Support Great Basin Institute in Serving Public Lands in the West

Our Staff

Great Basin Institute Staff

Peter Woodruff, GBI CEO

Peter Woodruff

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

Chief of Operations, Gabe Donaldson

Gabe Donaldson

COO – Chief of Operations

Jerry Keir

Jerry Keir

GBI Founder, Consultant (Contract)

Kevin Dose, GBI Chief of Administration

Kevin Dose

Chief of Administration
Chris Warner

Chris Warner

Director of Development
Terry Christopher

Terry Christopher

Associate Director, Southern Nevada
Misty Brown

Misty Brown

Finance Manager

Zoe Greig

Senior Finance Associate

Bailey Craugh

Bailey Craugh

Finance Associate – Accounts Receivable Specialist
Carol Goddard

Carol Goddard

Finance Associate – Accounts Payable Specialist
Marc Oxoby

Marc Oxoby

Program Analyst
Antonio Bell

Antonio Bell

Recruitment Manager

Matt Reyes

Matt Reyes

Human Resources Generalist

Richard Furleigh

Grants & Contracts Manager

Erin Garlock

Erin Gavlock

Visitor Services Program Manager – Lake Tahoe

Gabriel Zurn

Gabriel Zurn

Visitor Services Program Manager – Galena

Elijah Parker

Elijah Parker

AmeriCorps Compliance Manager
Alex Williams, Communications, Media and Marketing Assistant

Alex Williams

Communications, Media and Marketing Assistant

Ecological Monitoring Program Staff

Allison Peterson-Park

Allison Peterson-Park

Ecological Monitoring Program Manager
Taylor Champion

Taylor Champion

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager
Cassandra Hughes

Cassandra Hughes

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager
Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager
Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson

Ecological Monitoring Program Manager
Cienna Ajir, Ecological Monitoring Recruitment Coordinator

Cienna Ajir

Ecological Monitoring Program Coordinator

Research Associate Program Staff

Kelly Barrett

Kelly Barrett

Director, Research Associate Program

Kaitlin Webb

Kaitlin Webb

Research Associate Program Manager

Kaelyn Hadel

Research Associate Program Program Coordinator

Emily Daybell

Emily Daybell

Research Associate Program Coordinator

Staff Icon - Photo Coming Soon

Katherine Klaus

Research Associate Program Administrative Coordinator

Rachel Kuhl, Research Associate Program Coordinator

Rachel Kuhl

Research Associate Program Coordinator

Tyler Walsh, Research Associate Program Coordinator

Tyler Walsh

Research Associate Program Coordinator

Cultural Resources Program Staff

Karen Supak

Karen Supak

Cultural Resources Program Manager

James Arriola, The Great Basin Institute

James Arriola

Cultural Resources Program Coordinator

NEPA Program Staff

Mark Demuth

Mark A. Demuth

NEPA Program Manager

Preston Alden

Preston Alden

NEPA Project Manager Wildlife Biologist

Kate Walker

Senior Botanist

Nevada Conservation Corps Staff

Libby Wilson

Nevada Conservation Corps Program Manager
Vince LaPlante

Vince LaPlante

Trail and Restoration Operations Coordinator, Nevada Conservation Corps

Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan

Nevada Conservation Corps Recruitment Coordinator

Basin & Range Forestry Program Staff

Lauren Krull

Lauren Krull

Forestry Program Manager

Jane Ponomarev

Jane Ponomarev

Forestry Program Coordinator

Monte Ramage

Monte Ramage

Forestry Program Coordinator
Daniel Schillo

Dan Schillo

Forestry Program Coordinator
Shikha Acharya

Shikha Acharya

Forestry Stewardship Coordinator, Sequoia National Forest

Tyler Allen

Tyler Allen

Dixie Fire Recovery Program Coordinator

John Ogle

LTBMU Prescribed Burn Crew Lead
Peter Woodruff, GBI CEO

Peter Woodruff

Chief Executive Director

Peter Woodruff brings nearly a decade’s leadership with ACE (American Conservation Experience), overseeing a thriving nationwide staff and hundreds of federal agency partnerships while facilitating conservation across the U.S. and territories. Peter’s signature workforce development programs at ACE included the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP), National Park Service Academy (NPS/A), Traditional Trade Advancement Program (TTAP), and most recently the NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Peter hails from the corn & bean fields of rural Indiana, and with his wonderful wife Fiona, has newly relocated from Santa Cruz, CA to Reno, NV. Peter earned an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at Hamilton College, focused on field ecology and land-use issues, and undertook cultural immersion and resource management studies in Botswana, before turning to an AmeriCorps year, seasonal agency work, and wilderness therapy programming. His work in wildlife biology, backcountry patrol, environmental education, land trust services, and citizen science found him serving across the Sierras, to interior Alaska, all over Cape Cod, MA and Utah. In addition to his passion for working with amazing staff, agency partners, and inspiring emerging conservation professionals, Peter enjoys backcountry skiing, running, and widely exploring our public lands.
Chief of Operations, Gabe Donaldson

Gabe Donaldson

Chief of Operations

Gabe Donaldson, originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, developed a deep connection to the outdoors while growing up in the picturesque foothills near the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and various municipal mountain parks. His passion lies at the intersection of wildland fire, business, and conservation. Gabe spent 17 years as a Hotshot Superintendent and Smokejumper for the Bureau of Land Management in Elko and Boise, where he gained fundamental and critical experience in risk management and leadership.

