Science Advisors

EDP Renewables

Scientific accuracy through independent review

AWWI’s work is strengthened by technical review of our results by independent scientists and technical experts. Science Advisors provide technical input on specific projects and products to ensure rigorous review and scientific accuracy. Participation by AWWI Science Advisors does not imply endorsement of AWWI’s program or findings.

Amanda Hale

Professor of Biology

Texas Christian University

Dr. Hale is a Professor of Biology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. She received her M.S. in Ecology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Miami. Dr. Hale’s areas of expertise include ecology and evolution, genetics, and conservation biology. She has more than 25 years of experience conducting field and lab-based research and has been investigating the effects of wind energy on birds and bats since 2008. In addition to serving as a science advisor to AWWI (since 2011), Dr. Hale is an Associate Editor to Ornithological Applications (formerly The Condor, since 2015), a member of the BWEC Scientific Advisory Committee (since 2018), and an active member of several scientific organizations including the American Ornithological Society, the Ecological Society of America, and The Wildlife Society.

Douglas Johnson

Research Statistician and Senior Scientist

U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Johnson received a Ph.D. in Zoology from North Dakota State University, an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Psychology from the University of Minnesota. In 1970, Dr. Johnson joined the USGS’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, where he is now Emeritus Research Statistician and Senior Scientist. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Department at the University of Minnesota, Saint Paul. Dr. Johnson’s expertise is in the fields of statistics, monitoring and inventory methods, quantitative ecology, and avian biology. Together with colleagues and students, he has investigated the influence of wind turbines on breeding grassland birds, used acoustic and ultrasonic monitors to assess the intensity of low-level flights of birds and bats, identified migration pathways along and across the Great Lakes, and developed a Rapid Assessment Method for assessing risks of wind development to wildlife and their habitats. He has been involved with wind-wildlife issues for more than 15 years and has served the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, American Wind Wildlife Institute, and The Wildlife Society. He has published numerous scientific articles and coauthored several recent reports on wind-wildlife issues. He is an Honorary Member of The Wildlife Society, a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and has been involved in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, Biometric Society, Royal Statistical Society, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Ecological Society of America, Cooper Ornithological Society, Wilson Ornithological Society, Society for the Study of Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences, and the Great Plains Natural Science Society (past president).

David Nelson


University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Dr. Nelson received a B.A. in Biology from Trinity Christian College in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard University. He joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Laboratory in 2009 and is currently a Professor. Dr. Nelson is a broadly trained ecologist who investigates how environmental changes affect the structure and function of ecosystems around the world. During the past decade he has led efforts to use stable isotope and genetic data to understand the movement and population dynamics of bats and birds affected by wind-energy development in North America. Dr. Nelson founded and directs the Central Appalachians Stable Isotope Facility, and he serves on the editorial boards of the journals Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and PeerJ. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union.

Leslie New

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Ursinus College

Dr. Leslie New graduated from Cornell University (BS in Natural Resources, 2003) and the University of St Andrews (PhD in Statistics and Biology, 2010). She remained at St Andrews as a postdoctoral fellow, before continuing her research with the US Marine Mammal Commission and the US Geological Survey at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ursinus College, where she focuses on statistical ecology. Her research interests include the practical application of hierarchical Bayesian state-space models, understanding and mitigating human-wildlife conflict, and quantitatively assessing the population consequences of disturbance. Dr. New is particularly interested in the quantification, incorporation and propagation of uncertainty in statistical models used for management and conservation decisions.

Terry Root

Senior Fellow (University Faculty) Emerita

Stanford University

Terry L. Root is Senior Fellow (University Faculty) Emerita in Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.  Her research addressed how plants and animals are changing with the changing climate.  She was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change 4th Assessment Report that in 2007 was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore.  Also, she was a lead author for the 3rd Assessment Report (2001) and a Review Editor for the 5th Assessment Report (2014).  In addition to other honors, Root was awarded the Spirit of Defenders Award for Science by Defenders of Wildlife in 2010, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from the conservation organization Point Blue.  She serves as science advisor to several non-governmental organizations, has served on the boards of many environmental organizations, and is currently serving on the board of Defenders of Wildlife and BirdCaribbean.

Root earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of New Mexico, her master’s degree in Biology from the University of Colorado and her doctorate in Biology from Princeton University.  She was a Professor at the University of Michigan for 14 years, until she moved to Stanford University where she was on the faculty for 15 years.  She retired and moved to Sarasota, FL, in the summer of 2015.

Sarah Saunders

Quantitative Ecologist

National Audubon Society

Dr. Sarah Saunders graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (BA in Biology, 2010) and University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (PhD in Conservation Biology, 2015). Her graduate work focused on the environmental and genetic factors influencing the survival and reproduction of Great Lakes piping plovers, an endangered shorebird. From there, she joined Elise Zipkin’s quantitative ecology lab at Michigan State University as a postdoctoral researcher, where she modeled the abundance, distribution, and climatic drivers of monarch butterfly populations using community science data. Currently, Dr. Saunders is a Quantitative Ecologist in the Science Division at the National Audubon Society (remotely from her home in Michigan), where she primarily works on projects focused on the Great Lakes region, including modeling occupancy and abundance trends of marshbirds, coordinating science work across Audubon’s Great Lakes Initiative, assisting in development writing to further regional conservation efforts, and collaborating with the Audubon Great Lakes team in Chicago. Her research interests include the application of innovative quantitative methods to understand the demography, distribution, and trend of wildlife populations. In particular, she is interested in how variation in abiotic factors throughout the annual cycle impacts the population dynamics of migratory species. To tackle these questions, Dr. Saunders specializes in integrated population modeling, a method that enables incorporation of multiple data types and seasonal factors into a unified analysis for improved inference on population dynamics. In addition to birds, she has also studied organisms as diverse as red-sided garter snakes and tigers.

Dale Strickland

President & Principal Ecologist

WEST, Inc.

Dale Strickland is President and Senior Ecologist with Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc (WEST). He received a B.S. in Zoology in 1969 and an M.S. in Wildlife Management in 1972 from the University of Tennessee and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Wyoming in 1975. Dr. Strickland has over forty years of experience in ecological research and wildlife management. He is author of more than 100 papers, technical reports and book chapters in the scientific and popular literature on wildlife research and natural resource conservation and management. Dr. Strickland has served as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the California Energy Commission and served two years as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. Dr. Strickland is a member of the National Wind Coordinating Committee’s Wildlife Working Group, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Communications Tower Working Group. Dr. Strickland also served on The National Academies, National Research Council, Committee on Environmental Impact of Wind Energy Projects and the Wildlife Society’s Committee reviewing the wildlife impacts from wind power development. Dr. Strickland served as a technical advisor to the Federal Advisory Committee developing recommendations for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider as they revised wind energy development guidelines. on the. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America, Certified Senior Ecologist and a member of the Board of Professional Certification; The Wildlife Society, Certified Wildlife Biologist; the American Statistical Association; and, the Wyoming Chapter, The Wildlife Society, Past President.