Meet the WAFWA Team

Meet the people who are working together to help WAFWA and their Member Agencies and Partners deliver conservation through information exchange and working partnerships.

  • Chris Moore

    Acting Executive Director
    Chris Moore has been the Acting Executive Director for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies since April, 2019 in a pro bono capacity as part of a professional development opportunity. Chris has also been the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council since July 2010. Before he became the Executive Director, he was the Chief of the Partnerships and Communications Division in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA Fisheries Headquarters. Chris also served as the Acting Director of the Northeast Cooperative Research Partners Program and has worked for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Chris has been the Council representative to the National Fish Habitat Board since 2013 and was their Vice-Chair from 2017 to 2020. Chris received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, a Master's degree from the University of Florida, and has over 30 years of experience related to natural resource management and science issues.
  • Sean Kyle

    LPC Industry Services Director
  • Bill Van Pelt

    Bill Van Pelt

    Grassland Coordinator
    After graduating Iowa State University in 1991, he was contracted as a bald eagle nest watcher by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and was assigned to Alamo Lake.  Upon completing his assignment, he was hired by the Department to conduct the biological evaluation of the Aubrey Valley for a black-footed ferret reintroduction. Bill was promoted to Nongame Birds and Mammals Program Manager in 1996 and was able to not only release black-footed ferrets, but Mexican wolves, California condors, and black-tailed prairie dogs too.  In 2008, with a sudden departure of the Western Association’s Grassland Coordinator, Bill was asked to step into the role, which is the position he still holds today. As Coordinator, Bill continues conservation efforts for grassland species such as prairie dogs, ferrets, swift fox and lesser prairie chickens. Outside of work, Bill stays busy with his wife Lola taking their four children to various school and sporting events. To escape the Phoenix heat, the family heads to the mountains to fish and camp.
  • San Stiver

    Sage-Grouse Coordinator
  • Therese Thompson

    Therese Thompson

    WNTI Coordinator
    Since 2014, Therese has been the Coordinator for all operations, planning, development, and communications for the Western Native Trout Initiative – a recognized National Fish Habitat Partnership and initiative of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Therese has served in multiple capacities within the nonprofit and public sector over a 30 year career including conservation organizations as well as working at the local, state, and national government levels in an executive management role, driving strategic planning and program development, evaluating risk, and building organizational capacity. Therese has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois, M.S. in Fishery and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado.
  • Chanda Pettie

    CHAT Coordinator, GIS Services
    Chanda joined the WAFWA team in 2019 as the coordinator for WAFWA’s Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT). Her key role is to promote the efforts of state fish and wildlife agencies in delivering science based, data driven solutions for landscape-scale, conservation of crucial habitat across the West. As a wildlife ecologist with 17 years of experience on interagency project management for landscape-scale conservation efforts, she brings a biological background to program coordination.

    Chanda started incorporating CHAT into landscape-scale projects during its pilot stage in 2009 while working in New Mexico for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. “Early CHAT collaborations helped us build the foundation for the USDA lesser-prairie chicken initiative. Since then, I have seen CHAT develop into an adaptive, user-friendly asset for land use planning". The recent changes are "impressive, and I hope to help build upon those successes."
  • Mike Cox

    Wild Sheep Working Group Coordinator
    Mike became the Wild Sheep Working Group (WSWG) Chair in September 2016.  He was one of the original WSWG members first formed by the WAFWA directors in 2007.  He continues to be the statewide bighorn sheep and mountain goat program coordinator for Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) where he has been a big game biologist for over 27 years and WAFWA Mule Deer Working Group member for a decade.  Mike has been a part of one of the most successful bighorn sheep restoration programs in the west bringing bighorn sheep back in Nevada from a low of 2,000-3,000 in 1960 to over 12,000 bighorn sheep today.  He never thought he would become a herder of sheep managers during his career.  Mike earned his BS degree from South Dakota State University in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and MS in Wildlife Ecology at Iowa State University. Though Mike’s formal training in graduate school was population demography and modelling, he has accepted the role of bringing people together and working on solutions through fostering relationships and unconventional approaches to inform and educate people. Mike has an active lifestyle from backpack hunting to backcountry skiing.
  • Bonnie Ricord

    Bonnie Ricord

    Program Specialist
    Bonnie Ricord joined the WAFWA team in August 2019 as a Program Specialist, and assists with grassland, sage, and Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) initiatives as well communications and event planning. She majored in Natural Resources Ecology at the University of Vermont, where she took as many outdoor and lab-based courses as possible and spent a semester studying wilderness science and stewardship in central Idaho. Prior to working for WAFWA, she worked in state government as a grants management planner. After several federal and state seasonal positions in Alaska, California, Idaho, and Montana, Bonnie fell in love with the western landscape and has a strong desire to play a role in improving conservation efforts and fish and wildlife management. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her local trails, identifying wildflowers, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.
  • Catherine Campbell

    Contracts, Grants Supervisor
    Cathy joined the WAFWA team in June 2015 as the Grants and Contracts Manager for WAFWA and its affiliates. In this role, she works closely with WAFWA Initiative Coordinators, federal and state partners and affiliates and federal aid coordinators. Cathy studied at Boise State University and is a business professional with over 25 years of management and accounting experience; developing and mentoring agency staff; developing and administering budgets; financial management of state and federal grants; 2 CFR 200 compliance regulations and contract management. She project lead the implementation of accounting systems, expense tracking and reporting through Commercial Card Services program, Grant Management Reporting and assisted with budget software implementation. When she is not working, Cathy enjoys traveling, white water rafting, scuba, camping, music and spending time with friends and family. Cathy is also an amateur back-yard beekeeper.
  • Todd Rich

    Accounting Manager

IWJV & WAFWA: A Collaborative Partnership for the Future

The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) share a strong commitment to delivering conservation through partnerships, working across jurisdictional boundaries, sharing information, and strengthening the work of their partners. The two organizations subscribe to a simple tenet: The partnership is stronger than the sum of the parts.

In 2016, IWJV and WAFWA strengthened this commitment by formalizing the partnership to build capacity, strengthen the work of partners, and deliver on-the-ground outcomes for wildlife and human communities by having WAFWA become a hosting entity for seven of IWJV’s 13 staff positions.