The Team

Science Advisor

Dr. Jill Baron
Climate Ecologist, US Geological Service/Colorado State University - Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Dr. Jill S. Baron is an ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a Senior Research Ecologist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. Her interests include applying ecosystem concepts to management of human-dominated regions, and understanding the biogeochemical and ecological effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition to mountain ecosystems. She is co-director of the John Wesley Powell Center for Earth System Science Analysis and Synthesis. Baron was Lead Author of the US Climate Change Science Program report on Climate Change Adaptation Options for National Parks, has given testimony to Congress on western acid rain and climate change issues, and is Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Ecology, an Ecological Society of America publication for non-scientists. She is founder and Principal Investigator of the Loch Vale Watershed long-term monitoring and research program in Rocky Mountain National Park, an instrumented catchment with 30 years of continuous records. Dr. Baron received her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1991, and has undergraduate and master’s degrees from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Julia Klein
Climate Ecologist, Colorado State University

Julia Klein grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA and was fortunate to spend a lot of time outdoors and to develop a love and respect for the natural world. Dr. Klein stayed on the east coast for college and was an undergraduate student at Cornell University, where she took courses in biology, economics, political science, anthropology and international relations – even back then she had a budding interest in addressing issues from an interdisciplinary perspective! Dr. Klein headed to the West coast for graduate school and obtained a Ph.D. in ecosystem science and was lucky to co-teach field courses in Nepal during the early years of her graduate studies. Dr. Klein's work in the fields of ecology and education, and experience with Himalayan communities, prepared her well for dissertation research, where she studied the impacts of climate change and grazing on ecosystems on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau.

Advisory Board

Jim Covel
Education Specialist, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Jim Covel has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for over 23 years and is currently the Senior Manager for Guest Experience. He is involved in efforts to coordinate climate change messaging among major aquariums in the U.S. as well as training staff and docents to interpret climate change in exhibits such as the aquarium’s exhibit, Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea. Outside the aquarium, Jim is President of the National Association for Interpretation and has worked with professional peers around the world to promote effective climate change interpretation.

Dr. Scott Denning
Climate Scientist, Colorado State University

Professor Scott Denning received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1993 and 1994. He studied radiometric geochronology, surface water geochemistry, and mountain hydrology before becoming interested in global climate and biogeochemical dynamics. After a two-year postdoctoral appointment modeling global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the Atmospheric Science faculty at Colorado State University in 1998.

Dr. Patrick Gonzalez
Climate Scientist, National Park Service

As the service-wide NPS Climate Change Scientist, Patrick Gonzalez conducts applied research to help staff integrate climate change science into resource management. A forest ecologist, Patrick has conducted field research in Africa, Latin America, and the United States. His published work has examined ecological impacts of climate change, adaptation of natural resource management, and forest carbon solutions. Patrick previously worked as a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley and the U.S. Geological Survey. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and has been honored as a Fulbright Scholar and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow. Patrick has served as a lead author for two reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Kurt Johnson
Climate Scientist, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Kurt A. Johnson, Ph.D., is National Climate Change Scientist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service based in Arlington, Virginia. As a staff member in the Office of the Science Advisor, Kurt provides expertise and leadership in the field of climate change science for the Service’s regions and programs. Kurt chaired the Service’s National Climate Team for the past two years, and prior to that chaired the Climate Change Strategic Plan Team, which developed a Strategic Plan and Action Plan to guide the Service’s response to climate change. Kurt formerly worked as a listing biologist in the Service’s Endangered Species Program, where, among other issues, he worked on the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. Before that, Kurt worked as a biologist in the Division of Scientific Authority of the Service’s International Affairs Program. Kurt has worked for the Service for 15 years. He obtained his B.S. in Wildlife Science from Utah State University in 1976, his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Animal Ecology from Utah State University in 1987. He currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Julia Washburn
Education Specialist, National Park Service

Julia Washburn is the newly appointed NPS Associate Director for Interpretation and Education. She is a conservation professional with more than 20 years experience working to help people of all ages form deep personal connections with their environment and heritage. Prior to rejoining the NPS in September, 2010, Julia served as an interpretive planning consultant and provided staff support to the National Parks Second Century Commission regarding a national vision for education in the next century of the National Park Service. Previously, she served as Interpretive Specialist for the NPS Conservation Study Institute at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and Senior Vice President for Grants and Programs at the National Park Foundation. She has also worked as a park ranger and education specialist in six national parks, the NPS National Capital Region Office, and as a science teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps. She holds a master's degree in museum education leadership from Bank Street College of Education. Currently, Julia also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the George Washington University Museum Education Graduate Program.

Mark Wenzler
Vice President - Climate & Air Quality Programs, National Parks Conservation Association

Mark Wenzler directs the climate and air quality programs at National Parks Conservation Association, a not-for-profit organization working since 1919 to protect and enhance America’s National Park system for present and future generations. Mark manages multiple programs and campaigns within NPCA focused on enforcing and strengthening the laws that protect our national parks and their wildlife. Before coming to NPCA Mark directed the climate and energy programs at the National Environmental Trust (now the Pew Charitable Trust’s Environment Group). Mark is a lawyer who began his career as a Deputy Attorney General prosecuting environmental cases for the New Jersey Division of Law, Environmental Practice Group, and later joined the Public Justice law firm to represent organizations and communities in environmental law enforcement cases. Mark earned his undergraduate degree from Providence College, masters in international relations/economics from the Maxwell School, and juris doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Colorado State University

Jessica Thompson
Assistant Professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Jessica completed her doctoral degree at the University of Utah in spring 2007. During her graduate studies in the Department of Communication, she also pursued conflict resolution and facilitator training and earned an interdisciplinary certificate in Adaptive Management of Environmental Systems, which focuses on integrated and participatory modeling in stakeholder processes. Jessica joined the faculty in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in August 2007, since then she has published numerous articles in several journals, including Science Communication, Society & Natural Resources and the Journal of Applied Communication Research; she recently published her first book, entitled, Interdisciplinary Research Team Dynamics: A Systems Approach to Understanding Communication and Collaboration in Complex Teams. Her research and teaching focus is on communicating and managing environmental conflict about complex ecological issues, with a focus on global climate change and natural resource conservation. She has worked with the National Park Service to help develop the agency's national climate change response strategy, engage multi-jurisdictional stakeholders in climate change adaptation planning, and develop interpretive training materials for climate change.

