December 7, 2016

Faculty and Staff

Charlie Bettigole, MS – Program Director | Charlie serves as UHPSI’s program director, helping to manage day-to-day operations from either the New Haven or Ucross office. Charlie has a hand in most of the projects that the team takes on, but has devoted extra energy towards the cultivation of key relationships with Ucross Partners, generating new student interest in UHPSI research, and assisting with scientific analysis and writing. Charlie has lent particular focus to the devleopment of UHPSI’s CVA algorithm, working with practitioners on the ground to maximize the utility of this change-detection tool, and building it’s reach through the development of an interactive web application. When not at work, Charlie can be found with his daughter Margot on his back, skiing, fishing, and hiking in the northern Rockies and rolling hills of Connecticut.


nick_oNick Olson, MF – Assistant Director | Nick graduated from F&ES with a Master of Forestry and joined the Ucross team as Assistant Director in Spring 2016. In this role, Nick helps expand Ucross relationships in the Rockies and in New Haven, assists the Western Research Fellows, and connects students with projects across the American West. In September 2016, Nick married his sweetheart, Cass, who he met while working in the Upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador.


sabrinaSabrina Szeto, MF – Geospatial Analyst | Sabrina graduated with a Master of Forestry degree at F&ES in 2016, and spent the summer of 2016 as an apprentice forester up at the Yale-Myers Forest. Sabrina is our lead spatial analyst, specializing in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and cloud-based distributive computing. Her primary focus is the development of scientifically robust, web-based maps of sagebrush across the West.


krisKris Covey, MF, PhD – Lead Scientist and F&ES Lecturer in Forest Dynamics | Kris finished his PhD in silviculture and biogeochemistry at F&ES in the spring of 2016. Kris has assisted the UHPSI team with publication strategy, data processing and analysis, and student, faculty and staff engagement. As the lead scientist in the UHPSI Lab, Kris lends his expertise in experimental design, analysis, and publication to UHPSI students and staff. Kris and his wife welcomed daughter Laurel in the fall of 2015.


chad Chadwick Oliver, PhD – Faculty PI | As the Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Chad serves as UHPSI’s fearless leader, ensuring that research remains relevant, timely, and effective. His research has taken him to more than 25 countries, where he has cultivated macro-level perspective that help to situate UHPSI within a larger framework. Outside of UHPSI, Chad teaches and researches forest ecology and silviculture, as well as natural resource management on local, region, and global scales. Chad is currently authoring a new book on global resources.

Founder & Advisor


raymond_pRaymond Plank – Entrepreneur, Visionary, and Skeet Shooter | UHPSI is the brainchild of Raymond Plank, Apache Corporation Founder and Chairman Emeritus. Through his life in the West, Raymond established a very personal connection to the landscape around him. This connection has manifested itself in many ways over the years, most notably in the acquisition of the Ucross Ranch, development of the Ucross Foundation and its artist residency program on the Ranch, and innovative Ranch management. The Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative is the newest manifestation of Raymond’s interest in, and affinity for the West, made possible only through his high-level vision and philanthropy. When he isn’t juggling business, developing educational opportunities, or supporting artists, you might find Raymond enjoying the sounds of the river or visiting with old friends on the Ucross Ranch.