Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D.

Project Director

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College or (360) 867-6621

A professor and forest ecologist at The Evergreen State College, Dr. Nadkarni is the director of the Research Ambassador Program. Since 1985, she has conducted forest canopy research on four continents, mainly in Costa Rica and in Washington State, supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. In 1994, Nalini founded the International Canopy Network to foster communication among canopy researchers, educators and conservationists. While teaching and publishing 85 scientific articles and three books, she identified the need for scientists to reach – and in turn learn from – non-traditional audiences beyond academia. Toward that end, she established the Research Ambassador Program to help scientists convey their ideas and research results to such groups as faith-based communities, urban youth and incarcerated men and women. Nalini’s work has been highlighted in numerous scientific journals, popular magazines, television documentaries and conferences such as TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). In 2010 she was awareded the Public Service Award from the National Science Foundation Board.  She lives with her biologist husband and two children in the woods west of Olympia, Washington.

Learn more about Dr. Nadkarni and her career at her website.


Amy Stasch, MPA, MSES

Project Manager

Amy Stasch served as Program Manager from March 2010 to June 2011.  She was a 2009 graduate of the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, where she specialized in environmental policy and policy analysis, receiving her Master’s of Public Affairs and Master’s of Environmental Science.  She brought a unique blend of experience to the project, including five seasons of experience as a park ranger in the National Park Service and several years of experience helping manage a small non-profit serving the low income and homeless community of Bloomington, Indiana.  After her time with the Research Ambassador Program, she returned to the National Park Service.