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Executive DirectorBethanie Walder joined the Society for Ecological Restoration as Executive Director in September 2015 and has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental conservation, restoration and education.
Prior to joining the SER, Bethanie served as the Executive Director of Wildlands CPR, where she oversaw several highly successful conservation and restoration campaigns, including a program that has secured more than $400 million in U.S. Congressional appropriations for watershed restoration on national forest lands. Bethanie also worked as an organizational development, strategic planning and natural resources management consultant. She has led workshops and given lectures and presentations on ecological restoration and conservation at conferences, seminars and universities across the United States and in Canada, Ireland and Brazil. She was a founding member of several coalitions and non-governmental organizations including Women’s Voices for the Earth and the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative. Bethanie also served on numerous Boards of Directors and Steering Committees including her current positions on the boards of the Missoula Community Foundation and Writing Coaches of Missoula.
Bethanie has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Studies from Duke University and a Master's of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. She lives, works and plays in Missoula, Montana.
Program ManagerAs Program Manager, Levi works in a number of different capacities to help develop the Society's programs and activities. In addition to building and maintaining the Global Restoration Network, serving as editor of the quarterly newsletter SERNews and conducting public outreach, he plays an integral role in planning and organizing the Society's biannual World Conference on Ecological Restoration. A fluent Spanish speaker, he has been instrumental in helping SER expand its presence in Latin America by translating a variety of restoration-related materials and fostering collaborative relationships with practitioners throughout the region.
His interest in ecology arose out of studies in anthropology at Northern Arizona University, where he discovered an enduring fascination with ethnobotany and traditional ecological knowledge. Subsequent travels in Latin America and exposure to rural livelihoods only served to deepen this interest, and SER has afforded him an invaluable opportunity to broaden his base of knowledge and contribute something tangible to efforts aimed at safeguarding biodiversity and fostering sustainable relationships between humans and their natural surroundings
Membership DirectorLaura Capponi joined SER in January 2018 as Membership Director, and leads member development activities to strengthen the capacity of SER’s global community. She has previous experience in membership, network building, and program development through Rachel’s Network, SHAPE America, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Laura earned her BA and MA in government and politics from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, respectively. She lives and works in Washington, DC and is passionate about ensuring that all beings have fair and equitable access to sustain life on earth.
Communications and Operations AssociateRebecca Shoer has worked with endangered species and habitats across the globe. Whether studying elephants in Thailand or rescuing turtles on Cape Cod, she is most drawn to projects that address the intersection of community and conservation. She loves engaging with the public, be it through public presentations or written media. After living in a succession of rural areas, Rebecca is very excited to be working at SER HQ in downtown Washington D.C., interacting every day with ecologists around the world.
Certification Program CoordinatorIn December 2015 Jen began volunteering with SER to help build out our Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner Program. She officially joined the SER staff as it's new Certification Program Coordinator in September 2016. Jen lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio and is a longstanding member of SER’s Midwest Great Lakes Chapter, including serving as Chair of the MWGL Chapter Board in 2015-2016.