Serves as lead environmental scientist on a wide variety of stream and wetland projects as directed by Land & Resource Associate and CEO. The candidate should have a firm understanding of wetland regulations and have experience managing and performing large-scale wetland delineations and other natural resource services.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - Unique places, llc
Jeff Fisher is Chief Executive Officer of Unique Places, where he provides leadership in business development and real estate investment. With 18 years of experience in real estate and land and resource conservation, Jeff has been involved in facilitating $500 million in land transactions and generated over $250 million in land conservation funding and tax benefits. Before co-founding Unique Places, Jeff served as Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Delta Project in Arkansas and as Executive Director of the Tar River Land Conservancy. Jeff holds a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.E.M. from Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment. He also received a Political Science B.A from North Carolina State University. He lives with his wife and two children in Durham, North Carolina.
OWNER/PARTNER - UNIQUE PLACES REAL ESTATE, LLC
DIRECTOR - UNIQUE PLACES GIS & DESIGN
Michael has over 13 years experience in business development, management, real estate, land conservation and GIS technologies. Michael is owner and partner at Unique Places Real Estate, LLC and also serves as Director for Unique Places GIS & Design. He served for nearly 10 years in the land trust industry and worked to conserve directly and in partnership over 160,000 acres of land in New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama and North Carolina. Michael currently serves as the Treasurer on the Board of the Quivira Coalition.
He received a Graduate Certificate in GIS from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, Huxley College of the Environment in Bellingham, Washington. Michael hails from rural Arizona and Eastern Washington State. He and his wife currently live in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico.
LAND & RESOURCE ASSOCIATE - UNIQUE PLACES, LLC
Aaron has over ten years experience leading teams on unique projects in international settings. He spent six years leading projects in conservation areas around Eastern Africa. While there, he managed projects as diverse as construction of safari camps, community schools, and water retention units. Between managing projects, he volunteered as a safari guide and worked on community / wildlife relationship endeavors. Aaron spent time in the US Army, where he helped lead Special Operations teams and projects, including building and operating a regional radio station in Afghanistan and coordinating relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Aaron has also worked for a number of years as a management consultant for the safari industry. More recently, he has worked in the US consulting on life science projects and process improvement projects for clients.
Aaron earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee and his MBA from East Carolina University. He lives outside of Durham, NC with his wife and two children.
MANAGING BROKER - UNIQUE PLACES REAL ESTATE, LLC
Catherine began her real estate career in 2004 during an exciting time in the real estate business. She began her career creating systems and strategies as well providing transaction coordination and property management for a high volume real estate team. She arrived in the Triangle for a change of scenery in 2010 and spent a short time in the bio-tech industry but quickly realized real estate was a love she could not run away from. With her vast real estate experience in real estate, Catherine is a true professional in her field with a focus on working diligently to sell your property and ensure a timely and smooth closing process.
As Broker in Charge, she continuously works to not only provide the best service to her clients, but also to ensure her firm has the strategies and systems in place to build the firm and build their brokers. Combining Catherine’s real estate experience coupled with an experienced and knowledgeable team at Unique Places allows for creative thinking and “outside of the box” ideas to flow.
When Catherine is not working to sell real estate, she keeps busy with her two boys and going on mini road trips as often as possible. On occasion you may even find her on a local volleyball court.
KATE LENZER, GISP
GIS & DESIGN associate - UNIQUE PLACES GIS & DESIGN
Kate comes to Unique Places with an impressive background in GIS and program management. Since graduating in 2011 from the University of New Mexico (UNM) with a Master’s degree in GIScience, Kate has worked as a researcher at UNM, applying GIS techniques to a wide diversity of projects. Kate is also a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) and continues to meet high standards for ethical conduct and professional practice as established by the GIS Certification Institute. She has expertise in creating geospatial tools and models for automated prioritization and has applied these tools to multiple land and resource planning efforts across the country. Kate has also co-authored several peer-reviewed papers on various GIS topics and has taught basic and advanced GIS courses at UNM. Although Kate likes to explore any data she can get her hands on, her favorite GIS solutions to design are raster-based suitability analyses and vector-based network analyses.
CHRISTINE PICKENS, PhD
GRANTS & PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR - UNIQUE PLACES, LLC
Christine is a coastal wetland ecologist with experience in conservation project management and partnership building. Christine has worked on a wide variety of restoration projects such as restoring barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico, improving marsh and oyster habitat in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and re-wetting pocosin in northeastern North Carolina. A true team player, Christine brings new partners to projects for a greater environmental and community impact.
Christine earned her Ph.D. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she researched mangrove and salt marsh interactions in response to climate change. She also holds an M.S. in Biology from Bowling Green State University and a B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Christine lives in Wilmington, NC with her husband, two children, and dog. She plays violin, sings, and is part of a ukulele choir.
ECO-ASSET ASSOCIATE - UNIQUE PLACES, LLC
Houston is a graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Resource Management, with a concentration in Forest Management. He has experience in managing private land, implementing conservation projects as well as research into various water quality issues. Houston has also done substantial work with both Habitat for Humanity as well as the Children’s Home of Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is an outdoor enthusiast, spending his free time fishing and hunting. He currently lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR - UNIQUE PLACES, LLC
Rachel graduated in 2018 from UNC Asheville with a B.S. in Environmental Studies—Ecology and Environmental Biology. She has been involved in community resilience development in response to climate change in the WNC region and environmental impacts on urban development and potential mitigation efforts which help improve communities. Rachel utilizes GIS mapping platforms and their application on these and other environmental issues. She likes romping around outdoors and her favorite places to explore are wetlands. She is currently based in Apex, North Carolina.