Staff Profiles


Alexa Montefiore
Senior Program Manager, Americas
Alexa Montefiore is the Senior Program Manager for the Americas. She works directly with the Rocky Mountain and Mesoamerica and Caribbean Programs. In this role, she supports strategic planning, partnership development, grants management, civic engagement, communications, facilitating work flow between field programs and NY, and serving as the regional lead for SMART projects. Alexa Montefiore initially joined WCS in 2013 as the Program Manager for the SMART Partnership, which is comprised of WCS, CITES MIKE, NCZ, GWC, FZS, Panthera, Peace Parks Foundation, WWF and ZSL. Prior to joining WCS, Alexa worked at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, focusing on a range of initiatives for social good, with the ultimate goal of helping people live happier, healthier, and safer lives. Alexa has experience with communications and marketing, specifically as it relates to executing traditional and social media relations, content development for a range of print and online materials, strategic planning, and managing and coordinating large teams. Alexa hopes to continue her quest to better society by cultivating innovative programs that make people think and act differently. Alexa also has a Master's Degree from NYU in Environmental Conservation.
Brent Brock
Landscape and Spatial Ecologist
Brent Brock received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology in 1985 and a Master of Science degree in rangeland ecology in 1997 at Kansas State University. He works part-time as a landscape and spatial ecologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and spends the remainder of his professional time as owner and operator of HoloScene Wildlife Services, LLC; as a private wildlife consultant. He has 30+ years experience focused on applying GIS and spatial analysis in the fields of ecology and conservation science. His work has focused on everything from cockroaches and cicadas to bison and grizzly bears. For the past decade, much of his focus has been on large landscape wildlife connectivity and developing advanced tools to improve land use planning to minimize the impact of rural sprawl on wildlife.
Chantal Raguin
Intern
Chantal Raguin joined WCS as as a communications intern in 2019, and now works as Communications Coordinator. She is also full-time student at Cornell University, on track to receive her BA is philosophy, with a minor in climate change. She has experience with journalism and social media.
Cristina Mormorunni
Director US Field Conservation Programs
Most recently, Cristina Mormorunni served has founder and principal of TERRAMAR Consulting Group, which designs and evaluates conservation strategies. She has worked in the conservation arena for +25 years leading international and national conservation programs and developing strategies for non-profits, foundations, and individual donors. She is now the Director of US Field Conservation Programs, and also serves as Regional Director for the Rocky MountainProgram. She received her academic training in Psychology at Connecticut College and University of Washington's Graduate School of Marine Affairs, focusing her master’s research on indigenous marine co-management models and community-based systems for conservation in the North Pacific. She most recently completed a MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the Institute for American Indian Art.
Cynthia Hartway
Conservation Scientist
Cynthia Hartway received her Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004. Her specialties are population modeling and quantitative methods in conservation biology. She currently works as a bison project scientist for the Americas program.
Joel Berger
Senior Conservation Scientist
Dr. Berger directs a number of projects for WCS; among these are the pronghorn migration corridor conservation project and the impact of energy development on wildlife projects in Greater Yellowstone, the impacts of climate change on musk ox in the Alaskan Arctic and the saiga antelope conservation project in Mongolia. Joel received his doctoral degree in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and subsequently worked for the Smithsonian Institution for 7 years before becoming a tenured full professor at the University of Nevada, Reno (16 years). His current research focuses on the conservation of species and intact ecosystems. He has written 4 books on wild horses, rhinos, bison, and fear in prey species. Joel is also the John J. Craighead Chair in Wildlife Biology at the U of Montana.
Kelly Stoner
Bison Program Lead
Kelly leads the WCS Bison Program. Most recently Kelly managed the Ruaha Carnivore Project in Tanzania, where she led a team of nearly 70 people in community-based carnivore conservation efforts. She has also managed or worked on carnivore research and conservation projects in Namibia and Botswana, and has held positions with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the African People & Wildlife Fund, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Conservation International. Kelly completed her Master of Environmental Science degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2014. She held a Fulbright Fellowship from 2011 to 2012, was named to the 2015 – 2016 class of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, and received the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Young Alumni Medallion in 2017.
Kelsey Pazera
Program Associate
Kelsey Pazera is the Program Associate for the Rocky Mountain Region. Through this role she supports strategic partnerships and engagement, elevating science to inspire action and awareness, and supports civic engagement and strategic planning. Before her role at WCS she completed her bachelors in Sociology and Sustainable Development at UCCS where her passion for linking social behavior with preserving and promoting diversity in the natural environment began. Due to her hands on experience throughout the Rockies in various communities, conserving wildlife and wild places and building resilient communities with sustainable food systems has become her life passions.
Kendall Edmo
Community Liaison: Indigenous-Led Conservation