Caroline Beard
Graduate Student (Masters Candidate), Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Caroline is from northwest North Carolina, and is a first year Masters student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. While at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she studied Philosophy and did a variety of volunteer work in the environmental field. Her experiences studying coastal environmental issues in the Outer Banks and working as an AmeriCorps School-Based Mentor in Steamboat Springs,CO have made her a proponent of non-traditional approaches to education. Of particular interest to her is the potential for place-based climate change education in protected areas to lead to measurable changes in the extent to which visitors engage in pro-environmental behaviors and support federal legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Shawn Davis
Graduate Student (Doctoral Candidate), Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Shawn is a Ph.D. student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. He is most excited about investigating and designing innovative strategies to educate the public about climate change. Shawn’s passion for environmental education began on the Chesapeake Bay where he led sailing expeditions focusing on hands-on scientific research. His previous studies at Colorado State University include investigating the impacts of interpretive signs in natural areas around Fort Collins,CO and researching tourism impacts in local Colorado communities.

Erin Drake
Graduate Student (Masters Candidate), Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Erin is a first year Masters student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Interested in fostering better communication between natural resource scientists and local communities, Erin wants to make the process of complex ecological research-sharing (i.e. Climate Change) more accessible and interactive between experts and non-experts. She is originally from Washington state and received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. Erin has worked seasonally for the National Park Service and US Forest Service in a variety of positions including wildland firefighting, monitoring backcountry black bear and fisher populations, and most recently was a communications intern for the NPS Wilderness Stewardship Division in Washington, DC.

Karina Mullen
Graduate Student (Masters Candidate), Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

A Colorado native, Karina has always been enchanted with wild places. Working at Colorado State University’s Environmental Learning Center and Pingree Park she learned the joys of teaching and sharing nature with young people. She recently traveled by herself to nine countries around the world learning and volunteering. She is currently loving life as a Master’s student interested in engaging diverse populations with an educational experience about climate change, possibly with a focus on the effects of independent food production.

Louisa Gibson
Project Manager, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Louisa has worked with The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, and the National Parks Conservation Association gaining experience with a variety of approaches to conservation management. She is interested in learning about how people make a connection to a place and how these connections translate into interest and participation in stewardship of particular conservation issues. Louisa holds a BA in Geography and BS in Anthropology from Appalachian State University, and completed her Masters in Natural Resource Stewardship at Colorado State University, with a focus on restoration and conservation planning.

National Parks Service

Angie Richman
Communications Specialist, National Park Service Climate Change Response Program

Angie is currently serving as the Communication Specialist for the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program. Angie is tasked with maintaining the NPS climate change web page, producing a monthly newsletter and webinar series for NPS staff across the country, developing climate change training programs, and leading the creation of a communication plan for climate change response. She endeavors to increase climate science literacy among park interpreters and develop communication products that play to the strength of park staff and of the power of the visitor experience Over the past 12 years Angie has worked in 9 different national park units and one regional office. She is trained as a front line interpreter but also applies her background in science to resource management objectives. She received a BA in Astrophysics from the University of New Mexico with a minor in Archaeology, emphasizing Cultural Astronomy.


Karen Hevel-Mingo
Program Manager, Southwest Regional Office of the National Parks Conservation Association

Karen is the Program Manager for the Southwest Regional Office of the National Parks Conservation Association. Raised in the West, Karen spent many childhood days in Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Mesa Verde, and Yellowstone National Parks. She moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah, earning a BA in Anthropology, a Graduate Certificate in Urban Planning and a MPA with an emphasis in Natural Resource Planning. Karen works with the region's national parks as well as a gateway communities on multiple issues including air quality, climate change education and outreach, and promotion of clean, renewable energy. She manages the clean air and climate change regional program. Karen is an affiliate faculty member at Colorado State University and serves on the board of a local outdoor classroom.

Douglas Meyer
Consultant, Bernuth & Williamson

Douglas Meyer of the consulting firm Bernuth & Williamson has helped a wide range of national and international nonprofit organizations develop, evaluate, and improve their outreach efforts. As a consultant, he has worked with leading environmental organizations such as Resources for the Future (RFF), The Ocean Project, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as well as the Environment Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Previousy he worked in film and television production and later was on staff at The Nature Conservancy, where he focused on international communications and special initiatives, including representing the Conservancy at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences. Fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portugues, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and Spanish from Indiana University, holds a master's degree in international affairs from Georgetown University, and teaches nonprofit marketing at Skidmore College.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Mike Carlo
Division of Visitor Services for the National Wildlife Refuge System, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Mike works in the Division of Visitor Services for the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Washington office. He coordinates visitor use and wildlife-dependent recreation programs including visitor surveys, interpretation, wildlife observation and photography for 552 national wildlife refuges across the country. He works with partners to augment and assist visitor services delivery for diverse audiences and stakeholders. Mike started his visitor services career with a brief stint in the National Park Service, and worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a park ranger for eight years at the South Texas Refuge Complex. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Syracuse University and a master's degree in recreation, park and tourism sciences from Texas A&M University.