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Climate & Energy

Pinchot Senior Fellows


Senior Fellows

R. Patrick Bixler, Ph.D.
Dale Bosworth
Edgar B. Brannon
Antony (Tony) S. Cheng, Ph.D.
Bob Dennee
James (Jim) Finley
Patrice Harou, Ph.D.
Dennis C. Le Master, Ph.D.
Catherine M. Mater
Char Miller, Ph.D.
Peter Pinchot
Steve Rinella
Amy Rogers, Ph.D.
V. Alaric Sample
Jeff M. Sirmon
James B. Snow, Esq.
Harold K. (Pete) Steen, Ph.D.


Senior Fellows Biographies

R. Patrick Bixler, Ph.D., University Fellow (top)

As a research fellow at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Dr. Patrick Bixler examines the human dimensions, policy, and governance of sustainability. Prior to joining the institute, Bixler was a faculty research associate at the University of Oregon and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC. He completed his Master of Arts at the University of Montana (2008) and completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology at Colorado State University (2014). His dissertation research was conducted with collaborative conservation groups in the Crown of the Continent, an 18 million acre area around Glacier National Park in Montana, British Columbia, and Alberta, where he still works closely with practitioners in the region on conservation policy and strategy. Bixler is also a research fellow for the Earth System Governance project.

Dale Bosworth, Senior Fellow (top)

Dale Bosworth was raised in northern California, the son of a Forest Service employee. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1966 with a degree in Forestry and immediately joined the U. S. Forest Service. He served in a variety of positions in Idaho, Montana and eastern Washington. In 1986 he became Forest Supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah. He later served in Washington DC and California and in 1994 became Regional Forester of the Intermountain Region of the Forest Service headquartered in Ogden, Utah. In 1997 Bosworth became Regional Forester for the Northern Region in Missoula. He was named Chief of the Forest Service in 2001 where he served until he retired in 2007 after 41 years with the agency. He resides in Missoula, Montana with his wife Carma.

Edgar B. Brannon, Jr., Senior Fellow (top)

Ed Brannon developed cutting-edge leadership programs for field professionals in the US Forest Service during his tenure as director of Grey Towers in Milford, Pennsylvania. He utilizes his extensive knowledge of the history of forestry and conservation in America to provide programs that help professionals understand and use history to develop leadership skills and tackle complex natural resource issues. Ed has received numerous awards and recognitions including being named a senior fellow of the Forest History Society in 2007, the distinguished Pinchot Medallion in 2004, the George H. Cook Distinguished Alumni Award, Cook College, Rutgers University, for outstanding achievement in professional and civic endeavors, and the Crystal Owl Award from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center for his work in developing and promoting historic preservation. He has his bachelor of science in landscape architecture from Cook College, Rutgers University, a master’s of science in geography from Rutgers University, a master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and an advanced study in managerial leadership and natural resources from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Antony (Tony) S. Cheng, University Fellow (top)

Tony provides experience and expertise in integrating forest conservation with sustainable community development and livelihoods. His work involves examining the impact of different forest policy approaches on achieving conservation and community goals. Tony’s work is close to the ground – designing and evaluating collaborative approaches to forest land management, working with communities to develop mechanisms that increase access to forest land while maintaining accountability, and examining economic opportunities to utilize materials from forest restoration activities. The Mountain West is Tony’s primary geographic area, but he has done work across the U.S. in community-based forestry. Tony is an associate professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship and the director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State University (CSU). Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, he received his Ph.D. in forest resource policy from Oregon State University and a MS in forest resource policy at University of Minnesota, and served as a policy research fellow at the Forest Policy Center of American Forests, 1993-1994.

