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Our Team

Board of Directors

Dave Reynolds

David Reynolds retired in 2015 from a 40-year career working for the National Park Service and other agencies where he specialized in protected areas management and governance, primarily in the natural resource management and international capacity development fields.


While in the NPS, Dave was assigned to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Global Protected Areas Program 2011-2015.  He served as a Senior Adviser for Capacity Development and was instrumental in determining global training needs and in coordinating the production of protected area publications for an international audience.  In addition, he led a World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Specialist Group that developed and launched a 10-year IUCN Strategic Framework for Capacity Development at the 2014 World Parks Congress. 


Dave previously served as the NPS Chief, Natural Resources and Science, Northeast Region, overseeing natural resource scientists and specialists, in diverse areas such as water resources, air quality, coastal geology, wildlife management, integrated pest management, inventory and monitoring and geographic information systems, that supported the 81 parks of the Northeast Region.  He was the NPS lead in organizing two major Department of the Interior Climate Change Workshops 2008 and 2010.


Prior to working in the Northeast Regional Office, he was the Chief of Natural Resources and Science at New River Gorge National River in the early 1980’s.  Later he was assigned to the U.S. Peace Corps office in Washington, D.C. in the late 1980’s where he assisted Peace Corps Country Directors in developing assignments and conducting pre-service and in-service training for parks, wildlife and environmental education Volunteers and their host country counterparts.  Dave’s first contributions to protected area management were in 1976 when he served as a Peace Corps park biologist in the Comoe National Park in Cote d’Ivoire and in the St. Floris National Park in the Central African Republic. Over his career, he has carried out long- and short-term protected area assignments for USAID, US DOI, IUCN, Peace Corps and NPS in more than 30 countries.


In addition to serving as President of the George Wright Society, Dave is currently a protected areas consultant and a member of the Executive Committee of the IUCN National Committee for the USA.  He has a BSc. in Wildlife Biology from UMass and a MSc. in International Environmental Systems Management from the American University.  Dave and his wife, Mary Lynne, live in Medford, New Jersey, situated within the New Jersey Pinelands, a US Biosphere Reserve (  They have two adult sons and four grandchildren/future conservationists!

Terri Thomas
Vice President

Terri Thomas is a natural resources manager, ecologist, and planner with 36 years of national park experience.  She worked in Crater Lake, Yosemite, and Everglades national parks and from1984 to 2016 held the positions of Chief of Natural Resources Management and Science at Golden Gate National Recreation Area followed by the Director of Conservation, Science and Research at the Presidio Trust. In these roles she oversaw a diversity of disciplines such as vegetation and wildlife management, water resources, archeology, inventory and monitoring, research, geographic information systems, volunteer management and natural resources education.  She helped establish the Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve.


Her knack for attracting experts to work together across disciplines enabled ecological work with teams of experts.  Restoration projects created and managed in this way included: day-lighted creeks from culverts, endangered plant communities, a tidal marsh, the only fresh water lake in GGNRA and currently nature-based adaptations to sea-level rise with 4 scientific institutions in Marin County. Bridging the gap between research and application is a passion of hers.


Terri has a BS in Forestry from U.C Berkeley and an MS in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington through the Parks Cooperative Park Studies Unit. She has served on the boards of Fire Safe Marin, the Sausalito Community Boating Center, the Floating Homes Association, the elected board of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, and most recently served as the Director of Natural Resources and Climate Resiliency for Conservation Corps North Bay.  Currently she serves as Director of Ecology for the Environmental Forum of Marin.  She lives with her dog, Thoreau, on her floating home in Sausalito CA, not far from her son and his fiancée.  Her daughter and son-in-law live in Boston.

Jennifer Thomsen

Jennifer Thomsen is an Assistant Professor of Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management in the Department of Society and Conservation at the University of Montana. Jenn earned her Master’s in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and her PhD in Parks and Conservation Area Management from Clemson University.  Bridging her natural science and social science backgrounds, her research focuses on four main areas: 1) stakeholder collaboration associated with large landscape conservation, 2) sustainable tourism, 3) the relationship between human and ecosystem health, and 4) environmental education and interpretation.