Kendall Edmo is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana. Her background is in Environmental Studies and recently accepted into the Earth Science graduate program at Montana State Univeristy where she'll research GIS applications for Cultural Landscape Preservation. For the past 4 years she's been working for the Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Office where she focuses on cultural and historic preservation, GIS, forest planning and permanant protection of the Badger Two Medicine.
Kina Murphy
Strategic Advisor
Kina Murphy is a Ph.D Candidate in Ecology at the University of New Mexico. She has a Fulbright in ecology focusing on the movement and assemblage patterns of large herbivores along the Chobe-Linyanti-Zambezi wetland in Botswana; and a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning from UNM, focusing on natural resource management and human wildlife Conflict. Murphy’s undergraduate degree is in conservation science, and she has been a conservation professional since 2000 working in Southern Africa and the Southwestern US. She is the president and founder of Global Conservation Assistance, the Former Conservation Director for Earthworks Institute and the Biophilia Foundation’s Pritzlaff Ranch. Previously, Murphy worked the for the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program providing technical assistance to communities in the planning and design of community parks and opens spaces. She has written open space and wildlife management plans with communities in New Mexico and Africa; has conducted needs assessments and written EAs for USAID, and worked as an assistant biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Her experience includes project and community planning with numerous international and community based NGOs, local communities, schools, foreign parks departments, tribal governments, and national governments in New Mexico, Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mexico. She is a Kinship Conservation Fellow, which focuses on Market based approaches to conservation; a Whole Thinking Fellow, and a board member of the Divers Partners for Environmental Progress.
Kris Inman
Conservation Scientist
Kris Inman leads WCS Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Program. She helps build communities around a shared value for protecting the West’s matrix of private, Indigenous, and public lands to create the durability necessary to support the Rockies’ complete assemblage of native wildlife and increase the integrity of one of our last remaining intact wild places. Her earlier experiences shape her current work. Among others, she was part of the USFS spotted owl monitoring team and the USFWS Northern Rockies Gray Wolf Recovery Team, and co-directed WCS Greater Yellowstone Wolverine Program. When states across the nation were challenging the privilege to hunt bears through ballot initiatives, Kris master's thesis investigated the effectiveness of hounds. Through these experiences, she saw firsthand how the recovery plans for the wolf and spotted owl inadvertently impacted livelihoods and put people at odds with instead of on the side of wildlife. Through her work with houndsmen, she saw how forging relationships can transform a disengaged group into one that plays an integral and positive role in conservation. The science their team collected on wolverines demonstrated that what was most needed to conserve wolverines was maintaining private lands to ensure connectivity and partnerships to recover wolverines to the southern Rockies and the creation of a multi-state population monitoring plan across the West. Anchored by these experiences, Kris works to create a new paradigm. One that requires creating diverse partnerships united around a shared value of protecting and restoring private and Indigenous lands as critical wildlife habitat and connectors to the Rockies legacy of protected public lands to support wildlife and people. For her contributions, Kris was selected as a Wilburforce Conservation Science Fellow, a Disney Conservation Hero, and an AAAS If/Then Ambassador. She also serves her community on the school science fair committee and as the chair of the Board of Trustees for the K-12 school district.
Laura Paulson
Southwest Borderlands Program Lead
Laura Paulson. Laura is the Southwest Borderlands Program Lead. She is an economist and conservationist with over 20 years of experience working with rural landowners, communities, civil society and government entities in Mexico, Indonesia, the United States and more broadly in Latin America. Her diverse experience includes addressing challenges related to large landscape and species conservation - particularly bison, jaguar, pronghorn antelope, black-tailed prairie dog and grasslands birds- as well as issues related to land trust capacity, agriculture policy, water security and ranching supply chain sustainability through previous roles with The Nature Conservancy’s Mexico and Northern Central America Program, Wildlands Network and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. Laura played a lead role in co-creating the Mexico Sustainable Ranching Roundtable and establishing and managing Mexico’s first conservation bison herd. She currently serves on the Bison Recovery Task Force for Mexico and plays a coordination role with the Borderlands Linkages Partnership, an initiative to promote collaboration among entities working on jaguar conservation in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. Laura has also served on the Board of the The Northern Jaguar Project for the past nine years.
Shannon Roberts
Financial/Operations Manager
As Regional Business Manager of the Rockies Program, Shannon is responsible for the creation, implementation and analysis of the Rockies multi-million dollar budget. She also manages the operational details of multi-staffed offices and multiple field sites. Shannon is the Rockies Program Human Resource liaison and is responsible for assisting with recruiting, hiring, evaluating and promoting Rockies staff and all of the details associated with that duty. Shannon joined WCS in 2007 and brings many years of conservation finance experience with various other organizations. Shannon also has experience as Director of an active vacation company. Shannon is a fourth generation Montanan, and as sister, daughter and grand-daughter of US Forest Service engineers she grew up appreciating the importance of conservation management and the cohesive relationship between agencies and the public. Shannon's education is in Political Science from Montana State University, as well as a plethora of additional finance, travel and business management courses.

