Executive Leadership Team

James Strittholt, Ph.D.
President | Executive Director

Jim Strittholt is President and Executive Director of the Conservation Biology Institute and has over 26 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 ...

Pamela Frost, M.S.
Vice President | Chief Operations Officer

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 ...

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

Gwynne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and has for the past 25 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

Dr. Spencer is a wildlife conservation biologist with over 35 years of professional experience in biological research and conservation planning. He specializes in the practical application of science to resources management, design and management of nature reserves, and recovery of endangered species. He has conducted numerous studies on rare ...

Deanne DiPietro, M.A.
Senior Science Coordinator

Deanne DiPietro is a geographer with over 25 years of experience in conservation, science communications, information technology, and climate change.  She holds a B.S. in Botany and M.A. in Geography from UC Davis. As Senior Science Coordinator at Conservation Biology Institute, Ms. DiPietro promotes a scientific approach to conservation ...

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:  ...

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
Senior 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 is a Geospatial Scientist and Biologist with 15+ years professional experience in the geospatial sciences and conservation planning. She employs spatial analysis, modeling, remote sensing, and cartographic design to further conservation efforts and support sustainable decision-making. Her multidisciplinary background allows her to ...

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 | 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

Jessie is a biologist/botanist with 22 years’ professional experience in field biology, botany and land management throughout California with a strong background in coastal and desert ecology, botany, and natural resource management and restoration.  She is particularly knowledgeable of the central and southern California coast 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.
Senior Spatial Analyst | Project Manager

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 ...

Decision Support & GIS

Zac Canter
GIS Analyst | Project Manager

Zac Canter has experience applying geographic information systems to a variety of environmental science and planning challenges. He is currently a GIS Analyst/Project Manager at CBI, specializing in the Southern California region. He spent two years as a Teaching Assistant for the Geography Department at the University of California, Santa ...

Declan Pizzino
Geospatial Analyst

Declan joined the Conservation Biology Institute on a permanent basis in November 2019, having completed a brief internship with CBI the previous year. With a B.S. in Environmental Science and a certificate in Geographic Information Science from Oregon State University, Declan is excited to be part of a team that is focused on a science-based ...

Justin Brice
GIS Analyst

Justin Brice is a GIS Analyst with 5 years of professional experience applying spatial analysis to help conserve natural landscapes and working lands. He has lived agriculture experience growing up in California’s Central Valley on the family walnut farm and holds a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation and minor in Geospatial Sciences from ...

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 ...

Chris Shannon
Software Engineer

Chris Shannon joined CBI in July 2021. He specializes in user interface design, accessible web applications, APIs, and user testing. Chris started his career in the U.S. Air Force as a Satellite Communications Technician, then went on to become a Computer-aided Drafter and eventually turned his interest to software development and integration. He ...

Dani Harvey
Senior 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 ...

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 ...

Debbie Davenport
Accounts Receivable Clerk

Debbie came on board with CBI in April 2021 after leaving an office managerial position of 21 years with a forest consulting and research firm. In her free time Debbie enjoys gardening, fishing, oil and acrylic painting, and crocheting.

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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