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Board and Staff Migrations


We are delighted to welcome Mary Power, PhD, as the newest science member of PRBO’s Board of Directors. Dr. Power, who has served on our Science Advisory Committee for the past year, is a professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California and directs the California Biodiversity Center. She has earned numerous scientific honors including election to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in May. As a recent U.C. Berkeley press release reported, Dr. Power “conducts experiments in rivers and watersheds to untangle the complex food webs and intricate species interactions in fresh water habitats.”

On PRBO’s staff, Michael Fitzgibbon migrated from his role as Operations Manager to become our new Chief Technology Officer, managing our IT staff as well as our Informatics Group. Michael thus returns to his core strengths and continues making major contributions to PRBO’s strategic goals.

Grant Ballard, PhD, has become our new Chief Science Officer, responsible for overall leadership and coordination of PRBO’s scientific activities. From his start as a volunteer in 1991, Grant has gained detailed long-term knowledge of PRBO, as well as outstanding research expertise, to match his passion for conservation science. Currently, Grant also leads our work on climate change and San Francisco Bay. Congratulations to both Michael and Grant!

We are grateful to John Wiens, PhD, who remains PRBO’s Chief Scientist part-time from Oregon.
Helen Wagenvoord recently joined PRBO’s Development staff. Blake Barbaree (with a Long-billed Dowitcher) is a new Avian Habitat Ecologist at PRBO.

New to PRBO’s staff is Helen Wagenvoord, who assists with proposal writing with our Director of Program Development, John Baker. Says John, “Helen brings a wealth of experience in foundation fundraising for environmental and climate change projects, and we are glad to welcome her.”

Blake Barbaree is a new Avian Habitat Ecologist in our Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group. With experience in bird telemetry studies, Blake is part of a PRBO team tracking migratory shorebirds’ movements. He studied Marbled Murrelets for a master’s degree from University of Oregon.

The newest Partner Biologist in our Rangeland Watershed Program is Tiffany Russell, based in the NRCS office in Susanville, in the sagebrush region of northeastern California. Tiffany migrated from our Sierra Nevada Group where she was a field biologist for the past three seasons.

Mike Yamamoto brings extensive experience managing information technology to the position of IT Administrator at PRBO.

Welcome, Blake, Tiffany, and Mike!

Karen Carlson, who joined our Finance and Administration staff in 2011 and has steadily taken on more responsibility, was promoted to Grants and Contracts Manager this August. Congratulations, Karen!

A fond farewell to Libby Porzig and Scott Jennings. members of our Palomarin Field Station team since 2005. The couple has moved to Oregon, where Libby will complete her doctoral dissertation on the impacts of rapid environmental change on bird communities, and Scott will pursue a masters’ degree on Adélie Penguins, working with PRBO in Antarctica. We look forward to keeping strong connections with Scott and Libby.

Stephanie Nelson, after several years as an invaluable member of our STRAW program staff, most recently as a Project Manager, has relocated to Texas to be close to family to pursue new opportunities. We thank Stephanie and wish her the very best of luck!