For nearly  20 yearsI directed the PRBO Terrestrial Division program (formerly landbird program).  In our 2010 reorganization from the earth’s ecosystems to place based groups that integrate across ecosystems,  I became director of Point Blue's Emerging Projects and Partnerships Group.  As Director of the Emerging Programs and Partnerships Group my main objective is to integrate results,  tools  and products  of Point Blue's long-term and cutting edge research and monitoring  programs with partners and conservation initiatives.  I do this with my group by supporting priority existing partnerships and developing new strategic partnerships. In this role I also work on the development of new  and existing and projects in important areas such as shrub steppe and  California deserts.   Additionally, I lead efforts that span regions and engage  multiple groups.  An excellent example of such a cross regional project is our new  Rangeland Watershed Initiative.

 I began birding as a preteen in central Ohio (thanks to lifelong mentors Eugene and Charlsie Keferal;  former zoology graduates students at The Ohio State University) and became  adamant about  conservation as I  witnessed  my favorite habitats  disappear to  human development  exploding  out of Columbus. At Lewis and Clark College,  I encountered a strong field-oriented biological curriculum and was inspired by professors from Lewis and Clark (notably Tom Darrow, Don McKenzie, Steve Seavy, Dave Martinsen, and Pat Stallcup  - Rich’s cousin) and elsewhere ( Steve Hermann, Denzel Ferguson and Dave DeSante).  After graduation,  I was inspired by Stallcup and invited by DeSante to become an intern (a ‘gridder)  at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in their new Coastal Scrub Ecology Program at the Palomarin Field Station in 1980. The following year I was hired back to supervise the interns in the project as seasonal staff.  The following year I was invited to participate in PRBOs Antarctica research program on penguin populations at King George Island and pieced together year-round employment until my position as a landbird biologist and later Director became full–time. 

At Point Blue , I continue to promote, design, evaluate and implement monitoring programs throughout  North America and  work closely with private, state and federal agencies to assess the impacts of restoration,  land use, grazing, and climate change on bird populations and ecosystems. In recent years, my and Point Blue’s focus has evolved from just assessment to implementation. Our vision is to put better more appropriate conservation practices on-the- ground (and of course monitor to ensure success)  to improve conservation outcomes and  reduce the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, and other threats to wildlife and people.

I currently serve on the National Partners in Flight’s (US) Executive Steering Committee, the  Science Committee and as chair of California Partners in Flight.  I participate regularly  in the  Bird Habitat Joint Ventures  and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, including serving as chair of the Sonoran Joint Venture Management Board and member of the Intermountain West Joint Venture Technical Team. I also am on the steering committee of the Western Hummingbird Partnership, review panel of  California State Parks Vehicular Recreation Area Habitat Monitoring System (HMS2) and  Western Bird  Banding Associations  grants committee. I was honored to be the recipient of the 2010 National (US) Partners in Flight Conservation Leadership Award.  

When not traveling to the Great Valley, Sonoran Desert, Great Basin, or Northern  Mexico,  I can be found near my home in Bolinas at the Palomarin Field Station or Point Blue’s Headquarters in Petaluma. 

Featured Work: 

The  Rangeland Watershed Initiative