Hans grew up in McLeansville, NC. After frequent family vacations to the mountains of WNC, Hans attended UNC Asheville and received his B.S in Environmental Studies. While attending UNCA, Hans interned with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC) and focused on the conservation of non-game aquatic wildlife. Hans served two AmeriCorp terms with the Washington Service Corp/US Fish and Wildlife Service at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. After his terms of service, Hans returned to North Carolina to attend Appalachian State University and received his M.S in Biology. His research focused on the sequencing of native freshwater mussel DNA. Since graduating Hans has held positions with the NCWRC working on the propagation and re-introduction efforts of a proposed federally endangered freshwater snail, as well as helping inventory and protect non-game aquatic species. Outside of work, Hans enjoys backpacking and kayaking with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

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