 

In 2016, Gabe embraced another leadership role as the Colorado and Arizona Fire Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy. Recognizing the importance of supporting underserved communities, he went on to establish several non-profit businesses and initiatives, aiming to create more job opportunities in the realm of conservation. Gabe’s academic journey spans institutions such as St. John’s College in Santa Fe, the National Outdoor Leadership School in Chile, the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Truckee Meadows Community College, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he attained a licentiate degree in Biological Sciences (BS) for Wildland Fire Personnel.

 

Gabe joins GBI with his wife, son, and two beloved pit-bull pups, Mari and Daisy. While he currently immerses himself in the XPRIZE competition as part of his team, The Fibonacci Fire Project, Gabe remains dedicated to his other passions outside of work, which includes trail running, reading, and writing short stories.

Jerry Keir

Jerry Keir

Executive Director

Jerry Keir is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute. For the past twenty two years, Keir has taught and directed interdisciplinary research and field studies throughout the Intermountain West, Central Pacific Mexico, and Costa Rica. Keir has extensive experience managing diverse research and monitoring initiatives, as well as leading collaborative conservation projects at a landscape scale. As a skilled fundraiser and project lead, Keir has overseen $100 million in grants and contracts for the Institute. When not running programs or dreaming up new ones, Jerry roams his backyard forest and desert with his spouse of 25 years, Maria, and their daughter Amaya and son Alejandro.

Kevin Dose, GBI Chief of Administration

Kevin Dose

Chief of Administration

Kevin Dose is the Chief of Administration for GBI. After graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Health from Purdue University (2002), Kevin traveled west to join GBI’s Nevada Conservation Corps (NCC) program as a Trail Crew Leader stationed at Great Basin National Park. Kevin has held multiple roles over the past twenty years, including NCC Crew Coordinator, NCC Program Director, and most recently GBI Deputy Director. As GBI’s Chief of Administration, Kevin leads GBI’s Business Operations Team, responsible for sustaining GBI through fiscal responsibilities, regulatory compliance, technology, and partnership curation. Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife Dana, daughter Reya, and son Levon in the great outdoors from their home in Littleton, CO.

Chris Warner

Chris Warner

Director of Development

Chris Warner has been professionally involved with the national service movement and environmental stewardship for more than two decades. After graduating from Villanova University with a BA in Sociology (1998), Chris coordinated environmental education activities for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region for two years when he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. As an Environmental Management Fellow with EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, Chris supported several multi-jurisdictional committees whose mandate is to establish policies that aim to improve the water quality of Chesapeake Bay and to manage the Program’s congressionally appropriated annual budget. After relocating to the mountain west in 2002, Chris received his MA in Political Science (Environmental Policy) from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2005. Since graduating from UNR, Chris has spent the entirety of his career at Great Basin Institute, collaborating with colleagues to develop and enhance resource management direct service programs. Chris served as the Institute’s first Research Associates Program Director and presently serves as Director of Development. In his current role, Chris is primarily focused on developing federal and state grants and agreements, and conducting government relations and policy development at the national level on behalf of GBI. In July 2011 Chris moved back to the mid-Atlantic with his family. When he isn’t playing with his two daughters, Chris enjoys cooking, gardening and bird-watching with his wife, as well as exploring the mixed conifer and hardwood forests and rolling hillsides of the surrounding farm country that south central Pennsylvania offers.

Terry Christopher

Terry Christopher

Associate Director, Southern Nevada

Associate Director, Terry Christopher, is proud to be from the great state of Texas, just ask him! He was born in Wichita Falls and spent most of his childhood in north Texas. His love of animals and wildlife was ingrained early on, and some of his fondest memories are of running around catching ornate box turtles and horned lizards (horny toads) on the farm. Living in El Paso, Texas for four years and spending three years in northern Alberta, Canada only strengthened his love of the outdoors and vast open spaces. (Those who know Terry find it hard to believe he lived in Canada; he’s way too much like the ectotherms he works with.) Terry attended Texas A&M University and, while at the campus on Galveston Island, he became involved with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a non-profit recovery organization, and the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Head Start program. For four years, he coordinated volunteers to recover whales and dolphins stranded along the Texas coast. Although he loved these programs, his first love was tortoises, and he continues to strive for their conservation.

