CSF Founder & President, Sebastopol, California
John has worked in conservation since 1991, promoting the use of economics to address conservation challenges. John has pursued that goal through an innovative training program and by the example of practical, policy-relevant analyses on a number of themes in the Amazon, Central America and the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. These issues include energy and transportation infrastructure, logging, ranching, protected areas and agriculture, among others. John founded Conservation Strategy Fund in 1998 after positions with Resources for the Future, Conservation International and Pacific Forest Trust. He designed CSF as an independent technical organization with the aim of spreading economics skills among conservation professionals. John’s work has appeared in many CSF publications, in Scientific American, Conservation Biology, Environment, the Journal of Political Economy, Megadiversidade and Ambio. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish, and holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Brazil Research Analyst, Lagoa Santa, Brazil
Fernanda joined CSF as a research analyst in July 2010. She has experience in financial analysis of projects, financial and process management, and in systems implementation management. She has a degree in Business Administration from PUC Minas, a masters degree in Globalization, Spatial Dynamics and Sustainable Development in Southern Countries from the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and graduate degrees in Business Economics from PUC/MG and in Socio-Educational Projects Management from UNA/MG. Fernanda started in CSF in 2008 as a consultant working in projects related to rural credit in the Amazon and the financial feasibility of fish processing by local fishermen in the Corumbau Extractive Reserve, in Bahia. She has previous experience as a management and economics consultant and analyst at PUC Minas. She was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.
Bolivia Program Director, La Paz, Bolivia
Cecilia joined CSF at the end of 2005 as Director of the Bolivia Program. She has a degree in Economics and a Masters in Public Policy and Development from the Universidad Católica Boliviana, and brings to CSF her experience applying economic analysis and environmental valuation techniques to Bolivia's environmental challenges. She has over ten years of professional experience working on sustainable development with indigenous communities, and for the past six years she has been working in collaboration with SERNAP, Bolivia's protected areas agency. Prior to joining CSF, Cecilia worked as a consultant on conservation issues with various national and international NGOs, private foundations, and public institutions. Cecilia participated in CSF's first Bolivia course in 2001 in Madidi National Park.
International Consultant, London, England
Rhona began working with CSF in November of 2012 after completing her PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Rhona’s work specializes in the development and evaluation of market-based instruments which link livelihood improvements to incentives for improved environmental stewardship, with a particular emphasis on marine and coastal environments. In the past, Rhona has worked with the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank on economic valuation of ecosystems, green commodities, resource allocation frameworks, and climate change vulnerability and adaptation investments. Rhona has also worked with sustainable tourism programs for James Cook University in Australia and the Zoological Society of London in Mozambique. She holds an MSc in Environmental Economics & Policy from Imperial College London and a BSc in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh.
Brazil Financial Manager, Lagoa Santa, Brazil
Cynthia joined CSF-Brazil at the end of 2008 as the Financial and Administrative Manager of the Brazil Program. She has a degree in Systems Analysis from UNA/MG, a postgraduate degree in Direct Marketing from ABMD/SP and MBAs in Business Management from FGV/MG and in Controlling from UFMG/MG. She has several years of experience in direct marketing and in administrate and financial management in international NGOs. She is a native from Minas Gerais.
Training Director, Arcata, California
Kim joined CSF in 2001 after three years with the Center for Environmental Science and Policy at Stanford University. Her work with Stanford focused on ecological and economic research in the mangrove forests of Kosrae, Micronesia. She has also studied the impact of forest habitat fragmentation in Mexico and worked on community development strategies for poverty alleviation with the World Bank in Zimbabwe. Kim holds a Master of Science degree in Earth Systems and an undergraduate degree in Human Biology, both from Stanford University.
BUILD Program Operations Manager, San José, Costa Rica
Irene Burgués Arrea managed a successful CSF program on integrating biodiversity and infrastructure agendas in Central America from 2004-2007. The initiative contributed to: providing information on 400 infrastructure projects, generating consensus about analysis priorities and avoiding several poorly conceived projects, including roads in the Maya Forest region and the Tenosique dam on the Usumacinta River in Mexico. She then started an organic farm project and continues to tend to it. Most recently, Ms. Burgués had been researching payments for ecosystem services at CATIE. Ms. Burgués came back to CSF at the end of 2011 and is currently engaged in the Biodiversity Understanding in Infrastructure and Landscape Development (BUILD) program in the Albertine Rift, Andes and Amazon. Ms. Burgués has a BSc in Economics, Environment and Ecology from the University of York.
Chief Financial Officer, Arcata, California
Holly Busse joined CSF in 2006 as the Director of Finance and is responsible for overall financial management, fiscal planning, budgeting, reporting and accounting. She has 20 years of experience with accounting, contract and project management. Holly has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Humboldt State University in California.
Administrative Accountant, La Paz, Bolivia
Claudia began working with CSF in November 2011 as Administrative Accountant and is responsible for accounting, payments, budgets and the elaboration of financial reports. She has 15 years of experience with accounting, and 3 years of managing environmental projects. She is an Accountant of the INCOS institute and is currently studying English.
