Board Chair. Professor ofNatural Resources &Environmental Science,University of Nevada, Reno
Associate Professor, Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
CFO, Alliance Trust
Associate Professor of Environmental Science, University of Alaska
Professor of Literature and Environment, University of Idaho, Moscow
Professor Emeritus, Vice Provost, University of Nevada, Reno
Professor Emeritus, Desert Research Institute
Director Emeritus, Academy for the Environment, University of Nevada, Reno
Associate Professor Emeritus of English, Humboldt State University
Forest Supervisor, US Forest Service – Humboldt-Toiyabe
Glenn C. Miller has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry (1977) from the University of California at Davis. Following graduate studies, he spent a year of postdoctoral study at the EPA’s Environmental Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. He has been on the UNR faculty since 1978 and was Director of the Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences and Health from 1996-2006 and Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering from 1999-2003. Current areas of research include the development of techniques to determine gas phase sunlight photolysis rates of medium weight organics, particularly pesticides, and the environmental chemistry of soil surfaces. He teaches courses in environmental science/chemistry, environmental toxicology and risk assessment of environmental contaminants. He serves on a variety of national and regional environmental NGO Boards, and has been active in the Nevada Faculty Alliance for several years. He was Chairman of the UNR NFA in 2006-2008 and presently serves as the Northern Nevada Political Action Chair for the NFA. Glenn is a founding board member, guest lectured for numerous GBI field studies, and continues to provide essential organizational leadership and direction.
Kurt Unger, PhD, is water, climate change and sustainability specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He is a licensed US attorney specializing in environmental law and a scientist with hydrology and climate change backgrounds with over fifteen years of experience in the private, public interest, government and teaching sectors. Kurt brings to GBI a solution oriented approach to understanding and resolving environmental challenges facing the west.
Dr. Weisberg’s research interests include the causes and consequences of landscape change, including natural disturbances, effects of anthropogenic land use, ungulate-landscape interactions, and invasive species. His research often considers past landscape change as a guide to understanding present and future condition, and integrates field studies, GIS, remote sensing and simulation modeling. Ongoing research projects within his lab group address disturbance ecology, woodland expansion, post-fire succession, and ecological restoration in Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands; fire history and ecology of mountain big sagebrush communities; fire ecology of the Sierra Nevada (Lake Tahoe Basin); and the ecology of tamarisk invasions along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Dr. Weisberg took his Ph.D. from Oregon State University in Forest Ecology (1998), earning his M.S. in Biogeography at the University of Wyoming (1994), and a B.S. in Forest Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (1992). Peter has served as an mentor for GBI’s National Science Foundation REU program and provides guidance for student engagement in the biological sciences.
Dr. Alan Gubanich earned a PhD. in Biology and Zoology from the University of Arizona and is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno. An accomplished ornithologists, Dr. Gubanich’s field studies are highly rated by students for challenging outdoor experiences while fostering rigorous educational engagement. Alan served as faculty for institute courses and field studies in the Great Basin, Lake Tahoe, and Central Pacific Mexico. A founding board member, Alan currently provides leadership, education and outreach as Vice President of the Lahontan Audubon Society while also flying south each year with the neotropical migrants to teach birding on Costa Rica’s pacific coast.
Lou Robinson is a senior partner at Alliance Trust Company, one of the largest independent and employee owned financial institutions in Nevada. Recruited by the company out of a private accounting practice in 2011, Mr. Robinson focuses on complex estate and tax planning issues for some of the most prominent families in the United States and around the world. His expertise rests in offering business entity structure strategy, sophisticated estate planning techniques, and cross-border jurisdictional and taxation matters. He also negotiates internal reporting and regulatory compliance requirements for Alliance Trust Company. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Robinson holds a B.S. degree from the University of Nevada with a dual major in business and accounting. Lou provides fiduciary oversight and strategic planning on behalf of the institute.
John Umek, PhD., University of Nevada, Reno (2015) supports GBI water resources program and is Assistant Research Professor with the Desert Research Institute and has 18 years of experience in aquatic ecology, water quality monitoring, and natural resource management. He is experienced with a range of statistical methods, numerical modeling, and working with invasive and endangered aquatic organisms. He has extensive field surveying and water quality monitoring experience. Current and former projects include working on an interdisciplinary NSF project focused on springs biota structure and condition across the Southern Great Basin, impacts to springs overtime in the Eastern Great Basin and Lahontan Cutthroat trout movement in Central Nevada.
