Our Team

Program Director

Amy E.M. Johnson, Ph.D.

B.Sc., University of Guelph; M.Sc. and Ph.D., George Mason University

Google Scholar Profile

As Program Director, Amy leads a team that cultivates a dynamic network of private landowners, citizen scientists, NGO’s, state agencies and research scientists to collectively investigate the impacts of conservation management and land use on biodiversity. In addition to research, she is committed to developing a strong outreach program that communicates research findings to inform best management practices for regional conservation partners and the community.

A former Smithsonian-Mason Research Fellow, Amy’s Ph.D. research focused on the impacts of conservation and land management on breeding and over-wintering bird communities in Virginia. Specifically, her research is raising awareness on the importance of bobwhite quail conservation initiatives for conserving habitat for a suite of steeply declining species and is also providing insight into the benefits of native warm-season grasses for over-wintering bird communities. An active member of the Loggerhead Shrike working group, Amy also used citizen science data to develop an occupancy model for Loggerhead Shrikes in the southeastern United States. Results of this research are now being used to facilitate state-level population monitoring through citizen science initiatives.

Prior to being awarded the Smithsonian-Mason PhD Fellowship in Conservation Science, Amy received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and a Master’s degree from George Mason University, focusing her research on developing assisted reproductive techniques in wolves.

 

Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Charlotte Lorick

B.A., Barnard College of Columbia University

Lorick's role as Outreach and Communications Coordinator is to manage relationships and serve as a key liaison with VWL’s dynamic network of citizen scientists, landowners, collaborating organizations (including state agencies and NGOs) and the public. Her focus is to promote VWL’s program mission on multiple platforms (online and offline), diversify the program’s audiences, expand its reach and share the progress and results of VWL’s research with a wide community to inspire conservation action. To accomplish this, she designs all graphics and outreach materials, develops the VWL website, creates content that summarizes the program's research for a diverse audience, recruits new landowners and citizen scientists to participate in biodiversity surveys and organizes events, talks and workshops to engage the local community.

Charlotte's interest in sustainable agriculture and relationship building led her to the Smithsonian where she enjoys connecting the scientific community with the general public. She is an outdoor enthusiast and naturalist, and her long-term interest has been in understanding how humans interact with the natural world and how to promote sustainable, regenerative interactions, particularly on working lands.

 

Survey Coordinator

Joseph M. Guthrie

B.Sc. Centre College; M.Sc. University of Kentucky

As survey coordinator, Joe is the liaison for VWL's network of private landowners, citizen scientists, and partnering organizations. Joe manages 

His work prior to joining VWL includes co-founding the Florida Wildlife Corridor project, a stint working for the National Wildlife Refuge Association, and most recently, as Conservation Biologist staff for the Charlottesville-based landscape design firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz.

Joe earned his master’s degree at the University of Kentucky, completing a thesis based on his work GPS-tracking the Florida black bear across the ranchlands and swamp forests of South-Central Florida. Beginning with his masters research, Joe has devoted his attention to understanding the role private, working farms and ranches play in protecting biodiversity across the Southeastern United States. Joe is a native of Henry County, Kentucky, and now lives in Washington, Virginia.

 

Steering Committee

External Members

Jonathan Duffy, Chair

George Ohrstrom II, Vice Chair

Beatrice Von Gontard, Secretary

Cary Ridder, Treasurer

John Beardsley

John Jacquemin

Stephanie Ridder

Michael Sands

Jocelyn Sladen

Kate Wofford

Internal Members

Amy Johnson

Will Pitt

Cole Johnson

Peter Leimgruber

 

Science Committee

Amy Johnson, Program Director, Virginia Working Landscapes, Smithsonian

William McShea, Research Ecologist, Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian

Thomas Akre, Program Scientist, Working Land and Seascapes, Smithsonian

T’ai Roulston, Entomologist, Blandy Experimental Farm/University of Virginia

Peter Leimgruber, Landscape Ecologist, Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian

Joe Guthrie, Survey Coordinator, Virginia Working Landscapes, Smithsonian

 

Interns

Virginia Working Landscapes hosts a competitive internship program. For more information, visit our Jobs and Internships page.

 

Kelsey Schoenemann

B.Sc., Virginia Tech; M.Sc, Queens University

Kelsey will be working with scientists from Virginia Working Landscapes and Changing Landscapes Initiative (CLI) to connect VWL's biodiversity data with CLI's land use data. In addition, she will work with outreach teams from both projects to create materials highlighting the progress of this effort and related manuscripts in preparation. Her research interests include conservation physiology, organismal health/condition, landscape ecology, and population dynamics.

 

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Virginia Working Landscapes
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
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