Science and Technical Advisory Committee

Wild Virginia’s Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) is composed of individuals with expertise in a variety of fields that are pertinent to the ecological health and preservation of Virginia’s National Forests. The Committee members serve as valuable sources of timely and current knowledge in their fields.

Committee members agree to periodically consult with the Wild Virginia staff and Board to provide information, guidance and perspective on organizational strategies and programs. Such consultation may focus on specific cases or on the broader focus of the organization and priority-setting.

Current STAC Members

Chris Bowlen
Chris Bowlen received a BS in Chemistry from WVU, then worked as a chemist at Eastman Kodak in Rochester NY, University of Washington in Seattle, WA and Schering Plough in Bloomfield NJ. After moving to VA in 1996, Chris retired from chemistry to raise her two daughters and work on restoring their house. She is currently stewarding 10 acres in the Shenandoah Valley, which involves restoring a damaged woodland area and running a small, sustainable organic farm. Chris and her husband, Gene, have been committed to environmental issues and to living as close to green as possible since the early ’80s. Chris is a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society and a Virginia Master Naturalist and enjoys being outside in all 4 seasons, especially in the George Washington National Forest.

Dr. Pamela Dodds
Dr. Dodds, a Licensed Professional Geologist, received her B.A. in Geology and her PhD in Marine Geology from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.  She also has a Credential in Ground Water Science from Ohio State University.  Dr. Dodds specializes in hydrogeology and has served as an expert witness in hydrogeology before the West Virginia Public Service Commission and the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board.  Dr. Dodds has provided numerous presentations and workshops to state and federal environmental employees.  She has worked as a Senior Geologist for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and for S&ME, Inc. in Blountville, TN.  She served as the District Geologist for the Virginia Department of Transportation.  Dr. Dodds has worked as a Hydrogeological Consultant since 2000.  Her expertise includes assessment of surface water and groundwater resources and the interaction between surface water and groundwater as well as determining groundwater flow characteristics to identify source water areas and contaminant flow directions.  Dr. Dodds is a member of the Geological Society of America, the West Virginia Academy of Sciences, and the National Speleological Society.


Ron Sutherland
Ron Sutherland has served as conservation scientist for Wildlands Network since 2010. He received his Ph.D. in environmental science and policy from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and he also earned a Masters Degree in conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Wildlands Network, Dr. Sutherland has led the development of new habitat connectivity models for the southeastern United States, and is coordinating our efforts to map the entire Eastern Wildway. Ron has also initiated an extensive camera trapping project in the red wolf recovery area in North Carolina, and continues to be an enthusiastic public advocate for red wolf conservation. Between 2013-2015, Ron ran a successful and creative campaign to save 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest in eastern North Carolina from being sold to private buyers and destroyed. Dr. Sutherland lives in Durham, NC with his wife and children.

Carl Zipper
Carl E. Zipper is a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech. His activities address a variety of environmental issues with an emphasis on the interface of science with government policy. His primary research and outreach focus is restoration and management of land and water resources influenced by coal mining in Appalachia. He advises the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as a member of the agency’s Academic Advisory Committee; and serves as a member of the US Office of Surface Mining’s Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Science Team, and the Clinch-Powell Clean Rivers Initiative Executive and Science Teams

A grassroots membership, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving wild forest ecosystems in Virginia's National Forests through education and advocacy