Meet Our Team


Dr. Larry Stevens - Director

Dr. Larry Stevens is the Curator of Ecology at the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Director of SSI. He received his Ph.D in Zoology from Northern Arizona University in 1989, and served as the ecologist for Grand Canyon National Park from 1989 to 1994. Well respected in the field of ecology, Dr. Stevens was the editor for Red Lake Books, has served on many ecological councils in Arizona, conducted research on biogeography, springs ecology, and published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Learn more about Larry's work - Curriculum Vitae


Jeri Ledbetter - Program Manager

Jeri Ledbetter is the Program Manager for SSI. She holds a Masters in Geographic Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University and is the head developer of Springs Online. She has conducted springs research for SSI as well as consulted for Northern Arizona University. She is also a well respected member of the Grand Canyon river runner community. View her Curriculum Vitae here.


Jeff Jenness - GIS analyst

Jeff Jenness is a wildlife biologist and GIS analyst with 16 years experience chasing spotted owls for the USFS, and 15 years running his own GIS consulting business. He is currently a GIS data technician at the MNA. View his Curriculum Vitae here.


Andrea Hazelton - Project Manager

Andrea Hazelton is the Project Manager for SSI. She holds a Masters of Science from Arizona State University, where she studied riparian plant ecology along the Verde River. Since college, she has primarily worked in endangered plant management, first as the botanist for the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife and later as an environmental consultant. She has 13 years of experience as a field biologist and is fortunate to have had opportunities to work in deserts throughout the southwest, mountaintops in Colorado, and swamps in South Carolina.

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Tierney Schipper Routson- Project Administration

Tierney Schipper Routson is responsible for project tracking and administration at SSI. She is an experienced field biologist and local business leader.  She has over nine years of experience conducting field biological surveys across the country, she is also co-owner of a local cider business.  Tierney has performed springs surveys and assessments for SSI and helps run day-to-day operations of the office.


Bernardo Murrieta - Assistant Springs Technician


Bernardo Murrieta received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Sonora. He spent the last year working for our partner Sky Island Alliance in Tucson, Arizona focusing on conservation and restoration within the Sky Island region.  Since moving to Flagstaff, Bernardo has become very interested in climbing and exploring the Colorado Plateau.  


Alek Mendoza - Springs Data Specialist

Alek received her Bachelors degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Oregon State University. Prior to joining SSI, she worked for multiple non-profit organizations and universities performing rangeland health assessments across the Southwest landscape. Her passion for ecology only continues to grow as she works closely with the collaborative SSI team. She is often organizing field work, workshops, and managing data entry for our Springs Online Database. Alek enjoys much of what Northern Arizona has to offer including: Skiing, hiking with her dogs, and biking. 


Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Colorado Plateau Studies from Prescott College, where she completed her senior project in collaboration with SSI to develop a citizen science smartphone app for backcountry users in the Grand Canyon. Before coming to SSI, she had spent the previous five years working as a hiking guide throughout the Colorado Plateau and Yellowstone National Park. She is deeply committed to conservation, and spends her free time continuing her explorations of the Colorado Plateau.

Collaborators and Research Associates

Dr. Gary Alpert

Dr. Gary Alpert, also known as the Global Ant Coordinator, is internationally respected as an authority on ant taxonomy. He has taught as an associate professor of entomology at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts. He has worked at the forefront of transitioning traditional methods of study into contemporary, web based tools. As the coordinator for these projects, the Global Ant Project ( and the AntWiki Project (, he has created a forum for the exchange of technical information on Formicidae and collaboration with scientists and students around the world. Originally from the Seattle area, Dr. Alpert received his B.S. in Psychology from Washington State University (1969), as well as his M.S. in Entomology (1972). He then completed his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University in 1981. His passion for biology and biodiversity extends to native cultures, having worked with the Navajo Nation as a collaborator and instructor on the creation of Navajo Nature (, an online repository for information on the natural environments of the Navajo Reservation. Whilst at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Dr. Alpert has enthusiastically studied the native species of the Colorado Plateau and is working with the Springs Stewardship Institute to develop digital libraries of the Museum’s collections. View his Biographical Sketch here.

Ed Schenk - Consultant

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Ed Schenk received his Bachelors in Geology from Hanover College and a Masters in Water Resources from Indiana University.  Prior to joining SSI, Ed was a research ecologist/geomorphologist with the USGS National Research Program and a physical scientist for Grand Canyon NP.  He has authored over two dozen articles on river and wetland restoration and chaired three research symposiums.  When not in the office you can find Ed out on the trails surrounding Flagstaff and Sedona or canyoneering.  Curriculum Vitae   


Gloria Hardwick

Gloria graduated from Northern Arizona University with a MS in biology. She is a long-time aquatic ecologist working with aquatic macrophytes and algae of the southwestern United States including the Grand Canyon.  Gloria has contributed to studies of the Humpback chub and other native fish of the southwestern United States and served as an instructor in plant taxonomy, ecology, and natural history for NAU, Flagstaff Public Schools, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Gloria is excited to return to MNA to further the work of the Spring Stewardship Institute by assisting with information management, research proposal development, as well as project planning and execution. View Gloria's Curriculum Vitae here.

support staff

Jenn Chavez

Contributing Photographers

Tom Cheknis - Invertebrate photography

Rich Rudow - Springs photography

Erik Gauger - Landscape and Wildlife photography

Terry Wright - Invertebrate Photography