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.
Erika Rowland
Climate Change Ecologist
Erika Rowland is a conservation scientist working for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program with a background in forest resources, palaeoecology, and applied conservation. For several years she has focused on climate change adaptation for natural resource conservation in sites across North America, applying both vulnerability assessment and other climate impact science and engaged in the decision-making and approaches that support it. She has also been involved in developing adaptation-oriented guidance and trainings with the many partners, including the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. Erika earned degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (MS) and University of Maine (PhD).
Jerry Jenkins
Project Coordinator for Forest Management and Conservation Easements
Jerry Jenkins is an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program. He is the author of Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability, a newly-released book on the local implications of climate change, published through Cornell University Press. Jenkins brings decades of research experience in the field and the library to his current projects. In addition to focusing on energy and climate, his work has included botanical and ecological inventories, research on sugar maple regeneration and acid rain, and a focus on the ecological value of conservation easements. Jenkins is the lead author of several comprehensive books on the Adirondack region, including The Adirondack Atlas: A Geographic Portrait of the Adirondack Park, coauthored by Andy Keal, and published as a project of the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2004. The Atlas is cited as one of the most comprehensive volumes of information available on the Adirondack region. Jenkins is also the lead author of Acid Rain in the Adirondacks: An Environmental History, published in 2007. He recently was honored by the Ecological Society of America with the William S. Cooper award for his role in a botanic survey of Harvard Forest published in collaboration with Forest staff.
Joel Berger
Muskox Program Coordinator
Dr. Berger directs a number of projects for WCS; among these are the pronghorn migration corridor conservation project and the impact of energy development on wildlife projects in Greater Yellowstone, the impacts of climate change on musk ox in the Alaskan Arctic and the saiga antelope conservation project in Mongolia. Joel received his doctoral degree in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and subsequently worked for the Smithsonian Institution for 7 years before becoming a tenured full professor at the University of Nevada, Reno (16 years). His current research focuses on the conservation of species and intact ecosystems. He has written 4 books on wild horses, rhinos, bison, and fear in prey species. Joel is also the John J. Craighead Chair in Wildlife Biology at the U of Montana.
John Weaver
Senior Conservation Scientist
John Weaver is a carnivore conservation biologist for WCS based in Missoula, Montana with field programs in the western United States and Canada that are focused on large landscape conservation, wildlife connectivity and adaptation to climate change. Over the past 25 years, John has played many key roles in large carnivore conservation in the United States and Canada. His dissertation research was on the ecology of wolf predation in the high-diversity ungulate environment of Jasper National Park, Alberta. John has held leadership positions with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on endangered species and has served on several recovery teams, including for both wolves and grizzly bears. Over the years, he has perfected hair snaring techniques for lynx and bear surveys and invented a lynx lure that is now widely used. He has authored more than 20 scientific publications and served as a reviewer for five scientific journals. John has an academic appointment at the University of Montana. He is particularly interested in conservation strategies that address the resiliency mechanisms of vulnerable species.
Michale Glennon
Adirondack Landscape Science Coordinator
As Science Coordinator for the Adirondack Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Michale serves a leading role in the ecological research conducted in the Adirondacks. Her research interests lie primarily at the intersection between land use management and ecological integrity, with a number of projects ranging from the impacts of low density, exurban development on wildlife to the potential changes to Adirondack lowland boreal communities resulting from climate change. Together with colleague Heidi Kretser, Michale has conducted a number of studies focused on exurban development in the Adirondacks in an effort to understand the specific impacts on avian communities, the area around residential homes in which wildlife communities are most strongly altered, the habitat characteristics and human activities associated with exurban development that most impact wildlife, and the characteristics of wildlife communities before and after residential development. She has also worked to predict changes in avian communities resulting from future development, and together with Heidi, has explored how wildlife communities react to residential development across widely differing ecosystems by examining these questions in both the Adirondack and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems. She continues to expand upon this work to answer critical research questions for our region and to provide information from local research that can be used to inform land management and planning decisions. Michale joined WCS in 2003 after completing a Ph.D. at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she explored the effects of land use management on bird and small mammal communities in the Adirondack Park. She was instrumental in the application of the Landscape Species Approach in the Adirondacks, applying the tools of the WCS Living Landscapes Program to provide site-based conservation priorities for the park based on a suite of landscape focal species. She has also worked on the potential impacts of ski area development on Bicknell’s thrush, a Neotropical migrant of high conservation priority in the east, and on a project to understand the rapidly expanding moose population in the Adirondacks and its relatedness to nearby populations in neighboring states and provinces. In addition to her exurban development work, Michale is currently working to understand the status and distribution of a suite of lowland boreal birds in the Adirondack Park and the potential impacts of climate change on these vulnerable species. Michale serves on the advisory board of the Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, the Technical Advisory Committee for the Adirondack Park Agency, the Biodiversity Conservation Advisory Committee for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Forest and Land Management Task Force of the Adirondack Climate Action Plan, the Avian Taxonomic Working Group of the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, and the Paul Smiths College Fisheries and Wildlife Science Advisory Board.
Zoe Smith
Adirondacks Landscape Coordinator
Zoe Smith joined WCS in 2000 and is currently the Landscape Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program. Her conservation interests lie in working with communities on local issues particularly wildlife conflict on the human/wild interface and building local leadership for conservation. Zoe is an active member of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance core group and participates in various regional Smart Growth projects. Zoe was an appointed member of the Northern Forest Center’s Sustainable Economy Initiative that developed a 4-state economic strategy for rural Northern Forest communities. Zoe leads WCS’ Black Bear Education, Awareness, and Research Program and is a member of the New York State Black Bear Management Team. She currently sits on the Boards of the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation and Sustainable Communities Inc. Zoe has lived and worked in the Adirondack Park for almost 20 years and is an active member of her local community. Her professional background is in wilderness recreation leadership, management, and community building. She holds a BA in Natural Resource Economics from SUNY Fredonia.
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