Meet Our Science Team
High Lonesome Ranch Institute Staff:
Hal Salwasser, PhD, is President and Director for the High Lonesome Institute. He is Dean emeritus of the College of Forestry, ex-Director of the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory, and now Professor of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. Hal concluded a 20-year career with the US Forest Service in 2000, heading the Northern Region and Pacific Southwest Research Stations in his final years. Hal served on the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry, which he chaired in 2003-2005, and the University Programs Subcommittee of the Boone and Crockett Club. Hal’s areas of expertise include wildlife, forest and rangeland ecology and natural resources policy.
Richard Kennedy, PhD, DVM, is the Database Developer and Research Veterinarian for HLI. He graduated with a DVM and PhD from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1986.
Trent Seager, MSc, is the HLI Aspen Ecologist, with a focus on aspen restoration. He also works on aspen restoration projects on National Forests in Oregon and California. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Forest Ecology studying climate change and disturbance using aspen as an ecosystem indicator.
Shelby Hiestand, MS, is HLI Field Coordinator for 2013. She completed her Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University and Master of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale with the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory. Her thesis research was a survey and spatial analysis of bobcat parasites in Illinois. At High Lonesome Ranch she will be assisting research crews and the summer field schools for Prescott College, Trinity University, and the TEN program. She will also develop interpretive materials for guests.
HLI Scientist and Advisors
Cristina Eisenberg, PhD, was the initial HLR Research Director from 2009-2012 and led HLR development work on the Western Landowners Alliance. She is an Ecologist and the Principal Investigator on the Trophic Cascades Involving Humans, Keystone Predators, Elk, and Aspen in North-Central Colorado on the High Lonesome Ranch Research Project. Cristina is also Co-Principal Investigator on the Wildlife Disease Monitoring Program. Cristina was a Boone and Crockett Fellow and earned her PhD at Oregon State University in Forestry and Wildlife in 2012. She is the author of The Wolf’s Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity. Cristina conducts research in Alaska and the northern and southern Rocky Mountains on predator/prey interactions involving large carnivores and their ungulate prey.
Michael Soulé, PhD, is Senior Science Advisor to HLI and a Co-Principal Investigator on the Trophic Cascades Involving Humans, Keystone Predators, Elk, and Aspen in North-Central Colorado on the High Lonesome Ranch Research Project and HLR. Michael is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a founder and first President of the Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlands Network. Michael has written and edited 9 books on science and has published more than 170 articles on population and evolutionary biology, fluctuating asymmetry, population genetics, island biogeography, environmental studies, biodiversity policy, nature conservation, and ethics.
Howard Whiteman, Ph.D., is Principal Investigator on the Conservation Planning and Trophic Cascades Research for the Kimball Creek Watershed Restoration Project. He is a Professor of Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Director of the Watershed Studies Institute at Murray State University. He has been studying aquatic ecology and evolution in the Elk Mountains of Colorado as a principal investigator at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory for more than two decades. His current research at HLR focuses on the role of trophic cascades in the restoration of stream and riparian ecosystems.
Kaylin Boeckman, B.S., is a graduate student at Murray State University working on the Conservation Planning and Trophic Cascades Research for the Kimball Creek Watershed Restoration Project. She is gathering baseline data on trophic cascades within Kimball Creek and conducting experiments using the current top predator, tiger salamanders, to understand how predation influences the diversity and abundance of stream invertebrates. She earned her B.S. from Truman State University.
Scot Peterson, B.S., is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Murray State University and is a co-investigator on the Conservation Planning and Trophic Cascades Research for the Kimball Creek Watershed Restoration Project. He is gathering baseline ecological data in order to measure the success of the proposed restoration of Kimball Creek, as well as investigating the ability of the stream community to recover from the restoration. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Southern Illinois University (SIU), and worked as a research technician and lab manager in SIU’s Freshwater Ecology Lab.
Kenyon Fields, BA, MA, MS, is the Strategy Director for Wildlands Network and liaison from the Western Landowners Alliance to the HLR. Kenyon focuses on the Western Wildway Network Initiative — an international effort to employ the power of networks of people to protect a connected network of conservation lands from northern Alaska’s Brooks Range through the Rockies into northern Mexico. He leads their inter-organizational Connectivity Policy Working Group.