Jenn’s work takes place in many national and international contexts including the Crown of the Continent, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, southern and eastern Africa, India, Peru, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. She has done numerous projects with the National Park Service including the development of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Science Plan and studies on interpretation and education programs, and international visitation and planning. In her work on large landscape conservation, she has been involved in the revitalization of the U.S. biosphere reserve program and serves on the National Committee. As a new board member for the George Wright Society, Jenn is excited to integrate her passions into her professional work and to engage with diverse and dynamic partners!

Richard Harris

Richard “Rick” Harris retired in 2013 from a 34-year career with the National Park Service (NPS) and other Federal agencies where he specialized in park and protected areas management, resources management, Wilderness management, planning, and policy.  Rick spent his early career in Wilderness Management with the US Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest and joined the NPS at Mount Rainier National Park in 1983.


Prior to retiring in 2013, Rick Served as the Associate Regional Director for Science and Natural Resources in the Northeast Region of the National Park Service and his portfolio also included the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance and National Wild and Scenic Rivers programs.  During his tenure in the Northeast Region he was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to represent the NPS as a Commissioner to the New Jersey Pinelands, a US Biosphere Reserve.  Other positions held during his career included Superintendent for two national park units; Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Chamizal National Memorial, Director of the Office of Strategic Planning in the Washington Office, Chief of Resource Stewardship and Science at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area, Branch Chief for Natural Resources at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, natural resources specialist at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (now National Park), and he was a graduate of the second National Park Service Natural Resources Training Program.


Since retirement, Rick has worked as a consultant with the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, where he played an instrumental role in securing the establishment of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument and Organ Mountains Wilderness Area in Southern New Mexico.


Rick has a BSc in Forestry from the University of Washington and an MSc in Resources Management and Public Policy from Oregon State University.  Rick and his partner, Nancy Kaufman, reside in the Las Cruces area of Southern New Mexico. 

Akiebia Hicks
Graduate Student Representative to the Board

Akiebia Hicks is a second year PhD student at Clemson University in the department of Parks and Recreation and Tourism Management. She completed her bachelor’s at Georgia Southwestern State University as a History and Political Science student who minored in Secondary Education. During undergrad, Akiebia was offered a position in the National Park Service as a digital media and park guide intern at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site with Americorps and Student Conservation Association. After completing her bachelor’s and year-long internship, Akiebia realized the National Park Service was where she wanted to be and started her career at Little River Canyon National Preserve (LIRI) in Fort Payne, AL. After working at LIRI and doing more self reflection on the lack of minority staff in parks, Akiebia decided she wanted to pursue her master’s in Public Administration at the University of West Georgia where her concentration was minorities in natural areas and policy. During her master’s Akiebia worked in operations and digital media at Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, AL.


After her master’s, Akiebia decided to pursue a PhD at Clemson University where her research is inspired by her experience as a minority staffer in the National Park Service. Akiebia’s dissertation is titled “The Intersection Between Political Environments, Partnerships, Perceptions and Parks: An Examination of Organizational Theories as a Variable to Sustain Diversity in Parks and Protected Areas.” Akiebia aims to assist managers of PPAs to better understand how high internal locus of control (LOC) and organizational embeddedness may relate to retention of minority staff.

Kalani Quiocho
Board Member  •
Member, PSF Editorial Board

Kalani Quiocho was born on the island of Hawaiʻi and raised in part by his great-grandparents who were traditional Hawaiian medicinal healers. He grew up on a Hawaiian homestead along the shores of Hilo at the base of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. As a young Native Hawaiian, Kalani was fascinated by people and places, and the unique relationships among them. He has since committed himself to marine conservation and the Indigenous contributions to local and global efforts. 

Kalani has worked with a number of organizations and institutions that serve Native Hawaiian and local communities and strive to revitalize Hawaiian language and culture. He was also a fisher in a small-scale fishery before becoming a NOAA longline fishery observer. For three years, he worked on commercial swordfish and tuna fishing vessels. An experience that changed his life. Kalani was compelled to combine his social-justice experiences and love of nature to empower traditional and Indigenous knowledge systems to improve conventional science, conservation, and environmental management. Later, he began working for The Nature Conservancy and assisted community-based marine conservation efforts for Native Hawaiian and local communities throughout Hawaiʻi in partnership with government agencies and other non-profit organizations.

