A selection of notable professional accomplishments
Developed the forthcoming Bird Migration Explorer to protect North America’s birds as they travel throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Explorer is an interactive, online geospatial system that summarizes and visualizes annual migration patterns and conservation challenges for more than 450 species to empower Audubon and the public to take action to protect migratory birds.
Lead editor/author of the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, a peer-reviewed, transboundary synthesis of spatial data, wildlife ecology, and conservation issues. The project was completed in cooperation with numerous US, Canadian, and Russian agencies and organizations. The atlas won best in show and other cartographic awards at Esri’s 2018 User Conference. This and the earlier 2010 version of this atlas have been widely used by state and federal agencies for planning, preparedness, and response applications.
Initiated, designed, and implemented the Southeast Alaska Birding Trail. In partnership with the US Forest Service and Juneau Audubon Society, the trail attracts local to international birdwatchers to key migratory sites for birds, providing conservation engagement opportunities while contributing to the local economies of Alaska’s small, formerly timber-dependent communities.
Developed an original spatial method for mapping globally significant marine Important Bird Areas in collaboration with Audubon Pacific Flyway science staff. Published a scientific paper, and completed identification and nomination of Alaska’s network of >200 Important Bird Areas.
On behalf of the Seabird Working Group of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands Landscape Conservation Cooperative, led an assessment of climate change vulnerability for Important Bird Areas in the Bering Sea and was lead author on a scientific paper.
Led an analysis of ship-routing measures for the Bering Strait on behalf of a large coalition of environmental NGOs and the regional Alaska Native Organization. Worked with the US Coast Guard to advocate for a science-based approach and increased routing measures. Because of this work, the International Maritime Organization designated three Areas To Be Avoided that we recommended to protect birds, marine mammals, and subsistence hunting.
My colleagues and I presented our work on Important Ecological Areas in the Arctic Ocean to science staff at the White House, as well as the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Washington, DC. That effort, A Synthesis of Important Areas in the U.S. Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, informed President Obama’s permanent withdrawals from offshore oil and gas leasing.
Lead author of a Habitat Conservation Strategy for the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, using geospatial data to identify conservation priority areas. The proposal we developed became the basis for the Bureau of Land Management’s planning Alternative B, which was ultimately chosen, resulting in 11 million acres of protection in balance with industrial development.
Lead author of the Ecological Atlas of Southeast Alaska, a resource that steps through the physical and biological setting of the region, as well as maps of the distribution of fish, birds, mammals, and human uses, with information on conservation needs.
Developed a social media following while spending three weeks collecting seabird data aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. Wrote a daily science and natural history blog that reached 1700 readers. Created media content to engage the public through Facebook, Twitter, and an interactive webmap. Published a story in Alaska Magazine.
Identified top priority watersheds for fish and wildlife conservation in collaboration with other eNGOs. The Tongass 77, priority fish and wildlife conservation watersheds in Southeast Alaska, were protected by the US Forest Service in the 2016 forest plan and by the State of Alaska in land transfer legislation.
Participated in a Golden Eagle migration field study, including trapping, tagging, and measuring eagles and other raptors; and analyzing migration and winter range data. Mapped Golden Eagle natal origin regions using stable hydrogen isotope data and coauthored a scientific paper. (image: Daniel O’Donnel / Audubon)
Collaboration on a resource selection analysis to assess habitat use patterns of caribou prior to industrial development of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. Co-authored a scientific paper in collaboration with private industry, government, and eNGO scientists.