SCIENCE, FORESTRY, & TECH LEADERSHIP

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Allison Wolff - photo by Nick Higman

Allison Wolff

Chief Executive Officer

Allison worked in Silicon Valley for 20 years on corporate strategy, product strategy, customer experience design, and marketing. After overseeing the development of the Netflix brand and digital experience Allison advised corporate and nonprofit leadership teams on vision, strategy, and social and environmental innovation. Clients included Drawdown, Google, eBay, Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network, Patagonia, Nike, HP, Conservation International, and GlobalGiving. 

With growing knowledge and passion for the role forests and soil can play in carbon drawdown, she is focusing her full attention on developing technology solutions that restore damaged ecosystems and, ultimately, build community and wildland resilience.

Neil Hunt

Dr. Neil Hunt

Chief Product Officer

Neil was Chief Product Officer for Netflix from 1999 to 2018, responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the technology at Netflix. Prior to Netflix, Neil had engineering leadership roles at Rational Software and Pure Atria. In 2018, he was cofounder at Curai, a venture-backed health tech company applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to primary care medicine. Neil serves on the boards of directors of Logitech, Roku, and Vibrant Planet.

Scott Conway - photo by Nick Higman

Scott Conway

Chief Resilience Officer

Scott brings a unique combination of natural resource education, training, and management experience to forest and fuels management challenges. Scott is a 20-year US Forest Service veteran in land management that included a diverse set of roles including District Ranger, Spatial Ecologist, Silviculturist, and Forester. Scott’s perspective and work was highlighted in a recent New Yorker article. After leaving the USFS in 2019, Scott ran a land management consulting practice focused on innovative, collaborative land management approaches. He brings this practice and his rich set of experiences with him to Vibrant Planet. Download Scott’s resume.

Guy Bayes

Guy Bayes

Chief Technology Officer

Guy is an engineering leader with twenty years of experience in the data space. He has built and led engineering organizations at some of Silicon Valleys' top organizations, including Lyft, Facebook, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, in addition to founding and growing copious startups.

Currently, he is focused on using data and AI to power natural climate solutions management, in order to mitigate and roll back climate change.

Hugh Safford
Dr. Hugh Safford
Chief Scientist

Before joining Vibrant Planet as its chief scientist in January, 2022, Dr. Hugh Safford was Regional Ecologist for the USDA-Forest Service’s Region 5 (California, Hawaii, Pacific territories) for more than two decades. In synergy with his work at Vibrant Planet, Safford is a member of the research faculty at the University of California-Davis. Safford is director of the Sierra Nevada section of the California Fire Science Consortium, and he is PI of the California Prescribed Fire Monitoring Program (a partnership with CALFIRE), as well as the multipartner Southern California Montane Forest Conservation Strategy. Safford has provided international technical assistance on fire, forest management, and climate change issues since the 1990s. Recent projects include fire risk mapping in Georgia, fire management planning in Mexico, climate change adaptation in Brazil, and forest restoration in North Africa and the Levant. Safford was a Fulbright Fellow between 2017 and 2019, where he studied post-fire ecosystem restoration practices in the Mediterranean Basin. Safford co-edited the 2021 Postfire Restoration Framework for National Forests in California, which provides guidance for management decision-making in burned ecosystems under changing environmental baselines. Visit the Safford Lab at UC-Davis. Download Hugh’s resume, and his full CV

Ashley Conrad-Saydah
Ashley Conrad-Saydah
Chief Climate Officer

Ashley translates Vibrant Planet’s cutting-edge science and technology tools into actionable policy as VP’s Chief Climate Officer. A recognized expert in climate change, renewable energy and natural resources policy, Ashley serves on the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy & Homeland Security External Advisory Board. She previously worked in climate and energy policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Ashley mentors women through She Shares and serves on the Advisory Board of the UC Davis Graduate Program of Environmental Policy and Management. Throughout her career, she has worked to provide all people access to nature, education, healthy communities, and good jobs. Ashley lives in Sacramento with her family. Download Ashley’s resume.

Kevin McGarigal headshot
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Landscape Ecologist

Kevin is an applied research landscape ecologist, having earned a BS degree in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech, an MS. degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University, and a PhD in Forest Science from Oregon State University. He was a professor of landscape ecology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst from 1997 until 2019.  Kevin’s applied research focuses on understanding how landscapes are structured physically and biologically and the agents responsible for those patterns, how these patterns affect the distribution and dynamics of plant and animal populations, how these patterns and processes change over time, and how to apply this information to better manage natural resources over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Accordingly, a major component of his work has been the development and technical support of software tools for both scientists and managers (e.g., FRAGSTATS) for quantifying landscape patterns and landscape dynamics. In particular, Kevin is the developer of a landscape disturbance-succession simulation model (LDSim) for simulating the range of variation in landscape patterns under natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes to help land managers gain a quantitative understanding of the landscape under historical reference period conditions and alternative future scenarios. Kevin is eager to bring his substantial experience, knowledge, and prolific set of tools and software to enhance Land Tender and the future suite of decision support applications that are currently being developed by Vibrant Planet. Download Kevin’s resume.