Currently, Kalani works as an affiliate for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and serves as the Native Hawaiian Program Specialist for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the largest protected area in the United States and the only mixed natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage site in the country. He is currently a part-time PhD student in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at UH Mānoa. His research focuses on the development and implementation of a biocultural management evaluation framework for Papahānaumokuākea based on Hawaiian cosmology and Native Hawaiian values and principles for natural and cultural resources stewardship. Kalani is building upon an academic background in Hawaiian studies from the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa and marine science from UH Hilo.

Kalani lives on the island of Hawaiʻi with his wife, Eri, and their two sons, Palikū and Kaulu. This multilingual family loves searching for creatures, dancing, reading, exploring ancestral places, and playing with nature.  Their favorite places include water.

Brian Peterson
 Board Member

Brian Peterson is a postdoctoral scholar at Kansas State University with the department of Park Management and Conservation. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of San Diego as a pre-med student who majored in biology and minored in chemistry. At the University of San Diego Brian was also a collegiate cross country and track student athlete. After undergraduate education Brian worked as a high school biology and chemistry teacher for seven years in San Diego, CA. Brian decided to change career trajectories after a three month backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail, and became a chainsaw sawyer for the California Conservation Corps working on fire management projects at the urban wildland interface in California. This conservation work got Brian interested in research of the conservation of parks and protected areas. Brian completed his master’s at the University of Utah with the department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, and completed his doctoral degree at Clemson University with the department of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Brian’s research focuses on advancing spatiotemporal understanding of visitor travel patterns within parks and protected areas. His research typically synthesizes GIS applications, social science, and recreation ecology. Brian has conducted research for many protected areas, including: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Bonneville Salt Flats, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Buffalo National River, and the Appalachian Trail.

Jimm Simon
Board Member

Now in his second or third career, Jimm Simon is currently the Executive Director of a non-profit agency and a social enterprise business that supports adults who live with intellectual disabilities. Prior to this, Jimm was a self-employed heritage tourism consultant for over 20 years working on over 150 different heritage- and parks-related projects across Western Canada and in the Arctic. He is also the former Interpretive Tourism Project planner for the Northwest Territory where he helped establish 2 wilderness parks, a Heritage Park, and 12 cultural visitor centres, and contributed to establishing 2 heritage rivers. Jimm has degrees in both Outdoor Recreation and Geography as well as an MSc in Applied History from Utah State and an MBA. As a volunteer, Jimm sits on number of not-for-profit boards.  He is the former Chair and honourary life member of the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as former chair and honourary life member of the Association of Manitoba Museums. 

Nadine Spence
Board Member 
Member, PSF Editorial Board

Nadine Spence, Klii?aht'a, is an Ahousaht First Nation member, part of the larger Nuu-chah-nulth Tribe on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Since 2001, Nadine has worked for Parks Canada in a variety of capacities and in various functional areas in both field operations and national policy development. In her current role as Executive Director of Operations, overseeing the British Columbia and Yukon region, she works with a team of executives to manage and operate Parks Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Among other roles, she is the former Director of Natural Resource Conservation and former Director of the Indigenous Affairs Branch. She was recently recognized through a Public Service Award of Excellence, for her efforts as co-lead on the Pathway to Target 1 initiative to support Canada’s Biodiversity goals to protect 17% of Canada’s terrestrial and in-land waters by 2020.


A career in Parks Canada has allowed Nadine to marry her vocation with her culture. Her passion lies in advancing conservation in ways in which supports the advancement of Indigenous knowledge systems and understandings in the field of conversation and protected areas management, including the indivisibility that exists between nature and culture. As an Indigenous voice in the Public Service, she has the privilege to build bridges between cultures and people, assisting in finding common interests and shared priorities, and to advance relationships, policies, and operations that benefit from this increased depth of understanding.


Nadine holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University, where her major research project focused on exploring the role of women in the governance of a tribal park protected areas model. She currently resides in Colwood, British Columbia with her two sons, Caleb and Brenner. In their time off from school and work, the family enjoys hiking in cultural and natural places, reading, travelling, and stand-up paddle boarding.

Bill Walker
Board Member

Bill is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for Three Rivers Park District - a 27,000 acre “Special Park District” serving the Twin Cities metropolitan region (Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota). In this role, he manages all aspects of cultural resources monitoring, preservation and legal compliance, and oversees the operation of the Park District’s public historic sites.

