My career focus is the conservation of intact ecosystems, migratory birds, and Arctic fauna through the application of geospatial data. During the last two decades my focus expanded from early learning in the desert Southwest, to environmental consulting in the Rocky Mountain West, then over a decade of conservation work across Alaska, and now to protecting migratory birds throughout the Americas. I am a geographer and spatial ecologist with an interdisciplinary background in geospatial and applied conservation science, conservation strategy and planning, land management policy, and building products for public engagement around science and conservation issues. I am truly honored to say that my collaborative work has guided the protection of millions of acres for Arctic birds and wildlife. My experience includes:
- managing interdisciplinary teams to synthesize scientific data and deliver actionable, decision-ready information for policy applications;
- collaboratively producing science-based products and achieving conservation goals for broad-scale, often-contentious resource management issues;
- designing ecological atlases, synthesizing spatial data for large, remote landscapes, and setting landscape conservation priorities, for both marine and terrestrial environments.
- spatial ecology, GIS, cartography, conservation planning, environmental policy and NEPA, spatial analysis and modeling, and wildlife ecology.
I am trained in environmental science, geography, and environmental policy, as well as:
- certified in GIS, sustainable energy, permaculture design, and interpretive natural history;
- field experience in a broad range of ecosystems from the Arctic Ocean to the desert Southwest, with a particular focus on Alaskan ecology;
- lifelong birder with knowledge of ornithology and wildlife ecology;
- senior leadership, program strategy, non-profit boards, advanced policy and media training, managing staff and budgets.
Program Director, Migratory Bird Conservation Platform, Science Division, National Audubon Society
Anchorage, Alaska, August 2018 to present
Direct the development of an interactive, online migratory bird information system that visualizes and synthesizes migration patterns and threats across the Americas to inform conservation needs of migratory birds.
Director of Conservation Science, Audubon Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska, July 2013 to July 2018
Directed the Alaska state office’s Southeast Alaska, Arctic land & marine, and Important Bird Areas science programs. Provided conservation strategy and directed a team of scientists in data synthesis, analysis, and visualization to inform environmental policy and achieve conservation goals.
Spatial Ecologist, Audubon Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska, April 2008 to June 2013
Provided science expertise for the organization’s Southeast Alaska, Arctic marine, and Arctic terrestrial landscape initiatives, as well as the statewide Important Bird Areas program.
GIS Director & Environmental Scientist, Ecosystem Research Group
Missoula, Montana, February 2003 to March 2008
Conducted environmental research, spatial analysis and landscape modeling, and writing as part of a team of environmental scientists. Acted as director of GIS-related activities for the company.
Public Comments Coordinator, Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument
Lewistown, Montana, October 2002 to January 2003
Performed content analysis on public scoping comments from a wide range of stakeholders on the Draft EIS for management of the new Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Biological Sciences Technician, USFS Prescott National Forest
Prescott, Arizona, May to October 2001
Conducted ecological inventories and monitoring (ocular estimates of foliar canopy cover, frequency monitoring), identified and measured many aspects of plant community composition/structure and soil condition.
Co-Chair, Boreal Partners in Flight
Anchorage, Alaska, December 2018 to December 2020
Provided leadership for the Boreal chapter of Partners in Flight, primarily through coordination and submission of public comments on projects in Alaska such as development of Pebble Mine, repeal of application of the Roadless Rule to the Tongass National Forest, the management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve, and the incidental take provision of the national Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Coordinated and hosted the annual meeting.
Dog Mushing & Skijoring Instructor, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Becoming an Outdoorswoman Winter Workshop)
Chickaloon, Alaska, every March, 2010 to 2019
Co-instructed a workshop on dog mushing and skijoring for the Becoming an Outdoorswoman Winter Workshop. Taught dog handling, dog care, mushing and skijoring equipment, how to ride a dog sled, and dog training. Taught three half-day courses with ten students per class over a three-day weekend each winter.
President and Mentorship Program Coordinator, Alaska Women’s Environmental Network
Anchorage, Alaska, September 2009 to December 2012
Provided leadership to the organization in the following areas: meetings & events, networking, development & funding, and cultivating leadership. As the Mentorship Program Coordinator, developed and organized AWEN’s mentorship program to inspire and cultivate future environmental leaders. Formerly as President, represented AWEN in the environmental community and encouraged inclusive membership from women of various backgrounds.
Seabird Observer, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Anchorage, Alaska, October 2012
Spent three weeks aboard an ice-breaking vessel, the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, recording seabird and marine mammal sightings along 300-m strip transects. The 5200-mile voyage traveled from Dutch Harbor, Alaska north through the Bering Strait, through the Chukchi Sea to Hanna Shoal, across the Beaufort Sea to the entrance to the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic, then returned to Dutch Harbor. Wrote a daily blog about the journey followed by ~1700 individuals, and wrote a popular article for Alaska Magazine.
Board Member, Anchorage Skijor Club
Anchorage, Alaska, May 2010 to May 2012
Attended board meetings and participated in club events; acted as a point of contact for the club; organized skijoring events and races; taught skijoring classes; broadened the reach of the club and encouraged membership.
Education Program Presenter, Bird Treatment & Learning Center
Anchorage, Alaska, October 2008 to June 2010
Took part in a six-month training course, which included falconry training and public presentations. Was certified as an education presenter for the center’s Northern Goshawk, giving presentations to school groups, local families, and Alaskan tourists at a variety of public venues.
Avian Rehabilitation Clinic Technician, Bird Treatment & Learning Center
Anchorage, Alaska, June 2008 to June 2009
This volunteer position consisted of injured-bird care for a variety of raptor, corvid, songbird, and waterfowl species. Daily work included sanitation of cages and mews, medical care, nutrition, and capturing/handling birds as small as songbirds and as large as bald eagles.
Raptor Biologist & Spatial Analyst, Raptor View Research Institute
Missoula, Montana, September 2007 to 2010
This position initially consisted of field work (trapping, examining, banding/tagging/collaring raptors). Subsequent spatial analysis was performed for the Adult Golden Eagle Satellite Tracking Project, analyzing migration routes, movement patterns, and wintering and breeding grounds.
Student Researcher (Graduate), Department of Geography, University of Montana
Missoula, Montana, August 2004 to May 2007
Thesis work was a union of raptor ecology and individual-based spatial simulation modeling. Developed, tested, and implemented a dynamic individual-based simulation model for predicting habitat and population dynamics of northern goshawks.
Student Researcher (Undergraduate), Department of Environmental Studies: Alaska Field Studies, Prescott College
Prescott, Arizona, May 2000 to May 2001
Traveled extensively in Alaska over three summers and participated in the Alaska Studies Semester studying ecology and environmental policy across the state from the Arctic Ocean to Southeast Alaska. Senior thesis focused on the natural history of Glacier Bay and Southeast Alaska emphasizing primary succession, long- and short-term glacial processes, geologic history, and natural history of marine and terrestrial life.
GIS Technician (Undergraduate), Department of Environmental Studies: Alaska Field Studies, Prescott College
Prescott, Arizona, February to May 2001
Conducted analysis as part of an advanced GIS course. Analyzed elk security zones in Gunnison Basin, Colorado, identifying areas safe from recreational disturbances. Mapped Isla Alcatraz, Sonora, Mexico, for the Prescott College Marine Studies Center in Bahia de Kino. This project included field work using GPS and lab work to create interpolated bathymetric surfaces and 3D views of the island and surrounding ocean bottom.