Special Online Program

Climate Change and the A.T. Landscape

View a recording of the program below.


On March 25, 2021, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy hosted a conversation on one of the most pressing issues facing the Appalachian Trail and the world at large: climate change. As global temperatures rise, the impacts to the A.T. (and beyond) could forever change the landscape, biodiversity, and the hiking experience. Through a discussion with climate experts Harvey Locke and Charles C. Chester, we reviewed the expected impacts to the Appalachian region and the actions we can take to ensure the A.T. is as protected as possible from climate change’s most damaging effects.

Developing online programs like Climate Change and the A.T. Landscape is only possible thanks to your support. It is an honor to continue working together to protect, manage and advocate for the Appalachian Trail.


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team

Panelist Biographies

Harvey Locke

Harvey Locke is a conservationist, writer, and photographer. Known for his passionate public speaking in favour of Nature on every continent, he is a recognized global leader in the field of parks, wilderness, large landscape conservation and integrating nature and the climate. He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force. He is a founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and of the Nature Needs Half Movement. His work has been featured in international films and television programs and his photography has been used in many publications in many countries. His popular writing has been published in English, French, and Spanish, he has co-curated art shows about Nature in North American museums, and he has written many peer-reviewed articles. Named one of Canada’s leaders for the 21st century by Time Magazine, Harvey has been recognized with a number of awards for his work including the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award by the IUCN WCPA and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Harvey received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calgary in June 2018. He lives in Banff National Park, Canada.

Charles C. Chester

Charles C. Chester is Chair of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Council and Board Chair of Bat Conservation International.  He co-edited the volume Conservation & Climate Change: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning and Action (Island Press 2012) and authored Conservation Across Borders: Biodiversity in an Interdependent World (Island Press 2006), which examined the global phenomenon of transboundary collaboration for conservation biodiversity protection, with a focus on the Sonoran Desert (USA-Mexico) and the Northern Rockies of Canada and the United States (Yellowstone to Yukon). He teaches global environmental politics at Brandeis University and at the Fletcher School of Tufts University, and is currently building the website, GEP-guide.net, an online guide to global environmental politics. He previously served on the board of Root Capital and consulted for the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and is currently researching a book on the interwoven histories of gorilla conservation, American taxidermy, European royalty, protected area philosophies, and climate change.

Sandra Marra

Prior to taking on the role of ATC President and CEO, Sandra “Sandi” Marra has taken on a wide range of roles in service of the Trail and the Conservancy. She has been an A.T. volunteer for over 35 years and is an Honorary Life Member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. In addition, she is a life member of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA), a Founding Member of the Appalachian Trail Museum, and, in 2009, was the recipient of the Appalachian Scenic Trail 25-year Service Award. She and her husband oversee three miles of the Appalachian Trail in northern Virginia and are co-managers of PATC’s Blackburn Trail Center

Sandi was on the ATC Board of Managers from 1999-2005 and played a significant role in leading the organization through its transition from Conference to Conservancy. She was a member of the first ATC Stewardship Council, which was convened in 2005. She joined the Board of Directors in 2008 and has chaired both the Membership and Development Committee and the Strategic Directions Committee. Sandi served as ATC Chair since 2013 until taking on the role of President & CEO in 2019.

For the past four years, Sandi has provided strategy and development services for nonprofits including strategic planning, board development and training, board-staff relations, and change management support to boards and executive staff.

She has experience in leading organizations in both executive staff and board roles. In 2015, she retired from her position as Chief Operating Officer of St. Coletta of Greater Washington, a $20 million nonprofit organization supporting educational and service programs for developmentally disabled children and adults. Prior to St. Coletta, Sandi worked for a variety of both nonprofit and private sector organizations providing strategic, operational and human resource management.

Sandi now lives in Harpers Ferry with her husband, just a short walk from ATC Headquarters and the Appalachian Trail itself.