Bill began his career in parks and protected areas with the National Park Service, serving as an interpretive Park Ranger at Salem Maritime NHS (Salem, MA), Saugus Iron Works NHS (Saugus, MA) and Virgin Islands National Park (St. John, USVI). From this early experience, Bill strongly believes that effective interpretive programming is one of the most powerful preservation tools available to resource managers, as it connects visitors with the meaning behind a park’s protected status, and empowers them toward a personal stewardship ethic.

Bill holds a BA in History and Museum Studies from Gordon College (Wenham, MA) and a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota. He is a New Yorker by birth, a New Englander by association and a Minnesotan by marriage. 

Mike Walton
Board Member

Mike grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at a time when parents directed children to “go outside and play”. This resulted in unsupervised mounted (bicycle) and pioneer (foot) exploration of parks, ravines, rivers, ponds, paths and tracks across the city.  Getting dirty and bloody in nature resulted in a life-long passion about wilderness and what parks and institutions do to protect it. Mike has held leadership roles with the Yukon Conservation Society, Vancouver Island Regional Parks, Parks Canada, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, and Ontario Parks.  Mike has been a park warden, interpreter, superintendent and regional director.  Mike holds a diploma in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, an undergraduate degree in Outdoor Recreation from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a M.Sc in Parks and Recreation Resources Management from Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania.  Mike completed his doctoral studies at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, researching governance of protected areas, specifically, sharing power and decision-making.  Mike now provides consulting services on protected area governance and management, landscape scale conservation, Indigenous relations, and park planning.  In 2020 Mike was appointed to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board by Canada’s federal Minister of Northern Affairs.  Mike lives in Whitehorse, Yukon with his wonderful and patient partner Sylvie of nearly 40 years.  They have three grown children and two grandchildren. Mike now directs his grandchildren to “go play outside” with him.

Staff & PSF Editorial Team

Dave Harmon
Executive Director •
Parks Stewardship Forum

Dave is responsible for overseeing the Society’s operations, including co-editing Parks Stewardship Forum and helping plan workshops, conferences, and other meetings. A member of the GWS since 1985, Dave began working for the organization in 1990 and served as executive director from 1998 to 2017 before returning that role in 2019. He is active in IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas.  He also maintains a research interest in the relationship between biological and cultural diversity, having co-founded the NGO Terralingua, which is devoted to that subject. Dave has co-edited several volumes on protected area conservation, including The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation (with Francis P. McManamon and Dwight T. Pitcaithley), The Full Value of Parks: From Economics to the Intangible (with Allen D. Putney), and A Thinking Person's Guide to America's National Parks (with Robert Manning, Rolf Diamant, and Nora Mitchell).

Emily Dekker-Fiala

Emily is the logistics coordinator for the GWS’s biennial conferences and also organizes conferences that the Society jointly sponsors with other organizations. Emily has a B.S. in Resource Planning and Conservation from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources (1973) and did graduate work at Utah State University. She worked 10 years with the National Park Service and 6 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a variety of planning and resource management jobs in parks and refuges in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Alaska.

Rebecca Conard
Parks Stewardship Forum

Rebecca is Professor Emerita of History at Middle Tennessee State University, where she directed the public history graduate program and also taught  American environmental history. While completing her doctoral work at UC Santa Barbara, she co-founded PHR Associates, a historical research firm based in Santa Barbara, California. Prior to entering teaching full-time in 1992, she was a principal partner with Tallgrass Historians L.C. of Iowa City, and she maintains associate status with this firm. As a consultant, she has specialized in historic preservation and cultural resource management services, which has given her countless opportunities to explore America's cultural and natural landscapes, from the bowels of deactivated Nike missile silos in the Angeles National Forest to meandering stonewalls in remote areas of Massachusetts. She is a native of Iowa, a place she returns to often. Her major publications include Places of Quiet Beauty: Parks, Preserves, and Environmentalism (1997), Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Legislative History, 1920-1996 (National Park Service, 1998), and Benjamin Shambaugh and the Intellectual Foundations of Public History (2002). She has contributed chapters to Proceedings of the Kansas History and History of the Great Plains Symposium (2001), Public History and the Environment (2004), and The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation (2006), and also published articles in The Public Historian, The George Wright Forum, Environmental Review, The Annals of Iowa, Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science, and Iowa Conservationist. She is a past president of the National Council on Public History (2002-2003); and she has received awards for her publications and for her contributions to public history from the American Association for State and Local History, the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the California Council for the Promotion of History, and the California Preservation Foundation.

