Scott Quitel

The founder of Land Health Institute is Scott Quitel. Scott has extensive experience in ecologically-based land use planning, ecological restoration analysis, and ecological landscape design and construction. Scott teaches courses as an adjunct professor at several local Universities, in addition to holding an array of volunteer-based positions on various boards and committees. Scott speaks frequently on topics that include planning, design, and ecology, and is one of the most prolific providers of educational ecology and design-oriented tours and hikes, which he leads for people of all ages in natural areas in and around Philadelphia. 


Scott holds an AB from Brown University (Honors Thesis: “Rebirth of the Providence Waterfront”), an MBA from Temple University, and a JD from Temple University. He has completed 69 credits for coursework in ecology, landscape architecture, horticulture, geology, and soils science at Temple University and Drexel University. He holds a wetland delineation certificate for coursework completed at Environmental Concern, and he is an ISA Certified Arborist. Prior to his founding role at LandHealth, Scott served as Principal Ecologist for Applied Ecological Services (AES), where he worked from 2006 through 2014. While at AES, Scott led the visioning, public process, and design of a diverse array of design and design-build projects, including many high-profile projects such as the Washington Avenue Pier and the Meadow at Longwood Gardens.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones serves on the LandHealth Board of Directors. He is President of Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers, a non-profit, community-based ecological restoration program based in the Wissahickon section of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.  He also serves the steering committee of the Kelly Green Committee, a community/student/teacher collaboration at J.B. Kelly School in Germantown, and the Wissahickon Sustainability Council, a school-based program at Cook Wissahickon school in Roxborough.


Steve is an Assistant Professor at Community College of Philadelphia. He earned a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the author or co-author of a number of English language teaching textbooks and digital materials used in adult language programs throughout the world.

Dan Kobza

Dan Kobza is an urban environmental educator. He is the Program Manager for Land Health Institute, and has almost a decade of experience teaching nature to kids from the city, before which he did field work for environmental conservation. Dan is passionate about spending time outside and about sharing this passion with others.

Most recently Dan managed and administered two of Philadelphia Water’s education programs: the Wild West Philly and Jr. Docent programs.  Prior to this, he has taught for local organizations including the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center, Fair Hill Burial Ground, Catalysis Education Solutions, Overbrook Environmental Education Center, and Philadelphia Parks and Rec. His time as a field biological technician for NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory involved collecting radar and remote audio data, conducting night vision observations, and performing mortality studies as part of pre- and post- construction impact studies at wind farm sites in rural Appalachia, the Tug Hill Plateau of upstate New York State, Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, and the sewage treatment plant of Atlantic City, NJ.  Dan is an enthusiastic birder and beginning angler, and has participated in The World Series of Birding, captained an area for the Christmas Bird Count, and caught several catfish. When he’s not in the field or working with students, Dan also teaches and tutors  high-school and graduate test prep for The Princeton Review. Relatedly, he enjoys complicated puzzles and games and reading the classics.

Matthew Karnatz

Matthew Karnatz is a volunteer greenhouse manager for Land Health Institute.  He helps care for the native plants and helps maintains the structures at the nursery site.  He has a B.S. in cellular and molecular biology and extensive graduate-level training in ecology and evolutionary biology.  His graduate research focused on the interaction of a changing climate and its effects on painted turtle hatchlings.  He has built several solar-powered climate stations to monitor atmospheric and soil conditions (in the turtle nests as well) for his research.   This encompassed both field and laboratory study components allowing him a broad understanding of biological research.


Matthew is an avid gardener and has a meadow patch, woodland shade, vegetable, and fruit garden at home.  When he can’t be outside he enjoys building and tinkering with anything; he also brews beer, wine, and mead.  His three cats are great company, most of the time.

Dan Garlen

Dan Garlen brings the Land Health Institute a wealth of technical and executive experience from the private sector.  He believes in putting nature back ™ in our neighborhoods through better understanding the challenges and opportunities of land remediation and improvement.



Throughout his career, he has directed and managed projects in all phases of software electronics and product design through the preparation of technical proposals, specifications, documentation, testing, deployment, and support.  He has shown strong leadership and communications skills are proven as an engineering program manager, sales engineer and technical trainer.



He recently updated his skills when he earned his Masters of Technology Management (EMTM) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering (co-sponsored by Wharton) to augment BSEE from Drexel University earned thirty years earlier.


Dan enjoys the water.  Be it boating, scuba diving or just looking out his window onto the Delaware River.  He also respects water and the damage it can cause. His family home was flooded by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  In an effort to correct building errors of the past, he researched NJ DEP floodplain management requirements then applied for and earned a Hazard Mitigation Grant from FEMA to flood-proof and elevate his house.


Dan is a life-long advocate of respecting nature and sustainable resources.  He believes conservation and restoration is our responsibility today and cannot be left as a liability to our children.  As an Eagle Scout, he practiced and "preached", leaving campsites, trails and our planet better than we found them. He drove an electric car lived in a passive, geothermal solar envelope home.  It was these core beliefs combined self-reflection when during a mid-career change and his fortuitous meeting of Scott Quitel during the pier 53 (Washington Avenue) that brought him to Land Health Institute.


Over the past several years he has gladly volunteered his time where he can share his talents and passions such as The Franklin Institute as a Science Demonstrator and more recently as a Volunteer Diver at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.  He looks forward to his new responsibilities in helping the Land Health Institute grow, thrive and make a difference.

In Memory of: Paulette Rhone

We remember Paulette Rhone who passed away in February of 2019. 


She was the Executive Director of LandHealth Institute and a Philadelphia native.  Her passion for nature and community empowerment through both experiential and educational opportunities in nature was in keeping with LHI's mantra to Put Nature Back.  She completed the Penn State Extension Master Gardener training and was a Philadelphia Citizen Planner.


Paulette was a founding board member of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery and served as the organization's president starting in January 2012.  The restoration and preservation of this 200-acre cemetery, abandoned in 2011, had been a great passion of hers. She also served on the Board of the Mount Moriah Cemetery Preservation Corporation, the court ordered receiver of the cemetery’s assets.


Paulette retired from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics as the region's Budget Analyst in 2007.  She enjoyed her family, her church, learning new things, reading, and gardening.




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