 

In 1994, Terry migrated westward to run the Smithsonian Institution’s Desert Tortoise Nutrition program. Over the next 11 years, Terry conducted nutritional research on desert tortoises in Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona. He said he never planned on being a botanist but studying a desert herbivore quickly changed his mind. After a brief stint running a turtle and tortoise conservation center in California, Terry came to GBI as a Research Associate helping to run the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and coordinating the USFWS Desert Tortoise Line Distance Sampling project. In fall 2008, he stepped into the role of Associate Director, overseeing GBI operations in southern NV. He brought his knowledge of the southwest and strong relationships with project partners in the south to GBI. He continues to run the desert tortoise monitoring program, refusing to give up that which brought him to the west. While in Nevada, he fell in love with his future wife (not only the desert), had three kids, and has made southern Nevada his home.

Misty Brown

Misty Brown

Finance Manager

Misty Brown is the Finance Manager for Great Basin Institute. She has worked in finance for over twenty years, and looks forward to bringing her skills to a company that values them. Misty and her son are very outdoorsy people and spend all our free time in nature. She is very excited to work close to a non-profit cause such as the Great Basin Institute with the focus being our natural environments and the animals within.

Zoe Greig

Finance Associate

Zoe Greig grew up in the California foothills, often traveling throughout the Great Basin and enjoying its immense beauty. She moved to Reno in 2016 to study at UNR and graduated in May of 2020 with a BS in Finance. She worked a few corporate accounting jobs before landing at GBI, and she loves giving back to the area she’s loved her whole life. In her free time, she enjoys camping, kayaking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Bailey Craugh

Bailey Craugh

Finance Associate – Accounts Receivable Specialist

Bailey Craugh grew up on a ranch in Northern Nevada. She worked as a Fiscal Supervisor for a school district in Northern California. Outside of work, Bailey coaches a 12 and under softball team. She enjoys playing softball, and cornhole. Bailey also loves to read, do puzzles, play with her dogs, and spend time with her family and friends. She is so excited to be a GBI team member and is proud to give back to the place she was raised in.

Carol Goddard

Carol Goddard

Finance Associate – Accounts Payable Specialist

Carol Goddard is a Finance Associate for Great Basin Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and has been working in the accounting field for over 10 years.

 

Carol is a native of northern Nevada and currently lives in Fernley, NV with her husband, 4 children, and German Shepherd. In her spare time, Carol loves to camp, hike and volunteer in dog rescue.

Marc Oxoby

Marc Oxoby

Program Analyst

Marc Oxoby was born and raised in Northern California. He labored extensively over books to acquire a PhD in English from the University of Nevada Reno, where he currently teaches in the Core Humanities Program. Marc provides analytical overview of programmatic scope while also supporting document deliverables. His hobbies include music, comics, craft beer, and rare film, and he (and he alone) considers himself a connoisseur of fine joke telling. Marc is happily married with three kids and a pile of dogs.

Antonio Bell

Antonio Bell

Recruitment Manager

Antonio was born and mostly raised in Southern Nevada. He moved up north in 2007 when he began his studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and simultaneously joined the Wolf Pack Marching Band. Antonio received a B.S. in both International Business and Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. Antonio has worked in the HR/Recruiting space for over a decade, supporting many industries; from Accounting and finance, DoD to gaming. When Antonio is not working as a recruiting professional, you can find him playing the tuba and classical piano, albeit not at the same time, we think!
Matt Reyes

Matt Reyes

Human Resources Coordinator

Matt Reyes is the HR Coordinator for GBI. Matt joined the institute in late July of 2020. Matt’s career and life experience is as diverse as the work he does for GBI. After studying film, audio engineering, philosophy & art, and cultural anthropology, Matt took a sabbatical to study Shaolin Kung Fu and Chan Buddhism at China’s UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Shaolin Monastery. Travelling throughout rural China gave Matt a truly unique experience that served to provide him with a greater appreciation for how spirituality and nature are one. Matt is also a Veteran of the U.S. Air force and NV Air National Guard.
 
Matt being a former business owner for a bicycle courier company and martial arts school, brings a strong entrepreneur mentality to his position. In 2019, Matt completed the University of Nevada-Reno extended studies course in HR Management and served as the HR Director for a Northern Nevada owned cannabis company. Looking forward, Matt is passionate about growing GBI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative as well as growing HR support overall. Matt enjoys spending his time with partner, Julie, and son Maseo. He is an avid cyclist, loves painting, writing, audio production, fishing, snowboarding and playing basketball.

Richard Furleigh

Grants & Contracts Manager

Richard comes to GBI by way of Texas, completing his Bachelor’s from Texas State University, and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2018.  Richard has worked extensively in the private sector supporting industry management, most recently with Verizon in the greater Reno area.  He is an avid traveler, having explored all 50 US states, 10 different countries, and has lived and explored in the Sierra foothills for the past 8 years. His combined passion for conservation and outdoor sports keeps him engaged in the organizational management at the Institute. When not working to support GBI administration, you can find Richard hiking, camping, or skiing with his spouse, Kristen, of 8 years.

