Science Support

Previous Science Advisory Board members

The Powell Center Science Advisory Board (SAB) reviews proposals and makes recommendations to the Directors who make the final decisions about which proposals to support. These people have previously been on the Powell Center's Science Advisory Board

Dr. Daniel Gruner
U.S. National Science Foundation

Dr. Daniel Gruner is an ecologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland. Currently, he is serving as a rotating Program Director with the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. He serves with the Population and Community Ecology cluster, the Macrosystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science program, and the cross-directorate AccelNet ‘network of networks’ initiative. His current research is on species interactions, biological invasions, community ecology, and statistical modeling of diverse arthropod food webs in forests and grasslands ecosystems. His synthesis activities have focused on community responses to anthropogenic stressors and global change drivers across ecosystems.


Dr. Darius Semmens
Research Physical Scientist
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB Member 2015-2020

Dr. Darius Semmens is a research physical scientist at the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center in Denver. His research focuses on modeling the spatial dynamics of ecosystem service production and flows to beneficiaries, as well as how this type of information can inform resource management. He has projects focused on mapping social value for cultural ecosystem services, quantifying the spatial ecological/economic subsidies of migratory species, and developing an integrated resource assessment framework.


Dr. Victor Labson
Office of International Programs
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB Member 2015-2020

Dr. Victor Labson’s career with the U.S. Geological Survey has been focused on the application of ground and airborne geophysical methods to quantitative imaging of the Earth with applications including deep crustal mapping, mineral resource appraisals, geologic hazards, environmental contamination, national security issues, and water supply development and quality. His most recent scientific focus has been on the understanding of the relationship of the chemical and physical properties of the Earth to resultant geophysical phenomena.


Larry Tieszen

U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center

Larry Tieszen, Emeritus USGS, EROS Data Center, developed understanding of the functional significance of C3 and C4 photosynthesis in grasses, and went on to invent techniques and applications of stable carbon isotopic analyses that are standard ecological tools today. Stable C isotopes have quantified diets of modern herbivores, diets of mummies from around the world, traced the spread of maize across North America, and analyzed soil organic matter to establish the Holocene spread of C3 and C4 systems. While at EROS he developed the Land Cover Applications and Global Change Program to understand mitigation and adaptation related to climate change that integrates satellite remote sensing, spatially explicit but large area carbon biogeochemical modeling, data assimilation techniques, and geographic information systems.


Henry Gholz

Program Director
Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation

Dr. Henry Gholz has been a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the NSF since 2000, after a career as Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of Florida for the prior 22 years. At NSF, Henry has managed the LTER, Ecosystem Studies, MacroSystems Biology, and other special programs, as well as NCEAS. He has also previously served as an advisor to US/AID and the USDA.


Carl Shapiro

Senior Economist
U.S. Geological Survey Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health; Co-Director, USGS Science and Decisions Center

Carl Shapiro is Senior Economist, Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health and is Co-Director of the USGS Science and Decisions Center, a multidisciplinary center that advances the use of science in resource management decision making. Previously, he spent about 15 years as the principal economist in the USGS Director’s Office, where he led and participated in analytical studies on topics ranging from interagency wetland data consistency to institutional issues associated with map revision and pricing. He is an adjunct associate professor of economics in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC, where he has taught graduate courses in economics and public management for over 15 years.


Rich Pouyat

Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

Rich has researched urban woodland ecology and restoration; urban biogeochemistry; classification, mapping, and interpretation of anthropogenic soils; integration of ecological, soil, and social sciences; and integration of science and public policy.


Gregory McCabe

Research Scientist
U.S. Geological Survey

Greg McCabe is a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He also is a research affiliate with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. He received bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He is Chief of the Hydroclimatic Processes and Hazards project within the National Research Program. His research interests include hydroclimatology, climate variability and change, synoptic climatology, climate teleconnections, and hydrologic modeling.


Chuck Estabrook

Program Manager
National Science Foundation

Dr. Charles Estabrook is currently a program manager for EarthScope at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Estabrook received his PhD in Seismology/Geophysics from Columbia University. He has carried out research on earth structure, seismic sources, and has built seismic stations for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization.


Jayne Belnap

Research Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2012

Jayne Belnap is a research ecologist at the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center. Her research focuses on dryland ecosystems, including plant-soil relations, dust, nutrient cycling, invasive plants and the impacts of soil surface disturbance. These studies are intended to inform management decisions regarding these landscapes.