Bob Dennee, Senior Fellow (top)

Bob has more than 41 years of experience in the USDA Forest Service, on the National Forests and Grasslands of Montana, Idaho, and North and South Dakota, with assignments to Alaska and Washington, DC. Specializing in land conservation and access programs, Bob has acquired and protected more than 50 permanent public access routes, served as expert witness in several litigation cases that protect historic roads and trails, served as project manager in negotiating and completing numerous land purchases and donations conserving 80,000+ acres of critical private lands, and served as a project manager in negotiating and completing more than 20 land exchanges, including three Congressional exchanges, enabling consolidation of more than 100,000 acres of land. Bob earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Wisconsin Stout as well as a bachelor's degree in forest management and a master's degree in forest economics from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded the Forest Service Chief's "Bob Marshall Wilderness Award" for Wilderness Stewardship.

James (Jim) Finley, University Fellow (top)

Jim Finley, Professor of Forest Resources at Penn State University, conducts research and extension education programs on sustainable forest resource management focusing private forestland. In this position he leads Pennsylvania’s Forest Stewardship outreach program, coordinates a 450 member volunteer program, and serves as the Penn State School of Forest Resources extension program. Major research efforts include oak regeneration, human dimensions of natural resources, and sustainable forestry. Recognitions include the National Technology Transfer and Extension Award from Society of American Foresters; The NIPF Education Award from the National Woodland Owners Association and National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges; and he is a Society of American Foresters Fellow. He is currently the Co-Chair US Forest Service National Roundtable on Sustainable Forestry; Penn State Director for the Sustainable Forest Partnership; and, Senior Research Fellow for the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.

Patrice Harou, University Fellow(top)

Patrice Harou is Sr. Adviser at the European Forest Institute’s Observatory of European Forests in Nancy, France, and Adjunct Professor at AgroParisTech in Paris, France. He earned a degree in agricultural engineering at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and his Ph.D. in natural resources economics at the University of Minnesota. Harou previously served as a visiting professor in forest economics at L'École Nationale du Genie Rural des Eaux et des Foret (National Institute for Rural Engineering, Water, and Forests) in Nancy, France. He has worked for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Honduras and Brazil, and as a faculty member and director of the forestry program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has researched the forestry incentives systems in E.U. countries at Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany, and consulted for international organizations, banks, and firms. In 1990, Harou joined the World Bank, where he synthesized research and trained professionals and practitioners of client countries in environmental economics and policy, and conducted assessments for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. He has published more than a hundred articles on natural and forestry resources and environmental economics and co-authored or contributed to several books on these subjects.

Dennis Le Master, University Fellow(top)

Dr. Le Master served on the Board of Directors of the Pinchot Institute for eight years (1994-02), and has been the Institute's treasurer (1996-98), vice-chair (1998-00), and chair (2000-02). Dennis received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Washington State University. He received a Ph.D. in economics in 1974 and has since been assistant professor of forest economics and policy at Washington State University (1972-74 and 1979-1980), director of resource policy for the Society of American Foresters (1974-77), staff consultant on forestry for the Subcommittee on Forests, U.S. House of Representatives (1977-78), professor and chair of the Department of Forestry and Range Management, Washington State University (1980-88) and professor and head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University (1988-2004). Additionally, Dennis has authored or co-authored over 100 scholarly publications. He is a fellow in the Society of American Foresters and listed in recent editions of Who's Who in America.

Catherine Mater, Senior Fellow (top)

Catherine provides expertise on a wide range of Pinchot Institute projects based upon her extensive experience in assisting in the development of new engineering technologies and marketing strategies for secondary wood products and special forest products for both domestic and international markets. Catherine has a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. She has helped develop strategies to expand value-added wood products manufacturing throughout the United States and spearheaded efforts to identify and develop markets for lesser known wood species and special non-wood forest products such as pharmaceuticals, foods, florals, medicinals and oil extracts from national forest systems across the United States. Most recently, she has assisted softwood and hardwood product manufacturers and producer associations across the United States in identifying markets for sustainably harvested "green certified" wood products, and has served as the project manager for all certification pilot projects conducted on public forestlands in the United States. Working with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Catherine has co-authored a series of textbook case studies documenting the commercial viability of sustainable forest practices throughout the world.