Erin Garlock

Erin Gavlock

Visitor Services Administrator

In 2010, Erin earned a B.A. in journalism from Penn State University. After graduating, she decided to explore and moved to Mexico, where she lived for a year teaching English. Erin then began a career in adventure travel, working as a North and Central American tour guide for eight seasons. During that time, she was also a freelance writer, English teacher and wildlife educator, and chose Reno as her homebase in 2015. In 2019 she moved to New Jersey to oversee the east coast operations for a destination management company. Two years later, she returned to Reno-Tahoe and worked for the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe. In 2022, she joined GBI as visitor services administrator of those sites. Erin also completed her M.S. in park and resource management in 2022, and is hopefully done moving back and forth across the country.

Gabriel Zurn

Gabriel Zurn

Visitor Center Administrator

Gabriel, originally from the Pacific Northwest, fell in love with Nevada in 2008, when she moved to Boulder City, NV. After graduating from Southern Oregon University, her outdoor career started as an Oregon State Park Ranger and grew when she became a seasonal National Park Ranger at Lake Mead NRA. In 2013, she worked with a nonprofit organization – partnering with the National Park Service – as an Operations Manager, overseeing retail and visitor center operations in 10 National Parks, covering California and Nevada. Then, she worked with Clark County Wetlands Park, in Las Vegas, to open a Nature Center with a retail store.

 

Joining GBI in 2021 as the Visitor Center Administrator, completes the circle; she worked with GBI in 2013 as a Research Associate and looks forward to helping GBI expand their outreach. Gabriel, her husband, and their dog enjoy exploring nature and enjoy cheering on their favorite team, the Las Vegas Raiders.

Elijah Parker

Elijah Parker

AmeriCorps Compliance Manager

Elijah is a Reno native, graduating in 2019 from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in Ecohydrology. They began their career with GBI shortly afterwards as a Nevada Conservation Corps crew member. In the years since, they’ve held a variety of positions with GBI, from replanting native species throughout the Mojave, to serving on the Off Highway Vehicles Mapping Collaborative, to assisting with logistics for the Northern Nevada office. They took on the role of AmeriCorps Compliance Coordinator in 2022.
Alex Williams, Communications, Media and Marketing Assistant

Alex Williams

Communications, Media and Marketing Assistant

Alex Williams is the Communications, Media and Marketing Assistant at the Great Basin Institute. Alex was born and raised in Las Vegas and attended Carroll College where she received her B.A. in Environmental Policy & Project Management with a Minor in Communication in 2022. During this time, Alex was a Conservation Intern for Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) working closely with USDA recreation technicians for the Custer-Gallatin National Forest in Bozeman MT, participated in Carroll College’s Diversity and Equity Task Force team, was a college athlete and managed the women’s basketball social media and photo/video content.

 

Following that, Alex moved to the Reno-Tahoe Area where she was an AmeriCorps Summer Camp Counselor and Naturalist for GBI’s Visitor Services program. Continuing her AmeriCorps journey, she became an AmeriCorps VISTA for GBI focusing on community outreach, event coordinating, social media management and growing Visitor Services volunteer base. Alex has also worked with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Spaces as a seasonal park aide. Alex is excited to continue her career with GBI and to work with a fun and dynamic team.

 

When she isn’t working you can find her at the lake, hitting the gym, shopping or listening to Giggly Squad.

Allison Peterson-Park

Allison Peterson-Park

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager

Growing up in Nevada, Allie has always loved the desert landscape and exploring wild places. After earning a B.S. in Environmental Science, she started with GBI in 2018 as an Ecological Monitoring Tech and continued in 2019 as a Lead. In 2020, Allie moved into her current position as the Ecological Monitoring Program Manager in partnership with Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). Outside of botanizing at work, Allie can be found growing, cooking, and eating plants.
Taylor Champion

Taylor Champion

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager

Taylor Champion is an Alabama native that received her B.S. in Organismal Biology from Auburn University. Prior to moving to Nevada and starting with GBI in 2018, Taylor worked with injured birds of prey at the Southeastern Raptor Center and compiled ArcGIS projects and assisted with field data collection with The Westervelt Company. Taylor is currently residing in Reno, NV and assisting with GBI’s Ecological Monitoring Program. She has worked with this program since 2018 starting as a technician in Ely, NV and then moving into a Crew Lead position out of Price, UT. At this point in time, she works directly with BLM Project Partners to ensure that AIM data are collected up to standard and in a timely manner. In her spare time, Taylor enjoys camping, hiking, and paddle boarding.
Cassandra Hughes

Cassandra Hughes

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager

Cassandra Hughes was born and raised in Reno Nevada. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in 2015. Since graduating, she has worked for a few state agencies doing various kinds of seasonal field work. Her journey with GBI started in 2017 as a Nevada Conservation Corps restoration crew member, and shortly after that season ended, she continued with the Great Basin Institute in the Ecological Monitoring Program, one season as a technician and one season as a Crew Lead. After some time as the Recruitment Coordinator for the NCC she moved into her current position as one of the Ecological Monitoring Project Managers in 2021. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys hiking, camping, swimming, going on adventures and seeing new things, Latin dancing particularly salsa, and spending time with friends and family. She enjoys working for the Great Basin Institute because she believes the institute’s mission, enjoys the culture, and knows she is making a difference.

Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy

Ecological Monitoring Project Manager

Shannon Murphy grew up on the coast of North Carolina. Her journey with the Great Basin Institute started in 2020 as an Ecological Monitoring Technician in the Richfield, UT field office. During the winter season, she worked in Oregon doing Salmon habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, and bare root planting of native species. She returned to GBI for two following seasons as a Crew Lead implementing AIM protocols. She gained experience working in an office setting in her time as a Recruitment Coordinator during winter of 2022 and moved into her current role as an Ecological Monitoring Project Manager in January of 2023. Shannon is excited for the growth opportunities this position will offer her.
Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson

Ecological Monitoring Program Manager

Brittany was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a minor in Business Admin. After graduating Brittany travelled the country and ventured abroad, working seasonal jobs and backpacking new countries. For three years Brittany worked as a Wildland Firefighter out of the Willamette National Forest, in Oregon, as well as the Browns Park Wildlife Refuge, in Western Colorado. She most recently spent time working as an EMT in Orange County, CA, prior to joining GBI as an Ecological Monitoring Crew Lead for our USGS Desert Tortoise Habitat Quality crew. Brittany is passionate about conservation and is endlessly intrigued by Nevada’s wildlife. In her free time, you can find Brittany hiking, camping, fishing, and exploring off-road trails with her partner David and her fuzzy fruit bat (dog) Ember.
Cienna Ajir, Ecological Monitoring Recruitment Coordinator

Cienna Ajir

Ecological Monitoring Recruitment Coordinator

Cienna (CJ) Ajir grew up in Santa Cruz, California surrounded by the beautiful redwood forests. She majored in Conservation and Resource Studies at U.C Berkeley and took classes in the business school with hopes of learning how to manage a non-profit. After graduating, she moved to Reno to work on a trail crew with Nevada Conservation Corps. She then moved to the Ecological Monitoring program as a technician, and continued the next year as a crew lead. 

 

In her free time, Cienna enjoys aerial arts, creative writing, and horror novels. She is thankful her positions at GBI have given her wonderful friends and housemates.

Kelly Barrett

Kelly Barrett

Director, Research Associate Program

Kelly Barrett joined GBI in 2023, bringing with her over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit and environmental programming sector.

 

Prior to joining GBI, Kelly served as the Division Director with American Conservation Experience, collaborating with partners such as BLM, USFS, USBR, and state/nonprofit organizations to manage and support programming for the individual placement program, as well as the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) Program and the Direct Hire Authority (DHA) Program. Kelly also served in the AmeriCorps NCCC program, supporting crew-based projects in the north central and then the pacific regions. Additionally, she gained valuable experience as part of a conservation crew in Southeast Alaska. In 2021, she earned her Masters of Environmental Management (Integrative Public Land Management) from Western Colorado University, combining her professional and educational backgrounds. Most recently, her academic pursuits drove her to broaden her professional experience, focusing on sustainability and clean air initiatives while serving as a co-Director/Sr. Manager for Utah Clean Cities, where she actively contributed to adaptive management and resiliency building throughout Utah and the Intermountain West.

 

Outside the office, Kelly can be found hiking and exploring our public lands with her husband, dogs, and their trusty Jeep.

Kaitlin Webb

Kaitlin Webb

Research Associate Program Manager

Kaitlin Webb is the Program Manager for the Research Associate Program at the Great Basin Institute. With a background in both experiential education and biological research, she’s excited to be a new part of the GBI team going into 2023. Kaitlin earned her undergraduate degree in biology at Colorado Mesa University, where she also worked for their Outdoor Program planning and leading adventures and promoting environmental literacy. Kaitlin then coordinated professional development and training for Fulbright and State Department grant programming through Montana State University for several years, with an emphasis on leadership and civic engagement. There, she focused on the development, implementation, evaluation and reporting of programs. From her background in biology, Kaitlin has also worked in the field on a variety of projects including; ecological research in Ecuador’s cloud forest, ecological monitoring in Yellowstone National Park, supporting a Hawaiian lowland restoration project, and arboreal research in Oregon. She is most excited when working with others on their goals and passions, especially in the field of outdoor science where her career began. Like many of her colleagues, when she isn’t at the office you can find her exploring the outdoors. Kaitlin likes trail running, climbing and snowboarding, and values slowing down to enjoy hobbies like watercolor painting and attempting new cooking recipes.

Kaelyn Hadel

AmeriCorps Program Coordinator

Kaelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a minor in Rangeland Management (2020) from the University of Nevada, Reno. Kaelyn started her career with GBI back in 2018 when she served with NCC, following with a Research Associate position in 2020 as a Bat Monitoring Technician. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Kaelyn moved up to Reno in 2013. Since then, she has explored the many joys of being outside and growing her family. She enjoys hanging out with her husband and watching their baby grow crazy fast, as well going on hikes, backpacking trips, and spending time with their friends and family.

