1. Alan K. Knapp3215657

Currently holds the position of Senior Ecologist in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and Professor of Biology at Colorado State University. Current research approaches reflect initial training as a plant physiological ecologist and a two-decade long association with large-scale ecosystem research through the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, specifically the Konza Prairie LTER program. The combining of leaf-level physiological and ecosystem-scale interests has led to a strong appreciation for collaborative, interdisciplinary research focused on identifying mechanisms through experiments conducted across broad spatial and temporal scales. Grasslands and savannas, from arid to mesic, are the primary habitats in which field research is conducted.

 Arika2. Arika Virapongse.
Arika Virapongse is a social ecologist working with developing best practices for human-environmental systems monitoring and application. Arika is currently a Research Associate at the Center for Resilient Communities at University of Idaho, and a Visiting Scientist at the U.S.-based National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON Inc.). Previously, she was an associate scientist at NEON Inc., and has consulted for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Center for International Forestry Research. Arika has more than ten years of experience in community-level natural resource management in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Arika earned her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary ecology in 2013 from the University of Florida. She completed a master’s of science degree in pharmaceutical botany at Khon Kaen University in Thailand and bachelor’s of science degrees in zoology and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Florida. Arika holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Her research and practice interests are social-ecological systems resiliency, conservation and development, livelihood systems, and human dimensions of natural resource management. She currently resides in Boulder, CO.

70151393. Benjamin Bond-Lamberty

Research Scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland, College Park, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a forest ecologist with training in a variety of field, statistical, and modeling techniques, he is interested in several broad areas: carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, particularly boreal and northern forests, and their response to natural and human-initiated disturbances. He has extensive experience modeling biogeochemical cycling in these systems, as well as in manipulative field and lab experiments. Dr. Bond-Lamberty is a strong proponent of open code and data in scientific analyses, and has significant interests in the R statistical computing language, syntheses and meta-analyses, and mentoring younger scientists.

4. Christopher D. O’Connor

I am a forest ecologist at the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.  For the past six years I have been conducting research on the interactions among climate, fire, insect outbreaks, and management practices in forested ecosystems.  I am using the results of this work to advise cooperators with the U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, and the Department of Defense on development of sustainable management plans.  My current work entails the development of a comprehensive climate change risk assessment for a group of stakeholders across three regions of the Southwest. Prior to moving to Arizona in 2009, I worked as a forest entomologist helping to develop sustainable silviculture in the boreal forests of Quebec.

I have lived and worked in most of the forested systems of North America, covering a diverse array of ecosystems including conifer forests in western Washington where I grew up, to hardwood forests of Michigan and Pennsylvania, subtropical forests in central Florida, and fire-prone forests across the Southwest.  I have a B.S. from Penn State University, an M.S. from the University of Quebec, and a Ph. D. from the University of Arizona.

unnamed5. Christopher Duffy

Christopher J. Duffy is a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Penn State University in the area of Water Resources Engineering. He has held faculty appointments with Utah State University (1981-89), visiting appointments at Los Alamos National lab (1998-99), Cornell University (1987-88), Ecole Polytechnic Lausanne (2006-07), Senior Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution in residence at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (2007), Visiting Senior Fellow University Bristol, UK (20014-2016) and visiting scientist University of Bonn, DE (2015). Currently Duffy and his team have focused on developing the spatially-distributed, physics-based computational  code PIHM (The Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model) for multi-scale, multi-process applications (, and an on-line national data service for access to geospatial watershed data ( anywhere in the continental US. He has currently funded research with NSF INSPIRE program, NSF EarthCube, EPA, DOE, USDA and the NSF CZO programs. These projects  involve establishing a theoretical basis for assessing fluid pathways and isotopic age of water within catchments around the world.


6. Chris Lenhardt

Lenhardt is RENCI’s Domain Scientist for Environmental Data Sciences and Systems. Prior to RENCI, Lenhardt was the manager and PI for the NASA-funded Distributed Active Archive for Biogeochemical Data at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His work ranges from helping to create knowledge management frameworks for science data and information to studying the implications of emerging technologies. Lenhardt is also active in the Federation for Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), having served in various leadership capacities; he also leads the science software cluster and contributes to the digital preservation committee, as well as the physical samples and digital data cluster. He is also active in the EarthCube Council of Data Facilities and COOPEUS.