Mary Freeman

Research Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2012

Mary Freeman is a Research Ecologist with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center's field station in Athens, GA. Mary conducts research relevant to conservation of stream biota, with a focus on fishes and invertebrates.


Jeanne Hardebeck

Research Geophysicist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2011 - 2013

Jeanne Hardebeck is a Research Geophysicist with the Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, California. Her research interests include: the strength of faults, earthquake stress triggering, statistical testing of earthquake forecasting methods, and imaging fault structures using microseismicity. She is currently focused on the earthquake hazards of the California central coast, the site of the destructive San Simeon earthquake in December 2003.


Stephen Hickman

Research Geophysicist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2011

Stephen Hickman is a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Team in Menlo Park, California. His research interests include the interaction between stress, fracturing and fluid flow in high-temperature geothermal systems, the physics and chemistry of faulting and earthquake generation, and the chemical effects of pore fluids on the deformation and physical properties of rocks.


Debbie Hutchinson

Research Marine Geologist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2011

As a research marine geologist with the USGS, Debbie Hutchinson has worked on understanding geological aspects of the passive continental margins of the U.S. Currently, she divides her time between studying the origin and evolution of the Canada basin in the Arctic Ocean, understanding the distribution of gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico, and working with an interagency group in conducting regional analyses of the Atlantic and Arctic passive margins for extended continental shelf as defined in Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


Chris Milly

Research Hydrologist
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2011

Chris Milly investigates the interactions among the global water cycle, climate, and other earth-system processes. Stationed at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ, he coordinates model development and analysis for the continental component of GFDL's climate models.


Debra Peters

Research Ecologist
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service

SAB member 2009 - 2012

Debra Peters is a research ecologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She is also the lead principal investigator for the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Program. Her research focuses on global change effects on ecosystem dynamics across spatial and temporal scales, and spatially-explicit simulation modeling of ecosystem dynamics. She is also leading a national effort to increase accessibility of long-term data for synthesis and integration across sites and ecosystems.


Jack Townshend

Special Projects Coordinator
U.S. Geological Survey Geologic
Hazards Science Center,
Geomagnetism Program

SAB member 2011

Jack Townshend completed 67 years in his career of Science and Public Service on July 1, 2010. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree awarded from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for "his distinguished and unwavering service to the scientific community and the University" in May 1995. He is a special projects coordinator for the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center, Geomagnetism Program, in Golden, Colorado and principal consultant and advisor to the UAF Geophysical Institute Director (UAFGI) for the oversight and operation of "The Jack Townshend College International Geophysical Observatory" (CIGO). The CIGO is a network of eight state-of-the-art facilities located on 46 acres of the campus at the UAF that collect geomagnetic, seismic and gephysical data to support research at the Geophysical Institute, the International Arctic Research Center (IARC), the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as other national and international organizations.


Mark Udevitz

Research Statistician
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2009 - 2011

Mark Udevitz is a Research Statistician with the USGS Alaska Science Center. His research focuses on methods for sampling, estimating demographic parameters, and modeling dynamics of wildlife populations.


Nathan Wood

Research Geographer
U.S. Geological Survey

SAB member 2010 - 2013

Nathan Wood is a research geographer at the USGS Western Geographic Science Center and is co-located at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington. His research focuses on societal vulnerability to natural hazards and he is currenty focusing on community vulnerability to tsunamis, volcanoes, and climate-change-enhanced coastal hazards in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.


Daren Carlisle

Ecological Studies Chief
U.S. Geological Survey

Daren Carlisle is currently the Ecological Studies Chief for the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. In this capacity, he envisions, plans, and designs studies that investigate the effects of land and water management on stream health. Before joining the USGS in 2002, he was a regional ecologist for the the National Park Service, where he provided technical assistance to park units regarding all aspects of aquatic ecology. Daren's educational training focused on the effects of non-native fish on alpine lake ecosystems (MS, Utah State) and the effects of metal contamination on stream food webs (PhD, Colorado State).

Barbara Bekins

Research Hydrologist
U.S. Geological Survey

Barbara Bekins investigates the natural attenuation of contaminants in groundwater. Her work has focused on biodegradation of petroleum contaminants and nitrate. Techniques include laboratory experiments, field investigations, and computer modeling of reactions, groundwater flow, and transport.

Connie Millar

Chair of the Consortium
Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains
North American chapter of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA)
USDA Forest Service

Dr. Connie Millar is a senior scientist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, based in Albany, California. Her research focuses on high mountain ecosystems of the Great Basin, including ecology of subalpine forests and alpine ecosystems; habitat relations of small mammals especially American pika; and thermal regimes of rocky, periglacial landforms. She has been involved in development and implementation of climate adaptation strategies for temperate forests.

