About Us
About BCI

Meet the Staff

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Executive

Mike Daulton

Executive Director

Mike Daulton is an award-winning conservationist with two decades of experience. Read more...

Mike Daulton is an award-winning conservationist with two decades of experience as an environmental leader in the nonprofit sector. For the past 17 years, Mike has served as a senior level policy director and organizational strategist for the National Audubon Society, most recently serving as their Vice President of Policy and Strategy.

Mike graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.Sc. in Ecology and a master’s in Public Policy from Duke University.


Dan Sannes, CPA

Chief Finance & Administration Officer

Dan loves nature; whether it’s walking the rim of Grand Canyon, planting trees in his yard, or sitting on the dock in his home state Minnesota. Read more...

Dan loves nature; whether it’s walking the rim of Grand Canyon, planting trees in his yard, or sitting on the dock in his home state Minnesota. He has over 30 years of finance and operations experience and worked as an auditor, corporate accountant, controller and non-profit executive. He loves working in non-profit, because at the end of the day, it’s nice to have worked with wonderful people doing important work.

He graduated from the University of Iowa and arrived in Austin, TX 18 years ago, escaping from Minnesota winters. He’s been in Texas long enough to be thinking about buying himself some cowboy boots. He takes his work seriously, but can’t take himself seriously at all. He enjoys exercise, yoga, building things and taking real Norwegian saunas.


Kevin Pierson

Chief Conservation Officer

Kevin Pierson is the principal conservation leader, manager, and planner for Bat Conservation International. Read more...

Kevin Pierson is the principal conservation leader, manager, and planner for Bat Conservation International (BCI). He is responsible for the vision, oversight, planning and implementation of a comprehensive conservation program that charts a path for growth in BCI’s conservation impact and global conservation reach.

Kevin comes to BCI with over 15 years of extensive nonprofit experience as a conservation strategist, fundraiser, and advocate. Kevin is an inspirational leader with strong expertise in identifying and implementing steps to achieve BCI's mission including clarifying ideas into fundable programs, raising funds, and managing for results.


Kenda Lovecchio

Chief Development Officer

Kenda Lovecchio comes to BCI with more than 16 years of demonstrated success in metric-based fund development. Read more...

Kenda Lovecchio comes to BCI with more than 16 years of demonstrated success in metric-based fund development and strategic communication for non-profit organizations. She relocated to Austin, Texas from Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 2016 and is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the philanthropic efforts at BCI. Kenda was first introduced to BCI during her employment with the Field Museum of Natural History and is honored to join this brilliant team in helping to protect the world’s varied bat species.

Her philanthropic experience encompasses varied sectors; including government, corporate and foundation support, as well as individual, major gifts, and prospect research. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and taught fundraising as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and 2011. Kenda earned her B.A. in Theater from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. In addition to being a bat enthusiast, she enjoys travel, hiking, and visiting cultural institutions with her family.


Mylea Bayless, M.S.

Senior Director, Network & Partnerships

Mylea Bayless leads BCI’s Network & Partnerships team with over 20 years of experience in conservation Read more...
Mylea Bayless leads Network & Partnerships team with over 20 years of experience in conservation, research and wildlife management. Her team is responsible for bat research and conservation in the region including (but not limited to) the following programs: BCI’s Public Lands Program, Wind Energy Program, Imperiled Species Program, WNS Response, Outreach and Education (U.S. only), Subterranean Program (U.S. only), and Bracken Bat Cave Preserve. She serves on several conservation teams including the steering committee for the North American Bat Conservation alliance and on the team developing a protocol for monitoring North American bats. 
 
Although her background is varied, bats have been intertwined throughout her career. As the daughter of a National Park Service biologist, Bayless volunteered as a young adult on bat surveys even before graduating from high school. She continued working with bats intermittently through every stage of her career beginning in college as a summer intern with the U.S. Geological Survey and assisting others on a variety of research projects in nearly every professional position she has held. 
 
By the time Bayless joined BCI in 2006, she had worked for a variety of organizations including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Humboldt State University, University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest Service. The background is as varied as the organizations where she worked where she has led research teams working on a variety of wildlife (including spotted owls, bald eagles, American pronghorn, Merriam’s turkeys, and Rocky Mountain elk). She holds a bachelors and masters of science from Colorado State University.
 

