Since 2011, more than two dozen experts have volunteered their time and expertise with the Mongol Ecology Center and its work in the four National Specially Protected Areas in Hovsgol Aimag. All together they have made 48 different trips to Mongolia. The span of professional expertise ranges from protected area planning and management, interpretation and education, visitor services, transportation, architecture and landscape architecture, photography, GIS and a mix of different natural resource sciences. The board and staff of the Mongol Ecology Center truly appreciate their unselfish willingness to work as volunteers for the betterment of Mongolia’s Specially Protected Areas.
Robert retired from the National Park Service as an Associate Regional Director, Northeast Region where he directed planning, natural resource, historic preservation, capital construction and community partnership programs for the region. He has served on international projects in China, India and Mongolia. Robert served as the General Superintendent, Gateway National Recreation Area in New York/New Jersey and held various planning, policy and senior management positions throughout the country in the Department of the Interior – Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and later as the northeast regional director for the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Robert serves on the Boards of Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Mongol Ecology Center, the New Bedford Whaling History Alliance, and is a member of the Essex National Heritage Area Commission. Robert is a recipient of the U.S Department of Interior’s Distinguished Service Award.
Tom Medema was recently selected as the new Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers for the National Park Service. As of October 2, 2016 he will be stationed in Washington, D.C. and have leadership responsibility for policy and guidance for all 413 units of the NPS. Tom is currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education in Yosemite National Park. He is responsible for a robust operation which includes curriculum-based education and youth programs; interpretive services including web, social media, publications and film; museum and archival collections; over 9,000 park wide volunteers; and personal interpretive services including visitor centers, guided hikes, tours, and more. Tom has worked in the fields of Interpretation and environmental education for 25 years including positions at Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Mount Rainier National Park, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park before coming to Yosemite. In addition to his role as the program manager for Interpretation and Education Tom serves as the parks Executive Leadership Team liaison to primary park partners including Yosemite Conservancy, a non-profit fundraising organization donating over $10 million annually, and Nature Bridge, the parks non-profit residential field science education partner providing programming to 14,000 students annually. He has an extensive background in public affairs work having served on the Gulf Oil Spill and Rim Fire as a lead public information specialist. Tom is also the park leadership liaison to Yosemite’s Sister Park, Torres del Paine in Chile, and has also worked abroad with the American Battle Monuments Commission in France, and recently returned from a trip to Lake Hovsgol National Park, Mongolia. He holds a Master of Science degree in Park and Recreation Resources from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Recreation/Environmental Education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Joe began working for the US National Park Service in 1990 and has been at Yosemite National Park since 1995. In his time at Yosemite, he has witnessed the park’s ecological dynamism first hand: numerous annual wild land fires, the cross-boundary 250,000-acre Rim Fire (2013), the severest drought in California’s recorded history (2011 to 2015), the largest flood in Yosemite’s recorded history (1997), rockfalls, flash floods, debris flows, windstorms, and other dynamic natural processes.
Joe is currently the branch chief of Physical Science and Landscape Ecology. As such, he supervises the park’s geology, water, air, and landscape ecology programs. Along with Peggy Moore, Joe led the effort to develop a modern vegetation map for Yosemite, a critical baseline inventory. Joe has also been active in other aspects of Inventory and Monitoring, including water quality, alpine lakes monitoring, and climatology. Joe’s long tenure at Yosemite includes considerable experience with wildlife, vegetation, and cultural resources.
Joe is a scientist by training and enjoys bringing science to the table, and to present science in a way that is understandable by decision-makers and the public. Joe is particularly proud of science that has strongly influenced park management, and that will help park management address future challenges.