Steve Hostetler

Research Hydrologist
U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division
Lake-Atmosphere Interactions Project
National Research Program
Oregon State University

Dr. Steve Hostetler has been a research scientist with the National Research Program of the US Geological Survey for the past 23 years and an Adjunct Professor, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University since 1996. He spent 4 years as a visiting scientist and 5 years as an affiliate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. His research project focuses on modeling past, present and future climate at global and regional scales, using climate model output to quantify interactions between the climate system and surface hydrology, glaciers, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and wildfire, and developing web-based tools for interactive visualization of climate model output.


Michelle Wavoord

Research Hydrologist
USGS National Research Program

Dr. Michelle Walvoord is a research hydrologist with the USGS National Research Program in Denver. Her area of expertise is groundwater and unsaturated zone hydrology. Her current research involves integration of hydrologic modeling, geophysics, and remote sensing.


Dr. Kathi Irvine

Research Statistician
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, Montana.

Dr. Kathi Irvine’s statistical research is grounded by collaborations with ecologists and biologists charged with monitoring natural resources on federal and state lands. Her projects include monitoring efforts for bats in North America (NABat), submerged aquatic vegetation on intermountain west national wildlife refuges, sagebrush steppe vegetation communities in national parks, and whitebark pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Her recent research involves extending statistical methods for ordinal data, applications of causal graphical models, and investigating spatial sampling designs for ecological inferences.

Dr. Kathy Hibbard

U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Kathy Hibbard is a Program Scientist and Carbon Cycle & Ecosystem Focus Area Lead in the Earth Science Division/Terrestrial Ecology Program at NASA Headquarters. The purpose of the Earth Science Division is to advance our scientific understanding of Earth as a system and its response to natural and human-induced changes and to improve our ability to predict climate, weather, and natural hazards. The program’s research approach combines satellite and airborne remote sensing, modeling and surface-based observations in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to improve understanding of the Earth’s ecosystem structure and function.


Dr. Tom Torgersen
Program Officer
National Science Foundation

Dr. Tom Torgersen is a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation with responsibilities for Hydrologic Sciences and "Water Sustainability and Climate". His research expertise includes isotopic tracers and dating of groundwater, hydrogeology, coastal ocean processes, limnology, and paleoclimate.


Dr. Craig Allen
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Craig Allen is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and is Leader of the U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Professor in the School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. His research interests revolve around global change, biological invasions, and resilience.


Dr. Michael Dettinger
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Michael Dettinger is a hydrologist and Senior Scientist in the USGS Water Cycle Branch, a research associate of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a resident scientist at the University of Nevada Reno. He monitors and researches the hydrology, climates, and water resources of the West, focusing on atmospheric rivers, large-scale causes of hydroclimatic variability with particular attention to major storms, floods, and droughts, and climate-change influences on all of the above.


Dr. Kathryn Cottingham
National Science Foundation

Dr. Kathy Cottingham is currently a rotating Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, with responsibilities in the "Population and Community Ecology" and "Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems" programs.  She is on leave from her position as a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College.  Her research expertise includes aquatic ecology, statistics and modeling, and the applications of ecology to public and environmental health.


Dr. Lisa Clough
Head of the Ocean Section at the U.S. National Science Foundation

Dr. Lisa Clough is an oceanographer, with much of her research focused in coastal and polar regions, and she particularly enjoys working on topics that require interdisciplinary approaches. Lisa spent 20 years at East Carolina University, achieving the rank of Full Professor of Biology, and has held positions in both Antarctic and Ocean Science at NSF.


Dr. Mary Jo Baedecker
Scientist Emeritus
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Mary Jo Baedecker is a scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey who works in the field of organic geochemistry and groundwater hydrology. She worked for 30 years in research and research management in the National Research Program before returning as a scientist emeritus.


Dr. Nina Burkardt
Research Social Scientist
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Nina Burkardt is a Research Social Scientist at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center. Her research focuses on negotiation and conflict resolution in natural resource decision making, institutional analysis of natural resource management processes and policies, and the use of science in decision making.


John Wesley Powell Center
Phone: 970-226-9103

Jill Baron, Ph.D.

Research Ecologist Senior Scientist (ST)
Fort Collins Science Center
Phone: 970-491-1968