Elisabeth Ammon has served as the Executive Director of GBBO since 2005. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a project on the breeding ecology of montane riparian songbirds in Colorado. Her career has covered habitat restoration planning for riparian birds, monitoring of landbirds including the development of a statewide landbird monitoring program for Nevada, and a wide variety of conservation planning efforts. Her interests today lie primarily in collaborative efforts toward bird conservation and monitoring.
Jennifer Ballard, M.S.
Jen has been the Monitoring Coordinator at GBBO since 2006, and leads GBBO’s largest Nevada program, the Nevada Bird Count, as well as all ancillary monitoring efforts that support the statewide monitoring of birds in Nevada. Prior to her work with GBBO, she worked throughout the West with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service. Her interests lie in the wildlife of the Intermountain West, particularly the Great Basin; conservation research; and in riparian ecology – and if her field work will require her to wade through mountain streams, so much the better!
John Boone, Ph.D.
John grew up in North Carolina, attended college at George Washington University, received his MS degree at Idaho State University, and his Ph.D. degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. John’s graduate and postdoctoral work focused on mammals, but eventually he saw the light and began working with Great Basin Bird Observatory in 2005 on the Nevada Breeding Bird Atlas Project. Since then, John has been GBBO's Research Coordinator heading up projects like radiotelemetry studies of Pinyon Jays and Greater Sage-Grouse, nest monitoring of Golden Eagles, and research to improve methods of monitoring Elf Owls along the Lower Colorado River.
Amy Leist, M.S.
Amy has been GBBO's Lower Colorado River Project Manager since 2008. Her interests, aside from southwestern riparian birds, include environmental education, bird banding, and outdoors activities. Amy grew up in Louisville, KY, then moved west to attend college at Colorado College. After graduating with an MA in Biology, she worked on field jobs in Washington, Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Chile, before heading back to school. She received an MS from Humboldt State University in Wildlife, and continued to roam the country studying birds until moving to Reno in 2007.
Susan Merideth, M.S.
Susan joined us in 2012 as our Grants and Administrative Manager. She came to GBBO with over 15 years of experience in finance and office management. In addition, she earned a MS in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno where she studied the population genetics of pikas in the Great Basin, and she has a special interest in wildlife population dynamics. Susan’s unique combination of finance and ecology experience make her a great fit for GBBO.
Dawn Fletcher, M.S.
Dawn has been with GBBO since the spring of 2011 and is currently the Co-Project Manager the Lower Colorado River Riparian Bird Monitoring Project. Dawn grew up in Ohio and earned a BS at Ohio State University. Dawn has worked on research projects and conservation efforts throughout the US on a variety of taxa. Her passion for birds, however, drove her to earn an MS degree studying habitat selection and habitat modeling of upland desert birds, received in 2009 from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. As a wildlife biologist for the last ten years in the southwest US, she has gained familiarity with the region’s biodiversity, agencies, and researchers. Much of her career has been spent working with threatened species and systems that are managed by multiple agencies. She is also our resident thrasher expert!
Kelly has been working for GBBO since 2012 on the Nevada Bird Count, and she is now Project Coordinator for the Crescent Dunes solar energy project. She grew up in Delaware and earned a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Delaware, where she worked on developing a school program teaching young children the importance of biodiversity and conservation. She is interested in using science as a driving force for sustainability, using birds as environmental indicators, and studying the effects of climate change on avian species and their habitats.
Fulltime Field Biologist Dave Henderson has been with GBBO since 2009. Besides implementing the Nevada Bird Count, Dave also lends a helping hand in many other GBBO endeavors, including the Lower Colorado River Riparian Bird Monitoring Project. Prior to joining GBBO, Dave was an overworked magazine editor. With his wife, Sandy, he currently resides in the largest Joshua Tree forest in the world at the base of the majestic Colorado Plateau.
Lauren joined the GBBO staff in 2013 as field crew supervisor on the Lower Colorado River Bird Monitoring project. She began working as a field technician on the project in 2011 and is now a Project Coordinator. Lauren earned a BS at Northern Arizona University, where she investigated evolutionary ecology in Pinyon Jays. After graduating, she spent several years traveling and doing field work across the United States as well as Costa Rica. She was drawn to the unique avifauna and landscape of the lower Colorado River, and moved to Lake Havasu City in 2010. Her interests include the ecology and distribution of birds in the Southwest, tropical ecology, and bird vocalizations.