BSI Team & Board
We are a small organization dedicated to making our planet a healthy and sustainable one through conserving the boreal forest. Meet members of our staff and board below.
Lane Nothman is Managing Director of the Boreal Songbird Initiative. Previously, Lane was an environmental management consultant, specializing in helping state and local environmental agencies improve their recycling and ecosystem management programs. Lane’s past experience also includes serving as the lobbyist and program manager for the Washington Public Interest Research Group, where she held primary responsibility for formulating program strategy and advocating for issues before legislative bodies, the media, and the public. Lane holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She loves spending time in the great outdoors, both in and outside of Seattle.
Jeff Wells, Ph.D.
Science and Policy Director
Dr. Jeff Wells is the Science and Policy Director for the Boreal Songbird Initiative. He is also a scientific advisor to The Pew Charitable Trusts. Jeff has previously worked as a conservation ornithologist at Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. From 1996-2003 Jeff was with the National Audubon Society, first as Bird Conservation Director for the New York State office, then as the National Director of Bird Conservation. Jeff has earned a reputation as one of the nation's leading bird experts and conservation biologists. He is now dedicated to understanding and protecting the land where North America's birds are born and raised, the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska. Jeff received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees in avian ecology from Cornell University. He has authored or co-authored dozens of scientific papers, reports, and popular articles on birds and bird conservation. He is also the author of the books Boreal Birds of North America: A Hemispheric View of Their Conservation Links and Significance and Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk.
Coming from a more technical background in litigation and legislative affairs, Kelly is excited to put her skills to use for the boreal cause. Kelly handles much of the organizing behind BSI's operations and programs.
Communications and Policy Specialist
Having grown up in rural California, David gained a passion for wilderness and the outdoors at an early age. He now puts that passion into use through writing, multimedia management, and managing communications materials and publications for BSI.
Jen's innate love for nature and healing have found a perfect place to grow within the boreal family. She handles BSI's administrative and bookkeeping needs and helps make the day-to-day efforts of our modern office run smoothly.
Alecia is a life-long supporter of the environment and non-profit business, and has worked in related legal, environmental and public/media fields for twenty years. An Executive Assistant at BSI, she lives in Seattle, is the mother of two girls and considers herself lucky to contribute to the protection of our planet for their futures.
Fritz Reid, President
Dr. Frederic A. Reid is Director of Boreal and Arctic Conservation for Ducks Unlimited. In that capacity, he teams with other DU staff and partners to develop strategies for landscape protection and restoration efforts across the Pacific Flyway. He has over 25 years experience with wetland and waterbird management in North America and Europe and has published over 50 manuscripts. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Missouri. He began field conservation work in boreal Alaska in 1989 and has expanded boreal projects to landscape efforts through western Canada. He remains committed to enlightening and educating people to the importance of boreal habitats for birds and the need for watershed protection.
Cathy Wilkinson, Vice-President
Cathy Wilkinson has over a decade of experience working on environmental policy issues, including climate change, air quality, and biodiversity conservation. She has served as policy advisor to two federal Environment Ministers on these issues, and has also worked for two national non-profit organizations, the Canadian Environmental Network and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. As a consultant, she has worked for a number of government and NGO clients, and has developed environmental grant-making strategies for several Canadian charitable foundations. Ms. Wilkinson has also acted as Executive Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative, which works with a wide range of conservation organizations, First Nations, industry and other interested parties to link science, policy and conservation activities in Canada’s boreal forest.
Marilyn Heiman, Treasurer
Marilyn Heiman was the Director of the Boreal Songbird Initiative for a number of years before creating the current U.S. Arctic Program for the Pew Environment Group, where she now serves as Director. She was also the Campaign Manager for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, a campaign to protect one of the largest remaining Forest Ecosystems remaining on the Earth. She has a deep policy background, highlighted by her appointment by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt as his top Alaska policy advisor in 2000. In that capacity she coordinated activities of the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals Management Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey for the Secretary in Alaska. As Alaska's representative for the Interior Department, she was one of the six-person Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Prior to that she served as Special Assistant on Natural Resources and Oceans for Alaska Governor Tony Knowles and as an aide to the House Resources Committee in the Alaska Legislature during the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. She presently serves on the Board of the Puget Sound Keeper Alliance. Marilyn received her BS for Political Economy of Natural Resources from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983.
Janet Sumner, Member
Janet Sumner has more than 20 years experience as a professional environmentalist. She has been Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League since 2003, where she leads a dynamic team at Wildlands League dedicated to wilderness protection and ecosystem certainty and for our wild spaces. Janet's work experience has touched on many environmental issues, from pesticide use and climate change to waste reduction and pollution in the Great Lakes. Her passion though is the carbon cycle and the intersection with traditional wilderness conservation. She believes the solutions to climate change include protecting the world's most vast terrestrial carbon stores residing in the Boreal ecosystem. Maintaining Canada's Boreal ecosystems will act as a buffer to the impacts of climate change. Janet currently is the chair of the Canada-wide boreal program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), steering committee member to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) and recently retired as board member for the Sustainability Network and the Toronto Environmental Alliance.
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