Aaron Tjelmeland is the Upper Coast Project Director for The Nature Conservancy. Aaron grew up in eastern Iowa, where he studied Ecology and Botany at Iowa State University. He came to Texas in 2004 for graduate work where he studied grassland restoration and wildlife management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He later worked for the university in avian ecology research and invasive plant research programs. He came to the Conservancy in 2011 and currently oversees a variety of projects which include preserves of coastal tallgrass prairie, bottomland forest, and estuarine marshes, as well as a regional prairie restoration program.