Protecting Nature. Preserving Life.

Eric Hunter at Larrison Rock, Oregon (Photo by Eric Hunter)

When most people think of business, they think “for profit”. But that term means only that the business takes its profits in money. Non-profit or not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) face the same general organizational challenges as their for-profit cousins only they take their profits differently–as diseases cured, adults taught to read, or children immunized, for example.  As for profit businesses are accountable to stockholders who could invest in other companies, NPOs are accountable to grantors who have other organizations clamoring for their money.

Since 2005, Frater Eric Hunter has been working in Portland, Oregon for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), America’s largest environmental non-profit, to ensure that they are making good use of the resources entrusted to them. As a grants specialist, Eric works with spreadsheets to track the organization’s expenses on publicly funded conservation and restoration projects while mastering the arcane, cryptic and confusing rules and regulations that go along with the funds.

For over six years, Eric has been supporting The Nature Conservancy’s work in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, Alaska and, most recently, in Hawai’i and the Palmyra Atoll. Among the roughly 50 active grants that he currently manages are projects including:
  • removal of invasive algae and restoration of a bay on Oahu
  • working with native Hawaiians to preserve their way of life as it relates to the sea and land
  • restoring the Hawaiian Islands’ watersheds and protecting them from invasive species
  • the return of native salmon to an estuary in Alaska
  • the restoration and return to proper mangement of a large scale forest in southern Oregon

Eric is also managing the single largest ARRA-funded grant awarded to TNC in the amount of $6.6 million for its work with the City of Ashland and Lomakatsi Restoration Project.

Eric remarks, “While it might not sound like the most exciting job out there, when I get out in the field and see the projects that I support, it makes it all worthwhile. Especially when I have to visit Hawaii in the middle of the Oregon winter.”

Eric Hunter got out of Tech in 1997 with the BS in Biology and again in 2002 with the Masters in Public Policy. When he’s not working to protect nature, he’s out there enjoying it as an avid participant in Cylco-cross.

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