Frank Lance Craighead, PhD, Executive Director
Dr. Craighead is a field ecologist, population geneticist, and GIS technician with several years of experience in conservation planning. His current research interests focus on aspects of conservation planning based upon focal or umbrella species: population and metapopulation persistence, gene flow, habitat connectivity, core habitat, and protected areas. Lance co-edited the book "Conservation Planning: Shaping the Future" which was published in February 2013. Lance has published numerous scientific papers, completed three book chapters, and published one popular book: "Bears of the World". Lance was the Executive Director of the Craighead Institute from 1994 to 2014 when Bob Inman replaced him. He focuses his time developing and coordinating research, building partnerships, and fundraising. After graduating from Carleton College in 1969, Lance went to work for the Peace Corps in Fiji and Samoa. He then received his M.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied seabirds in the Pribilof Islands of Alaska. After 10 years living in Alaska, Lance completed a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Montana State University studying grizzly bear genetics in the Alaskan arctic. He is currently a Research Affiliate Professor in the Ecology Department at MSU, and a member of IUCN World Committee on Protected Areas, Society for Conservation Biology, and Society for Conservation GIS.
E-mail Lance at lance [at] craigheadinstitute [dot] org.
April Craighead, M.S., Wildlife Biologist
April holds a B.A. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of California and a M.S. in Biology from Montana State University. Since joining the Craighead Institute in 2000, April has worked on a variety of research projects including the American pika and climate change related projects which include Resurveying Historic Pika Locations in Montana, Changes in Alpine Plant Communities project, Montana Pika Survey which involves implementing a citizen science project for pikas in Montana, and she was part of the team that studied long-term road ecology on Bozeman Pass. April loves to spend time outdoors hiking, skiing, and enjoying wildlife with her husband Lance, and their daughter Willow.
E-mail April at april [at] craigheadinstitute [dot] org.
Vanessa Chavarriaga, Research Assistant
Vanessa Chavarriaga is a sociologist who focuses on the intersection between society and nature. She is currently earning her Master's in Sociology and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. Vanessa has worked on several different projects, including a clean water initiative in Jackson Hole, and a grizzly bear corridor study which is currently ongoing in the GYE. Vanessa is passionate about environmental justice and education. She enjoys climbing mountains, swimming in cold water, and foraging for mushrooms and berries.
David Buth, Research Assistant
David Buth is an educator who focuses on experiential learning in the outdoors. David is pursuing a PhD in Science Education: Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wyoming. David has worked with middle and high school aged students in the GYE, developing and leading student courses. His current projects include conflict resolution and mitigation for people and grizzly bears, as well as a grizzly bear corridor study. David enjoys spending time in the mountains, whether it be foraging, skiing, trail running, or long hikes.