Nantucket Sanctuaries Director

Sam Kefferstan

Sam Kefferstan has been exploring the outdoors since he was a child. His passion for wild spaces only grew following a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Wyoming. Living out of a backpack in the Rockies inspired Sam to dedicate his life to educating others about the many ways they can safely enjoy the great outdoors while preserving the landscape.

Sam attended University of Massachusetts Amherst where he studied Natural Resources Conservation and Sociology. During his studies he became President of the UMass Outing Club and served as a Wilderness Ranger in Sequoia National Forest.

Following graduation, Sam was living in Andover, MA when the Merrimack Valley Gas Crisis occurred. The crisis deeply affected Sam, his community, and ultimately spurred him to join the Sunrise movement, a group demanding action in response to the climate crisis. Soon thereafter, Sam began serving as a TerraCorps service member with Mass Audubon and created the organization’s first ever Alternative Spring Break program among other projects.

Following his TerraCorps service, Sam began his new role as an Environmental Scientist supporting the permitting of solar and wind projects in Maine and Massachusetts. He was fulfilled by the work, but knew his true passion resides within connecting people with the natural world. Luckily for Sam, Mass Audubon was in need of a new director for its Nantucket sanctuaries.

In his role as Nantucket Sanctuaries Director, Sam intends to tap into his skills as a wilderness ranger and lead camping tours of the island’s wild spaces. These programs will provide an affordable option for different audiences to connect with Nantucket and all the natural wonders it has to offer. Sam also plans to preserve and manage Nantucket’s sandplain grassland, a globally threatened habitat type, by serving as a wildland firefighter on the island’s Prescribed Burn Team.