Tory Nelson
Tory Nelson
Product Manager

Tory is a product leader with 20 years of experience in the data world ranging from taxonomy development to observational and experimental data analysis to social network analysis to financial reporting to big data infra to insight generation and data visualization. As an enthusiastic member of the California Native Plant Society, she is excited to bring her experience to helping people adapt to environmental and climate change-driven threats and improve our collective care for the land. Formerly at Lyft, Facebook, Guidewire, Detica/BAE.

Maria Tran

Maria Tran

Product Advisor

Maria is a seasoned product leader with over 20 years of product management experience in Silicon Valley, with industry experience that spans the sciences, insurance, and social media. She has conceived and built innovative analytics and enterprise applications at Facebook, Guidewire and Informatica and has managed products and advised at Palantir, Hearsay Social and National Ignition Facility. Maria specializes in building out scaled, analytical platforms that power decision making.

Aside from her professional work, Maria has also been deeply involved with philanthropic activities. She co-founded Sea of Solidarity, a 501c3 that funded grassroots projects helping refugees in Greece and Turkey. She currently sits on the VP Trust board, an open source data community for building resilience, and was a former board member of the Lahontan Community Foundation.

Marcelo Murachovsky
Marcelo Murachovsky
Product Designer

Marcelo is a product designer with over 15 years of experience leading and designing world-class solutions for several industries including finance, healthcare, and agriculture, in Brazil and Silicon Valley. He recently led design teams at BovControl and Hearsay Systems, creating user-friendly solutions to complex problems.

Bogdan State

Bogdan State

Head of Machine Learning

Bogdan joined Vibrant Planet after running scie.nz, a small data consultancy, and developing aorist, a data engineering library for machine learning applications. Prior to scie.nz Bogdan spent 7 years working on the Facebook Core Data Science team. At Facebook, Bogdan was responsible for the implementation and delivery of several large software systems using advanced machine learning techniques, with scopes ranging from spam detection, business intelligence, data management and high-stakes analytics. Bogdan holds a PhD in Sociology and M.S. in Computer Science, both from Stanford University, as well as a B.A. in History and Sociology from Amherst College. He has authored of 18 peer-reviewed publications in Computational Social Science, as well as 14 patents and patent applications. At Vibrant Planet he is excited to dive into environmental science, while bringing his skills in dealing with large, complicated datasets to the climate problem.

Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson

Tie Kim

Spatial Analyst

Ryan is a geospatial professional with over ten years of experience using GIS and remote sensing to address complex natural resource challenges. His forestry experience ranges from broadscale regional biomass assessments to terrestrial lidar scanning of individual trees. Additionally, he has worked on numerous remote sensing projects in the realms of ecology, wildlife, and water resources through his experience in academia and private environmental consulting. His previous projects include Joshua tree population assessments, quantification of Canada lynx understory habitat, and development of a statewide water use index. At Vibrant Planet, Ryan applies his passion for the environment and geospatial experience to improve landscape resilience.

April Brough

April Brough

Tie Kim

Spatial Analyst

April is a GIS programmer/analyst who has enjoyed working with geospatial technology for over 17 years. She uses Python to explore interesting spatial questions, especially within ecological applications such as national forest plan revisions, wildfire risk assessments, and environmental impacts for proposed projects. She enjoys using her GIS knowledge and experience to develop new workflows, to increase efficiency and data integrity, and to enable others to do more with the resources available. She's excited to join Vibrant Planet and help expand the toolsets we can use as stewards of this incredible place we live.

Nahum Wild

Nahum Wild

Product Engineering Lead

Nahum is actively involved in the New Zealand web development community, having run various meetups, weekend technology retreats and a conference. He served as a founding member of Ruby New Zealand.

He is a sought after Engineer and CTO working in Wellington, NZ growing teams and building award winning products. He is passionate about creating solutions and experiences that work so well they go unnoticed; coaching newly minted engineers; and making things less complicated.

Working in startups is what gets him up in the morning and there is normally an idea or two he's hacking away on. He frequently spends his weekends planting trees and making pizza.

Cyrus Dukart

Cyrus Dukart

Product Engineering Lead

Cyrus joins Vibrant Planet with 15+ years in the data space. He brings industry experience that spans Energy, Finance, Commerce, HR, and Media. Prior to Vibrant Planet, Cyrus spent 9 years working on core data engineering and data products at Facebook.  He is an information visualization guru who is passionate about leveraging data for social good. Cyrus brings his energy, technical abilities, and leadership experience to help Vibrant Planet realize its mission to make communities and ecosystems more resilient in the face of climate change. Formerly at Facebook, Microstrategy, IBM.

