Chapter Leadership

President: Elise Gornish

Dr. Elise Gornish is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration at the University of Arizona. Her work largely focuses on identifying strategies for successful restoration in arid land systems and integration of restoration approaches into weed management. Originally from New York, Dr. Gornish received her MS and PhD from Florida State University in 2013. She then completed two years of a post doc at the University of California, Davis before becoming a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological restoration at UC Davis. In addition to vegetation management, Dr. Gornish is passionate about STEM inclusion and has recently become the Director of UA GALS (Girls on outdoor Adventure for Leadership and Science). This new program focuses on providing science learning and leadership opportunities to traditionally under-served female high school students through backcountry programming.

Vice President: Vacant

Secretary: Ondrea Hummel

Ms. Ondrea Hummel has been active in the field of riverine, riparian and wetland ecosystem restoration efforts in the southwest for the past 23 years. She is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) through the Society of Ecological Restoration.
Her PhD research included an analysis of managed versus constructed wetland habitat, difference in surface water-ground water interaction, vegetation and arthropod communities. Ms. Hummel is certified to perform wetland delineations and has experience in permit requirements for CWA Section 404/401 and NPDES. She has also been an instructor at USACE courses such as ‘Stream Bank Stabilization and Riparian Restoration’ and ‘Environmental Considerations in Planning.’

Treasurer: Vickie Stubbs

Victoria Stubbs 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. She is a native Tucsonan, a proud Arizona Wildcat and leads MHR’s Tucson operations – Bear Down! 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,” with the newly formed Southwest Chapter. Vickie was part of the initial SERSW pro tempore leadership that forged the new chapter into existence and obtained the recently awarded 501(c) 3 Determination Letter 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! Professional Affiliations: – National Association of Tax Preparers (NATP) – American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) – National Society of Accountants (NSA) – National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) – Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Vickie@mhraccounting.com

Arizona Representative: Steve Plath

Steve Plath began his career in arid land restoration in 1994 as the nursery and restoration technician for Castle Mountain Mine in the East Mojave Desert of Southern California. Since then he’s worked on revegetation sites from coastal California to the Rio Grande River in Texas; the Colorado Plateau to the Mexican border with a particular emphasis on the Colorado River watershed. He has organized habitat restoration in the field, managed nurseries and led GPS teams for companies like RECON Environmental, Bitterroot Restoration and Native Resources International.   Steve was formerly co-owner, along with his wife Julie, of Signature Botanica LLC for the past 14 years. He is currently the Manager of the Native Plant Nursery for the Gila Watershed Partnership in Safford, Arizona. One of his on-going collaborations is with Southwest Monarch Study in a grant to provide Arizona State Parks and other agencies milkweeds for monarch butterfly habitat restoration.

New Mexico Representative: Cameron Weber

Cameron Weber has been deeply engaged in New Mexico’s land and water conservation since 2012. She holds a master’s degree from UNM  in environmental planning and focused her thesis research on the use of long term ecological monitoring data for Middle Rio Grande bosque restoration planning and evaluation. Cameron consults regularly with Middle Rio Grande land managers on native revegetation and improving monitoring plans to better address key uncertainties. As a project manager with Stream Dynamics she works from the spreadsheets to the creeks to deliver effective and appropriate watershed restoration projects across New Mexico and the greater southwestern borderlands. Cameron serves on the board of the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation, which creates statewide regenerative impact by getting hundreds of volunteers each year to restore riparian habitat and connect with our public lands. Cameron envisions a broad and powerful coalition of restoration practitioners from New Mexico making facultative connections with one another and with practitioners in other dryland ecoregions globally to implement techniques and conservation measures that match the scale of the issues we face.

Utah Representative: Vacant

Southern Nevada Representative: Tiffany Pereira

Tiffany Pereira is an Assistant Research Scientist, Field Biologist/Range Ecologist in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Las Vegas, NV.  She is honored to be nominated for the Nevada Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) board position and she values the opportunity to represent fellow early-career professionals in the Southwest SER community.  Tiffany specializes in the ecology, conservation and management of Mojave and Great Basin Desert flora and fauna.  She completed her Master of Science in Biological Sciences at UNLV in the Abella Applied Ecology Lab focusing on seed ecology and germination as well as evaluating long-term change in soil seed banks, fertile islands, and plant communities of conservation-priority gypsum rare plant habitat of the eastern Mojave Desert.  After eight years working and partnering with all levels of governmental organizations in the U.S., non-profits, and private consulting companies, her current work involves conducting research and providing guidance on natural resource management in Nevada.  As both a scientist and artist, she is also dedicated to effective science communication through scientific illustration and graphic design.  She has completed commissions for the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, publications, and private entities.

Southeast California Representative: Loralee Larios

Loralee Larios is an assistant professor of plant ecology in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, at University of California Riverside.  She earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California-Berkeley and has over 10 years of experience working in California’s grasslands. Her research links population and community ecology to invasion biology and restoration ecology and provides insights to how environmental change may influence plant invasions and ecosystem management.

Representative – at – Large: Don Falk

 

Don Falk is Professor in the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment, with joint appointments in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Program in Global Change, and Institute of the Environment. Don is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and has received a Fulbright Short-Term Scholar award, the Ecological Society of America’s Deevey Award, and the Udall Faculty Fellowship in Public Policy. Don served as the first Executive Director of the Society for Ecological Restoration. His books include Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants, Foundations of Restoration Ecology (now in Second Edition) and The Landscape Ecology of Fire. Don was a delegate to the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris and lead the University’s undergraduate degree program in Global Change Ecology and Management. Don holds degrees from Oberlin College, Tufts University, and the University of Arizona.