Mr. Moore served as the first executive director of the State of New Jersey Pinelands Commission between 1979 and 1999 and was responsible for managing the development and implementation of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan. In 1999, he joined the National Park Service as chief of planning and compliance for the Service’s Northeast Region. In that capacity, he was responsible for the conduct of general management plans for units of the national park system, studies of areas that may qualify as new units, and the Northeast Region’s congressional and legislative affairs. Since retiring in 2011, He has been a private consultant specializing in natural and cultural resources planning and management. He is currently providing assistance to Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia in developing a long-term institutional action plan for Colombia’s national park system. Mr. Moore holds a B.A. in Government and a M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He is a former National Urban Fellow of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities, and Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 2011 he received the Superior Service Award of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Peggy Moore has a M.S. in Range Management from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently a plant ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey stationed at Yosemite National Park. She has 30 years of experience in plant community ecology and has worked on a variety of issues in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, California. Her initial work at Yosemite was to characterize foraging habitat used by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Since then, she has collaborated on studies of forest fuel dynamics for 11 conifer species, grazing effects on mountain meadows, a non-native plant threat assessment, park-wide habitat classification and mapping, and rare plant status and habitat modeling. Most recently she worked with collaborators at University of California to model current and potential future habitat for high elevation white pines and with Yosemite park managers to evaluate the effectiveness of invasive plant control techniques.
Please read the report regarding Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring for Ulaan Taiga Specially Protected Areas – An Assessment of Needs and Opportunities in Northern Mongolia.
Leslie Chow earned a B.S. in Conservation and Resources Studies and an M. S in Wildland Resource Science (Wildlife emphasis) from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked as a Research Wildlife Biologist for the NPS and USGS in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Hawaii Volcanoes, and Yosemite National Parks. Over a period spanning 27 years (1980-2008), he participated in studies of American black bears and feral pigs, and led research on Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, forest carnivores, and mountain lions. He also coordinated small mammal inventories as part of the Grinnell Resurvey Project and collaborated on multiple bat ecology studies. In 2008, he became the Network Data Manager for the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program/Sierra Nevada Network where he was responsible for implementing the management of long-term ecological monitoring data collected in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Devils Postpile, and Yosemite. Upon retiring in 2016, he has returned to wildlife biology as a volunteer, participating in mammal inventories in Death Valley National Park and Devils Postpile National Monument and providing wildlife expertise to the Division of Resources Management and Science in Yosemite.
As a child, he was always interested in technology, and built his first computer at seven years old. In high school Jeff was introduced to photography. He received a BFA in 2008 from Sierra Nevada College and went on to complete an MFA from the Academy of Art University. It was always interesting to explore new tools for landscape filming. In 2010 Jeff and his colleagues discovered a small community that was experimenting with putting cameras on remote control aircraft. Jeff immediately immersed himself into this world of unmanned aircraft, and have been building and filming with them ever since. They’ve filmed with drones all over the world—from the extreme cold of Alaska, to the hot and humid islands of Southeast Asia. His work has been featured on TV and film, and he’s been cited recently as one of the global experts within the drone industry.
Simon is a senior at the University of Vermont and former President of the University of Vermont Outing Club. He is a wilderness hiker with outdoor leadership and first aid experience and has trekked in Tanzania, Peru, New Zealand and the U.S. In 2015 he worked part time at the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab. Most recently through the Sea Education Association, Simon completed a 3000 nm voyage from New Zealand to Tahiti. In high school Simon was a leader in The Food Project, a program focused on urban youth, sustainable food and community in the Boston MA areas. As a MEC volunteer in 2014, Simon worked as trail crew leader, mapping, with GPS, 250-miles of hiking and horse trail in Lake Hovsgol National Park. In the fall 2014, he prepared with GIS, the first trail map for the park. Simon also mapped the location of all tourist facilities on the southwest shoreline of the lake. Transportation Infranstructure Planninig in Hovsgol Aimag’s National Parks, Mongolia.
