The Nature Conservancy's mission is to conserve the lands and
waters on which all life depends.
TNC's Washington Conservation Science Program supports this mission by engaging as collaborative partners with public & private agencies, by pioneering new approaches to conservation, and by providing the best available science at all levels of decision making.
Roger grew up in Nigeria where his childhood fascination with natural history was sparked by oiny-going-goings and ungaloos. Similar experiences with odd plants and animals in Washington and later Argentina sent him on a career trajectory studying ecology. Currently, Roger works on conservation of coastal watershed and estuarine biodiversity, focusing on Puget Sound. He is developing tools to help coastal managers assess and restore estuaries, working with partners on a regional monitoring and adaptive management framework for river delta restoration, and identifying links between healthy ecosystems and healthy human communities. As an undergrad, Roger was the only vegetarian Animal Science major. Currently, he is neither a vegetarian nor an animal science professional.
Liane’s work primarily focuses on watershed ecology: in essence, how can we restore ecological processes and functions representative of late-seral forest landscapes to forests and streams found within managed, working-forest landscapes. She lead the design and implementation of a long-term study at TNC’s Ellsworth Creek preserve to evaluate the efficacy of active and passive watershed restoration pathways. This effort included extensive ecological monitoring throughout the watershed in order to quantify pre-treatment conditions, evaluate long-term treatment response, and inform on-the-ground management and restoration practices. Another element of her work that she enjoys is connecting Ellsworth Creek to similar projects throughout the region through groups such as the Pacific Northwest Forest Restoration Learning Network as a way to facilitate communication of scientific information and expand knowledge of watershed restoration. In her spare time, Liane has no plans for competing in the Tour de France but she did make it to the top of the race’s famous Mt. Ventoux during a bike tour of southern France last fall.
Kara has studied coastal areas in Washington and Chile, and has a strong interest in applied conservation and planning. Her background includes intertidal biodiversity and plankton ecology research, biology education, and science-based planning and adaptive management facilitation. She currently leads community-based conservation planning to set priorities and develop strategies locally and regionally. Kara is also dedicated to advancing conservation planning and practices and is working on integrating socioeconomic values as well as climate change adaptation science to inform policy and implementation. Kara’s favorite place in the entire world is a Pacific Northwest beach.
Sonia provides science support for central and eastern Washington programs. Her current focus is central Washington, in shrub steppe and dry forest systems (Moses Coulee Conservation Area and Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, respectively). She works with program staff to determine how best to learn from the stewardship and restoration actions taken, and what scientific knowledge or tools can be brought to bear to strengthen the scientific support for decision making. She is currently starting a research project focused on identifying species that can be monitored as indicators of the impacts of climate change in shrub steppe and east-side forests. She is also working with program staff to develop a wheat field restoration experiment, and a monitoring plan to measure progress towards shrub steppe conservation goals.
As a GIS Specialist, Erica provides cartographic and data management support to The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter. She also provides staff with geospatial technical hardware and software assistance and acts as webmaster for the Washington Conservation Science and Planning website. She is now experimenting with taking her paper maps to digital form and is working on mastering interactive web maps. Her passion for both art and the environment is reflected in all of her work. For fun, Erica enjoys buying food at farmer’s markets and cooking gourmet meals.
Julie has been conducting research on migratory birds for over a decade, with a focus on population dynamics of threatened or endangered shorebirds and seaducks. Much of her career has been spent living in a tent, driving a zodiac, and searching for nests in very remote locations of Alaska. She has an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where her research focused on human disturbance of Black Oystercatchers breeding in Kenai Fjords National Park. Julie’s best job ever (aside from Washington TNC of course) was a zodiac diver/ornithologist on south Georgia Island.
Alycia provides administrative support to the Conservation Science Team and Eastern Washington Programs. She also assists the Grants Team with writing contracts and is honing her GIS skills. After work hours, Alycia is a student at Seattle University’s School of Law where she is focusing on Criminal and Animal Law. In any spare time she can find, Alycia is volunteering with the Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalist Program, training for marathons, or hunting for ghosts.
Ryan started his ecology career in the tree-less prairies of the Midwest, so learning to love the coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest wasn’t very difficult. His past research has broadly focused on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to environmental change and human disturbance and our society’s efforts to conserve and restore these ecosystems. Ryan is now focused on the dynamics of inland forests at community to landscape scales and is closely working with the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative in eastern Washington and the Clearwater Basin Collaborative in northern Idaho.
As a GIS Analyst with the Science Team in support of conservation planning Matthew will be working on spatial data development for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning on the outer Washington coast and benthic habitat modeling for Puget Sound. A background in physical geography exposed him to surface hydrology modeling, climate variability, land cover change and fragmentation analysis and modeling, GIS, remote sensing and programming. Previous research projects include water quantity and quality modeling for Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay and Galveston Bay using Natural Capital Project’s InVEST toolbox; predictive land cover modeling of the central Puget Sound; land cover change and fragmentation analysis in the southwestern Amazon; hydrologic modeling and climate variability analysis in Costa Rica; and spatial and temporal scaling of regional scale satellite imagery in Florida. In his spare time Matthew fancies trainspotting, bicycling, camping, composting and berry picking.
The Washington Program science staff have great depth with respect to ecology and conservation planning and we are building on this expertise as new research and conservation challenges emerge, allowing us to retain our position as recognized leaders in conservation.
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