While restoring grasslands with the Madison Audubon society during his undergrad in Wisconsin, Stephen caught the birding bug; it was the Bobolink that got him hooked. Now, he is excited to help conserve grassland birds in the PLJV region through his knowledge of spatial analysis.
Stephen started his journey with PLJV in 2018 as a GIS intern. During his internship, he created tools to examine playas that may be impacted by wind expansion and to identify playa clusters across the region. He also fondly remembers the frequent cookie breaks with the team.
After the PLJV internship, Stephen worked at Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a field technician and completed his master’s degree in ecology at Colorado State University. During his master’s research, he investigated the link between forest loss and land tenure policy in Madagascar. His work demonstrated the importance of buy-in by local communities in order to promote sustainable natural resource use and achieve conservation goals. Stephen hopes to apply this lesson in his return to PLJV by providing spatially-explicit decision support tools for landowners and managers.
Stephen is also an avid vegetable gardener and is passionate about urban agriculture. He serves as the secretary for his local community garden, and his favorite vegetable to grow is the humble potato.