Emily Daybell

Emily Daybell

Research Associate Program Coordinator, Northern Office

Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning with a minor in both Sociology and Sustainable Systems from Utah State University. She started her career in conservation working as a trail crew member with the Nevada Conservation Corps. After graduation she worked as a Landscape Designer in Salt Lake City, Utah but eventually found her way back to GBI working as a Research Associate Program Coordinator for their Northern Region. Outside of work she enjoys being active, spending time outdoors, and exploring new hobbies. She is passionate about protecting and studying landscapes in the West and is excited about the opportunity to help others advance their careers in the field of environmental conservation.
Rachel Kuhl, Research Associate Program Coordinator

Rachel Kuhl

Research Associate Program Coordinator

Rachel Kuhl grew up exploring the Sierra foothills and California coastline, later studying in Germany and the U.S, and received her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a concentration in Natural Resources. 

 

Before coming to the GBI RA Program in 2023, she worked seasonally in a variety of government and nonprofit organizations, including as a pollinator technician and biologist specializing in bumblebees and botanical surveys in both Illinois and California. She also spent a season assisting with endangered fish conservation in Utah’s Colorado River Basin and another season collecting avian data in Nevada. 

 

Rachel currently resides in Reno, NV, and spends her free time hiking, camping, and climbing, all of which fuel her passion for wildlife and environmental conservation.

Tyler Walsh, Research Associate Program Coordinator

Tyler Walsh

Research Associate Program Coordinator

Tyler Walsh was born and raised in southern Maine. While studying at University of Southern Maine, Tyler interned as a Student Research Assistant for Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, a non-profit that studies and advocates for the health of Casco Bay and its watershed. After he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, he spent some time working in a biotech lab.

 

However, his passion was always for the outdoors, so Tyler eventually joined American Conservation Experience’s conservation corps as an AmeriCorps member. Through his time in AmeriCorps he was able to work on conservation projects across California, and gain experience in the worlds of trails, restoration and fuels reduction. Tyler then began work as a Forestry Technician based in Tahoe National Forest, through GBI’s Basin and Range Forestry Program. From there Tyler furthered his career with GBI, becoming a Program Coordinator for the Research Associate Program.

 

Now Tyler is excited to support others throughout their GBI experience! In his free time he loves to spend quality time with his friends and family, game (video and tabletop), rock climb, disc golf, and improve his pickleball game.

Karen Supak

Karen Supak

Cultural Resources Program Manager

Karen Supak is the Cultural Resource Program Manager at GBI. Raised in southern Mississippi, Karen completed her A.A. in Cultural Anthropology with Departmental Honors in Archaeology at Merced College before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, to complete her B.A. in Anthropology. Her field school was completed through Harvard University and the National Museums of Kenya at Koobi Fora, on the shores of Lake Turkana. While in college, Karen developed a strong interest in archaeology, which she pursued professionally immediately following graduation.

 

Over the course of the next 30 years, Karen has participated in all aspects of cultural resource management in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Basin and Range regions of the United States. She has participated extensively in all aspects of archaeological fieldwork from project planning to agency reporting in academic, museum, government, and private corporate settings. Karen has developed skills in prehistoric and historic archaeology, including critical issues analysis, site survey, NRHP evaluation and mitigation, human and faunal osteological recovery and analysis, archaeobotanical recovery and analysis, and analysis of site taphonomy. She has also successfully completed training in archaeological damage assessment analysis, reporting, and testimony. Her experience in human osteological analysis has led to her participation in NAGPRA projects at several academic institutions and federal agencies. In addition to her specific project efforts, Karen served as a member of both the Committee on Ethics (2011-2015) and the Public Education Committee (2013 -2015) for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), and has presented research results at state, regional, and national levels. She is also active in local and statewide volunteer activities that focus on public education and awareness of archaeological and other cultural resources.

 

When she isn’t at work, Karen can be found spending time outdoors as often as possible, hiking, taking photographs, and spending time with her grown children and new grandson in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains as often as she can.

James Arriola, The Great Basin Institute

James Arriola

Cultural Resources Program Manager

James is a lifelong Las Vegas resident and native Nevadan. James grew up in North Las Vegas and attended Rancho High School. James attended UNLV, studying Business Management and Anthropology. James worked as a Retail Purchasing Buyer after college for a local furniture store and then eventually worked as a Museum Curator for many years before coming to GBI.

James Arriola is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member from Las Vegas, Nevada. He has been recognized for his service to Scouting with many different Scouting awards on a local, regional, and national basis including a national conservation based award for years of service to the environment. James currently serves as the Scoutmaster for Troop 219 and is active in the Order of the Arrow, which is Scouting’s National Honor Society. He enjoys planning trips and taking scouts into the backcountry hiking, camping, or backpacking. James’ oldest son is an Eagle Scout and his daughter is involved with the girl’s troop.