Lenhardt is a lead and a member of the Steering Committee of the EarthCube iSamples research coordination network. He also manages the DataNet Federation Consortium Facilities and Operations Community of Practice, RENCI’s contribution to DFC, Reagan Moore (PI). Lenhardt served as senior personnel on the NSF-funded Water Science Software Institute (WSSI) project at RENCI.

The WSSI vision is to create an Institute that 1) accelerates progress on grand challenge water science problems, 2) develops and deploys interoperable, sustainable, and reusable software and cyberinfrastructure tools that meet user needs, and 3) develops and deploys processes to support transdisciplinary collaborations across diverse communities such as water science researchers, computational scientists, and social scientists.

7. Cynthia Parr
parr imageDr. Parr is a Technical Information Specialist in the Knowledge Services Division at the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since arriving at USDA in September 2014 she has led the Ag Data Commons research data repository project ( She is managing the development of the web clearinghouse for the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections and will contribute to big data initiatives in agriculture. Previously she served as the Chief Scientist and Director for Species Pages for the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), based at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. She currently serves as the Chair for the Biodiversity Information Standards organization (Taxonomic Database Working Group, TDWG). She has conducted research in evolutionary ecology, ornithology, behavior, molecular systematics, community ecology, information visualization, semantic web, and social networks. She is an evangelist for open data and citizen science.

31555898. David LeZaks, PhD
David is the managing scientist for the Knowledge Systems for Sustainability Co., a global research consortium assembled to address major scientific and engineering challenges related to improved resource management at the nexus of food, energy and water.  Before taking a leadership role in this project, he completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he focused his research on improving the understanding of the agroecological system and identified pathways that can improve the environmental, social and economic performance of agriculture. Specifically, his research has focused on quantifying the embodied carbon within internationally traded food, the economics of anaerobic digesters and the prospects for improved agroecological monitoring systems. He received his undergraduate education at the Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. David’s research has taken him to the far reaches of the world, including both polar regions and the tropics where his projects have included investigating local impacts of climate change in Alaska and Antarctica, mapping giant panda habitat in China, and monitoring topical agricultural expansion in Panama.

9. Domingo Alcaraz

Domingo Alcaraz-Segura was born in Alhama de Almería, Spain, in 1978. He received his bachelor degree in environmental sciences in 2000 and his PhD degree in 2005, both at the University of Almería. He has enjoyed post-doctoral positions at the University of Virginia, University of Buenos Aires, University of Texas at Austin, University of Maryland, and Spanish Council for Research (Doñana Biological Station). Currently, he is a professor at the University of Granada (Spain) and an associate researcher of the Andalusian Center for the Assessment and Monitoring of Global Change. He teaches courses in botany, geobotany, global change, biodiversity conservation and human well-being, and time series analysis of satellite images. His current research interests are the environmental controls of biodiversity, the impact of land cover and land use changes on ecosystem functioning and services and on hydroclimate, and the development of monitoring and alert systems of global change effects on protected areas. His research is based on fieldwork, remote sensing techniques, time series analysis, and geographical information systems. – See more at:

10. James D. Myers
Dr. Myers is a Research Investigator with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University (1985) and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1993). He has nearly two decades of experience in the development and deployment of Cyberinfrastructure for research, education, and industrial application and has participated in the planning and execution of multiple large community cyberinfrastructure projects for NSF, ONR, and DOE. Dr. Myers has been active in the development of provenance and content management standards and has led efforts to design and develop data-intensive hardware and software systems. As a co-PI on the Sustainable Environment Actionable Data (SEAD) DataNet project. Dr.Myers is currently developing a scalable mechanism for the long-term preservation of scientific research results based on semantic web and cloud technologies and leveraging active and social curation approaches to increase data re-use and lower lifecycle costs.

557179611. Julio Betancourt 
Senior Scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly in Tucson and now based out of Reston VA) and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he obtained both his Master’s and Ph.D. His training in the sciences is broad and includes geology, hydrology, climatology, and ecology. This has allowed him to do innovative research in the seams between disciplines, and to publish two books and 160 technical papers in a wide variety of scientific journals.  Julio studies how climate variability and change affect terrestrial ecosystems at scales critical for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes to inform rational approaches to managing water and other natural resources under an uncertain and changing climate. He has conducted field studies across the western U.S. and Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Julio has received prestigious awards from the American Water Resources Association, the Ecological Society of America, the Geological Society of America, and the U.S. Department of Interior. In 2008, he was one of two scientists in USGS and the Department of Interior honored by the White House with the prestigious Presidential Rank Award, and in 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has been a leader in both regional and national scientific initiatives. Over the past decade, Julio has helped organize the public and private sector led to control the spread of African buffelgrass in Southern Arizona ( He also co-founded the USA-National Phenology Network (, to observe and predict how plants and animals will respond to climate change and help society adapt to a changing climate.