Michael Kihn was a member of GBQC Architects from 1974 to 2001. As a principal and president of the firm from 1991 until 2001, he was responsible for the design of the Franklin Institute Futures Center and University of Pennsylvania’s 3401 Walnut Street mixed use development in Philadelphia, the Headquarters Building for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in Harrisburg, PA and Innovation Park, Phase I – Penn State’s Research Park at its University Park campus – among many other projects. From 2002 until 2010, Michael developed the higher education practice and was the Higher Education Market Sector Leader for the New York office of Perkins+Will; he led the firm’s Northeastern US Regional Higher Education Practice and Perkins+Will’s Philadelphia office from 2010 to 2012. Michael also served as managing principal for higher education projects nationally and internationally. He is inspired by the need to address issues of community and collaborative behavior in balance with requirements of privacy and individual action in the creation of plans and facilities of enduring character.
Don Fox worked with the National Park Service for nearly 40 years completing master plans, facility designs, and interpretive plans for 13 national parks. He was park landscape architect at Yosemite from 1974 to 2006, a member of the 1980 General Management Plan team, and served as Accessibility Coordinator, and Pacific Western Region Accessibility Program Manager. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Architecture, completed advanced studies in Urban and Regional Planning at University of Colorado, is an American Society of Landscape Architects Fellow and lives in Mariposa, CA. Don currently works with public agencies, resort and tourism managers, private businesses, and organizations to conduct comprehensive inspections of facilities, prioritize program delivery strategies, and design solutions that comply with accessibility laws, universal design principles, and best practices to accommodate the needs of visitors with hearing, visual, mobility, and cognitive disabilities.
David Salisbury started working at the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1981. Since then, he worked as a professional trail crew member from 1981-1985, a service trip leader in Alaska in 1986 and a trails supervisor from 1994-2014. His responsibilities included managing various professional trail crews, planning, coordinating and securing funding for trail projects and leading trail maintenance and construction. David graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a B.S. in Environmental Science in 1987.
Margaret is passionate about interpretation and communication. After 26 years as an interpretive educator, park ranger, program manager, and trainer, she studied life coaching and became a Certified Professional Coach. The combination of her work experience, a BA in Cultural Anthropology, and a MS in Interpretation helped her recognize the significance of the meanings that we give to every experience. These meanings influence our ability to communicate. Margaret’s business, RePath Coaching, offers workshops and individual coaching to help clients improve their communication skills.
Nathanial Ward graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM) with a BA as a Geography major and a GST (Geo Spatial Technologies) minor. He was a member of the Geography Club. Since graduating, Nate has been working in the Spatial Analysis Lab on the UVM campus, mainly working with large datasets pertaining to tree canopies and UAV work pertaining to ice jams and river erosion. His hobbies include fly fishing in the backwoods of Maine and relaxing in a hammock with a good book.
Chris Leahy currently holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon. He has been a professional conservationist for more than thirty years and served as Director of Mass Audubon’s Center for Biological Conservation. His interests in natural history are comprehensive, and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects. His published works include: Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American Birdlife; The First Guide to Insects, Introduction to New England Birds; An Introduction to Massachusetts Insects; The Nature of Massachusetts. He is also the editor of a series of authoritative books on the flora and fauna of New England. Chris has designed and led natural history explorations to over 70 countries on all of the continents. He is especially fascinated with the world’s great remaining wilderness areas and biodiversity hot spots such as Gabon, Madagascar, and Mongolia. He grew up in Marblehead and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970s.