Sky Skach

Sky Skach

GIS Analyst, Ecologist

Sky has spent over a decade working in the cultural/natural resource management and GIS fields with the National Park Service, Peace Corps Philippines, Colorado State University and other public sector organizations. A GIS generalist, she has worked on projects ranging from remote sensing and wetland modeling in the Colorado Front Range to inventorying and assessing historic orchards and landscapes in Yosemite National Park and participatory mapping and ecological assessment of tropical coastal ecosystems in Northern Samar.

She holds a B.L.A in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon and an M.S. in Ecology from Colorado State University, the perfect combination for an artist and naturalist! When not performing data analysis or doing cartography she can be found hiking, painting, sewing, or practicing permaculture in every available space in her yard. Sky believes that spatial literacy and effective communication of science and data are crucial skill sets and that communicating starts with listening. She brings this ethos with her to Vibrant Planet. Download Sky’s resume.

Colton Miller
Dr. Colton Miller
Forest Ecologist

Colton is a researcher in forest and fire ecology whose current work uses remote sensing and geospatial analysis to investigate landscape change due to wildland fire. Colton got his boots dirty in forestry as a pre-sale forester with the Quinault Indian Nation where he became interested in how new technologies could be leveraged to map and model the impacts of disturbance and management on forest ecosystems. Colton has collaborated on research with the U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy as well as other universities. His knowledge and expertise span a wide range of ecological phenomena, from microbiology and seedling-soil interactions to remote sensing and landscape scale fire dynamics. Download Colton’s resume.

Danielle Perrot
Danielle Perrot
Applied Ecologist

Danielle is a research scientist with 8 years of experience in hydrology, water resources management, and environmental sciences. She is passionate about improving natural resource management by developing better tools for decision-making. She worked as an undergraduate and graduate student researcher at UCLA and CU Boulder, in water rights administration and water conservation for the City of Greeley (Colorado), and most recently in water resources engineering for the Center for Water Resources at RTI International where she assisted in the development of water forecast systems for a variety of clients across the United States. She is excited to contribute her unique perspective to support Vibrant Planet’s team and mission. Download Danielle’s resume.

Mike Cartmill
Mike Cartmill
Forester

Mike has nearly 15 years of experience working within various government and non-government land management organizations throughout the western United States including the United States Forest Service (USFS), United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). Mike has also worked with a variety of partners and collaborators to develop project proposals and oversee implementation. He has forged lasting relationships that are an integral element of creating a successful long-term resilient forest. With 15 years of project implementation, layout and administration experience Mike brings an optimistic sense of professional realism to the table. 

Tony Chang

Dr. Tony Chang

Lead Data Scientist

Tony joined Vibrant Planet with a background in forest modeling, species distribution modeling, deep learning, data visualization, and big data analysis. He specializes in applying machine learning techniques to ecological issues, including climate change and forest disturbances. He has extensive experience on forest structure modeling utilizing deep convolutional neural networks to interpret high resolution imagery in the conterminous U.S. Tony has over 15 years of combined field- and research-based conservation experience with numerous federal agencies and NGOs. A 2013–2017 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow, he is a 2017 recipient of the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship from the Society for Conservation Biology, 2018 recipient of the Microsoft AI for Earth Grant, and a 2021-2022 Wilburforce Leader in Conservation Science. Download Tony’s resume.

Ian Hageman Headshot

Ian Hageman

Geospatial Lead

Ian has over a decade of experience in geospatial technology which includes developing, maintaining, and analyzing complex geospatial datasets to help make informed, data-driven decisions. Ian comes from a background in natural resource management and has led geospatial projects within his local community as well as globally around the world. Ian’s professional experience includes working and collaborating with partners in the private sector as well as local and international governmental agencies. Ian’s expertise includes geodatabase administration, geospatial/remote sensing analysis, and maintenance of critical datasets. Ian brings a unique, agile, and diverse set of geospatial skills to the Vibrant Planet team.

Peter Rexer

Peter Rexer

VP Data Commons Platform

Peter is an Enterprise Architect and Platform Product Manager with 25 years experience building software, APIs, and tools to integrate disparate systems and their data. He worked in consulting at Sapient and KPMG building some of the first online banking and trading applications and integrating them into Banks’ legacy systems. At Guidewire, Peter built the Integration consulting team, working on-site at GEICO, Liberty Mutual, CNA, and other insurers to build legacy system integrations. He became Guidewire’s Platform Product Manager until their IPO, and then went on to lead Box’s API development as their head of Platform.