James is passionate about the archaeological resources and history of the southwest. He has volunteered as a rock art site steward for the BLM and for Clark County, Nevada. He loves learning about the different cultures of the Southwest and finding remote rock art sites while hiking in the outdoors. James loves hiking, camping, fishing, backpacking, and teaching young people about the natural world that we live in. He also enjoys reading archaeological reports and archaeology books.

Mark Demuth

Mark A. Demuth

M.Ed., M.S., M.S., AICP

NEPA Program Manager

Joining GBI in May 2021, Mark supports GBI NEPA project coordination across Region 5 of the US Forest Service. Mark has over 33 years of experience providing environmental consulting, documentation, and training to geotechnical, civil engineering, and archaeological firms in both the public and private sectors. Since 1987, Mark has conducted numerous environmental compliance projects in the areas of exploration, drilling, mine development, water exploration, and preconstruction and construction of infrastructure for clients throughout the western United States. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kent State University, a Master in Education from Vanderbilt University, and separate Master of Science degrees in Environmental & Natural Resource Science and Land Use Planning from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is now a member of the adjunct faculty. At the university, Mark teaches Environmental Policy and Law creating an upper-division course on NEPA that he has been teaching since 2006.
Preston Alden

Preston Alden

Wildlife Biologist

Preston Alden has worked on wildlife research and conservation projects for over 15 years. He has also served as Program Director at Gateway Mountain Center, a nonprofit that integrates the natural sciences with outdoor adventure experiences. Preston earned a M.S. in Ecology from U.C. Davis in 2017 and his B.S. in Ecology and Wildlife at Western State Colorado University in 2009. In the intervening years between his degrees he worked on, and managed, a number of remote wildlife research projects including Channel Island Fox biology with CSU Fort Collins and Humboldt State University, as well as the Sierra Nevada Red Fox project with UC Davis and the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife. Preston brings both his technical expertise and passion for public lands conservation to his work with the Basin and Range Forestry and NEPA Services Programs at the Great Basin Institute. He is currently focused on post-fire restoration projects throughout the Sierra Nevada with a particular interest in Pacific Fisher and Sierra Nevada Red Fox.

When Preston is not working he can be found exploring the mountains climbing, splitboarding, and backpacking with his girlfriend and dog. He also continues to read widely on natural sciences topics.

Kate Walker

Senior Botanist

Kate Walker, a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, started her career in the Great Basin and Sierras with the Forest Service in 2001. Her experience working with multiple land management agencies over her career ranges from writing environmental planning documents, to surveying for and managing rare and invasive plant populations in support of projects such as forest health, hazardous fuels reduction, and developed recreation. She has experience collaborating with interagency teams on ecological restoration projects, and writing rapid habitat assessment protocols for state-wide management planning. Kate is excited to be working with the Great Basin Institute in supporting their mission to protect the natural and cultural resources essential to sustaining our health and quality of life.

Libby Wilson

Nevada Conservation Corps Program Manager

Libby Wilson joined GBI in early 2023. She was born and raised in Northern California, making the move to Northern Nevada in 2002. Her journey into the world of conservation began over a decade ago at an energy conservation organization, delivering innovative energy management resources for clients throughout the nation. In her role as Director of Program Services she established a dynamic history in professional development, strategic implementation, improving technical user experience, and company collaboration. Her hands-on approach in leading the programs support and implementation teams allowed for the promotion and administration of educational programs in energy and water efficiency to schools and households throughout the county.

In the workplace, Libby uses her positive attitude and energy to encourage others to work tirelessly towards their success knowing, from her own experiences, that it always seems impossible until it’s done. When she has free time, she likes to read, travel, and spend her time outdoors with her husband, daughter and quirky fur-baby Apollo who will skillfully take you on a guilt trip until his next outing.
Vince LaPlante

Vince LaPlante

Trail and Restoration Operations Coordinator, Nevada Conservation Corps

Vince LaPlante is an established trail builder having constructed some of the most complex multi-use trail systems in the intermountain west. Before joining GBI in 2013, he worked over two decades with the U.S. Forest Service and four years with the National Park Service, inventorying, designing, and constructing some of the most scenic trails in the Western United States. As Trails Coordinator for the Nevada Conservation Corps he finds satisfaction in teaching the next generation of trail builders how to construct recreational trails in a sustainable and durable manner. When not at work, you can find Vince enjoying the remote backcountry of the Sierra Nevadas.

Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan

Nevada Conservation Corps Recruitment Coordinator

Danielle Ryan joined GBI in late 2023. She was born and raised in Reno, NV. She spent most her summers enjoying the beautiful lake in Tahoe and mountains as much as she could. She started her conservation journey in 2018 with Energy Efficiency Conservation Programs as a Program Support Specialist. She loved the impacts it made on schools and students by providing them curriculum based material on how to save water and energy. As the Recruiting Coordinator for the NCC program she’s excited to find individuals we are ready to start their journey in helping Nevada’s public lands and community.

 

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys reading, painting and traveling to different places around the world.