Winifred Frick, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Conservation Science

Winifred Frick recently joined BCI as the first Senior Director of Conservation Science. Winifred has studied bat ecology and conservation for the past 15 years Read more...

Winifred Frick recently joined BCI as the first Senior Director of Conservation Science. Winifred has studied bat ecology and conservation for the past 15 years and is an adjunct assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her active research program focuses on understanding how bat populations respond to natural and anthropogenic perturbations.

Specifically, she has studied the disease ecology and impacts of white-nose syndrome as well as impacts of climate and global change on bat populations. She also has worked extensively in northwestern Mexico on ecology of desert bats, including seasonal ecology and foraging behavior of nectar-feeding bats. She is enthusiastic about her new role at BCI and the potential to contribute to science-based conservation to help protect the world’s many bat species.


John "Beej" Nunn

Director, Information Technology

  • Information Systems
  • Webmaster & Web Development
  • Network Administrator & Systems Support
  • Flys & jumps out of perfectly good airplanes

Beej has been with BCI for many years, and looks after anything vaguely related to Information Technology. He is a graduate of Staffordshire University, UK. For those who are curious, the nickname ‘Beej’ stems from ‘Big John’ -> ‘B.J’ -> ‘Beejay’ -> ‘Beej’!

Beej is a Brit, living in Texas, and due to his English accent mixed with a slight hint of Texan, is often mistaken for an Australian! In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, aerobatic flying, table tennis, powerlifting, and creating things (building his own airplane), and was a regular skydiver until he discovered McDonalds drive-thru’s and the joys of a high body mass index.


Micaela Jemison

Director of Communication and Public Engagement

Micaela joined BCI in January 2015, as our Communication Manager after working as a science communicator for the Smithsonian Read more...

Micaela Jemison joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in January 2015, as our Communication Manager after working as a science communicator for the Smithsonian Institution and a threatened species biologist for the Victorian state government in Australia.

Micaela has six plus years experience in bat conservation and research, having conducted scientific studies on a range of Australian bat species and developing the Southern Bent-wing Bat National Recovery Plan. She has a passion for science communication and human-wildlife conflict management. Her masters degree in communication and public relations focused on a human-wildlife disease conflict between communities and flying-fox populations in Australia, which made recommendations on how wildlife managers can effectively engage with the media and other invested groups.

Micaela has worked for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Smithsonian Central Office of Public Affairs as science writer and multimedia producer. She is a current member of the Department of Mammals at NMNH and the Communication Officer for the Australasian Bat Society.

 

Rebeca Rojas

Executive Assistant

Originally from Washington D.C., raised, half of her life, between Mexico and USA, Rebeca graduated from Universidad del Valle de Mexico Read more...

Originally from Washington D.C., raised, half of her life, between Mexico and USA, Rebeca graduated from Universidad del Valle de Mexico with a bachelor degree in Business Administration and AA in Tourism. Rebeca is a very positive person who enjoys being a team player, eager to learn and is self-motivated. I am open-arms to opportunities that will broaden my horizon.

One of my passion is to give, support, and make a difference. For over 8 years, I have dedicated my career to keeping executives and business owners organized, prioritized and less stressed. I take great pride in representing top level management professionally and with artfulness. I enjoy responsibility and believe that my experience, professionalism, and proactive demeanor are a perfect match for the “many hats” that Assistant and Office Manager positions require.

In my spare time, I have a deep love for photography, swimming, yoga and being able to travel with my daughter to warm places with palm trees.


Conservation, Education, & Science

Cris Hein, Ph.D.

Director, Wind Energy Program

Cris Hein joined BCI in 2010 and is the Wind Energy Program Director Read more...
  • Bats and Wind Energy Research
  • Bats and Forest Management
  • Acoustic Monitoring

Cris Hein joined BCI in 2010 and is the Wind Energy Program Director. Cris also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative. Cris’ primary responsibility is to develop and implement solutions to reduce the impact of wind energy development on bats.

Since 1998, Cris has focused on bat research and conservation. He received his M.S. in Biology from Texas State University where he studied the population structure and dynamics of a Brazilian free-tailed bat colony in central Texas. In 2008, he received his Ph.D. in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of Georgia.

