Current members of the RMBL Board of Trustees
Board President and Vice Chair
Dan graduated with honors in Environmental Biology and Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado Boulder and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Animal Behavior at the University of California Davis. He had postdoctoral fellowships in Germany, Kansas and Australia before joining UCLA as a faculty member in 2001 where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (he was Department Chair for seven years) and in the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He worked at RMBL as a postdoc and took over day-to-day management of the long-term marmot project in 2001. His research incorporates many students and he has co-authored papers with nearly 200 undergraduates. He has received major teaching and research awards both from UCLA and the Animal Behavior Society, and he is a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. He has been an editor or on the editorial boards of a variety of scholarly journals and is currently a member of the Faculty of 1000. Dan served on the RMBL board between 2004 and 2008 and was the Secretary in 2007 and 2008.
Bruce has a J.D. and a B.S. in Business Economics and Public Policy from Indiana University and a distinguished career in law. He started his career in the Office of Enforcement for the National Labor Relations Board. After government service he entered private practice with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC, where he was a partner for 40 years. He served as Chairman and CEO for the firm for 20 years and under his leadership the firm was regularly ranked among the nation’s top 20 corporate law firms. He has served on the Indiana University School of Law Board of Visitors and the Georgetown University Law Center Board of Visitors. He was a Vice President of the Corporate Board of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts from 2006-2012. He has a second home in Crested Butte and lives much of the year in Vero Beach, Florida. He brings a strong legal and strategic planning background to the Board.
Brian earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Southern Methodist University in 1972, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado in 1974, and an M.B.A. degree in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in 1976. Brian earned his C.P.A. in 1977 and his C.F.P. in 1986. Brian is currently the Managing Member of a handful of firms that focus on equity investment, oil and gas exploration, and the use of biological techniques for managing waste. Over the past ten years Brian has consulted for three public oil and gas exploration firms and has been the managing general partner of private equity oil and gas exploration, development and mineral acquisition funds. One of his firms is developing biological techniques for the separation and refinement of rare earth elements and the purification of water. Previously Brian served as an Oil and Gas Tax Specialist with Haskins & Sells, and spent 14 years as the C.F.O. of a metal alloy distributor that designed and manufactured downhole drilling and logging tools for the oil and gas industry that are used in today's offshore and horizontal drilling operations. Brian and his wife Marcella live in Dallas, and spend time in Crested Butte. Brian began serving on RMBL's Finance Committee in 2016 and he brings financial expertise to the Board.
Chair of Development Committee
Kurt has a M.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Virginia along with an Executive MBA from Wharton Business School. He has worked extensively in the corporate sector with an emphasis on operations and business development, including serving as Director of Business Development for both Honeywell International and Siemens, Energy and Environmental Solutions, as well as Vice President for consulting and client services for Constellation Energy. He has extensive nonprofit experience including serving on the development committee of the Indianapolis Zoo and the Facilities Committee for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Kurt is a full-time resident of Crested Butte and is active with a number of local organizations, including serving as President of the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association board. He is the immediate past Chair of the RMBL board, the Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District board and several other public and private organizations in the Gunnison Valley.
Jen has a B.A. in Chemistry from Bowdoin College and a Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in New York City. She recently retired from her position as a Research Associate Professor at Rockefeller where she worked for 33 years. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Jen is a leading authority on Fragile X Syndrome, the most common monogenic cause of intellectual disability and autism. She is one of four Board members of the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain at the Univ. of Edinburgh. Jen has been coming annually to the Crested Butte area for 45 years and is now a full-time resident. When one of her sons, Peter, was in high school, he assisted a RMBL scientist as a research assistant. It was a transformative experience for both Jen and Peter. Jen brings to the Board the perspective of a lab scientist who has been working at an independent research institution, a Crested Butte resident and former second homeowner, and who has been involved in private science philanthropy.
Elizabeth Estess Hughes
Elizabeth received a BA in Psychology (1986) from Vanderbilt University and a PhD (1992) in Clinical Psychology from the UT-Southwestern Medical Center. She served as the Executive Director of the Elisa Project (2006-2009), a non-profit dedicated to the prevention and effective treatment of eating disorders. She opened her own clinical practice in Dallas (2009 -2010) and worked for Auction Source Austin from 2011-2018, a company that provides high tech fundraising solutions for organizations and schools. She now works for Southwest Transplant Alliance. Based in Dallas, she and her family have a long history of spending time in Crested Butte and supporting RMBL. She has Board/non-profit experience with the Center for Brain Health, the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust, the Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Health, and the ChildCare Group. Elizabeth has already been assisting RMBL with development and brings her nonprofit experience to RMBL.