Lauren Krull

Lauren Krull

Forestry Program Manager

Lauren is a Hoosier by birth and received her B.S. in Public Affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. She first came to Reno in 2018 as an AmeriCorps VISTA serving the Northern Nevada International Center’s Refugee Resettlement program and joined the staff at the International Center to lead international exchange programs, including the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. She fell in love with the Sierras and is excited to use her program management skills to further GBI’s work in the area. Lauren enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her friends, especially bouldering, skiing, soaking in hot springs, and swimming in cold alpine lakes.

Jane Ponomarev

Jane Ponomarev

Forestry Program Coordinator

Jane Ponomarev was born in Russia but mostly raised in San Antonio, TX. She went to Texas State University where she graduated in 2018 with a B.S in Physical Geography, a minor in International Studies, a GIS certification. Her conservation journey began when she interned at a conservation sanctuary called Westcave Preserve.

 

From there, she found herself working a season as a Range Tech with AmeriCorps/GBI in Nevada. She fell in love with the mountains and forests of Nevada and California, so she decided to return the next year as a Forestry Tech in Tahoe NF with ACE. From there she worked another season in Eldorado NF as a TSI Crew Lead. She also spent 2 years working as a contractor for utility companies where she addressed their various forestry needs and conducted quality audits on other contractors. Currently, her home is Grass Valley, CA, where she spends most of her time recreating, reading in her favorite coffee shops and spending time with her partner and her cat Willow.

Monte Ramage

Monte Ramage

Forestry Program Coordinator

Monte Ramage was born and raised in Reno, Nevada, and completed his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno. Before joining the Great Basin Institute in September 2023 as a Program Coordinator for the Basin and Range Forestry Program, he worked in supply chain logistics at ITS Logistics.

 

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Monte is an avid outdoor enthusiast and mental health advocate. He enjoys backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking and has a keen interest in games like chess and Dungeons and Dragons. Yoga and rock climbing are also among his regular activities.

Daniel Schillo

Dan Schillo

Forestry Program Coordinator

Schillo, originally from the verdant expanses of upstate New York, ventured westward and carved out a niche in conservation through his tenure with the Montana Conservation Corps. His time as a Wilderness Ranger and his impactful role in program coordination with Sierra Nevada Journeys, Idaho Conservation Corps, and the Idaho STEM Ecosystem have honed his environmental stewardship and strategic planning abilities. Now settled in Reno with his partner, their child, and two dogs, Dan is eager to lend his expertise to GBI’s environmental initiatives.

 

With a professional track record as solid as the mountains he traverses, Dan’s downtime is just as active — whether he’s scouting for Reno’s finest coffee, backpacking through the Sierras, or delving into a captivating read. It’s this synergy of professional acumen and personal zeal Dan brings to every challenge at GBI.

Shikha Acharya

Shikha Acharya

Forestry Stewardship Coordinator, Sequoia National Forest

Shikha Acharya is originally from Nepal. She received her master’s degree in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Missouri and has a B.S. in Forestry from Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal. She has four years of professional experience working within the non-profit conservation sector both in Nepal and the United States with a focus on research, program management, GIS mapping, and community engagement for the conservation of endangered species. She brings these experiences to her role as a Forestry Stewardship Coordinator with the GBI. Outside of work, she loves reading books, yoga, photography, exploring vegan foods, and traveling.
Tyler Allen

Tyler Allen

Dixie Fire Recovery Program Coordinator

Tyler Allen graduated from West Virginia State University receiving a BA degree in History with a focus on Industrial History in the Appalachian Region. He then received his Masters of Science for Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University. There he studied and wrote his thesis on logging camps and mining operations. Additionally, Tyler has continued his education at West Virginia University to receive a GIS certificate given his interest in remote sensing, GIS applications, and spatial science. Since graduate school, Tyler has worked as a Park Service Historian with the Historical American Engineering Report (HAER), but has spent most of his professional career working for the Forest Service as an Archaeologist.  Tyler started his Forest Service career working on the Daniel Boone National Forest and then went out west to the Lassen National Forest. Most recently, he was the Assistant District Archaeologist out of Eagle Lake. Additionally, he has worked extensively as a Fire Archaeologist and Resource Advisor throughout Northern California. Outside of work Tyler enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner Megan, mushroom hunting, hiking, and traveling.

John Ogle

LTBMU Prescribed Burn Crew Lead

John was raised on a 630 acre cattle ranch outside Yosemite, and has spent most of his life living and working on the foothills of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. He attended Arizona State University, studying biochemistry, and subsequently worked with the Greater Valley Conservation Corps based out Sonora, CA, supporting fuels reduction and forest stewardship projects. During the off season, John spent four winters working at Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge, and Boreal mountain resorts on ski patrol. Last year John fought fire while serving with Bald Mountain Helitack on the Stanislaus NF. On his off days, John enjoys backcountry skiing, backpacking, and X country motocross. With such rich local outdoor experience, John brings genuine enthusiasm and commitment to improving forest resilience in the central Sierra.