Char Miller, Senior Fellow (top)

Char contributes wit and wisdom as one of the nation's foremost scholars on the Progressive-era Conservation Movement and its key leaders, among them Gifford Pinchot. Having received his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1981, Miller currently is the W. M. Keck Professor and Director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College, Claremont, CA. Author of more than 850 publications on history and conservation, his books include: Public Lands/Public Debates: A Century of Controversy (Oregon State University Press, 2012); Ground Work: Conservation in American Culture (Forest History Society, 2007), Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (Island Press, 2001, 2004), Deep in the Heart of San Antonio: Land and Life in South Texas (Trinity University Press, 2004), and The Greatest Good: 100 Years of Forestry in America (SAF, 2005). Among others, he is editor of Cities and Nature in the American West, Water and the 21st-Century West, and River Basins of the American West. With photographer Tim Palmer and writer Scott Tilden, Miller is working on a cultural history of the National Forest and Grasslands. He also writes a weekly column for KCET.org (Los Angeles), on environmental issues in California and the west. 

Peter Pinchot, Senior Fellow (top)

Peter is the Director of the Institute's Ecomadera Project in Ecuador and President of Ecomadera Forest Conservation LLC, representing the non-profit and social venture sides of creating an economic alternative to rapid deforestation in Ecuador’s northern coastal plain. He received his Masters in Environmental Studies at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Previously, Peter has been an organic dairy farmer in upstate New York, a partner in a ghetto rehabilitation social venture in Brooklyn, NY, founder of the Pocono Streams Project, and for the past 10 years, the Director of the Milford Experimental Forest, engaged in research on white tailed deer management, American chestnut restoration, and community forestry.

In Ecuador, Peter is directing the Pinchot Institute’s program focused on developing a sustainable silviculture and conservation strategy for the native forests of the Choco ecoregion. This program includes studies in forest taxonomy, forest regeneration, more efficient timber harvesting, biodiversity conservation planning, and entering FSC certification. At the same time, Peter is an entrepreneur coordinating the expansion of the Ecomadera business enterprise by building a large community forest landholding, by launching production of engineered flooring and balsa laminates (used in wind turbines), and by establishing a sales network in the US northeast to sell flooring directly to green contractors. Through this process Ecomadera has become a hybrid business venture that combines community leadership, professional business and technical management, private investment, and NGO oversight to create a sustainable local economy based on forest conservation.

Steve Rinella, Senior Fellow (top)

Steve brings extensive background in real property policy, management and law, following nearly 33 years with the USDA Forest Service. His background includes technical and managerial experience in South Dakota, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado and Washington D.C. He retired in 2015 as the Assistant Director of Lands and Realty Management. His experience includes real estate transactions, title issues, land uses, easements, and lands-related legislation and litigation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from Iowa State University. Throughout his career, he also satisfied his interest in wildfire management, and continues to, by serving as an Operations Section Chief with national incident management teams. He resides in Littleton, Colorado.

Amy Rogers, Senior Fellow (top)

Amy Rogers is a scientist and conservation practitioner with twenty years of on-the-ground experience in tropical Latin America. Specialized in the use of ecological research as a template for designing long-term solutions to environmental and sustainability challenges, her recent work in Ecuador (the Forest for A Living initiative) also focuses on developing finance-based innovations to resolve the conservation–poverty dilemma that globally typifies most remaining rainforest expanses. This 5-year collaborative project was facilitated by the Pinchot Institute and dovetails with the efforts of Peter Pinchot's EcoMadera project and its currently evolving successors in Ecuador. Today, Forest for A Living has transitioned to a thriving community-owned organic cacao cooperative with intrinsically-linked long term forest stewardship commitments.

Comfortable in leadership positions and familiar with international donor protocols, Amy excels at designing, guiding, and executing interdisciplinary initiatives aimed at biodiversity conservation, environmental integrity, and sustainable development. She holds a PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from UCLA, and was selected as recipient of the Luis F. Bacardi Advances in Tropical Conservation Award in 2010 for her dissertation research. She has also received fellowships from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation, the US Department of Education, and the Fulbright Program for her work. Dr. Rogers is a dual citizen of Ecuador and the US, fluent in English and Spanish, intermediate in Bahasa Indonesia, and with a working knowledge of Portuguese. She has lived almost exclusively in developing tropical countries since 1996.

