Rebecca McCaffery, United States Geological Survey
Term: 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2023
Rebecca McCaffery is a Wildlife Biologist. She resides in Bozeman, MT, but most of her work takes place on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, where she works with the Olympic National Park, local tribes, and agency and academic biologists on projects aimed at conserving, restoring, and effectively monitoring diverse species and ecosystems of interest in the area. Her focus is on understanding and estimating population and community dynamics of focal species and systems in relation to processes such as climate change, land use, and river restoration following dam removal. Rebecca received her PhD from the University of Montana, with research focused on montane amphibians. She has had a long involvement with SCB, starting with her work on the board of the Montana chapter. In her spare time, she loves hiking, skiing, camping, baking, gardening, riding her bicycle, and adventuring with her family.
Karen Root, Bowling Green State University,
Term: 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2023
Karen Root is a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Bowling Green State University leading the Conservation Biology and Population Ecology Lab (karenroot.net). Her research over the last 24 years has focused on the conservation of native biodiversity, including ecological surveys, habitat and population modeling, and conservation planning and management. Combining ecological fieldwork with the application of quantitative techniques, such as G.I.S., habitat modeling, and risk assessment, she addresses conservation issues across many scales, temporal and spatial. In collaboration with the Green Ribbon Initiative (oakopenings.org), much of her recent research focuses on ecology and conservation in the biodiversity hotspot of the Oak Openings Region of Northwest Ohio.
Rebecca Hufft, Denver Botanic Gardens, Treasurer
Term: 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2023
Dr. Hufft is the Associate Director of Applied Conservation at Denver Botanic Gardens, where she has overseen plant conservation projects since 2011. Prior to coming to the Gardens, she received her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz, conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Colorado State University, and served as a Senior Supervising Scientist at the National Ecological Observatory Network. She is a broadly trained conservation biologist whose research interests include restoration, ex situ conservation, long-term monitoring, and phenology. She served as co-chair for the North American Congress for Conservation Biology 2020.
Gerald Singh, The Nereus Program, Memorial University
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Term: 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2022
When I was young my mother and uncle instilled in me an affinity for nature and wildlife through camping in the Canadian wilderness. I naturally entered post-secondary education with a focus on conservation and environmental sciences and was dismayed at the reticence of many ecology and biology professors to engage with policy through their work. I’ve always wanted to connect my research with emerging policy (either to help shape policy goals or to guide actions that pursue goals). From an early stage in my career I have sought leadership positions that would allow me to connect research and policy. First, I campaigned to be a member of the provincial government of British Columbia through the Green Party of BC (I successfully ran as a candidate but did not win the election). I also served as the president of the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability Student Society for two terms. These experiences taught me about working on a committee and being a representative for a group of people. As I progressed through higher education, I noticed that I was becoming more conspicuous as a minority scientist. In my personal experience I have noticed that the focus on implicit value of biodiversity does not resonate with many minority researchers (whereas other cultural values do). Similarly, I have noticed that the field of conservation is rapidly broadening in scope of research disciplines, and as I’ve talked to this diversifying cast of conservationists, what conservation means to them yields ever-widening answers. I have always been curious about exploring the meaning and motivations of conservationists, as I believe that the direction of conservation should reflect its members.
Melissa Cronin, University of California, Santa Cruz,
Secretary & Student Representative
Term: 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2022
Melissa Cronin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Conservation Action Lab at UC Santa Cruz studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a Designated Emphasis in Coastal Science & Policy. Her research focuses on an interdisciplinary conservation interventions that draws across scientific, social, and economic methodologies and theory to understand and protect threatened elasmobranchs. In particular, she is working on mapping and mitigating marine fisheries bycatch in small- and large-scale fisheries, using manta and devil rays as a model group of species. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a National Geographic Young Explorer, and a Switzer Foundation Fellow. She also has a background in journalism and science communication, and has covered science and the environment, wildlife crime, and politics for publications including Slate, Salon, Grist, The Verge, Narratively, Popular Science, and others.