Bob’s involvement in the A.T. dates back to his first year on AMC’s New Hampshire Trail Crew in 1965. He rose through the ranks becoming the first fulltime, club-wide Supervisor of Trails in 1972. On the former ATC Board of Mangers from 1975 to 1978, Bob joined the National Park Service A.T. Park Office in 1979-80 after which he joined the staff of ATC in 1981. Bob is author of ATC’s Appalachian Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance (1st and 2nd editions, with Bill Birchard and others), as well as AMC’s Trail Building and Maintenance, 1977 and ’88 editions. Bob also helped found ATC’s corridor monitoring program, trail crew programs, ridgerunner and caretaker programs, as well as major government-funded procurement programs for removing structures and dams along the Trail, maintaining the exterior corridor boundary, and other federal and state-funded initiatives. He supervised those and other conservation programs until ATC’s restructuring in 2003-05. Bob has worked nationally and internationally as a consultant, trail designer and recreational safety expert and has extensive outdoor experience as a mountaineer and adventurer. Today, he acts as operations director for the ATC conservation department on advocacy issues such as external threats (power lines, highways, etc.), on specialized trail problems and issues, policy and plan development for the ANST, safety management with our programs, with interagency relations and agreements, and mentoring staff and volunteers.
Erica is a graduate of Indiana University with a Masters Degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She majored in Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development. Erica volunteered with the trail crew as the GIS specialist and, in addition to traversing all the mapped trails, developed base map layers for the park boundary, zoning, road system, and topography. The trail, tourist facility, other data were then overlaid on the base maps. Erica is now employed by the State of Washington Department of Transportation.
Maria Burks’ 39- year career with the National Park Service included leadership posts in parks with complex cultural, historic, natural resource, and community issues. Burks has served on several national-level strategic planning task forces, at times providing leadership from the Office of the Director, and working directly with the Secretary of the Interior. Drawn to assignments where she can serve as a change agent, Burks has hands-on experience with community outreach, landscape-level conservation, organizational development, and conflict resolution. She has traveled on multiple occasions to Russia as a consultant to the parks and nature reserves that are struggling with development challenges.
Jack Triepke is Regional Ecologist and Air Program Manager for the Southwestern Region of the US Forest Service. Jack has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Montana, and a Masters degree from Boise State University. He is an SAF member of the Southwestern chapter, and has worked for the Forest Service for 24 years as a botanist and ecologist on several districts, Forests, and regional offices in the Northern Region and now in the southwest. Jack has conducted various ecological inventories, classification and mapping projects, and is active in developing and promoting landscape assessment tools to evaluate resource management and ecological sustainability. He is active with the Forest Service International Programs, recently working in Jordan to sample vegetation and develop inventory systems. Jack will be pursuing his PhD at the University of New Mexico.
Doug Morris completed a 40 year career with the National Park Service in January, 2005. Doug served as a park superintendent for 13 years, first at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona, then for seven years at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Throughout his career with the National Park Service Doug was often called upon to be a member of various work groups assigned to develop new NPS policies, especially those addressing natural resources management, employee training, wilderness management, fire management, law enforcement, and international engagement. He was recently re-elected to serve a second three-year term on the Executive Council of the 700 member Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. He is also a founding board member of Global Parks, a NGO established to connect NPS retirees with parks projects in developing countries.
Mr. Barbar has completed a 36-year career with the U.S. Department of the Interior with subsequent experience as a consultant. During this time he has acquired expertise in public land planning and management, particularly in the program areas of outdoor recreation, visitor services, wilderness, cultural resources, lands and realty, tourism and interagency coordination. He has served in policy formulation, management and field operations positions for the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and ultimately as the USDI Executive Coordinator for the 25 million acre California Desert Managers Group, an Administration Innovative Management Initiative, which has been recognized and awarded nationally by the Vice President’s National Performance Review program. His assignments have given him a broad perspective on public land management particularly the operation of park, recreation and open space agencies in the Western U.S.
After graduating from Colorado State University with a major in Environmental Interpretation and Cultural Anthropology, Andrea worked for the National Park Service for 32 years having assignments in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado; Navajo National Monument, Arizona; Death Valley National Park, California; Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Parks in Washington and Alaska; Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Wyoming/Montana; Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska; and the National Trails System Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most of Andrea’s professional career was in visitor services—providing natural and cultural resource interpretation as a field interpreter and manager/supervisor/coach/trainer. She has extensive experience in the development of interpretive plans, media, and graphic design, and has planned, designed, and facilitated the fabrication of award-winning wayside exhibits, museum exhibits, and trail guides; and has a working knowledge of the technical aspects of digital media and current fabrication processes. Since retiring from the National Park Service in January of 2009, Andrea has continued to work in the field of interpretation in the United States and international settings (Ukraine and Republic of Georgia) via self-employment and consultation contracts.
