Life seems to be coming full circle for Senior Conservation Scientist Dr. Annika Keeley. Annika currently resides in her sleepy German hometown of 6,000, working remotely for the Center for Large Landscape Conservation while visiting her parents – her typical habitat is that of Davis, California, just west of Sacramento. But it is her homeland countryside that spurred Annika’s love for nature and, more specifically, the science behind it.
How do we keep it healthy, whether it is a family system, organizational system, or ecosystem? The Center’s newest staff addition, Katie Deuel, is on a never-ending quest for the optimal answer. Joining our team as the Senior Conservation Director, Deuel brings a wealth of knowledge about building resilience in all systems, especially in the non-profit environmental world. In her role at the Center, she is responsible for building and managing a high-performing team of program managers, researchers, ecologists, policy specialists, and support staff to carry out conservation goals.
Dr. David Theobald, a science advisor to the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, was recently awarded the 2022 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award by the North American Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology. This honor is bestowed to individuals who have made outstanding contributions over a period of years to the application of the principles of landscape ecology to real-world problems.
A steady rain drenched us head to toe, and as it neared midnight I started to wonder when we would finally head back to camp. The herpetologists, though, were unconcerned with the elements. They scrambled up and down steep muddy slopes in search of reptile and amphibian specimens. In all likelihood, the fruits of their labor would be the discovery of species completely new to science! When the group finally called it quits for the night, the transect had yielded a half dozen frogs, a plump lizard, and a beautiful, non-venomous false coral snake to be documented and photographed.
This past weekend, I visited the newly established Parque Nacional Río Negro Sopladora, a national park that covers more than 30,000 hectares of undisturbed habitat in Ecuador, ranging from high peaks at 12,800 feet above sea level eastwards into the humid Amazon basin, at 2,600 ft. A highlight of hiking in this lesser-known park was seeing hours-fresh footprints of mountain tapir and a large cat (my guess is cougar). It was nice to finally get my boots muddy after two weeks in the city, getting situated in the country I will call home for a month and a half.
The Center for Large Landscape Conservation is pleased to announce the addition of two staff members who are helping to lead our programmatic work in the U.S. and worldwide. Project Director Megan Parker and Senior Conservation Scientist Annika Keeley each bring an impressive array of accomplishments in the field of conservation. We are excited to have these two leaders on our team to further elevate our science, policy, and partnership work.
The Center for Large Landscape Conservation is seeking an experienced management professional with a strong background in the conservation field and a desire to help shape the future of a growing and dynamic organization. The Senior Director of Conservation will lead and inspire program staff to deliver innovative and strategic programs and initiatives that support the Center’s mission, strategic vision, and guiding philosophy. They will develop and implement program strategies at the local, regional, national and international level to advance and promote ecological connectivity.
Emma Spence has been busy circling the globe with one goal in mind: to help answer the question, “Do corridors work?” She recently returned to the US from Poland and Italy, where she and local collaborators collected data and genetic samples at wildlife corridor sites. They want to see whether these linkages between areas of habitat are helping promote gene-flow for native mammal species such as the European pine marten and the yellow-necked mouse. As the Wildlife Corridor Field and Lab Manager at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Spence is utilizing her expertise in GIS and conservation genetics to identify what factors make a corridor successful.
A Montana group that has been recognizing conservation heroes for the past several decades is honoring Kylie Paul. Kylie joined the staff of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation as a road ecologist earlier this year to advance the development and implementation of wildlife-friendly transportation policies and projects. But she has been making a positive impact on wildlife and ecosystems for many years.
Gerald Wagner is the Director of the Blackfeet Environmental Program and Director of Blackfeet Nation’s Drinking Water, Wastewater, and Solid Waste Program. We sat down with Gerald to discuss the insights he’s gained from his extensive work in conservation and his advice for conservation groups who want to partner with Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples.