Plant Materials Specialist
Water Quality and Quantity Technology Development Team
Amanda Moore, Director
A native of McMinnville, Oregon, Amanda started her NRCS career in 1994 as a student trainee in the McMinnville Field Office. Since then, she has held a number of positions with NRCS across the country including: Soil Scientist for the Crook County, Oregon Soil Survey; Digital Map Finishing Team Leader for the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Regional Office; GIS Specialist/Soil Scientist for NRCS’s National Geospatial Development Center in West Virginia; State Soil Scientist for Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC; Management Analyst for the NRCS Regional Conservationists’ Office in Washington, DC; and Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy for NRCS Kentucky. She also completed details as the NRCS Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative Coordinator and with the National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Directorate Business Office. Amanda earned a B.S. in Soil Science with minors in Range Management and Forestry from Washington State University and an M.S. in GIS and Cartography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amanda returned to Oregon in 2019, where she served as the State Resource Conservationist for NRCS Oregon before joining the WNTSC as the Director in July 2022.
Karma Anderson, Water Quality & Quantity Team Leader
Karma Anderson came to the West NTSC from the NRCS Regional Chief’s office where she was a Coordinator of five water quality based Landscape Conservation initiatives. Prior to that, she served as the Regional Agriculture Advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Pacific Northwest, where she advised the Regional Administrator on agricultural issues and worked to improve understanding of the interface between agriculture and environmental concerns. Karma also worked for the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Colorado as a District Conservationist in the San Luis Valley, and as the NRCS State Water Quality Specialist. She began her career with Colorado and New Mexico state water quality agencies, where she did agricultural permitting, water quality monitoring, data analysis, and site investigations. At the West NTSC, Karma provides technical leadership for water quality and serves as data steward for Edge of Field water quality monitoring. Karma has worked extensively on agricultural water quality issues and conservation approaches to achieve water quality improvements while maintaining agricultural viability. She received her undergraduate degree in Soil Science from Colorado State University, a Masters in Environmental Policy from University of Denver, and is a certified mediator in Environmental Conflict Resolution.
Ben Bowell, Organic Conservation Coordinator, Oregon Tilth
Ben Bowell is an Organic Conservation Specialist for Oregon Tilth, a national non-profit organic certification and education organization. Through his joint position with NRCS, he provides technical assistance, delivers trainings, and develops technical resources for use by NRCS staff and organic professionals in order to better support conservation work on organic farms. Ben first became interested in agriculture as a student at Wake Forest University and while completing his degree he worked on small-scale farms in North Carolina. He pursued this interest and received a M.S. from Tufts University’s Agriculture, Food, and Environment Program during which he completed an internship at the Institute of Organic Agriculture in Bonn, Germany. After working as a consultant on environmental and agricultural policy analysis projects for several organizations in New England, he joined the staff of American Farmland Trust in 2007. While at American Farmland Trust, Ben worked on municipal planning for agriculture, state policies and related projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He assisted in the publication of several guides and provided related outreach and technical assistance. Ben also spent one year as Project Director of the Working Lands Alliance, a coalition in Connecticut focused on farmland preservation and agricultural viability.
Steve Campbell, Soil Scientist
Steve Campbell received his BS in Forest Management with a Soil Science option from Washington State University in 1976. Since graduation he has served as a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. From 1976 to 1980, Steve was a project member for numerous soil surveys in Washington State including Grays Harbor, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties, and the Snoqualmie Pass area (eastern King and Pierce Counties). He served as Soil Survey Project Leader for the Colville Indian Reservation (Ferry and Okanogan Counties) in Washington from 1980-1987, followed by the position of Resource Soil Scientist in the Spokane Washington Area Office from 1987-1995. During his time in Spokane, Steve was responsible for providing soil science and wetlands technical assistance to NRCS field offices, units of government, and private individuals. Steve moved to Portland, Oregon in 1995 to serve as Soil Scientist to the NRCS State Office until2002. While in that position, his responsibilities included providing technology transfer and training on soil science related issues, including soil quality Prior to becoming the Soil Scientist with the West NTSC, Steve most recently served as the Soil Data Quality Specialist for the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Regional Office in Portland, Oregon where he provided quality assurance for project soil surveys in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Steve also served as the soil survey database manager for the Pacific Northwest and provided training to NRCS personnel and others on using soil survey data. Steve is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America. He lives in Portland with his wife Rhonda and daughter Shannon and enjoys many outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and hiking.
Heather Dial, Plant Materials Specialist
A native of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Heather began her in NRCS career at the Tucson Plant Materials Center in 2006 as an Earth Team volunteer while attending the University of Arizona. Before graduating with a BS in Natural Resources Management, with a focus in Rangeland Management, she joined the Tucson Plant Materials Center team permanently first as a technician, then as a study leader and finally as PMC manager. Heather came to the West NTSC in March of 2020. Prior to joining NRCS, Heather was an active duty airman in the United States Air Force. Her areas of expertise include developing vegetative solutions and technologies for natural resource concerns.
Giulio Ferruzzi, Conservation Agronomist
Giulio Ferruzzi was born in northern Italy and raised in Beaufort, North Carolina. Giulio received a BS in Agronomy (’91) from North Carolina State University and his Masters in Soil Science and Ph.D. in Soil Science(‘94/’01) from the University of California at Davis. Before his federal service, Giulio’s work experience consisted of pest scouting, environmental consulting, soil laboratory analysis, and university research. In2001, Giulio began his NRCS service as an Agronomist in the Salinas and Templeton, California field offices. In2005, he became the State Agronomist of Kentucky where he provided technical assistance and policy guidance with nutrient management, pest management and other agronomic practices until mid-2009. He accepted the position of Agronomist with the West NTSC Core Team and moved to the Portland area in June of2009 with his wife and two daughters.
Karen Fullen, Ecologist (Environmental Compliance)
A native of Fresno, California, Karen started her NRCS career in the Field Office there in 1992 in the student employment programs. After obtaining an A.S. degree in Forest/Park Technology from Kings River Community College and a B.S. in Biology with an Ecology emphasis from Fresno State in 1997, Karen became a Soil Conservationist for the Fresno Field Office. From 1999-2004, she was the Wetland Team Biologist working out of the Elk Grove Field Office to provide wetland compliance and restoration assistance across a large swath of interior northern California. Prior to joining the West NTSC Core Team in 2014, Karen Fullen served as the State Biologist and Environmental Compliance Specialist for Idaho and Utah over a period of 10 years.
Jeremy Maestas, Sagebrush Ecosystems Specialist
Jeremy grew up in Nevada and went on to earn B.S. and M.S. degrees in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. He has previously resided and worked in Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon helping to conserve wildlife and working landscapes. In 2002, he began his career with the NRCS first serving as an Area Biologist for northern Utah and then State Biologist for Oregon. In 2012, he was tapped to be the National Technical Lead for the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative through a partnership with the Intermountain West Joint Venture where he facilitated strategic conservation delivery across 11 western states. In 2015, he joined the West National Technology Support Center as an Ecologist providing national leadership on science and technology development and transfer for the NRCS on sagebrush ecosystem conservation issues. Much of his career has focused on improving the resilience of working landscapes in the West, where contributions have included large-scale strategic approaches to tackling conifer expansion, wildfire, invasive species, and riparian and wet meadow restoration. Jeremy and his family live in Bend, Oregon.
Timmie Mandish, Fisheries Biologist
Timmie Mandish comes to the West National Technology Support Center from the Bonneville Power Administration. She brings with her experience and skill in fisheries biology & restoration practices, and is knowledgeable on how those practices can be integrated into viable solutions for working lands. At Bonneville Power Administration, she worked with local stakeholders to developed tools to integrate available research, monitoring and physical data into a GIS format for decision making. These tools helped to advance a framework for strategic implementation of habitat restoration based on current science, which could be vetted by feasibility. She also oversaw and contracted a wide variety of restoration, flow, research, & hatchery projects within agricultural communities and acted as the Technical Liaison between the agency policy team and field level project implementation providing feedback on how policy decisions would affect implementation of work. Prior to her time with BPA, Timmie worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service implementing restoration projects on private land both in NE Oregon and SE Alaska finding the common ground between fish and wildlife species recovery and maintaining working landscapes. She is also a course facilitator & instructor for the River Restoration Certificate Program at Portland State University. Timmie lives with her husband and son in NE Portland and endeavors to keep the dust from settling on her fly rods, bikes, and hiking boots.
Mace Vaughan, Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Mace Vaughan is the Pollinator Program Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist for NRCS West National Technology Support Center. Mace has led the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program since 2003. In this capacity, he supervises research and outreach on habitat restoration for crop pollinating native bees, develops and presents educational materials to farmers, conservationists, land managers and policy makers, and collaborates extensively with scientists researching the role and habitat needs of crop-pollinating native bees. In September of 2008, the Xerces Society entered into a contribution agreement with the WNTSC to create a technical position that supports the agency’s pollinator conservation work. Through this agreement, Mace oversees six staff across the country who are providing training and technical support to NRCS conservationists to help them design and implement pollinator conservation projects. Mace has written numerous articles on the conservation of bees, butterflies, aquatic invertebrates, and insects, and is co-author of the Pollinator Conservation Handbook and lead author of Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms. He was a lecturer on honey bee biology and beekeeping at Cornell University, from which he holds Masters Degrees in Entomology and Teaching.
Adam Chambers, Environmental Markets Specialist
Dr. Adam Chambers has fifteen years of experience working in air quality, atmospheric change, and energy conservation, including positions with the EPA and the DOE-National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Washington DC; the Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky, Air Pollution Control District; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria; and, most recently, with the International Resources Group of MPRI in Washington, DC. Over the past nine years Adam has been heavily involved in air pollution, greenhouse gas, and energy assessment at both the international and national levels, with particula rfocus on India, China, and Pakistan. He holds a Doctorate of Natural Sciences from the Vienna University of Technology; a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Murray State University in Kentucky. A native of Calloway County, Kentucky, Adam has an agricultural background and lived on a small farm with his wife and daughter in Prospect, KY until relocating to Portland in August of 2010.
Kip Pheil, Energy Specialist
Kip Pheil joined the West NTSC in October 2010. He came to the Energy Technology Development Team from the Oregon Department of Energy where he oversaw generating facility eligibility and Renewable Energy Certificate tracking for the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard. Kip also worked as the State’s Energy Loan Program engineering analyst, working with public and private borrowers on almost 400 projects valued at approximately $300 million. Those projects either used renewable resources to produce electricity, heat, or fuels; or reduced energy use through efficiency upgrades. Kip began his energy career doing commercial and industrial energy audits for a small consulting firm and also worked for Honeywell in their building control and life safety automation systems group. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University.
Denise Troxell, Conservation Agronomist
Denise Troxell came to the West NTSC in November 2018, from Oregon NRCS. She served as the Oregon State Conservation Agronomist for 14 years. Prior to this Denise spent 14 years as a Soil Conservationist and District Conservationist working in several field offices in Oregon and Iowa. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelors of Science in Plant & Soil Science. She is a certified NRCS Master Planner and enjoys teaching and coaching other planners with an emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach. Denise’s areas of expertise include conservation planning on cropland, nutrient management, manure management planning, precision agriculture, conservation compliance, wetland delineation, and erosion prediction on cropland. Denise enjoys golf, gardening, and traveling. She lives in Vancouver Washington with her husband Bruce and their dog, Larry.
Greg Zwicke, Air Quality Engineer
Greg Zwicke joined the Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team in September 2005 as an Air Quality Engineer with a primary focus on air emissions associated with animal operations. Greg grew up on a small farm and ranch operation near New Berlin, TX, and received BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University with a focus on environmental engineering and air quality. Prior to joining NRCS, Greg worked for an air quality consulting firm assisting industrial facilities, including those in the agriculture and forest products industries, with air quality regulatory compliance issues. Greg is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He lives in Ft. Collins with his wife, son, daughter, and dog.