His dissertation investigated the activity and roosting behavior of bats along forested corridors, and the winter roosting ecology of bats in South Carolina. Prior to joining BCI, Cris was the lead bat ecologist for ABR-Environmental Research and Services.


Dan Taylor, M.S.

Director, Public Lands Program

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience Read more...
  • Bats and Public Lands Management
  • Bats and Forests
  • Bats and Water Resources

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience working on a wide range of wildlife and conservation issues in the U.S., Central America, and Africa. Dan has been with BCI for 17 years, previously directing its Bats and Mines, Bats and Forests, and Water for Wildlife initiatives. Dan’s background as a USDA-Forest Service biologist in Arizona, Montana, and Oregon, and years of experience facilitating collaboration between BCI and local, state, and national government partners made him well-suited to lead BCI’s new Public Lands Program.

The Program is working with the primary agencies responsible for natural resource management in North America to ensure the incorporation of bat conservation into key policy, planning, and land management actions. Dan authored BCI’s Forest Management & Bats publication and co-authored BCI’s Bats and Mines and Water for Wildlife handbooks with Dr. Merlin Tuttle.

He is a member of The Wildlife Society, and the Arizona, New Mexico, and Western Bat Working Groups, and was a founding member of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Prior to his work with BCI and the Forest Service, Dan was the first director of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, Central America, and previously worked seasonally on several wildlife projects involving wolves, brown and black bears, European badgers, and northern and Mexcan spotted owls.

Dan holds a bachelors degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a masters of science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University.


Dianne Odegard

Education & Public Outreach Manager

Dianne anchors BCI’s education and outreach initiatives, including training and managing docents Read more...
  • Public Information
  • Artificial Roosts
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Bats in Buildings
  • Workshop Coordination

Dianne Odegard joined the BCI staff in January of 2005, and is thrilled to work for an organization whose mission is to protect bats worldwide. She anchors BCI’s education and outreach initiatives, including training and managing docents at Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge. Though her college major was graphic arts, her life-long love of animals and passion for mediating human/wildlife conflict, is well-satisfied here! She serves as public information liaison for the organization, with specialties in education, artificial roosts, bats in buildings, and bats and public health, and fields the frequent requests for speakers and educational materials about bats.

She speaks to groups of all types and ages and has presented distance learning programs with partner organization Texas Wildlife Association that have reached over 50,000 school children across the U.S. and Canada since 2008. Interviews and video presentations with media and organizations around the world have allowed her to talk about the many benefits of bats, while imparting essential information about keeping bats AND humans safe.

Dianne and her husband are Texas-permitted bat rehabilitators. Their facility provides a wealth of educational opportunities and keeps a finger on the pulse of the local bat populations. Besides the native Texas bats that reside with Dianne and Lee for periods of time, BCI’s long-time “Bat Ambassadors,” African straw-colored fruit bats Zoey and ZuZu, also roost at their home.

 

Fran Hutchins

Director, Bracken Cave Preserve

  • Bracken Bat Cave Habitat Restoration
  • Bracken Cave Educational Tours and Bat Flight Events
  • Texas Master Naturalist

Fran has been with Bat Conservation International since 2006, directing educational bat flight programs and the restoration work on BCI’s Bracken Cave Preserve and working with Central Texas landowners protecting other bat roosts. His work at the preserve protects the largest colony of bats in the world.

He is often asked to speak at various events, sharing his passion for informing the public about bats. This extended’s to schools, zoos, Scouts and organizations from around the world. He has been featured on Texas Country Reporter, Travel Channel, several documentaries as well as Texas Highway Magazine.

In 2013 he was recognized by the US Forest Service for Wings Across the Americas / BatsLIVE education program.

Fran is also a Caver and Texas Master Naturalist and Eagle Scout.


Jason Corbett, M.S.

Director, Subterranean Program

  • Mine and Cave Inventory and Management
  • Cave and Mine Gates

I've been happily working with wildlife since the tender age of 8 when an Emmy Award winning wildlife cinematographer moved in next door and hired my brother and I to work with him on his wildlife films for National Geographic, the BBC, Discovery Channel, etc.