951244612. Kathleen C. Weathers
Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers received her master’s degree from Yale University and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She is currently a Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, USA. She carries out biogeochemical research in ecosystems around the world and has published widely on the importance of fog in coastal and montane ecosystems,  the influence of tree species on biogeochemical cycles, and vice versa; modeling the effects of landscape features on rates atmospheric deposition and subsequent watershed biogeochemical responses; documenting the effects of nitrogen pollution on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; and understanding the influence of (surprising) cyanobacterial blooms on freshwater geochemical cycles. Much of her research is focused on understanding how biology influences geochemical cycles at the spatial scale of landscapes and in the face of global environmental change.  Dr. Weathers is an elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Ecological Society of America (ESA). She is current co-chair of the grassroots Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON;; chair of the External Advisory Board of SESYNC, NSF’s new Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center; Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Catchment Science; and past chair of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). Weathers was a rotating Program Director at the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Ecosystem Science, is a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and has served on a National Academy of Sciences/Transportation Research Board (NAS/TRB) Committee to evaluate the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ/TEA-21) program. She has led workshops and conferences on defining research agendas for fog and ecosystem science, understanding environmental tipping points and rapid environmental changes; strategies for successfully bridging science, policy and management; and linking science, education and outreach.

13. Lei-Ming Zhang

Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS)

14. Mario Guevara

Mario  is a full time PhD student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at UD. His research focuses on understanding and quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of soil organic carbon and soil moisture by using spatial statistics and machine learning techniques to analyze environmentally-relevant “big data”. His research aims to a) improve the understanding of development of soil spatial indicators including soil biological integrity, soil hydraulics and soil physical stability; and b) to analyze changes of soil biogeochemical and hydrological dynamics in space and time at several scales, over different vegetation structures and land uses.

189674615. Melinda Smith
My research focuses on understanding the consequences of human-caused global changes, especially the impacts of climatic changes (particularly drought), biological invasions, eutrophication (e.g., increased N deposition), and altered disturbance regimes for biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Within this context, my research addresses questions about the functional roles of species in ecosystems, the causes and impacts of loss and gain of genetic and species diversity, the factors that influence species coexistence and patterns of species abundance, and the relative strength of bottom-up (resources) vs. top-down (consumers) controls in structuring communities. My research employs a mixture of empirical approaches (observational, experimental, comparative and synthetic) and utilizes C4-dominated grasslands as experimentally tractable and dynamic model systems. I currently am the lead of the Drought-Net RCN ( and am director of the Semi-Arid Grassland Research Center at CSU.

642563816. Michael Dietze

 Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. His research focuses on the impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity, and the carbon cycle using a combination of field, lab, statistical, informatic, and modeling approaches. He is lead developer of PEcAn, an ecological informatics system for ecosystem modeling and data assimilation, and author of the forthcoming book “Ecological Forecasting”.

 Umweltbundesamt, Austria, Vienna
Databases, Data Structures, Canopy Research

18. Naupaka Zimmerman

Naupaka Zimmerman is a microbial ecologist in the school of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Arnold Lab, his research focuses on understanding the ecological relationships between plants and their foliar microbiomes, with a particular interest in asymptomatic foliar fungi (endophytes) using high-throughput sequencing approaches. In addition to research, he has been involved in helping to connect early-career ecologists from around the country through the Ecological Society of America’s Student and Early Career Sections, and from around the world through the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists (INNGE) and the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL). He is also very interested in helping to advance open and reproducible research practices in the biological sciences. In this vein, he is an instructor for the Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry organizations, which provide two-day workshops that aim to teach scientists best practices for computational research and data analysis.

19. Nicole Thurgate
A/Prof. Nikki Thurgate is the director of the MSPN (Multi-Scale Plot Network) facility of TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network). She has spent many years working in the field of conservation ecology in Australia and the USA.  Her primary research focus has been the identifying ecological traits of species that are vulnerable to extinction.  She has also worked for several state and federal government agencies.

