BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Finding Species has a diverse thirteen-member Board of Directors, with expertise in a range of topics critical to its success, including NGO operations, fundraising, photography, art, law, financial markets, and tropical scientific field research. The following individuals currently serve on the board:
Norman Bourg, PhD, Board President;
Research Associate and Consulting Ecologist, botanist
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution.
Front Royal, VA
Dr. Bourg has over 20 years of experience in the ecological science, biodiversity conservation, natural resource, land management and academic arenas with specialization in the ecological effects of major drivers of environmental change and strong botanical skills. Dr. Bourg has served as the plant specimen collector for the LeafSnap project and worked on the development of early electronic field guide prototypes, which had eventually developed into LeafSnap. Dr. Bourg has a PhD in Biology (Ecology emphasis) and a MS in Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology, both from the University of Maryland. He graduated cum laude for his BA and BS. His BA in Zoology, University of Montana and a BS in Wildlife Biology, University of Montana.
Rasheedah Al-Mahdi, CPA, Board Treasurer;
Rasheedah Al-Mahdi has worked since 2007 specializing in nonprofit organization finance management and business accounting. She received her BS in business administration, concentrating in Managerial Accounting in 2006 from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. She is s highly motivated professional with extensive experience in accounting; recognized as a results-oriented and solution-focused individual
Linda Keenan; Board Secretary;
Botanist, nonprofit specialist and consultant,
National Association for Olmsted Parks and the Trust for Public Land.
Ms. Keenan's career encompasses nonprofit management, research, environmental and civic advocacy, member development and services, volunteer management and literacy tutoring. She is currently a consultant to the National Association for Olmsted Parks and the Trust for Public Land. Ms. Keenan has conducted document and photo research at The National Archives, Library of Congress and many specialized libraries and archives for a variety of clients. On behalf of the organization Finding Species, Ms. Keenan researched, identified and collected samples of native plants in parks and arboreta, prepared documentation, plant pressings and DNA samples for plant conservation photo documentation projects from 2008-2010.
Shawn McCracken, Ph.D., Board Member;
Post Doctoral Research Associate and Adjunct Professor, herpetologist,
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
Dr. McCracken is the Founder and President of the TADPOLE Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating the public regarding our obligation to protect and preserve the Amazon’s amphibian species. He is a Post Doctoral Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at Texas State University. Dr. McCracken’s research interests are the conservation, ecology, and systematics of amphibians; with an emphasis on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance to amphibian diversity and abundance in tropical rainforests. His current focus is on the community ecology of canopy inhabiting anurans and the microhabitats they occupy in the canopy. Dr. McCracken has a Ph.D. in Aquatic Resources and a B.A. in Biology, both from Texas State University.
Tina Marie (Waliczek) Cade, Ph.D., Board Member;
Professor of Horticulture,
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
Dr. Tina Marie (Waliczek) Cade is currently a Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Agriculture at Texas State University where she teaches 12 different courses in horticulture and advises multiple graduate students on research projects. Her research interests are diverse and have focused on the area of people/plant interactions including studies on active interactions of people with plants in community, home or school gardens, as well as passive interactions of people with plants in green spaces outside and inside with interior plants. She has been studying the benefits of these interactions for over 20 years and has looked at variables such as crime and community gardens, self-esteem in children, overall quality of life of gardeners and workplace job satisfaction in interiorscaped offices. She is also a registered horticultural therapist and a certified arborist. She is the faculty manager of the award-winning Bobcat Blend university composting program which processes all of the cafeteria food waste on campus and incorporates invasive species harvested from the San Marcos River. She also manages the on-campus floral shop and floral event sales program, Bobcat Bloom. She recently finished editing a textbook, Urban Horticulture, which focuses on the benefits of people/plant interactions.
Louise Twiss, Advising Board Member;
Business development and client service
HSBC Global Asset Management (Bermuda) Ltd.
Ms. Twiss is responsible for business development and client service for HSBC Global Asset Management (Bermuda) Ltd., a position she has held since December 2008. Ms. Twiss previously worked at the Bank of Bermuda, where she held the position of Senior Relationship Manager in Corporate Banking and then Vice President, Corporate Development. Prior to that, Ms. Twiss was a management consultant at AT Kearney in New York and a client service manager at a technology firm in New York. Ms. Twiss graduated cum laude from Princeton University. She has recently completed an MBA from Columbia University and the London Business School.
Robin B. Foster, Ph.D., Honorary Board Member;
Conservation Ecologist, ECCo; and Adjunct Curator, Botany Dept.
The Field Museum
Dr. Foster is the Conservation Ecologist in the Environmental Conservation Programs at The Field Museum. A leading researcher of South American floristics, ecology, and conservation, he is a member of tropical Rapid Biological Inventory teams, a senior scientist on the Smithsonian 50-hectare tropical tree plot studies, and a developer of rapid photography field guides. He earned his Ph.D. in Botany/Plant Ecology from Duke University.
Margot S. Bass, Advising Board Member;
Non-profit leadership consultant,
Takoma Park, MD
Ms. Bass is the founder of Finding Species and has served as the executive director, president and board member throughout the organization’s evolution. She has managed a variety of conservation research and campaign projects over the past 20+ years. These have included catalyzing the CITES Appendix II listing of mahogany and providing advice on Kyoto Protocol carbon forest policies for the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), advising the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force on the role of forest certification standards in preventing illegal wildlife hunting, and writing about coastal tropical forest carbon storage for Fundación Jatun Sacha (Ecuador). She has extensive field biology experience. Relying on plant field characters, she identified 20,000 trees in the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Tropical Forest Science plot in Ecuador as co-director of field taxonomy. She has also collected thousands of tropical beetles for Conservation International and the Smithsonian, and written “sensitive plant” management guides for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Inyo National Forest in California. She has photographed several hundred tropical tree species. Ms. Bass has a Masters degree in Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude and was awarded the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Prize.
Elizabeth Losos, Ph.D., Advising Board Member;
President and CEO,
Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), Duke University.
Dr. Losos is the President and CEO of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) since March 2005, leading an international consortium of 63 universities and research institutions and managing a large staff that trains graduate students in tropical field research. Previously she was Director of the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) at the Smithsonian Institution, overseeing a global network of large-scale tropical tree research plots. She also serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Association. She has a Master's degree in Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and, both from Princeton University.
Jane L. Bass, Advising Board Member;
Artist and Editorial Consultant,
New York, NY
Mrs. Bass is an artist and editorial consultant from New York City. Mrs. Bass has been a long-time contributor to conservation causes, and is a member of Rachel’s Network, a women’s conservation group in Washington, DC. Since the realization of Finding Species in 2002, Mrs. Bass has been a key advisor as a founding board member. She has a B.A. from Harvard University.
Geoffrey Fenner, CPA, Advising Board Member;
Certified Public Accountant and Business and Exempt Organization Advisor,
Brooks, Harrison Company, L.L.C.
Mr. Fenner, CPA, assists taxpayers and small businesses with taxes in Rockville, Maryland and the surrounding communities. Residing as the board president for Finding Species May 2012 - September 2013, he currently advises the organization regarding state and federal codes, taxes, and book keeping. He presently sits on the board of the Cultural Development Corporation in Washington, DC. Mr. Fenner is also the finance committee member of Adventure Theatre.
George Loening, Honorary Board Member;
Founder and President,
Select Equity Group, Inc.
New York, NY
Mr. Loening is the founder and President of Select Equity Group, Inc., a New York asset management firm. He is a trustee of Second Stage Theatre and serves on the US Advisory Board of International Crisis Group. Mr. Loening has a B.A. from Columbia University