Dr. Sanjay Pyare is the co-founder of the Great Basin Institute. While building the organization, Sanjay completed his doctorate in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (1999) at the University of Nevada, Reno, dissertating on the interrelationships among northern flying squirrels, ectomycorrhizal fungi, and conifers in old-growth forest habitat of the Sierra Nevada. Dr. Payre co-developed and taught the first GBI field courses in experimental ecology, natural history, and wilderness conservation studies. Today, Sanjay’s research offers geospatial analysis for landscape assessments for habitat connectivity and habitat modeling, providing data and analysis for resource managers. He lives a happy, peaceful life in the remote upper latitudes, retreating to his cabin in Haines when time allows and where he and his family leave light footprints during arboreal discovery.
Scott Slovic moved to the University of Idaho in July 2012 after teaching for seventeen years at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he helped to create the prominent graduate program in literature and environment and develop the Academy for the Environment and the undergraduate environmental studies program. He has published more than 200 articles, interviews, and reviews and is the author, editor, or co-editor of seventeen books, including most recently Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility (2008), Nature and the Environment for EBSCO/Salem Press’s Critical Insights Series (2012), and, with Lorraine Anderson and John P. O’Grady, a second edition of the textbook Literature and the Environment (2012). Scott was a founding board member of the institute, guest lectured for numerous field classes, and was essential in advising the organization’s co-founders. He continues to offer GBI support for Idaho projects and programs.
Dr. Bill Cathey is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Cathey received his BS, MS, and PhD in Physics at the University of Tennessee. He also served as Vice Provost at the University of Nevada, Reno with responsibilities associated with instruction and undergraduate programs such as advising, assessment, curriculum, and international programs. He was also the University’s representative on the local K-16 Education Alliance. Dr. Cathey served as an institute Board member between 2002-2010 and was an influential leader in supporting GBI’s international field studies and student exchanges.
Dr. Klieforth earned his B.S. and M.S. in Meteorology from UCLA and received a Fulbright fellowship to Imperial College, London from 1956 to 1957. In 1965, Hal joined the Desert Research Institute in Reno as meteorologist and forecaster for the cloud seeding program where he maintained a precipitation observation network that transected portions of the Sierra Nevada and encompassed much of the Lake Tahoe watershed from 1965 to 1996. Hal was a fierce observationalist, particularly of mountain clouds, and documented historical trends with photography and hand-written logs. He never said no to a hike. Dr. Klieforth guest lectured at the institute’s first field ecology course in Little Valley in 1998 and served as a founding Board member. Hal remained a Professor Emeritus at DRI until his death, helping on projects, assisting students, and sharing his intimate knowledge of the Sierra Nevada. Hal passed away 12 July 2014 at the age of 87.
Mike Collopy served as the Executive Director of the Academy for the Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. In this capacity he was responsible for strengthening the interdisciplinary research and education focus of environmental programs throughout the university. Prior to working at UNR, Collopy served as Director of a federal research laboratory, the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, headquartered at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Before then, he was on the faculty of the Department of Wildlife and Range Sciences at the University of Florida. Throughout his career, Collopy has directed research on the behavior, habitat requirements, and ecology of a variety of avian species, particularly birds of prey. Mike was Co-Principle Investigator for GBI’s successful National Science Foundation REU program for six years. In retirement, he enjoys fly fishing in the northwest, failing to outcompete the avian predators he studied so carefully over a lifetime of wildlife research.
Author of “Reading the Trail: Exploring the Literature and Natural History of the California Crest,” and “The Art of Becoming,” Corey Lewis earned his PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno while also teaching for the institute during the organization’s formative years. Dr. Lewis specializes in the interdisciplinary and field-based study of regional works of environmental literature. He has taught environmental literature, nature writing and research writing and works on issues of re-localization and cultural change. He is an ardent supporter of grass-roots environmental action and is an active member of the conservation movement in the west. He continues to offer guidance for the institute’s research interests in California. He lives with his family in sunny Blue Lake, California where the coastal fog rests just enough west for the light to shine.
Edward Monnig has worked as an ecologist for the US Forest Service and held a variety of positions in the agency, including District Ranger on the Kootenai National Forest and Forest Supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. He served as a GBI Board member in his final years as Forest Supervisor in Nevada and now enjoys a variety of backcountry activities, including skiing, backpacking and hiking, whitewater boating, hunting, and just aimless wandering in our wildlands. Ed and his wife Jackie returned to Montana in retirement where they had raised their two sons, who promise more frequent visits now that Ed and Jackie are back in Missoula. Ed now serves on the Board of Directors of the Five Valleys Audubon Society.
Dr. Jannet Vreeland earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Accounting from Texas A&M University. She is an Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Nevada, Reno. During her thirty-plus years at the University, Dr. Vreeland taught a variety of accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including the governmental and not-for-profit course. She also served as the Vice-Provost for over a decade, as well as the Secretary of the University and Interim Provost. Dr. Vreeland has served on the board of directors of a local non-profit organization and a for-profit corporation. Jannet provides fiduciary oversight and an extensive background in corporate governance to the Institute.