Landmark is the groundbreaking project that ASC has undertaken in conjunction with American Prairie Reserve (APR) to provide "boots on the ground" support for the conservation management team at APR. Landmark crews consist of six highly motivated and skilled outdoors men and women who will leave and work on the Reserve for a month at a time, collecting valuable data that will directly influence conservation management on APR.
Mikaela Gioia Howie grew up in central Ohio but calls Santander, Spain her second home. She is a wildlife researcher with strong interests in both primary research and conservation. She has been researching avian ecology and conservation for the past 10+ years. She has also been able to satisfy her adventure bug by exploring places as diverse as the arctic, interior and coastal Alaska, the swamps of Louisiana, the mountains of northern Spain and the dry, tropical forest of central Mexico. Mikaela is no stranger to remote living and spent 3.5 months living on a small uninhabited island. Exploring new landscapes and cultures is a way of life for Mikaela and provides fuel for her writing and photography. Mikaela is excited to get to know the prairie region and have bison and pronghorn as her neighbors!
Kelsey Noah grew up on a small farm in Northern Michigan riding horses and rehabilitating wildlife. Kelsey spent time in college studying marine biology on the shores of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland and Yellow Spotted Salamanders in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She also spent a summer exploring the backcountry of Yellowstone before graduating with a BS in Biology and moving to Glacier National Park to be a backcountry horseback guide. Kelsey is now looking to get field experience in wildlife and environmental conservation and looking forward to the adventures it will bring.
Matt Howe grew up in Indiana and works at an indoor rock climbing gym. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing. His sense of adventure and love for the outdoors can be attributed to summers spent at Camp Palawopec where he has served as the camp's co-director. Matt fell in love with the West during a cross-country roadtrip which prompted him to work on an organic farm in Washington. This experience instilled in him a respect for the western landscape, its resident creatures, and the sweet-spicy smell of sagebrush. Matt likes to mountain bike, cave, rock climb, read, play music, and care for his ‘99 Subaru Forester.
Vija Pelekis, a fisheries biologist from Seattle, WA, has been traveling and working around the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in pursuit of conservation and natural beauty. She has worked for several federal agencies doing research including NOAA Fisheries in Central Idaho, the Forest Service in Montana, and USGS on lakes along the Yukon River in Alaska. Most recently, she worked for an Alaska Native organization in Cordova, AK running a mark-recapture program on the Copper River but wants to focus her career towards community-based resource conservation and management. Vija unwinds by snowboarding, snowshoeing, backpacking, creating art, and playing the fiddle.
Ryan Rock is a 2012 graduate of Virginia Tech and a Maryland native. He has extensive field experience with avian studies and small mammals. His resume includes work as a field technician studying birds and insects in the Southeast, heavy trail construction with the US Forest Service, and service with the Human Society of Montgomery County, Virginia. He is excited to contribute to a conservation project in the American West and to gain new field experience with a diverse set of wildlife.
Greg Tsairis, a native of Maine, graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2008 with a major in Studio Art and minors in Outdoor and African studies. During Greg’s undergraduate work, he spent a semester studying conservation in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Since then, Greg has worked as a wrangler, snowboard instructor, art teacher, and guide in the Greater Yellowstone area and beyond. Greg is excited to use his extensive backcountry experience while delving into field science on the American Prairie Reserve.
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