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Board Members

The Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology Board Members serve two year terms and are elected at the annual meeting.  Board meetings are held every other month and are open to all members.  Please contact us for information on the next board meeting or to request meeting minutes.

Board Members:
President, Kelly Nail

Kelly is currently pursuing her PhD in Conservation Biology at the U of M. As an undergraduate at St. Olaf College, she majored in mathematics and biology. Kelly also spent a year researching Mongolian paleoecology and has completed field work in the forests of South India. After graduation, she spent the next few years teaching high school biology in rural Mississippi. Currently, Kelly is working in the Monarch Lab modeling butterfly migration using data from lab and field work, as well as information obtained from citizen science projects.  Kelly is interested in conservation, both in Minnesota as well as internationally. 


Vice-President and acting treasurer, Jenny Monson-Miller

Jenny is a joint degree student at the University of Minnesota, pursuing a JD through the law school and a PhD through the Conservation Biology department. She is interested in environmental and energy law, and is particularly interested in climate change law and policy.


Secretary, Kate Wyman
Kate is a PhD student in the Conservation Biology program at the University of Minnesota.  Her current research focuses on conservation and management of colonially-breeding waterbirds in the Great Lakes region.  Previously, she has been involved in field projects on coastal Massachusetts waterbirds, Whooping Cranes, Black-throated Blue Warblers, bats, skinks, and orb-weaving spiders.  Kate is a graduate of Wellesley College and has also worked in environmental education.  In her free time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor sports and is an avid baker.


Conservation Committee Chair, Alexis Grinde

Alexis is a PhD candidate in the Integrated Biological Sciences program at the U of M, Duluth. Alexis received her undergraduate degree from Bemidji State University in biology. Her undergraduate research focused on the endangered Hawaiian Goose “Nene” in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Alexis received her Masters degree in biology from the University of North Dakota studying the impacts of introduced wild pigs in California’s oak woodland ecosystem. Currently, she is working at the Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI) in Duluth modeling forest bird populations and dynamics in the western Great Lakes region. Alexis has also been teaching biology courses at Pine Technical College in Pine City for seven years.


Member-at-Large, Mary Williams

As an undergraduate, Mary studied computer science at Louisiana State University. After working as a computer programmer for several years, she decided to integrate her computing skills with her deep interests in environmental science.  She shifted her focus to forest ecological research, and as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), she earned a M.S. in Forest Ecology and Wildlife Management. She arrived at the University of Minnesota to purse a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology, spatially scaling up her research from the stand level to the landscape level. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on land cover characteristics and policy development in the karst region of southeastern Minnesota. Mary is currently a HHMI Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Minnesota.

Ex officio Past President
, Sami Nichols

Sami is in her fourth year of studies for her doctoral degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. She researches how birds interact with buildings in the urban environment, specifically factors affecting bird-building collisions and the rooftop nesting behavior of Common Nighthawks. She believes strongly that grassroots action and education efforts are the key to successful conservation of biodiversity.