Justin Jonson is the Managing Director of Threshold Environmental, a company specializing in large scale ecological restoration on degraded farmland in the southwest of Western Australia. He is a leading restoration practitioner and expert in the planning and delivery of medium to large scale (100 ha+) restoration projects in species rich landscapes, including those funded through carbon offsets. Over the past ten years he has planned and managed the delivery of 1100 ha of restoration. These efforts have focused on the use of direct seeding technologies to establish 6.5 million trees and shrubs. Much of this work has occurred within the multi-stakeholder landscape scale restoration initiative, Gondwana Link, in collaboration with public and private sectors. Justin has been actively engaged in the Society for Ecological Restoration for 20 years, and is Board member of the Australasian Chapter of SER since 2011. He is an author and editor for both the Australian and International Standards for Ecological Restoration, and is actively engaged in their ongoing development.
Amber Inggs – LERS Past President
Amber Inggs is a Civil Engineer/Hydrologist for ESA (Environmental Science Associates) in Southern California. Amber’s work focuses on the restoration of lagoons, coastal systems, large tidal wetlands, emergent wetlands and streams, as well as coastal hazards and adaption planning analysis. In her group, she serves as a hydrology and hydraulics technical analysis lead. Mrs. Inggs’ environmental restoration and conservation experience spans a wide geographic range including the Pacific, Latin America, and South Africa, along with the eastern and western coastal US. She received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP). She has been involved with the National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration for 4 years now. Previously, she had a role with Louis Berger WSP as Civil/Environmental Engineer in the northeast US working on coastal and fluvial restoration projects and green infrastructure.
Matt has over 12 years of experience working in ecological restoration, with a combination of applied research and program management roles. He is currently a Science Coordinator for the Southwest Region of US Fish and Wildlife Service in Tucson, Arizona. He works with partners on collaborative conservation and restoration programs, including landscape-scale assessments and developing tools to prioritize where projects are implemented on the ground. Previously, Matt worked at the Sonoran Institute, where he managed riparian restoration for the Colorado River Delta Program in northwest Mexico. During this time, he also worked with US-Mexico binational working groups to determine how to maximize ecological and social benefits of environmental flows to the Delta. Previously, Matt worked as an environmental consultant with GeoSystems Analysis, Inc., where he focused primarily on applied research on riparian restoration and eco-hydrology on the lower Colorado River.
Kate Buenau – LERS Secretary
Kate Buenau is a quantitative ecologist and modeler at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Science Laboratory in Sequim, Washington. She has worked on a variety of projects related to ecosystem restoration, endangered species management, ecosystem indicators, and environmental effects of marine renewable energy. Her work frequently takes her to the Missouri River, the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, and the Salish Sea. Kate specializes in analysis and modeling of species-habitat relationships, including work with shorebirds, salmon, and eelgrass. She has also worked extensively with U.S. federal and state agencies on restoration and conservation planning, resource management and governance, and adaptive management. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Vickie is a passionate, energy centered, solutions oriented business consultant, accountant, and tax preparation professional. With a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business, Vickie founded MHR Consulting, LLC in 2005. Her employment history includes 23 years with a Fortune 500 Company in operations management, internal audit, and corporate training. Vickie has been a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration since 2008 and is honored to help facilitate SER’s Mission, “to promote ecological restoration as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on Earth and re-establishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.” Vickie helped in the formation of the Southwest Chapter of SER, serving as pro tempore leadership and obtaining 501(c) 3 determination from the Internal Revenue Service. Beyond accounting, Vickie enjoys working in the yard, sprouting plants/herbs, UofA Basketball, and her absolutely wonderful husband of 27 years, Roger!
Lisa Heiwon Chang has for the past 12 years been a lead staff member for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Puget Sound National Estuary Program (NEP). EPA’s NEP is a non-regulatory, place-based program to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance, together with their surrounding watersheds. EPA provides annual funding, national guidance and technical assistance to the local NEPs, each of which has a Management Conference that consists of diverse stakeholders and uses a collaborative, consensus-building approach to implement shared conservation and management plans. Lisa also spent 8 years on EPA rulemaking teams based in Washington, DC developing national Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulations. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from University of Virginia and a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment.
