource manager focused on sustainable and high performance architecture, historic rehabilitation, land use planning, and stewardship of our forest resources. John holds a Master's degree from Rensselaer, a variety of professional certifications, and he has extensive experience in the industry. John is active in conservation and arts non-profits.

Joseph Durkin

Coordinator, Trail Blazing

Rensselaer Land Trust, Board Member

Through the Land Trust and projects such as this, Joe is following up on a rewarding 30 year career at the NYS Dormitory Authority as an attorney in Counsel's Office and Director of Real Property Services. Joe was involved in financing, acquisition and construction of infrastructure for NYS programs and agencies including; State University of New York, City University of New York, Office for Persons With Developmental Disabilities and Office of Mental Health.

Kristina Younger

Coordinator, Fundraising

Rensselaer Land Trust, Treasurer

Kristina Younger is retired from a career in public service and now applies her knowledge of public funding, regional planning, and grant writing to land conservation and other causes. She holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley.

Ed Smathers

Coordinator, Trail Blazing

Dig the Falls, Founder

Dig The Falls has the most comprehensive New York State waterfall survey in existence. Creating volunteer opportunities in natural and wildlife areas, including trail building and litter cleanups.

John Haywood

Coordinator, Messaging

Waterfalls of Upstate New York, Founder

John is the founder of Waterfalls of Upstate New York, and has been capturing images throughout the region for over 25 years.

James Rath

Coordinator, Design

City of Troy, Assistant Planner

James is an Assistant Planner for the City of Troy, focused on improving neighborhood livability through land-use planning, transportation, and access to greenspace. With the Narrows, James primarily works on trail planning and acts a liaison between the project’s coordinators and the municipal government. Outside the office, you can find James bicycling around town or exploring Troy’s beautiful natural landscape with his two dogs.

Karl Backhaus

Coordinator, Trail Blazing

New York State Museum, Geological Mapper

As a lifelong resident of the City of Troy and frequent visitor to the Burden Pond Environmental Park, Karl joined the Narrows Project to protect and restore the area for current and future generations. Karl is a research geologist for the New York State Museum and is also involved in multiple volunteer organizations and brings his knowledge of natural/local history and bring in new members to help guide the project.