Research Analyst, La Paz, Bolivia
Sophia joined CSF in 2010 and after leaving to complete her Master's degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics at the University of Concepción in Chile, has joined us again in 2013. She will be working primarily on drafting business plans in the area north of La Paz, Bolivia. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics at the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia. While developing her undergraduate thesis, she was introduced to CSF as a participant in the Economic Tools for Conservation and Natural Resource Management training course in Bolivia. Between 2008 and 2009, she collaborated in several studies with CSF in Bolivia as part of the Economic Research for the Andean Amazon Program. She is also currently a CSF Fellow, and a description of the project she is working on can be seen by clicking here. Prior to her work with CSF, she worked with Instituto Socioambiental-Bolivia, coordinating a study on the economic and cultural benefits of protected areas in Bolivia and the sustainable use of vicuña wool by local communities.
Technical Manager - Micronesia Projects, San Diego, California
Heidi Gjertsen joined CSF in June 2012 as the technical manager for Micronesia economic analysis projects. Previously, Gjertsen worked at the National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Fisheries Science Center, where she conducted research on the economics of sea turtle conservation in the Pacific. She has consulted for numerous organizations, including Conservation International, WWF, OneReef, and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. Projects have included analysis of economic incentives for marine conservation in 15 countries, capacity building for socioeconomic research and community development in West Papua, Indonesia, and investigation of alternative bycatch-reducing fishing strategies in California. She has taught conservation economics courses at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of San Diego-California. Gjertsen received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2003 in the department of Applied Economics and Management. Her dissertation included theory of context-dependent conservation regimes and empirical work on the design and performance of marine protected areas in the Philippines.
Administrative Assistant, Sebastopol, California
Aja joined CSF in 2011 as the Development and Communications Intern, focusing mainly on marketing and outreach, and was hired in 2012 as Administrative Assistant. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, with an emphasis in Management and Organization, and a minor in Political Science. She has many years of experience with administrative tasks as well as event planning. Her interest in environmental conservation really peaked when she served as Fundraising Coordinator for Volunteer Latin America in college and had the opportunity to travel to the Costa Rican rain forest to help with the conservation of the mono tití.
Communications Manager, Sebastopol, California
Courtney joined CSF in 2009 after 5 years of working as Program Assistant in the Biology Department at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She worked as CSF's Program Coordinator until she became CSF's Communications Manager in 2012. She holds a degree in Outdoor Experiential Education with a minor in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. She has many years of experience with computers and design, event planning, database management, and working for mad scientists.
Bolivia Technical Manager, La Paz, Bolivia
Alfonso joined CSF-Bolivia at the beginning of 2008 as the Bolivian Economic Analyst. He has a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics from the Catholic University of Chile and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Bolivian Catholic University. He has experience in conservation economics, with projects related to land use, natural resources management and ecotourism; he also has extensive experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of public policies, with emphasis on agriculture, forestry and environment. Prior to working in CSF Alfonso worked in the Unit of Social and Economic Policy Analysis (UDAPE) and he has participated in the design and evaluation of policies related to regulation of natural resource use, rural development, sustainable forest management and climate change, among others. He also has experience in micro finances and designing proposals for economic development and poverty reduction in Bolivia. Alfonso first came to CSF as a participant in the economics tools course in the Madidi National Park (2006); since then he has participated in several international courses and workshops related to economic tools for conservation, natural resource management and valuation of environmental goods and services.
Intern, Sebastopol, California
Corrina joined CSF in 2013 to work as an intern for the Sebastopol office. She will be graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Forestry and in Conservation and Resources Studies in May 2013. She has been involved with environmental projects and organizations that range from organic gardening to campus sustainability to energy efficiency and green construction.
Senior Economist, Colombia
Rocío del Pilar Moreno Sánchez has been working for 15 years on issues related with the role of economic incentives, local resource users, and institutions for biodiversity conservation. She has conducted specific research on topics such as opportunity cost and economic valuation studies for payments for environmental services initiatives, adaptive capacity of resource-dependent communities at marine protected areas, economic valuation of protected areas, co-management of common-pool resources and conditional-transfer programs, among others. Rocio´s work has been published in several books and scientific journals such as World Development, Environment and Development Economics, Ecological Economics, Biodiversity Conservation and Gaceta Ecológica. She received her Masters of Science in Environmental and resource economics (Universidad de los Andes-University of Maryland) and her Masters of Science in Agricultural, Environment and Development Economics (Ohio State University).
Brazil Administrative Assistant, Lagoa Santa, Brazil
Mônica joined CSF-Brazil in 2009 as the Administrative Assistant of the Brazil Program. Mônica has a graduate degree in Accounting from FAESA/ES and a posgraduate degree in Public Administration from FPL/MG. She has several years of experience as a teacher, as a social projects supervisor and in administrative and financial management in international NGOs. She is a native from Minas Gerais.