Strategic Advisors & Core Partners

Melanie Stansbury
Melanie...

Matt Williamson
Matt is a conservation scientist interested in understanding how the interactions between people, their environment, and the institutions that govern them inspire (or inhibit) conservation action and how that impacts their effectiveness. He's working with the Rockies program to build social capital for wildlife conservation across the western US, Canada, and northern Mexico.

Eliza Gillilan
Eliza is WCS’s 2020 Big Sky Watershed Corps Member. The Big Sky Watershed Corps is an AmeriCorps program that assists Montana’s watershed communities in local conservation efforts while strengthening the experience of young professionals. As part of the team, Eliza will implement and develop outreach strategies as well as conduct research to expand current WCS Rockies’ programs.
Eliza has a degree in environmental Studies and sociology with minors in African studies and biology from St. Lawrence University. As an undergraduate she researched human-black bear conflict in the Adirondacks, community led sea turtle conservation in Kenya, as well as optimal nest box placement for cavity-dependent birds.

Christopher J. Carter, AICP
Christopher grew up in the Rockies in Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) Traditional Territory in Montana. He is a professional urban & regional planner, holding an M.Sc. in urban and community planning from the University of British Columbia with a specialty in regional resilience planning, natural resource governance, science communication, and spatial analytics. With a decade of mentorship in Indigenous community planning from Greenland to Central Asia, he advises WCS Rockies in the creation of strong plans in step with Tribal Nations, compelling visual communications, and modeling complex systems. Working closely with regional agencies, Amskapi Piikani (Blackfeet Nation) leadership, researchers, and local families since 2016, he is engaged in biocultural initiatives including the bison restoration, conservation area planning, systems planning, community economic development, and creating metrics of well-being across the Nation's five watersheds. As a lifelong resident of the Northern Rockies, he is honored to support Indigenous and locally-led stewardship in his home region.
 

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