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2022 Executive Board

President
Alyson Courtemanch

Aly Courtemanch is a wildlife biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Jackson. She grew up in Maine and received a B.S. degree from St. Lawrence University in 2005 and an M.S. degree from the University of Wyoming at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2014. For her master’s research, she studied habitat selection and impacts from winter backcountry recreation on the Teton Bighorn Sheep Herd. She is interested in population ecology and management, animal movement and migration, human-wildlife interaction, and wildlife conservation. She served on the board of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation from 2011-2018. She joined the WY-TWS board in fall 2018 as a board member-at-large.

President-Elect
Anna Chalfoun

Anna Chalfoun is the Assistant Unit Leader for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming. Anna’s work has largely focused on understanding wildlife-habitat relationships, and especially the contexts under which habitat choices are adaptive. A primary focal system for this work has been nest site selection in passerine birds and its consequences for the probability of nest predation. Current work spans multiple taxa (avian, mammalian, herpetofaunal) and has an emphasis on understanding the impacts of various types of anthropogenic change. She joined the WY-TWS board in 2019.

Past-President
Tayler LaSharr

Tayler is a graduate student at the University of Wyoming in the Monteith Shop and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. She is currently studying the effects of severe winters on population dynamics of mule deer in the Wyoming Range. She grew up in Arizona and completed her BS at the University of Arizona in Wildlife Conservation. She has been in Wyoming since 2015, and completed her MS at the University of Wyoming in 2018 studying the effects of harvest on bighorn sheep populations across North America. She is excited to serve the state chapter of TWS for the coming years!

Secretary
Courtney Larson

Courtney Larson is a conservation scientist with the Wyoming chapter of The Nature Conservancy, based in Lander. Her research interests are centered around wildlife conservation and human impacts on ecological systems. Currently, her work focuses on recreation and wildlife coexistence, low-tech stream restoration, and mapping and spatial analysis. Courtney also provides scientific support for ongoing TNC projects on a broad range of topics including renewable energy siting, freshwater resilience mapping, and land protection assessment. She has a PhD and MS in ecology from Colorado State University, where her research focused on effects of non-motorized recreation on mammals and reptiles in southern California.

Treasurer
Megan Smith

Megan Smith has worked in the environmental non-profit and consulting realms since 2008. In 2018, she opened EcoConnect Consulting in Jackson, WY. EcoConnect Consulting was born out of a desire to bridge the gap between ecological information and land planning. When not helping others through her work with EcoConnect Consulting, Megan can be found volunteering, adventuring outdoors and enjoying all that Wyoming has to offer by ski, bike, paddle, foot or viewed through binoculars.

Board Member-at-large
Don DeLong, CWB®

Don DeLong is a wildlife biologist on the Greys River and Kemmerer Ranger Districts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, where he mainly works with other disciplines and partners to help make sure impacts of livestock grazing, recreation, and other activities are minimized and that they meet agency requirements for wildlife as informed by science. Don also has a big interest in mentoring young professionals on this and other topics. Don grew up mainly in Colorado, received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1986, and received his M.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech in 1990. He has been a member of TWS since 1988, became a Certified Wildlife Biologist® in 1997, and became a WY-TWS board-member-at-large in January 2021.

Board Member-at-large
Jerod Merkle

Jerod is an Assistant Professor at University of Wyoming and holds the Knobloch Professorship in Migration Ecology and Conservation. Jerod is a quantitative wildlife ecologist with broad interests in understanding how the movement of animals relates to environmental heterogeneity and change, and how these interactions scale to population- and landscape-level ecological processes. Jerod’s specific research foci include movement and migration ecology, fitness consequences of behavior, how cognition and innovation influence foraging behavior, and conservation and management of large mammals. Jerod has been involved with TWS for over a decade. He joined the WY-TWS board in 2019.

Board Member-at-large
Emily Reed

Emily Reed is an associate research scientist for the Wyoming Migration Initiative. She works to inform and engage the public on ungulate migrations, blending a skill set in environmental science, storytelling, and nonprofit outreach. Emily grew up on a small farm and ranch operation in Wyoming, where she developed a strong desire to connect with the people and wildlife that depend on the landscape to survive. An avid big game fan and hunter, she has worked as a biology field assistant on several research projects for mule deer in the Wyoming Range and elk in the Absarokas. She also has contributed to social science research focused on water and conservation perspectives in the Greater Yellowstone region. She joined the WY-TWS board in 2021.

Board Member-at-large
Heather O’Brien

Heather O’Brien is the statewide nongame mammal biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, based in Casper. She received her B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996, and her M.S. degree studying white-tailed deer densities and herbivory from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005. Her areas of interest include population estimation and ecology, behavioral ecology, fence and road ecology as it relates to wildlife movement, and conservation of sensitive species. Heather is a Certified Wildlife Biologist® and joined the TWS-WY board as a member-at-large in 2022.