Tom works to create resilient ecosystems by supporting effective and efficient land use decision-making. A landscape ecologist and conservation practitioner with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Tom brings together scientists, state and local government staff, and NGO partners to integrate environmental data, fill critical gaps, and develop adaptive spatial decision support systems to steer conservation policies and actions toward impactful outcomes. Tom is working with The Nature Conservancy and several sister agencies to communicate the climate and ecosystem service benefits of land conservation to the public and community leaders. The goal of these collaborations is to help communities view their immediate landscape as the source of their wellbeing, economic prosperity, and security, and to strengthen the link between local conservation priorities and investments and state and federal priorities and incentive programs. Tom holds a BS in ecology, behavior, and evolution from UC San Diego where he studied ecosystem complexity and function, and conducted a study of avian invasion to non-native habitat. His work explores ecosystem approaches to conservation, which consider the ecological functions and processes that sustain ecosystem health. For his master's thesis, Tom is investigating methods of comparing modeled riparian zones that incorporate geomorphological, ecological, and hydrological processes with existing land use. The results will be used to more effectively prioritize protection and enhancement of riparian systems within a region, with the goal of making this key ecosystem more resilient in the face of climate change. Tom is driven by a deep connection with nature and takes immeasurable pleasure in introducing his children to its wonders, especially by bike, boat, or boot.
Fellow at a Glance
Berkeley, CA 94704