Ronnie Sidner, Ph.D. - Mammalogy
Dr. Ronnie Sidner is an ecological consultant and has 30 years of experience as a field biologist/mammalogist specializing in survey and monitoring of bats on public and private lands for: the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca, Arizona Game and Fish, Arizona State Parks, the Nature Conservancy, and Tucson Audubon Society, to name a few! She has also conducted field studies a few other mammals like shrews and chipmunks, and even feathered critters like spotted owls. She also conducted the pre-development baseline study to identify and characterize the ecological and biological patterns of the cave myotis maternity colony at Kartchner Caverns. She has monitored the endangered lesser long nosed bats and other bat species on Ft. Huachuca, Arizona for twenty years. Ronnie completed her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona , while studying lifetime mortality and reproduction of two desert species, pallid and big brown bats.
Roger Cogan - Herpetology
Roger C. Cogan is the Conservation Coordinator at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society near Elgin, Arizona. A portion of his many responsibilities at the Research Ranch is to promote public awareness of the fragility of native grasslands and the wildlife that they support. Roger has had the opportunity at the Ranch to expand research on a childhood interest that has lasted a lifetime. He is currently documenting the presence or absence of the 53 reptile and amphibian species that have been recorded over the last forty years at the Ranch. The current results of these efforts can be located on the Research Ranch web site http://researchranch.audubon.org library section.
Prior to arriving at his position with the Research Ranch in 2010, he had a thirty year career with the Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona. During his last fifteen years at the Zoo he was Operations Supervisor of the Arizona Trail, a section of the zoo devoted to representing Arizona biotic communities. The Phoenix Zoo has and continues to be heavily involved with active recovery projects for threatened and endangered Arizona wildlife of which Roger and his staff were an integral part.
Linda Kennedy, Ph.D. - Botany
Linda Kennedy graduated from Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS with a B.S. in biology in 1992 and with an M.S. in biology in 1994. She went on to earn a doctorate in botany from Arizona State University, Tempe AZ, in 1999. She is the Director of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch, an 8000-acre sanctuary and research facility in southeastern Arizona operated by the National Audubon Society. Her responsibilities include land stewardship, initiating and supervising research projects, and planning and implementing educational and outreach programs. Of special interest is development of monitoring programs to track long term changes in upland vegetation, shrub encroachment, and small mammal populations. Before launching her career as a biologist, she worked at the First National Bank of Kensington, KS as a bookkeeper.
Ron Pulliam, Ph.D. - Ornithology
Dr. Pulliam is Regents Professor Emeritus in the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. His former positions include President of the Ecological Society of America, Director of the National Biological Service, Science Advisor to the Secretary of Interior, and Director of the Institute of Ecology. Dr Pulliam has also served on numerous boards and commissions, as an advisor to several major philanthropic foundations, and as chairman of the board of NatureServe.
Dr. Pulliam has published over 100 scientific articles and books on a wide range of topics including niche theory, animal foraging and flocking behavior, source sink dynamics, science and the protection of endangered species, and the effects of climate and land use on plant and animal abundance and distribution. Among the awards received by Dr. Pulliam are the Distinguished Service Award from the Ecological Society of America and the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award from the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE).
In 2009, an international symposium on Source Sink Ecology was held to honor Dr. Pulliam at the IALE annual meeting in Madison Wisconsin. The proceedings of the symposium are being published in the book Sources, Sinks, and Sustainability Across Landscapes. J. Liu, V.
John Palting, Ph.D. Candidate - Entomology
Entomology has provided a lifetime of enjoyment for me, and at the age of 50, I find myself back in graduate school at the University of Arizona working toward a PhD. For over 30 years I have pursued entomology as a serious hobby, studying the insects of Arizona and adjacent Sonora, Mexico. This love affair began with my employment at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (1981-1988), where I worked as an entomologist and became very familiar with the arthropod fauna of this unique bioregion, particularly the moths (Lepidoptera).
After this, my career took a detour away from natural history and I have spent the last 25 years working in the field of immunology (17 years with Ventana Medical/Roche), where my work deals with the development of new monoclonal antibodies against diagnostic and therapeutic targets of cancer. While a fascinating field, my heart has always been in entomology, and I have never stopped studying insects on the side.
Four years ago I began volunteering with Sky Island Alliance in their Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) program. The goal of this project is to create a database of all the plants and animals found between the northern Sierra Madre Occidental and the Rocky Mountains, in the so called “sky islands bioregion.” For my part, I have identified nearly 3000 moths for the MABA database, and have participated on every MABA expedition since this project started. The MABA database, the brainchild of Dr. Tom Van Devender, serves both science and society, and it is something I am very proud to have contributed to. Also related to my field work in the Mexican state of Sonora, I was coauthor with Richard Bailowitz of the chapter on the Insects of Sonora in the published Biodiversidad Biologico de Sonora (eds Molina-Freaner, F. and T. R. Van Devender, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, 2010).
Greg Barron-Gafford - Biogeography/Climate Change
Greg Barron-Gafford is an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development and with Biosphere 2 at the University of Arizona. He received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Texas Christian University before earning his M.S. in Forest Ecology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. His research is centered on developing our understanding of semiarid vegetation responses and adaptation to climatic changes, such as increased temperature and reduced precipitation. Due to concomitant changes in our earth’s climate and anthropogenic uses of natural systems, regional-scale vegetative cover has been in a state of flux across many semiarid areas. These transitions in vegetation have significant implications for plot, landscape, and regional carbon, water, and energy balance. Barron-Gafford has used a combination of growth chambers, greenhouses, Biosphere 2 macrocosms, and a series of natural-system eddy covariance towers to quantify carbon and water flux across a mosaic of vegetative types. Such data are leading to estimations of environmental limitations to productivity and enhancing the parametrization of regional models aimed at quantifying the influence that vegetative cover has on ecosystem carbon and water flux under current and project climate regimes. Greg loves being outside and shares that passion for experiential learning with his wife and two young children.