Dr. Harwell is a Supervisory Ecologist at the Pacific Ecological Systems Division, US Environmental Protection Agency in Newport, Oregon USA. Matt has spent 25 years working on restoration science in multiple systems including Chesapeake Bay, Lake Okeechobee, South Florida and the Greater Everglades, and soon, the Pacific Northwest. Matt’s areas of specialization include ecosystem assessment, integration and communication of science for decision makers, adaptive management, and ecosystem restoration. Matt has been involved with the National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration since its inaugural year in 2004. Matt has a B.S. in Biology from University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (College of William and Mary). Matt is a foundational member of LERS.
Samuel Kiboi is a plant ecologist from Kenya and a senior lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi. Since obtaining his PhD from Lund University, Sweden in 2005, he has been teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in ecology, conservation biology, environmental risk assessment and management as well as supervising Masters and PhD thesis in these areas. He has participated in international collaborative activities in training environmental restoration leaders under the sustainable living with environmental risk (SLER) program from 2008 -2015 as well as initiated successful environmental rehabilitation activities using potential natural vegetation using the Miyawaki method with over 20,000 indigenous tree seedlings planted and established successfully in different areas of Kenya. Other major trainings he has been involved in are regional risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms and to date he is an external expert with the National Biosafety Authority in Kenya. He hopes that serving as a Director at LERs will help him reach out to the wider Africa continent in accelerating ecosystem restoration activities.
Dr Paul Nevill is currently a Senior Lecturer at Curtin University, Western Australia, the genetics node leader at the Australian Research Council Centre for Mine Site Restoration and a member of the Trace and Environmental DNA (TrEnD) laboratory. His research interests include molecular ecology, restoration genetics and conservation genomics. He is particularly interested in monitoring restoration using the latest molecular tools. He has projects across Western Australia, Malaysia and the USA.
Mindy Simmons has been a Senior Policy Advisor in the Planning and Policy Division at Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) since January 2015, although she will be on a temporary assignment to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Energy and Water Development for most of 2020. In her “normal” job, her Army Corps responsibilities include managing the Corps’ Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program (including developing and defending the annual budget), guiding related research and development, overseeing the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program, and providing environmental-related policy guidance to senior leaders at the Corps. She also serves as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Chief of Engineer’s Environmental Advisory Board. For two years prior, Mindy was as a Senior Program manager assisting with budget development and defense for the Corp’s inland and coastal Navigation Program, and also served as the DFO for the Inland Waterways Users Board. Before arriving in Washington, DC in 2012, Mindy worked in the Corps’ Portland District, where she managed implementation of the Willamette Biological Opinion and the Portland Districts fish hatchery program. Prior to joining the Corps as a Fish Biologist in 2006, Mindy worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service on non-Federal hydropower project licensing and decommissioning projects throughout Oregon. She also helped develop critical habitat designations and draft recovery plans for ESA-listed salmonids. Mindy is a native Oregonian who received a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University in 1998. She continued to study both fisheries science and civil/water resources engineering at OSU for her Master of Science, which included researching fish communities, riparian tree communities, and geomorphic characteristics of the Willamette River. Mindy spends her free time outdoors whenever possible. She enjoys bicycle riding/racing, CrossFit, skiing, fishing, gardening, hiking, cooking, and exploring rivers. She also enjoys traveling and connecting with friends and family over good food and drink.
Dr. Greg Wilson is a Board Director and Chief Scientific Officer for Riverside Conservancy, a nonprofit he co-founded to accomplish living shoreline restoration and land conservation in coastal Northeast Florida. This he undertook after a career in university research administration with Ohio State University and others. With a PhD in Ecology, his specialization is in aquatic ecosystems management with experience in several large systems including Chesapeake Bay, Tampa Bay, Puget Sound, Lake Erie and the Baltic Sea. He has served on the U.S. EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, and is President of the citizen support organization for two local state parks. He is also a certified Florida Master Naturalist. Greg has maintained a sincere, life-long interest in better understanding the environment and working for its preservation, and is committed to helping others do the same through expanding understanding of our fragile global ecosystems and enlisting public support for their restoration and sustainable use.