Staff & Partners


Ben Carswell, Director of Conservation

Ben Carswell has been the Director of Conservation for the Jekyll Island Authority since 2012. Charged with implementing the Jekyll Island Conservation Plan, Ben’s mission is to coordinate responsible stewardship across the JIA organization and among its stakeholders to ensure that the diversity of native species and the integrity of natural communities on the island continue to be preserved and, where possible, enhanced. Accomplishing this task involves a balanced mix of research, education, adaptive management, and patience. Ben holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of Georgia. His career has included work with NOAA, the GA Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the GA Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, Little Saint Simons Island, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He currently represents the Jekyll Island Authority with appointments to the Coastal Advisory Council, the Georgia Sea Grant Advisory Board, the Coastal Georgia Greenway Board, and the Environmental Issues Subcommittee of the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. Ben lives on Jekyll Island with his wife Rachel and their young son, Henry.

Yank Moore, Conservation Coordinator

Guy “Yank” Moore was hired as a Conservation Technician in 2013 and promoted to Conservation Coordinator in 2014. He was born and raised in Brunswick, GA and has strong family ties to Jekyll Island. His dad’s family grew up on the island in one of the historic houses and his grandfather worked with the JIA from its inception, retiring in a leadership role after a long career. Yank holds a B.S. in Environmental Science with a Concentration in Biology from Berry College in Rome, GA and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. He has worked as a carpentry supervisor, an environmental consultant, a biology teaching assistant, and as a research assistant for a geologist studying the Chattahoochee River. This background serves him well in his multifaceted role as a technical expert and equipment specialist for our aquatic conservation and wildlife monitoring programs. A consummate outdoorsman, in his free time he enjoys playing sports like disc golf and soccer as well as fishing. Yank and his wife Kayde live on Blythe Island.

Breanna Ondich, Park Ranger

Breanna Ondich is the Park Ranger for Jekyll Island. She grew up in the countryside of northern New Jersey and graduated from the University of Tampa with a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Science-Biology. She began working at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in March 2011 as an AmeriCorps Member in the Research Department. In her time at the GSTC, she has helped manage the sea turtle nesting beach on Jekyll Island, worked internationally with the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, and in Costa Rica with Osa Conservation, COTORCO, and Reserva Playa Tortuga. In 2015, she was promoted to Park Ranger, expanding her role to include broader public outreach and education in addition to continuing her role with our sea turtle nest monitoring program. Bre serves as a stewardship ambassador, coming to the public in our beautiful outdoor spaces, offering information and guidance to help all enjoy and understand their connection to Jekyll’s environment. She is a resident of Brunswick.

Friends & Partners