Derek Young

Dr. Derek Young

Forest Analytics Lead

Derek is a forest ecologist and data scientist. He brings over 10 years of experience as a university researcher studying forest disturbance and recovery, evaluating management interventions such as forest thinning and tree planting, and developing new methods for forest mapping using drones and computer vision. At Vibrant Planet he is working to incorporate the best available science, data, and analytical techniques to support forest management decision-making. Derek also maintains an active forest ecology research program at the University of California, Davis.

Janet Wiener

Dr. Janet Wiener

Principal Software Engineer

Janet is a software generalist with over 30 years of expertise in data, from database internals up through user-facing apps that make sense of mountains of data. She is energized by the promise of reducing fires in California and excited to make data power Vibrant Planet’s products.

Janet has written over 50 peer reviewed publications and holds 20 patents. She earned a PhD in Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously worked at Stanford University, DEC, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Facebook. Slack, and several start-ups.

Ryan Herring

Dr. Ryan Herring

Software Engineer

Ryan has over a decade of experience in large-scale geospatial data processing and software engineering. He holds a PhD in Operations Research from UC Berkeley and spent 10 years working on navigation within Apple Maps. He is excited to bring those skill sets and experiences to Vibrant Planet to make a positive impact on the climate. Outside of work, you will find Ryan running on the trails around the Tahoe region.

Chris Willard

Chris Willard

Software Engineer

Chris is a software developer with 20 years of experience making maps, visualizations, and systems for wrangling messy and complex datasets. Most recently, they've focused on nonprofit and justice-oriented projects with the United Nations, the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University, the Legal Aid Society, the Center for Brooklyn History, and Urban Archive.

Mitchell Gritts

Mitchell Gritts

Software Engineer

Mitchell has a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from University of Nevada, Reno. For the last nine years he worked at Nevada Department of Wildlife as a data analyst, web developer, and database administrator. Some of his favorite projects in the past include movement ecology of large ungulates (deer, bighorn, elk) and building tools to increase access to hunting and fishing data for Nevada hunters and anglers.

Joseph Ramsay

Joseph Ramsay

Data Engineer

Traveling soon after graduation Joseph started his career as an RF (Radio Frequency) Engineer in Europe. He has worked for close to 20 years designing and optimizing cellular networks for Motorola, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. During this time he variously worked for and managed small project teams rolling out mobile services to local communities. He has worked in a number of countries around the world but has since returned to New Zealand where he is based now. Planning wireless networks gave him an interest in mapping and software development and has led to recent developer roles, most recently as a Geospatial Developer for the New Zealand government.

He is passionate about the natural environment and excited to be a part of a team looking to make a positive difference and contribute to the climate solution.

Joe Flannery

Joe Flannery

Community Relations Lead

Joe possesses a unique combination of natural resource education with over ten years of experience in partnerships and communication with the United States Forest Service. In the USFS, Joe focused on increasing key stakeholder and public engagement to support conservation organizations and government agencies’ efforts to increase the pace and scale of landscape restoration.

Joe is passionate about conservation education and believes a well-informed public is one far likely to support future endeavors to conserve biodiversity, sustainably utilize natural resources, and prioritize carbon drawdown. As a documentary filmmaker, Joe’s projects have focused on biodiversity and conservation including subjects such as free-ranging bison, wildfire, spring-run chinook salmon, grasslands, and the return of wolves to California. Download Joe’s resume.

Judy Bergwerk

Judy Bergwerk

FinOps Manager

Judy has seven years of experience with business operations and transactional accounting for nonprofit and forprofit entities. At Vibrant Planet, she runs our virtual office, runs day-to-day finance, and background operations that keep the company running smoothly.

Judy spent her early career on the engineering team for a number of Silicon Valley hardware companies. The majority of her time was with Silicon Graphics, as a manufacturing engineer focusing on design for manufacturability on the high end graphic computers, and transitioning production from pilot to full scale manufacturing.

Molly Parker

Molly Parker

Executive Assistant

Molly is our Executive Assistant bringing over 10 years of experience in her field. Starting her journey as a Nanny and Personal Assistant in the San Francisco area, she now brings her care and organization to Vibrant Planet. Molly is a California native who is excited to be part of a group building tools designed to protect our land. At this job she is looking forward to assisting our leaders and supporting our team in their amazing work.

Jasmijn Al Kenany and Sophia Koch

Jasmijn Al Kenany & Sophia Koch

Social Media Managers

Jasmijn and Sophia are both undergrad students at Leiden University studying liberal arts and sciences. With interests in sustainable practices and environmental narratives, they create and share engaging and informative content, keeping Vibrant Planet’s social media pages up-to-date and active.

Through their work, they hope to spread awareness about the benefits of effective forest management and further Vibrant Planet’s mission.

CONTACT US

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Drop us a line if you’re interested in making communities and ecosystems more resilient in the face of climate change, or want to help us unlock land-based carbon drawdown. Together, we can forge a better future.

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