Dorothy A. Davis
“The Photographer’s Frame,” 
Parks Stewardship Forum

A graduate degree from California Lutheran University and a lifetime of research and mentoring students, teaching literature and foreign language, capped by more than 50 years of world travel prepared Dorothy Davis for co-editing The Photographer’s Frame. Post-graduate classes and learning travel-journalism and photo-essay production along the way from National Geographic Society photographers among others helped her to polish her skills. Her post-graduate studies also concentrated on the writings of Irish authors with specific study of William Butler Yeats in Sligo, Ireland, and nearly a year of sabbatical independent study throughout western Europe in the early 1980s. Dorothy is an award-winning photographer, with numerous cover and calendar images to her credit.

Gary E. Davis
“The Photographer’s Frame,” 
Parks Stewardship Forum

Gary Davis has been studying nature and people since the 1960s as a national park ranger, research scientist, aquanaut, and photographer. He co-edits The Photographer’s Frame, a regular photo-essay feature of Parks Stewardship Forum, the journal of the University of California Berkeley’s Parks, People and Biodiversity Institute and the George Wright Society. Gary explored and documented the ecological health of America’s national parks by developing protocols for measuring park vital signs, and demonstrated the positive effects of protecting marine life, making national parks safer for fish.

During a 50-year career of scientific research in national parks, from the Virgin Islands and South Florida to California’s Channel Islands, he realized that translating science into illustrated stories was as important as his scientific discoveries.  This epiphany motivated his post-retirement endeavors of world travel with National Geographic Society explorers and photographers to learn the art of visual essays.

Recently, he has served on the boards of the Western National Parks Association and the SeaDoc Society at the University of California, Davis, Wildlife Health Center.  He has also advised the U. S. Departments of Commerce and Interior as a member of the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee and of the National Park System Advisory Board's Science Committee. Formerly, Gary held a variety of board positions with the George Wright Society including President, Vice President, and Treasurer.

Rolf Diamant
Member, Editorial Board,
Parks Stewardship Forum

Rolf Diamant is a writer, historian, and adjunct associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Department of History.  A large part of Rolf’s life has been devoted to national parks as a landscape architect, planner, and national park superintendent, and he worked to successfully diversify the conservation portfolio of the U.S. National Park Service with his involvement on national heritage areas, cooperatively managed wild and scenic rivers, urban parks, community assistance programs, and a variety of new additions to the park system. Rolf is a past president of the George Wright Society. He began his column (Letter From Woodstock) on the future of national parks in 2012; his essays have regularly appeared in The George Wright Forum and Parks Stewardship Forum.  Major publications include Olmsted in Yosemite: Central Park, The End of Slavery and the Rise of National Parks (with Ethan Carr; LALH 2021), and A Thinking Person’s Guide to America’s National Parks (with Robert Manning, Nora Mitchell and Dave Harmon; Braziller 2016). Rolf received a Master of Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Gary E. Machlis
“Verse in Place,” 
Parks Stewardship Forum

Dr. Gary E. Machlis is University Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University, and served as Science Advisor to the Director, U.S. National Park Service (NPS) during both terms of the Obama administration. He joined the Clemson faculty in 2013; he was on the faculty at the University of Idaho from 1979-2013.


Dr. Machlis received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his Ph.D. in human ecology from Yale. He has written numerous books and scientific papers on issues of conservation, human ecology, and sustainability, including The State of the World's Parks (1985), the first systematic study of threats to protected areas around the world. His most recent book (co-authored) is The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water, published by the University of Chicago in 2018. His research has been published in journals as varied as Bioscience, Climatic Change, Conservation Biology, Society and Natural Resources, and Science.


Dr. Machlis has been a leader in collaborative higher education. He served on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) National Committee on Opportunities for Women and Minorities in Science for over a decade. He was instrumental in the creation of the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network and served as its National Coordinator from 1998-2006.


Dr. Machlis is active in international conservation. He has worked in China on the Giant Panda Project for the World Wildlife Fund and has conducted research on conservation and sustainability issues in the Galápagos Islands, the national parks of Kenya, and in Eastern Europe. Most recently, he has helped advance environmental science and sustainability collaborations between the U.S. and Cuba. Dr. Machlis helped establish and directed the National Parks Science Scholars Program, with over $8 million in scholarships to students from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the countries of Latin America. In 2010 Dr. Machlis was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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