V. Alaric Sample, Senior Fellow and President Emeritus  (top)

V. Alaric (Al) Sample served as President of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC from 1995-2015. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, and a Research Affiliate on the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is author of numerous research papers, articles and books on topics in national and international forest policy. His most recent book is Common Goals for Sustainable Forest Management: Divergence and Reconvergence of American and European Forestry, with Steven Anderson (Forest History Society 2008). Sample earned his doctorate in resource policy and economics from Yale University. He holds two masters degrees, an MBA and a Master of Forestry both from Yale, and a Bachelor of Science in forest resource management from the University of Montana. His professional experience is in both the public and private sector and includes assignments with the U.S. Forest Service, Champion International, The Wilderness Society, and the Prince of Thurn und Taxis in Bavaria, Germany. He specialized in resource economics and forest policy as a Senior Fellow at the Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC, and later as Vice President for Research at the American Forestry Association. Sample has served on numerous national task forces and commissions, including the President's Commission on Environmental Quality task force on biodiversity on private lands, and the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. [CV and Publications]

Jeff M. Sirmon, Senior Fellow (top)

After 35 years of service, Jeff retired from the USDA Forest Service in April 1994. While with the Forest Service Jeff worked on three National Forests, in five Regional Offices and served two separate terms in the Washington Office. His most recent assignments were Regional Forester and Deputy Regional Forester in the Intermountain Region, R4 (1974-82), Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region, R6 (1982-85), Deputy Chief Programs and Legislation (1985-92), and Deputy Chief, International Forestry (1992-94). While serving in these positions, Jeff was often engaged in the key policy, administrative, and legal natural resources issues of the last two decades. As the first Deputy Chief for International forestry, Jeff led the effort to define this new mission and positioned the Forest Service to be a key player in the development of international forest policy during the preparations for the Earth Summit (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Jeff was a member of the U.S. delegation to UNCED. He also led the U.S. delegation to the 10th World Forestry Congress in Paris in 1991. Following retirement Jeff was invited to become a Senior Fellow where he designed and conducted numerous workshops on leadership ideas for public land managers facing problems and issues without easy answers.

James B. Snow, Esq., Senior Fellow (top)

A lawyer with extensive experience in natural resources and public land law, Jim brings to the Institute a variety of legal experience and expertise in natural resources management. He retired in 2011 from the Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, where he was USDA’s chief attorney in Washington handling real property matters, primarily for the Forest Service. Over his career spanning 36 years, Jim had extensive legislative experience with Congress in public policy formulation, and he was the principal author of many laws affecting the National Forest System. He also has extensive transactional experience involving federal lands including acquisitions, dispositions, title claims, research, and cooperative forestry. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Jim received his A.B in 1971 and J.D. in 1974. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia.

Harold (Pete) Steen, Senior Fellow (top)

Pete brings to the Pinchot Institute a wealth of experience and scholarship in both history and forestry. Early in his career, he worked in both forest management and forestry research with the USDA Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1969, Pete joined the Forest History Society, serving as its President from 1978-1997. From 1984-1997, he also served as adjunct professor at Duke University in history and at the Nicholas School of the Environment. His research and writing have focused on the history of public lands and the agencies that manage them. Most recently he has begun to investigate the irrigation history of the Rio Grande, which includes State Department involvement that dealt with Mexico's claims to a portion of the water. Steen's major publications include: The U.S. Forest Service: A History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1976); Origins of the National Forests (Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1992), and Forest Service Research: Finding Answers to Conservation's Questions (Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1998), The Conservation Diaries of Gifford Pinchot (Forest History Society/Pinchot Institute for Conservation, 2001), Jack Ward Thomas: The Journals of a Forest Service Chief (Forest History Society/University of Washington Press, 2004), and The Chiefs Remember: The Forest Service: 1952-2001 (Forest History Society, 2004).

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