Staff

Tom Whitham
Dr. Tom Whitham
Principal Investigator

Tom Whitham is Regents’ Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Executive Director of the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research. In 2011, Whitham received the prestigious Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America—the group’s highest honor—for his outstanding body of work and his training of a new generation of scientists. Whitham served as the primary scientific advisor of an award-winning PBS documentary, A Thousand Invisible Cords: Connecting Genes to Ecosystems, which was aired on more than 150 stations in 2012. Whitham has authored or co-authored more than 220 papers in scientific journals, including Science and Nature.

Dr. Paul Flikkema
Co-Principal Investigator and Technology Development Lead

Paul Flikkema is a Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Northern Arizona University. Flikkema is also the 2013-14 Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. Flikkema has extensive expertise in wireless communication and networking, embedded systems, and wireless sensor/actuator networks, and the application of these technologies to long-term experimental ecological research.

Dr. Diane Hope
Project Manager
Diane Hope is the SEGA Project Manager responsible for managing the day-to-day activities needed to establish and operate SEGA’s experimental gardens. She was previously an Assistant Research Professor and Field Project Manager of the Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research site at Arizona State University. With degrees in Mining Geology, Ecology and Biogeochemistry, Diane also has over 10 years of experience as a freelance journalist, writer, sound recordist and audio producer, and has worked for organizations including the BBC, Australian Radio National, local NPR, as well as Arizona Game and Fish Dept. and several museums. Please contact Diane if you are interested in carrying out a research project at one or more of the SEGA sites.
Dr. Kris Haskins
Dr. Kristin Haskins
Assistant Project Manager

Kris Haskins is the Director of Research at The Arboretum at Flagstaff and maintains adjunct status within the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. Kris’s research interests include mycorrhizal ecology, native plant community restoration, and conservation of rare species. Additionally, Kris has pursued the promotion of science education through student mentoring, teaching, and serving on the board of the Flagstaff Festival of Science.

Paul Heinrich
Data Manager / Field Engineer

Paul Heinrich is the Research Informatics Officer for the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research at Northern Arizona University. Heinrich is responsible for the development of data management policy and tools, climate instrumentation, and other infrastructure for SEGA. Heinrich has more than 10 years’ experience in data management, data documentation, and database design, and he has been responsible for the design, construction and operation of several weather stations deployed on the C. Hart Merriam Elevation Gradient.

Dr. George Koch
Co-Principal Investigator

George Koch is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at and Associate Director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University. Koch’s research focuses on understanding the biophysical and ecological interactions of plants with their environments, including features affected by human-driven global change. He has worked in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from tropical and temperate rainforests to deserts. Much of his research explores the interaction of water relations and carbon metabolism, a relationship central to the challenge of plant life on land. He is fascinated by giant trees and enjoys combining the physical challenge of tree climbing with state-of-the-art scientific techniques.

Dr. Amy Whipple
Co-Principal Investigator and Project Manager

Amy Whipple is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Director of the Merriam-Powell Research Station. Whipple manager the day-to-day activities needed to establish and operate SEGA’s experimental gardens, including reporting, budgeting, and permitting. Whipple also oversees the Merriam-Powell Research Station, which provides affordable housing and research facilities for visiting research scientists and field classes. Whipple’s research focuses on evolutionary ecology currently focuses on adaptation of plants to drought and climate change. Please contact Amy, if you wish to submit a research proposal.