20. Peter Jorgensen

I am a transdisciplinary researcher applying macroecological methods and methods from evolutionary biology to questions regarding global societal challenges including global environmental change. My current research takes an integrative approach to questions of global natural resource use – including trends in national consumption and applied evolutionary biology including resistance evolution. In applied evolutionary biology, I am focused on building a socio-ecological foundation to how humans govern system subject to contemporary rapid evolution as well as loss of biodiversity. I have throughout my career emphasized transdisciplinarity and worked to innovate foundational infrastructures, as well as research itself, in international research communities. This is evident through my co-founding and leadership of the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists, governing board membership of the International Association for Ecology and current facilitation of a regional network – the Oresund Early Career Sustainability Researchers network.

21. Rachel Gallery
My research group studies the ecology of soil microbes. Microbes define soil health, support ecosystem services, and maintain plant diversity. They are critical to ecosystem resiliency, especially in the context of climate change and the conservation challenges we currently face. Working across a range of ecosystems from lowland tropical forests, to high elevation conifer forests, to semi-arid grasslands, we use field-based experiments, microbiological techniques, and contemporary genetic sequencing tools to test the effects of plant-microbe interactions on plant and microbe community diversity. We work with model developers to understand how environmental shifts will alter these interactions and accurately measure and predict ecosystem function responses. For more information please visit:

RandyWisser7222. Randall Wisser

Assistant Professor in Plant and Soil Sciences. He earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell, followed by a postdoctoral stint at NCSU. His research encompasses the broad areas of crop genetic diversity and translational research for crop improvement, and focal areas of disease resistance and response to selection.

Samuel Villarreal23. Samuel Villarreal

Samuel Villarreal is a full time PhD student in the Water Science and Policy program​ at the University of Delaware. His main research focuses on the spatio-temporal variability of evapotranspiration, as a response of climate variability and to environmental changes. His research aims to​ improve the understanding of evapotranspiration trends as a response of biophysical changes​, and​ to ​determine spatial hotspots of evapotranspiration and its relation to climate variabil​ity​ and land use management.

20150524_19332824. Sandra Petrakis

Sandra is a Masters Student in the Water Science and Policy program at the University of Delaware. Her research is focused on the influence of water pulse events on greenhouse gas fluxes from soils.



25. Sara Del Valle
Scientist/Project Leader
Defense Systems and Analysis Division
Los Alamos National LaboratorySara has been conducting research at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the past twelve years. She has worked on developing, integrating, and analyzing mathematical and computational models for the spread of infectious diseases including smallpox, anthrax, malaria, HIV, influenza, and Ebola. She also works on modeling the potential effects of mass casualties on the Healthcare and Public Health Sector including resource allocation and dependencies on other infrastructure. In addition, she studies uncertainty quantification, social networks, mixing patterns, and the role of social behavior on disease dynamics using social media and computational models. Currently, Sara is the technical lead for the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC)’s pandemic influenza project and the principal investigator for an NIH grant for the Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study program.

93022326. Sparkle Malone
Research ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, CO. She completed a master’s degree in Forest Resource Conservation at the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Alabama. Her primary research focus is to improve our understanding of how climate and disturbance regimes influence spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem structure and function. Using remote sensing, eddy covariance, and spatial and temporal models she explores questions related to ecosystem condition, sustainability, and vulnerability to climate change.

2362131_orig27. Tara Trammell

Tara is the John Bartram Assistant Professor of Urban Forestry in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at the University of Delaware.  She is an urban ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how biophysical and sociological factors affect urban ecosystem structure and function.  Her research focuses on how urban forests respond to anthropogenic impacts such as pollution and invasive species, and in-turn how urban forests provide ecosystem services.  She has utilized a variety of field, lab, and modeling techniques to understand carbon and nitrogen cycling in urban ecosystems.

Thomas Parr28. Thomas Parr

Postdoctoral Research Associate. Thomas received his PhD from U. of Maine in Biology and is currently working on the NSF EPSCoR Track 1 project exploring the impacts of climate variability and land use on the flux, composition, and bio-availability of C and N in runoff.

Tim Keith29. Tim Keitt

Tim Keitt is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He held previous appointments at Stony Brook University, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the Santa Fe Institute. His research broadly addresses the organization and dynamics of ecological systems using both theoretical and empirical approaches. Topics of his research range from applied conservation biology to theoretical population studies to landscape genomics. He is currently investigating theoretical models of community resilience in the face of environmental change and the influence of hydrological regimes on plant biodiversity in the Amazon basin.