We are dedicated to protecting the wilderness, native species, and the ecology of Cumberland Island.

The complex history of Cumberland Island requires public oversight and stewardship; our purpose is to help educate the public and hold decision-makers accountable.


Wild Cumberland supporters work together to ensure the long-term stewardship and preservation of Cumberland Island and its natural ecosystem.


Carol Ruckdeschel

Carol is a self-taught biologist, naturalist, environmental activist, and author who has lived on the island for over 40 years. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Cumberland Island National Seashore and its wilderness designation.

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Jessica Howell-Edwards

Jessica has been passionate about protecting the island since her first visit, 25 years ago. She’s proud to utilize her experience with activism, communication, and marketing to ensure the protection of Cumberland Island.

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Stephen Cofer-Shabica

Stephen is a biologist, researcher and naturalist with a Ph.D. in Geological/Biological Oceanography. He offers more than forty years’ experience as an oceanographer, naturalist, and consultant.

Panos Kanes

Panos first visited more than 40 years ago, owns property on neighboring Little Cumberland, and is committed to the protection of Georgia’s coastal ecology.

Jane Bradshaw-Burnett

Jane is a 7th generation Georgian, proud native Atlantan, and graduate of Georgia State University College of Law. As a community activist, she currently serves on the board of the Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority and is co-chair for the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes.

Advisory Board Members:


Kathryn Dudeck

Kathryn is currently the Wildlife Director of Chattahoochee Nature Center (Roswell, GA). She has a MS in Marine Sciences/Microbial Ecology and a BS in Zoology/Ecology from the University of Georgia.

Andy Hall

Andy is a native of Brunswick and passionate about coastal conservancy; he is also a retired registered Landscape Architect who attended the University of Georgia.

Madeline VanDyck

Madeline is passionate about conservation. She was a founding member of the Athens Greenway Commission, founding Chair of the Oconee Rivers Land Trust, and former President of Athens Chapter of the Georgia Conservancy.

Sasha Greenspan

Sasha is a research scientist at the University of Alabama, specializing in amphibian disease ecology. She earned a Master’s degree in Ecology at the University of Maine and a PhD degree from James Cook University in Australia.