With an M.D. in Ophthalmology from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, John has operated a private practice in Ophthalmology in Garland, Texas since 1976. He is a Full Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, with an appointment starting in 1976. He is a Fellow in both the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and has also been a member of the Texas Physician Advisory Council to Blue Cross/Blue Shield since 2004. He is also the founding partner of, and on the board of directors of, Medinetworx, a small and growing firm that installs and operates cloud-based computer systems for medical offices. John is on the Executive Board for Southern Methodist University’s Deadman College and has assisted in raising funds among alumni. John and his wife, Margie, have visited Colorado since early childhood and have been regular visitors to Crested Butte for 40+ years and have been second homeowners in Crested Butte for 25 years. He has been actively involved in a number of Crested Butte nonprofits during that time, including the Crested Butte Land Trust, the High Country Citizen’s Alliance, and the local radio station.
Amy Iler, PhD
Amy received a BS from Muskingum College in 2005 and a PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from The Ohio State University in 2010. She was a Postdoc at the Univ. of Maryland conducting phenology research at RMBL and then a Marie Curie-Cofund Research Fellow at Aarhus University (Denmark). She is currently a Conservation Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden and manages a research lab with undergraduate and graduate students through a joint program with Northwestern University. Her research addresses basic ecological questions through the lens of anthropogenic environmental change, focusing on how plant-pollinator interactions, plant population dynamics, and the timing of biological events respond to various types of changes. She combines long-term data sets with population modeling and observational and experimental field studies to address her research questions. Amy has conducted fieldwork at RMBL since 2010. She is an editorial board member of Journal of Ecology. Amy currently serves on RMBL’s Finance Committee and brings the perspective of an early career scientist to the Board.
With a Ph.D. in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado, Kailen is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to his graduate training as a scientist, Kailen worked as an environmental policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. He has conducted research at RMBL since 2008 and began teaching RMBL’s Field Ecology course in 2013. He has supervised a number of RMBL undergraduate researchers, led the Board Planning Committee for 2014-2016, and assisted with the Douglass Distinguished Lecture Series. He brings the perspective of a younger scientist to the Board, as well as someone who has recently been involved with the education program.
With a B.S. in Geology, an M.S. in Geophysics, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy & Management from the University of California, Berkeley, Ken is a staff geological scientist in the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, California. He serves as the Program Lead for Environmental Remediation and Water Resources at Berkeley Lab. He serves as the Deputy Lead of Berkeley Lab's Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area project, which works through RMBL and is focused on understanding how mountainous systems retain and release water, nutrients, carbon, and metals in response to climate perturbations, such as drought and early snowmelt. He has been a pioneer in the field of biogeophysics, with a particular emphasis on the development of electrochemically-based techniques for characterizing subsurface microbial activity. He brings a unique perspective as a biogeochemist working at RMBL, with interests spanning the fields of geology, geochemistry, hydrology, and microbiology.
Elvia has a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico- Tres Piedras and a Ph.D. from the University of California- Irvine. She did her doctoral dissertation research on floral evolution at RMBL under the direction of Dr. Diane Campbell. She is a Full Professor in Biology at the Univ. of Puerto Rico- Tres Piedras where her research focuses on urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. She is on the Board of Directors for Amigos del Yunque and served on the Board of Directors for the Organization of Tropical Studies. She was Director of the El Verde Field Station for 5 years and has served as the Principal Investigator for a Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Elvia brings to the Board substantial experience working internationally at field stations combined with her previous time at RMBL. She also adds her success in working with students of diverse backgrounds.
Susan has a BA in Physics from Michigan State University, an MS in Physics and PhD in atmospheric science from the Univ. of Illinois. With faculty positions at the Univ. of Illinois and the Univ. of Colorado, her research focused on atmospheric circulation and precipitation, climate variability and water resources, and the development of new radar techniques and instruments for remote sensing. She went on to hold numerous scientific leadership positions, including but not limited to serving as Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UC-Boulder, President of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, President of the American Meteorological Society, and currently chairs the University Consortium for Atmospheric Research. She brings substantial experience with board governance in scientific institutions, along with experience in both strategic planning and governance.
Lara has a BA in Communications and an MS in Biology from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee. After postdoctoral positions at the Univ. of Tenn. and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory she has been a faculty member at the Univ. of OK since 2012 where she is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey. She is a plant ecologist that focuses on global change impacts on plant community dynamics and the functioning of ecosystems. Lara has served as Associate Editor for Plant Ecology, the Journal for Applied Ecology, Ecology and Ecological Monographs. She has been an active scientist at RMBL since 2012, serving on several committees, including Diversity and Douglass Distinguished Lecturer committees. She brings to the Board her perspective as a scientist who lives in Gothic during the summer, as well as her experiences with leadership and administration in the sciences and overall broadening participation in STEM.