WCS North America

Staff

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Molly Cross
Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator
Molly Cross, Ph.D., is the Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for the North America Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her work focuses on bringing together science experts and conservation practitioners to translate broad-brush climate change adaptation strategies into on-the-ground conservation actions. Molly is helping to lead climate change planning efforts involving diverse stakeholders at several landscapes across North America, focused on a range of targets from individual species to more complex ecosystems. She recently co-edited the book Climate and Conservation: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning and Action, and co-wrote a guidebook and associated training course on Scenario Planning as a tool for climate change adaptation. Molly has contributed to several national climate change efforts including the U.S. National Climate Assessment, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies guidance on incorporating climate change into state wildlife action plans, and the Climate-Smart Conservation guide to climate adaptation. She is the Science Advisor to the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, which supports applied projects demonstrating effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change. Molly got her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied ecosystem responses to climate warming and plant diversity loss in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Piia Kortsalo
Geomatics Specialist
Piia Kortsalo is a Geomatics Specialist, providing GIS analysis and remote sensing support to the WCS Canada Northern Boreal Mountains and Arctic Beringia conservation programs in Whitehorse, Yukon. Piia has a Master's degree in Physical Geography from University of Oulu, Finland, where she used GIS methods to study the effects of boreal landscape structure on the distribution and breeding success of resident songbirds. While studying, she also taught basic and intermediate spatial analysis courses and supported other GIS projects at her university. Prior to joining WCS Canada in 2017, Piia worked as a Geospatial Analyst examining climate data and climate change scenarios for environmental projects in Alaska. Piia also volunteered for a conservation organization providing fieldwork support on a study investigating landscape use by gray wolves and snow leopards in Central Asia.
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Priscila Napoli
Fundraising Associate
As Fundraising Associate, Priscila supports WCS Canada’s fundraising team to maintain and improve donor stewardship. Priscila has over 10 years of experience in fundraising, grant management and project coordination, most of them working in conservation organizations in Brazil and in Canada. She holds a bachelor's degree in Social Communication and postgraduate degrees in Business Administration and in Sustainability Management, where she dedicated her research project to the theme of payment for environmental services and biodiversity conservation. Before joining WCS Canada as Fundraising Associate, Priscila worked in a number of organizations, including the University of Calgary's Faculty of Science, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, BirdLife/SAVE Brasil and Siemens Brasil.
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Rebecca Bentzen
Arctic Beringia Avian Research Coordinator
Rebecca completed her Ph D in Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks), working on King Eiders breeding in northern Alaska. After graduating, she continued research on northern breeding birds, investigating migratory pathways, habitat use, and population demographics resulting in multiple publications in leading journals. She is a life-long resident of the north having lived and worked in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Scandinavia, and is interested in the critical conservation issues and research needs facing the Arctic, its people, habitats, and wildlife.
Renee Seidler
Pronghorn Field Leader
Renee is originally from the Pacific Northwest. She received her B.S. in Molecular and Microbiology from Arizona State University and her Masters degree in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University. She began working with WCS in 2003 and helped to launch the Wildlife and Energy Development project in the Upper Green River Basin in 2005. She has conducted behavioral and ecological research on coyotes, wolves, moose, pronghorn, small mammals, and birds in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Panama. She is composing manuscripts from her thesis work on coyote predation management and was awarded the Richard Denny Best Speaker Award by the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society for presentation of this work. Renee's area of expertise is in field design and research.
Ross Dorendorf
Wolverine Research Coordinator
Ross Dorendorf has aided federal, state, non-governmental organizations, and contractors in wildlife research and management since he completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He worked on a variety of research projects across the United States including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and insects. Working on studies looking into the dynamic between humans and wildlife particularly interested him. Ross’s passion for the far north and its furbearers lead him to the University of Alaska – Fairbanks where graduated with a master’s degree concentrated on improving indices of furbearer abundance. He now focuses on coordinating wolverine ecology research in Arctic Beringia with a focus on female denning locations and diet.
Sally Andersen
Arctic Beringia Program Assistant
Sally has worked in Alaska for the past 20 years for federal, State, private and non-profit organizations. She has a Master’s degree in botany and wide experience as a field biologist. Her Master’s program through the University of Vermont placed a strong emphasis on communication skills, which is apparent in her writing and web administration abilities. Sally is co-owner of Arctic Wild, a wilderness guide service offering remote expeditions throughout Alaska. She is well versed in arctic field logistics, financial management, and the permitting process for federal and State agencies.
Sarah Reed
Associate Conservationist with Livelihoods Program
Sarah Reed is Associate Conservation Scientist with the Livelihoods Program. She is currently a Smith Conservation Research Fellow at Colorado State University. Her research examines how human development patterns and land use practices affect wildlife and biodiversity. Sarah has worked extensively with government agencies and conservation organizations, addressing issues from local to national scales of resource management, in public as well as private lands contexts. She is especially motivated by research projects that have the potential to inform land use decisions and conservation policies as well as to expand our understanding of how species respond to human disturbances. Sarah’s current research investigates alternative strategies for residential site design to protect biodiversity on private lands. Sarah recently joined the Board of Directors for the Society of Conservation Biology – North America Section. She also lead several projects—Dr. Reed: 1) Co-leads an interdisciplinary working group on the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of conservation development (School of Global Environmental Sustainability); 2) Integrates social and biological information to map human-wildlife conflicts (National Wildlife Research Center), and 3) Maps how habitat connectivity and threats to connectivity in southern Colorado (Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Collaborative). Sarah earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy & Management from University of California, Berkeley. She is based in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Shannon Roberts
Financial/Operations Manager
As Financial/Operations Manager of the North America Program, Shannon is responsible for the creation, implementation and analysis of the North America Program's multi-million dollar budget. She also manages the operational details at the main headquarters of the North America Program as well as two other multi-staffed offices and multiple field sites. Shannon is the North America Program Human Resource liaison and is responsible for assisting with recruiting, hiring, evaluating and promoting NAP staff and all of the details associated with that duty. Shannon joined WCS in 2007 and brings many years of conservation finance experience with various other organizations. Shannon also has experience as Director of an active vacation company. Shannon is a fourth generation Montanan, and as sister, daughter and grand-daughter of US Forest Service engineers she grew up appreciating the importance of conservation management and the cohesive relationship between government agencies and the public. Shannon's education is in Political Science from Montana State University, as well as a plethora of additional finance, travel and business management courses.
Stephen Insley
Associate Conservation Scientist
Dr. Stephen Insley is the WCS Canada Arctic Lead and part of the broader WCS Arctic Beringia program, working on the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and northern communities. He leads two main projects in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region with Inuvialuit partners. The first uses passive acoustics to predict and avoid future shipping impacts through ambient underwater noise monitoring, identifying biologically sensitive areas, and predicting ship noise footprints. The second project collaborates with Inuvialuit communities to monitor seal diet and condition in order to understand ecosystem change and its effect on local food security. His research background has had three general themes: (1) animal acoustic behaviour; (2) the application of behavioural ecology principals and techniques to conservation biology; and (3) conservation through local stewardship. His approach has involved experimental field biology, mostly with pinnipeds and seabirds, and working with remote subsistence communities in a wide variety of field locations including the Bering Sea, the North and South Pacific and the North Atlantic Oceans. He has graduate degrees from the University of California Davis and the University of Victoria, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Biology, as well as Postdoctoral experience at the Smithsonian Institution.
Research Gate | Google Scholar | LinkedIn | Arctic acoustics program
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