Executive Leadership Team

James Strittholt, Ph.D.
President and Executive Director

Jim Strittholt is President and Executive Director of the Conservation Biology Institute and has over 10 years experience in applying computer mapping technologies (including GIS and remote sensing) to address various ecological assessments and conservation planning projects in the U.S. and internationally. He holds undergraduate degrees in ...

Pamela Frost, M.S.
Director of Operations, Conservation Biologist/GIS Analyst

Pamela A. Frost earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Maine, Machias in 1984 and a M.S. in Natural Resource Information Systems from Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) in 1994.  While at Ohio State, she was involved in a number of Federally funded conservation GIS projects including database construction and ...

Phoebe Barnard, Ph.D.
Chief Science and Policy Officer

Phoebe is a biodiversity and climate change strategic planner, researcher (conservation biology and global change ecology), policy analyst and teacher. She was thrilled to join CBI in October 2018 as Chief Science and Policy Officer. Phoebe hopes to use her combined background in science research, policy, implementation, communication and ...

Gladwin Joseph, Ph.D.
Chief Project Officer

Gladwin Joseph was born in a town called Nazareth in Tamil Nadu, India, but has lived in Ghana, India and the USA. He was until recently the Director and Professor at the School of Development, Azim Premji University (APU), Bangalore, India. Prior to that, he was a senior leader of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), ...

Gwynne Corrigan, M.S.
Director of Communications, Project Manager, Team Lead- Communication & Engagement

Gwynne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and has for the past 16 years. Her life-long interest in ecology and biology brought her to the University of California at Santa Cruz for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. As an undergraduate, Gwynne worked on projects including studies related to the sensory systems ...

Science Leadership Team

Wayne Spencer, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, Head of Science Leadership Team, Team Lead- Planning & Management

Dr. Spencer is a wildlife conservation biologist with over 30 years of professional experience in biological research and conservation planning. He specializes in the practical application of ecological and conservation science to resources management, design of nature reserves, and recovery of endangered species. He has conducted numerous ...

Deanne DiPietro, M.A.
Senior Science Coordinator

Deanne is a Botanist and Geographer dedicated to supporting a progressive approach to conservation by making science accessible. She joined Conservation Biology Institute in October of 2017, bringing a diverse background in information technology and climate change science. Prior to working at CBI, Deanne has worked with environmental ...

John Gallo, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist

John Gallo is a geographer and landscape ecologist performing “action research” in conservation assessment, planning, and implementation. Action research applies best practices and explores scientific frontiers while performing applied conservation projects. One of his action research emphasized is on connectivity conservation:  ...

Patricia Gordon-Reedy, M.A.
Botanist, Vegetation Ecologist

Patricia Gordon-Reedy is a Botanist/Senior Vegetation Ecologist with 30 years of experience in endangered species research and conservation planning for private, government, and non-profit sectors throughout the western U.S. and in Europe.  She has been involved in all phases of Natural Community Conservation Planning programs in multiple ...

Tim Sheehan, Ph.D.
Ecological Modeler, Team Lead- Decision Support & GIS

Tim joined the Conservation Biology Institute in 2008. He has an M.S. in Geology from the University of Missouri - Columbia and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado - Boulder. His experience includes porting and tuning climate modeling software on massively parallel supercomputers as well as developing high data flow ...

Alexandra Syphard, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist

Alexandra Syphard is a research ecologist who investigates landscape change that results from the interplay between human and natural disturbances, especially wildfire, urban development, and climate change. She uses a variety of spatial analytical and modeling methods to investigate how change has occurred in the past, how it is likely to ...

Craig Thompson
Landscape Wildlife Ecologist

Dr. Thompson’s background includes a blend of landscape and wildlife ecology, specializing in the relationship between large-scale habitat change and the interactions between predators, competitors, and prey. He has worked with a wide variety of sensitive carnivore species, including black-footed ferrets, island fox, swift fox, bald eagles, ...

Nikolas Stevenson-Molnar
Software Engineer

Nik grew up in rural Eastern Washington, and took an early interest in computers and programming. He followed this passion throughout childhood and into college, attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and studying software design and media. While at Evergreen, Nik found a job working on software to manage and ...

Rebecca Degagne, M.S.
Geospatial Scientist, Conservation Biologist

Rebecca Degagne joined the Conservation Biology Institute in 2012. As a GIS analyst and biologist, she employs techniques in spatial analysis & modeling, remote sensing, and cartographic design to explore the natural world and help further conservation efforts. Her multidisciplinary background allows her to create sound, ...

Dustin Pearce, M.E.S.M.
GIS Analyst

Dustin Pearce joined the Conservation Biology Institute in December of 2015. His background in geospatial sciences has focused on the interplay of working agricultural lands, natural lands, and renewable energy development in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Growing up in the San Joaquin Valley, his connection with agricultural and working ...

Planning & Management

Heather Rustigian-Romsos, M.A., M.S.
Senior Wildlife Spatial Analyst

Heather joined CBI in August 2003. She is a landscape ecologist/GIS specialist whose work has focused on predicting effects of land management and landscape change on vertebrates with spatially explicit habitat, population, and connectivity models. She has over 10 years of experience in applied ecological GIS analysis and modeling.  Heather ...

Spring Strahm, M.S.
Conservation Ecologist and Data Analyst

Spring is a conservation ecologist and data analyst with over 15 years of experience in research, data analysis, habitat restoration, ecological monitoring and management of conserved lands in southern California. She has participated in conservation practice as a scientist, land–manager, and consultant, interfacing with NGOs, jurisdictions ...

Jessie Vinje, B.S.
Botanist/ Biologist

Jessica is a biologist with 17 years’ professional experience in field biology, botany and land management throughout California with a strong background in coastal and desert ecology, botany, wildlife biology, and desert and coastal natural resource management and restoration.  She is particularly knowledgeable of the Central and ...

Global Change

Ken Ferschweiler
Senior Software Architect, Modeler

Ken has 30 years of experience in computer science, and in 2010 he jumped at the opportunity to join CBI's climate change research group and use that experience in addressing ecological modeling problems. Ken has worked in the US and in Europe in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to massively parallel computing, but has been ...

Communication & Engagement

Kai Foster, M.A.
Project Manager, GIS Analyst

Kai Foster is a Project Manager/GIS Analyst with professional and academic experience working with diverse communities on a broad range of environmental issues. In 2008, she joined Conservation Biology Institute focusing her attention primarily on protected areas in the United States. Before joining the CBI team, Kai spent three years working ...

Ann Van Zee, M.S.
Communications Strategist

Ann joined the CBI team in September of 2013. She has her M.S. in Community Development and Natural Resource Management and a B.A. in Business and Communications with a minor in Spanish. Her background is in marketing, publications and education and she has extensive research, writing, editing and production experience. Prior to joining CBI she ...

Decision Support & GIS

Justin Brice
GIS Analyst

Justin recently joined the CBI team in October of 2015. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management with a minor in Geospatial Sciences from Humboldt State University. His background is in small mammal ecology. Prior to joining CBI his work has been in the field studying small mammals and analyzing habitat characteristics. At CBI, ...

Heidi Hausman, M.S.
GIS Analyst

Heidi joined Conservation Biology Institute in December of 2017. Heidi has a Masters of Environmental Management with a certificate in GIS from Duke University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University. She worked for 7 years at the InterAmerican Development Bank in the Environmental and Social Safeguard Unit as their GIS analyst ...

Software & Tools

Bill Klinkow
Software Engineer

Bill is proud to have grown up in Oak Park, IL but has lived on the West Coast for most of his adult life. Bill studied philosophy at Occidental College and received his Masters in Mathematics Education from DePaul University. After teaching math at the high school and community college level in his twenties, Bill decided to learn how to program ...

Brendan Ward, M.S.
Software Engineer, Conservation Biologist, GIS Analyst, Team Lead- Software & Tools

Brendan Ward joined the Conservation Biology Institute in December 2007.  He has brought experience in GIS, spatial analysis, ecological modeling, and software development to the institute.  Brendan has a passion for harnessing computer power to advance conservation science and ecological research.  He aspires to contribute to ...

Daniel Harvey
Software Engineer

Daniel Harvey joined CBI in November 2013. He specializes in application and database design and development, with experience spanning Microsoft and Unix-based platforms and a broad range of client- and server-side technologies. Since earning a Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 2006 with an emphasis in GIS, he has worked in many ...

Kaveh Karimi, M.S.
Software Engineer

Kaveh grew up and lived most of his life in Tehran, Iran, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After working in automation and software development for power distribution systems, he moved to Sweden to pursue further education. There, he completed master’s degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering, as ...

Esti Shay
Software Engineer

Esti Shay joined CBI in early 2018. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and a certificate in Web and Mobile Development. Esti started programming for fun during her previous career as a law librarian. She worked in academic, public, and court libraries before deciding to switch sides and build the sorts of tools she ...


Lisa Alley
Administrative Assistant

Lisa Alley joined CBI as an Administrative Assistant in May 2014. She is new to the conservation community, but has spent the last 15 years providing back office support for an organization that provided software used internally within credit unions. She is an incredible asset to CBI, providing support and assisting with deadlines. During her ...

Mike Gough, B.S.
GIS Analyst, Data Manager

Mike Gough is a GIS analyst with 12+ years professional experience in the geospatial sciences. Prior to joining CBI in 2012, Mike served as a GIS lecturer in the Environmental Science & Management Department at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA.  During his tenure with HSU’s Institute for Spatial Analysis, he served as the ...

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