Our Team:

Matthew McKown, CEO:
received a Ph.D. in Ecology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Biology from Colorado College. His dissertation research focused on acoustic communication behavior in Pterodroma Petrels, one of the most threatened seabird taxa, including studies of the use of acoustic recordings for monitoring rare and elusive seabird species at breeding colonies. He was raised in Mexico and the Dominican Republic and has worked in Chile, Guyana, Hong Kong and Malaysia with Environmental Resources Management, the National Audubon Society, and the Juan Fernandez Island Conservancy.

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Virginia McDermott, VP:
received a MBA from Pepperdine University. She was CEO of Management Consortium, Inc. responsible for business, strategic planning and executive coaching for Fortune 500 corporations. She served as Sr. Vice President of an international pharmaceuticals firm with sales of $1B operating in 62 countries where she directed manufacturing, distribution and worldwide engineering as well as a wholly owned subsidiary. She has served on various boards in the profit and not-for-profit sectors as well as advisory boards of several universities.

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Bernie Tershy, Board Chair:
received his B.S. in Biology from the UC, Santa Cruz, M.S. in Marine Sciences from Moss Landing Marine Labs, and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. He is an Adjunct Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a Research Biologist in the Institute of Marine Sciences both at the University of California Santa Cruz. He has published over 70 papers on the conservation and ecology of seabirds and island species. He co-founded Island Conservation, a science-based NGO that has protected 242 seabird colonies and 224 insular endemics from extinction and formed over 900,000ha of new marine and island protected areas in Mexico.

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Don Croll, Chief Scientist:
received a B.S. in biology from the University of California, Davis, M.S. in Marine Sciences from Moss Landing Marine Labs, and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is a Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He co-founded Island Conservation, a science-based NGO with 35 employees and an annual budget of 5 million.

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Abram Fleishman, Research Scientist:
received a B.A. in Marine Studies from Prescott College and an M.S. in Biology at San Jose State University. He was awarded a 3-year Research and Conservation Fellowship focusing on waterbirds and coastal conservation at the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahía Kino, Mexico. He spent two seasons working in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands before joining the CMI team in 2013. He has worked at seabird colonies throughout the North Pacific.

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Jeff Schlueter, Operations Manager:
has worked with a variety of groups throughout California and Hawaii; including the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, and The Nature Conservancy. Jeff has extensive experience developing novel technologies and methods to solve resource management challenges. He has a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management, with a concentration in GIS, from Michigan State University.

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Kerry Dunleavy, Project Manager:

received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Systems: Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology from the University of California, San Diego in June 2011.  As an undergraduate she interned at NOAA-Southwest Fisheries Science Center in the Marine Mammal Genetics Lab and the Antarctic Ecosystems Research Division.  After graduating she spent 5 years researching cetacean acoustics in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska.  She has extensive experience both collecting and analyzing acoustic data.

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Laura Beraut, Director, Contracts & Administration:

received an MBA from the College of Notre Dame. She worked in marketing for Ziff-Davis Publishing positioning products and services to increase awareness and build brand equity. She managed public relations efforts maintaining media relations and organizing promotional events. She has held several volunteer positions supporting local public schools and served on a local non-profit board for over 8 years.

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Lila Kubler-Dudgeon, Analyst:

earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography with GIS emphasis, from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). While a student, she participated in hydrology and river ecology research for the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (SBC LTER) for 3 years. Her capstone research project quantified how beach hoppers consuming seaweed wrack on sandy beaches contributes to dissolved inorganic nitrogen in beach pore water. Prior to joining CMI, Lila was a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Thailand.

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Zoe Gustafson, Analyst:

earned a B.S. in Environmental Science & Ecology from Sierra Nevada College, and a M.S. in Biostatistics from California State University, East Bay. She has extensive experience in both collecting and analyzing wildlife data and is particularly interested in ornithology. Before joining CMI in 2020, she worked as an independent consultant exploring trends in avian populations with regard to varying habitat treatments throughout the state of Nevada.

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Stacey Blasing, Finance Manager:

earned a B.A. in Economics from University of California, Davis and is a licensed CPA in the state of California. She worked as a corporate accountant at Lending Club through a successful IPO, and as an auditor at KPMG serving clients in private, not for profit, and state and federal government. Before joining Conservation Metrics, she completed two years of service as an Economic Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova. She has also volunteered as a Reef Check scuba diver in the Philippines, a facility corporation and advisory board member for two Kappa Alpha Theta chapters, and as an advocate for a child’s voice in court through CASA.

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Olivia Vasquez, Analyst:

earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Studies and Computer Science from Oberlin College. In undergrad, she worked as a web developer for monitoring building energy-use and spent a semester at sea conducting oceanographic research in New Zealand. As a UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, she interned with CMI in 2019 and contributed to an acoustic analysis of Northern spotted owls in Point Reyes. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, and exploring the outdoors.

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Jeffrey Gerard, Director of Engineering:

received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and his M.S. in computer science from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Trento. He has held technical leadership roles in artificial intelligence and software engineering at three fast-paced startups and through two acquisitions. Through these positions he has had the opportunity to apply software and data science to some of his core interests, including weather and climate, food production, healthy eating, remote sensing—and now conservation. He also completed a year of service for AmeriCorps VISTA, deploying water monitoring databases for abandoned mine pollution treatment systems.

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