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Pyle, Silsbee and Silsbee: An Earth Team Family

Earth Team volunteers working in field.CT NRCS Landscape Ecologist and PhD Charlotte Pyle, has always been a strong supporter of the Earth Team Volunteer Program. Not only has she promoted the Earth Team, she has also recruited many volunteers over the years, including members of her family.

Charlotte has been referred to as the invasive plant guru as her extensive education and research in the study of invasive plants has made her an expert in the field. She is also a valuable asset to NRCS, and a great resource for staff, producers, and partners for both invasive and native plant issues. In addition, she has been a major contributor to the CT NRCS monthly newsletter since 2003. Her column, The Naturalist’s Niche, provides timely information on a number of topics from locally grown food, to bird calls, to seasonal changes.     

Volunteerism is a trait that runs deep in the Pyle-Silsbee family. Charlotte’s husband David Silsbee, who made his pathway to upper elementary Montessori education via field research jobs with the National Park Service and computer consulting (while being a stay-at-home Dad) also is an amazing wildlife photographer and has photographed and identified insects in their natural habitat for many years.  His work can be seen in a variety of articles and brochures that NRCS has produced. In addition to volunteering his photographic talents, David has also assisted in preparing materials for a number of workshops and outreach events.

Charlotte’s son Kedron Silsbee, currently studying astrophysics and volunteering as an algebra teacher, was the first high school student member of his town’s Parks Advisory Committee. He has contributed many volunteer hours assisting with technical editing of The Naturalist’s Niche and other brochures and fact sheets Charlotte has written. Via email, his strong senses of both language and logic continue to prove invaluable. On occasion, his companionship and ability to hold the other end of a tape in the field have been much appreciated. Both Kedron and David have helped out at many field events where Charlotte was representing NRCS.

“It’s wonderful to see a family combine their exceptional talents to help conservation in our state and beyond,” said State Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator Carol Donzella. “The Connecticut Earth Team counts itself lucky to have this exceptional trio on our team.”