Ryan Burnett

Sierra Nevada Group Director

As the Director of the Sierra Nevada group, I oversee Point Blue’s work on understanding the ecology and improving the conservation of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem.  I am particularly interested in using birds as indicators to guide and evaluate land management and conservation decisions working closely with a diverse suite of partners.

My passion for birds and conservation started early growing up in southern California watching my favorite wild places devoured by suburban sprawl. I retreated to the Santa Monica Mountains National Park and the Pacific Ocean where i fell in love with wildlands, birds, and surfing.  After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology I accepted an internship with Point Blue in the fledgling tidal marsh project in 1997.  Between 1997 and 2000 I spent much of the time working for Point Blue and traveling the world for work and pleasure. These travels included spending 2 years on 5 different islands (San Clemente, Farrallones, San Nicolas, Midway Atoll, and St. Catherines off the Georgia coast) studying a broad range of species including  Black-footed Albatross, Painted Buntings, endangered Loggerhead Shrikes, and Great White Sharks. In the spring of 2000, I took on a small project for Point Blue in the Lassen National Forest and National Park. I continue to reside here with my lovely wife and two children in Chester, California in the shadow of Lassen Peak at the intersection of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges.

My work over the past 13 years has focused on guiding and evaluating management and restoration of a broad range of important Sierra Nevada habitats including riparian, aspen, oak, meadow, burned forest, as well as a long term study of conifer forest fuel reduction treatments. My staff and I have been working to develop effective strategies for bridging the gap between science and managers to ensure effective resource management and improved conservation outcomes for birds and other wildlife.

Having watched all but the last few small islands of intact habitat swallowed up in Southern California I am awed and inspired by the vast and relatively intact Sierra Nevada Ecosystem. I am humbled to have the opportunity to work here to use my skills, experience, and passion to play a role in ensuring this amazing ecosystem continues to function for a myriad of wildlife and the people that rely on it.