Jeff Bryant has been the Executive Director since January 2017. Jeff’s upbringing in Hawthorne, Nev. fostered a deep-rooted passion for the Walker Basin. Prior to his role at WBC, Jeff worked with the Great Basin Institute and lead conservation crews throughout the Great Basin, Mojave Desert, and the central Pacific coast of Mexico. After his time with the Great Basin Institute, Jeff worked to develop several nonprofits including Urban Roots, the Polygrarian Institute, and Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. Working at the WBC combines Jeff’s nonprofit experience, knowledge of conservation and sustainable agriculture, and passion for the Walker Basin.
Lee Davis is the Land Stewardship Director, and he brings experience in nursery operations, biological monitoring, terrestrial ecology, project management, and GIS analysis and mapping to his role at WBC. Lee began his career managing the native plant nursery at the N.C. Botanical Garden, and has a keen interest in the propagation and conservation of native species and communities. For the past 5 years, he has worked in various roles focused on restoring sagebrush ecosystems of the Great Basin and beyond, including 3 years as the Eastern Region Coordinator for SageSTEP. Lee holds a B.S. in Horticulture from N.C. State University (2004) and a master's in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY-ESF (2011).
James Leonard is the Director of Finance and Operations. James has a Bachelor’s degree from Rider University in New Jersey. He is both a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). James joined the WBC staff in April 2016 because he saw the opportunity to give something back and help make a difference in the world.
Joy Morris is the Conservation Programs Director. Joy has a M.S. in Hydrology from University of Nevada, Reno and a B.S. in Geology from New Mexico Tech. Joy has worked in the Walker Basin for nearly a decade, with most of that time spent on various aspects of the Walker Basin Restoration Program. She enjoys working with the diverse stakeholders in the Walker Basin and identifying opportunities to work together to meet the various needs of people in the Walker Basin. Joy is constantly amazed that she gets to work in such a beautiful place to create a long-lasting impact through her work.
Caroline Ackerman started her position as the Communications and Outreach Intern in May 2017. Caroline is currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she studies strategic communications in the Reynolds School of Journalism. Caroline’s interest in non-profit communications and lifelong respect for the Nevadan desert drew her to WBC’s work.
Silas has been a Conservation Program Manager for WBC since July 2017. Silas received a B.S. in bioenvironmental sciences, a second B.S. in environmental studies, and an M.S. in water management and hydrological studies from Texas A&M University. Silas joined WBC because of the unique opportunity to work in the water conservation field to protect natural resources.
Ashley Downing is the Conservation Program Manager. She has an M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ashley has been working with the Walker Basin Restoration Program since 2012 focusing on water acquisitions, grant management and other conservation initiatives such as Lahontan cutthroat trout and sage grouse. Ashley has always been interested in conservation, and she enjoys working for the WBC on basin-wide projects in such a unique and beautiful landscape.
Samantha (Sam) Essig has been a Stewardship Technician for WBC since November 2016. Sam received three associate degrees at Green River Community College in Western Washington for Criminal Justice. Sam continued her education and received a B.S. in wildlife biology and a B.S. in biology from the University of Montana Western in Dillon. She joined WBC because of the opportunity to restore farmland back into native sagebrush habitat.
Amy Gladding has been the Operations Administrator since March 2017. After spending over 20 years in the Denver area, Amy just returned to her Reno roots a few years ago. In 2005, Amy earned a Master’s degree in Communications from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Since then, she has been working for various non-profits focused on health care and environmental conservation. Amy came to WBC because she felt close to the mission of conserving and restoring the native Nevada environment and the historic Walker Lake.