Jim Barborak

Jim is the Co-Director of the Center for Protected Area Management at CSU, and his specialties include protected areas and corridor planning and management; wildlife management; conservation finance, policy and governance; capacity building; and ecotourism. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and has worked throughout his career to increase opportunities for public enjoyment of protected areas while at the same time creating benefits to local communities and indigenous populations.

Sam Houghteling

Sam is the Program Director of the CSU Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership. He worked previously for the City of Fort Collins and served on the leadership teams for the city’s Parks & Rec Advisory Board and the Colorado Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, among others. He is interested in how community networks influence policy and impact governance, and he is pursuing a PhD at CSU in Public Administration and Environmental Policy.

Rick Knight

Rick is a Professor Emeritus of wildlife conservation at CSU and is interested in the intersection of land use and land health in the American West. He is a five-time recipient of the students’ choice for Outstanding Faculty Member in the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU, and he sits on a number of boards, including the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, the Science Board of the Malpai Borderlands Group, the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and Rocky Mountain Land Library.

Melissa McHale

Melissa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and a member of the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at CSU. She studies urban ecology and sustainability, and her research encompasses a diverse set of themes, including social drivers of urban ecosystem structure and function; linkages among landscape patterns and human health; and landscape preferences and biodiversity. Melissa is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wits City Institute, at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Liba Pejchar

Liba is an Associate Professor and Conservation Scientist in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services in the places where people live and work. Among other projects, she studies bison reintroduction in western North America and innovative ways to sustain nature and human well-being in agroecosystems and areas undergoing residential and energy development. 

John Sanderson

John is the Director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at CSU. He has been doing conservation work in the West for 25 years, most recently as the Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy. At TNC, he led a staff working to protect land, manage rivers, restore forests, and mitigate and adapt to our changing climate. He holds a PhD from the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU.  

Andy Seidl

Andy is Associate Department Head and professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU and has been a professor of Environmental, Natural Resource, and Development Economics for more than two decades. His work focuses on natural resource-based economic development in Colorado and internationally. His recent research and outreach efforts include the economics of agricultural land preservation and land use planning, World Heritage tourism, and biodiversity finance.

Dave Theobald

Dave has worked as a conservation scientist for nearly three decades. He is an affiliate faculty in the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU and a Senior Scientist at Conservation Planning Technologies. His work fuses spatial analysis, systems and design thinking, social networks, and earth data science to provide products and services that yield fresh insights to expedite conservation at local to global scales.

Reagan Waskom

Reagan currently serves as the director of the Colorado Water Center. He is also a member of the Soil & Crop Sciences Department at CSU, where he has worked on various water-related research and outreach programs for over 33 years, conducting statewide educational and applied research programs on water quality, water quantity, water policy, and natural resource issues related to water use.  

Josh Zaffos

Josh is the communications specialist for the Department of Anthropology and Geography at CSU and program lead and instructor for the Communications for Conservation Graduate Certificate, an online program through the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Josh is also a long-time journalist whose work has appeared in High Country News, Yale Environment 360, Audubon Magazine, Slate, Wired, Scientific American, Pacific Standard, and other outlets.