Program Assistant, La Paz, Bolivia
Natalia joined the team in October 2011 through an agreement between CSF and FUNDECO (Bolivia). She is working as the Program Assistant to the ICAA II project team in Bolivia. A native of Colombia, Natalia studied biology with emphasis in strategic planning, having applied the methodology Open Standards for Practice of Conservation and Miradi program in a protected area in the Colombian Caribbean and the Chiquitano Model Forest in Bolivia.
Senior Advisor, Deephaven, Minnesota
Amy Skoczlas Cole has worked at the nexus of business and conservation for over 15 years, embedding authentic and strategic sustainability programs into the business operations of dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Summerville Strategies LLC, she served as the Director of eBay Green & Sustainability, where she led all aspects of eBay Inc's environmental programs, including with customers, within their operations, and with policymakers advocating for smarter energy policy. Prior to joining eBay, Amy was a co-founder and Vice President of Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. In that role, she led multinational companies through the process of understanding, measuring, mitigating, and offsetting their environmental footprint and that of their supply chain. Amy lived for several years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was a founding team member of Instituto BioAtlantica, a Brazilian NGO working to conserve and sustainably manage the Atlantic Forest. Her expertise covers a myriad of sustainability issues, including innovating next generation sustainable consumption systems, incorporating conservation into business operations, creatively engaging customers and employees in environmental efforts, working with funding communities, and partnering effectively with stakeholders. Amy holds an MBA from George Washington University, and a BA in Environmental Public Policy from Vanderbilt University.
Research Analyst, La Paz, Bolivia
Carlos joined CSF for the first time in 2010 as a research fellow at the Economic Research Program for the Conservation of Southern Tropical Andes. His work focused on an econometric analysis to guide strategy for the expansion of tourism in the North of La Paz, Bolivia. Before joining CSF, he worked in environmental economics and conservation with several NGOs and international cooperation agencies. His has a degree in economics from the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba. He received an award from his university for the best thesis in economics in 2010.
Latin America Director, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Cristian has over 20 years of experience working in tropical conservation and sustainable development. He worked for Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) and Proyecto BOLFOR in his native Bolivia. Before joining CSF, Cristian helped the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) -where he was regional director for the Americas- establish its network of national initiatives in Latin America. He also served as Amazon Conservation Association’s (ACA) first executive director for 4 years, guiding this organization to regional prominence in the southwestern Amazon. Cristian holds a degree in Social Anthropology from the Universidad Catolica in Lima, Peru and received training in resource economics and environmental policies at Duke University’s School of the Environment and at Indiana University’s Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.
Video Editor, Sebastopol, California
Athena joined CSF in June of 2012 to work as the Communications and Media Intern in the Sebastopol office. She is now working part-time as CSF's video editor, and is currently a Junior at Analy High School. She has a strong interest in video production and editing, which she is pursuing through her high school as well as outside endeavors.
To see some of Athena's work, click here.
Spanish Translator, San Jose, California
Gisela Mendoza Sanchez joined CSF in March of 2013 as a volunteer English-Spanish translator. She is enjoying translating for CSF and, at the same time, is learning about knowledge that benefit the environment that is applicable in Latin America.
Gisela grew up in Nicaragua. And although she has actively supported organizations concerned with the environment, her primary interest is the environmental issues of Latin America.
She currently lives in San Jose, California, where she got her masters in public health. She got her under-graduate degree in psychology, at Humboldt State. There, she expanded her interest in natural scenery and learned about environment.
Portuguese Translator, San Jose, California
Born in Brazil of American and Brazilian parentage, Marcel migrated to the US in the mid 90’s. Raised in Rio de Janeiro with his mother and his older brother, Marcel grew up speaking Portuguese and conversational English. During the time he has been in the US, Marcel lived in major cities such as Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles. He earned his Business Administration degree at Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles. Using his multicultural background and his linguistic skills, Marcel volunteers for CSF and provides on demand translations from English, to his native tongue, Portuguese.
Research Fellow, Nassau, Bahamas
Venetia is conducting environmental economics research in the Bahamas in partnership with the Bahamas National Trust and The Nature Conservancy. This research follows successfully completion of doctoral research with CSF in Belizean marine protected areas. She was recently a visiting scholar with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and with the Marine Biology department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Venetia conducted economic and ecological fieldwork in the Caribbean, Indonesia and the Indian Ocean, filmed and produced conservation films for audiences in Kenya and Indonesia, and was a researcher and writer for The Ecologist Magazine. She holds a Bachelors in Biological Sciences from Oxford University and a Masters and PhD in Environmental Economics and Politics from the Imperial College London.
CSF has joined forces with local Bolivian groups on all of our projects in that country. Currently CSF is implementing a variety of projects in conjunction with and under the fiscal sponsorship of FUNDECO, a local conservation non-governmental organization.
The mission of Conservation Strategy Fund is to teach environmental organizations around the world to use economics and strategic analysis to conserve nature.
Upcoming CSF Courses
CSF offers training in economic tools to empower local conservation organizations, decision-makers, and communities.