Meet The Staff: Nissa Dean
Meet our Virginia State Director
based out of the Virginia Office
Guenivere Nissa Dean was born in Prince Georges County, MD, but grew up in Richmond, VA, so depending on who you ask, she may or may not be considered a “Virginia native”. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies. Nissa is has a passion for natural resources and a dedication to the Chesapeake Bay which began with childhood memories of camping, hiking and playing in the James and Rappahannock rivers.
Nissa considers her greatest professional achievement so far to be developing and implementing the “Greening Virginia’s Capitol” project. Nissa maintains that if we want to demonstrate to the public the need to change the way we develop the land, then we need to start with how we manage our public lands. Her professional career has provided her with a background in a variety of water quality programs. She believes that love for the environment and local streams and rivers does not end at the close of her work day; but is something that one must live and breathe.
Nissa joined the Alliance, or perhaps we should say “came back to the Alliance”, in March of 2012 as the Virginia Director. Nissa began her career as an intern at the Alliance and quickly transitioned into a full-time employee in 2000, providing training in water quality monitoring, SAV and fish population sampling, coordinating restoration projects, and helping with the Susquehanna, Patuxent, and James River sojourns. In 2002 she left the Alliance to serve the Commonwealth at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, where she implemented the Chesapeake Bay tributary strategies and worked with localities and Soil and Water Conservation Districts on urban and agricultural best management practice implementation and watershed management. She is a 2010 graduate of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, and received the 2011 “Creative Scenic Enhancement Award” from Scenic Virginia for the “Greening Virginia’s Capitol” project.
Nissa spent her youth playing on the rivers and in the woods of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Her experiences as a child, playing, fishing, and crabbing on the water, undoubtedly contributed to her passion for the environment and her work. Nissa’s favorite hobbies are reading, gardening, camping, hiking, kayaking and generally just being outside with her children. She has two children, ages 10 and 12, that are the light of her life and the driver behind all that she does.