Jonathan Burgess

  • Director

Jonathan is proud to join to Water Collaboratory as the first full-time Director, working to maximize the impact of the University’s research capabilities and academic expertise for communities in our region. A native of Woodford County, Kentucky, he received his bachelors in Natural Resources from Sewanee:The University of the South in 2006. Following two years working in Durango, Colorado, Jonathan served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. During this time he collaborated with local farmers on conservation efforts and partnered with ICRISAT researchers on drought resistant crop trials. After completing his service, Jonathan moved to Pittsburgh as a Paul Coverdell Fellow at Duquesne University, pursuing a Masters in Policy Analysis. From 2015-2022, Jonathan worked at the Allegheny County Conservation District as Programs and Policy Director. There, he managed soil and water conservation programs and projects, oversaw land preservation efforts, and founded the District’s innovative urban soils program. In addition to those efforts, he was a Board member and officer for many years at both the Penn’s Corner Conservancy and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. Jonathan believes strongly in meaningful engagement with the communities and stakeholders impacted by our most pressing environmental challenges, as well as the need to apply a rigorous and nuanced methodology in efforts to research solutions. 

    Education & Training

  • B.A. Natural Resources, Sewanee: University of the South
  • GCPA, Policy Analysis, Duquesne University