Robert is a Civil Engineering graduate of UC Berkeley and has a Masters of Public Administration from University of Southern California. He is a registered professional engineer in California. Bob completed a 30 year Federal career with the US Forest Service in 1997 retiring as Forest Supervisor of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. He is currently in partnership with his wife as C&B Surveying and Civil Engineering. Bob is Secretary of the non-profit Tahoe-Baikal Institute which sponsors graduate student and young working adult exchanges between the US and Lake Baikal Region of Russia. He has been associated with this program since its beginning in 1991 serving as Chair of the Board 2000/2001 and continues to be actively engaged with alumni and partnerships. Bob has traveled to Russia and Mongolia on four occasions (1998-2009) engaging in TBI capacity building through partnerships and alumni activities, and participation in 2008 Mongolian Environmental Expedition.
Alan (Al) Hutchings directs a variety of special projects for the National Park Service. He served 36 years of Federal employment. Al’s career has focused on developing partnerships and constituencies to promote conservation and outdoor recreation at the Federal, state and local levels as well as planning for established and newly created National parks. From 1995 to 2010 he managed the park planning, communication, legislation and capital construction programs for the National Park Service in the Midwest Region, and for seven years prior to that directed the Region’s park planning and special studies unit. After joining the National Park Service in 1981, Al led a program of technical assistance to aid community based efforts to protect rivers and landscapes and to develop outdoor recreation opportunities. Prior to employment with the National Park Service, he held positions as a division chief and as a planner with the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, agencies of the Department of the Interior.
Todd is the Director of Global Parks which is formed to harness the large wave of professionals retiring from US agencies like the US National Park Service to provide needed assistance to strengthen the park and protected areas systems of other countries. He was formerly a Director in Conservation International (2000 – 2007) and worked for the American Red Cross (1994 – 2000). He has a degree in Economics and Natural Resource Management and an MS in Technology Management.
Seth Moherman is a freelance television editor and independent documentary producer. He has recently completed his second documentary feature, The Citadel: Birth of the LeVeque Tower. This film explains the social, personal and political forces that led to the creation of Columbus, Ohio’s most iconic skyscraper, the LeVeque tower. His first film, Winning Lives: The Story of Ted Ginn Sr., introduces a legend of an inner city high school coach in Cleveland who strives to get kids off the streets and into schools. Seth is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in television/video production. He began his broadcast career at local television station ABC 6/Fox 28 as a camera man and editor. From there he moved to Washington DC, where he worked as an editor for television shows on National Geographic and the Discovery Networks. Seth is now based in New York City where he edits programs for MTV, A&E, History Channel, Tru, Bravo, TLC and Lifetime. He has most recently co-founded and an educational non-profit video production company Teays River Productions.
Dr. Robert C. Wilkinson is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Bren Graduate School of Environmental Science and Management, and a Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Wilkinson is also a Senior Fellow with the Rocky Mountain Institute. His teaching, research, and consulting focus is on water policy, energy, climate change, and environmental policy issues. Dr. Wilkinson advises businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations on water policy, climate research, and environmental policy issues. He serves on the Task Force on Water and Energy Technology for the California Climate Action Team and as an advisor to state agencies including the California Energy Commission, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Water Resources, and others on water, energy, and climate issues. He served on the advisory committee for California’s 2005 State Water Plan, and he represented the University of California on the Governor’s Task Force on Desalination. Dr. Wilkinson has advised various federal agencies including the, US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the US EPA on water and climate research, and he served as coordinator for the climate impacts assessment of the California Region for the US Global Change Research Program and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.