Several jobs later I am ecstatic to be working hard on conserving a taxa I greatly admire, bats, and my favorite type of habitat on the planet; all things under the Earth. These dark spaces; caves, mines, cracks, crypts, ossuaries, sinkholes, cenotes, springs, and many others provide shelter, refuge, and critical habitat for many species of plants and animals.

By working to protect subterranean bats and their habitat, I'm able to help protect not only the amazing places they call home, but also all of the other plants and animals that need these spaces. It is hard work but I love it!


Shawn Thomas

Subterranean Program Manager

Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats Read more...
  • U.S. & Canada cave/mine bat assessments

Shawn Thomas joined the BCI staff in July, 2014. As Projects Manager for the Subterranean Program, Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats. These projects involve working with diverse partners, ranging from federal agencies to private mining companies.

Prior to  working for BCI, Shawn specialized in cave management for the National Park Service, having worked for several cave parks in the western U.S., including Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM), Lava Beds National Monument (CA), Oregon Caves National Monument (OR), Great Basin National Park (NV), and Jewel Cave National Monument (SD).

Outside of work, Shawn’s time is focused on exploring and mapping caves, with active projects in Arizona (Grand Canyon National Park caves), New Mexico (Lechuguilla Cave, Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave), and Montana (Bob Marshall Wilderness caves).  


Michael Schirmacher, M.S.

Wind Energy Program Manager

  • Wind Energy
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) field project management
  • Acoustic Monitoring

Rebecca Patterson

Conservation Programs Coordinator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. Rebecca provides administrative support Read more...
  • Conservation Program Administration
  • Grant and Contract Management
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) administrator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. As US/Canada Programs Coordinator, Rebecca provides administrative support to all current US and Canada Programs including Bracken Cave Preserve, Education and Public Outreach, Wind Energy and Public Lands. In addition to administrative support she provides expertise in event planning and grant and contract management.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University. Prior to joining the BCI staff, she worked as a dog-trainer, recruiting her own dog to provide pet-assisted therapy. In addition to her love for all animals, Rebecca loves hiking and running the many trails of Austin, is a part-time film geek and self-proclaimed foodie.


Operations

Travis Fuller

Finance Manager

Austin
  • Manages the financial components of BCI’s conservation projects
  • Monitors budgets, invoicing, financial reporting and compliance
  • Supports program and grants & contracts staff

Travis is a native Austinite that has lived in several other places only to return to his hometown. He has also travelled to many different parts of the world. His personal pursuits are mostly outdoors related, which inevitably includes hiking and camping.

Travis graduated from Texas State with an accounting degree. Before joining BCI, he acquired a wide and varied accounting background spanning 14 years.


Paul Pryputniewicz

Web Developer

Austin
Paul Pryputniewicz joined BCI in 2016 as our Web Developer. Read more...

Paul Pryputniewicz joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2016 as our Web Developer. Some of his favorite activities and interests include playing volleyball, music mashups, watching the NFL and hanging out with friends.


Melanie Flores

Operations Associate

Mel answers the phones at BCI and enjoys talking with and assisting callers from all over the world Read more...
  • Receptionist
  • Mailing/Shipping
  • General Administration
  • Photo Sales & Requests for BCI Images

Melanie Flores joined BCI in 2012, as an Administrative Associate.  Mel answers the phones at BCI and enjoys talking with and assisting callers from all over the world with information about bats. She also provides administrative support to the Operations Team, BCI Board and Management Team.

Mel attended Texas A&M University and received her Veterinary Technician License. Prior to working at BCI, Mel worked at the Austin/Travis County Humane Society working with hard to place dogs and on the rabies observation unit.  Mel enjoys spending time with her young granddaughter, son and daughter. She also enjoys photography, the outdoors and riding horses.


Kay Morris

Accounting Associate

Kay's career has included working with numbers at Dell, Pharmaco, and Read more...
  • Accounts Payable
  • Administrative and Finance support

Kay Morris joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2013, as an Accounting Assistant.  Her career has included working with numbers at Dell, Pharmaco (a clinical research organization), attorney’s offices and in property repossession industry.

Accounting has always been a fascinating and an enjoyable work facet. She truly gets excited about numbers, statistics and creating new ways to retrieve them, wherever that may lead her. 

She is not all one sided either.  To please her analytical side and keep in balance she uses her creative side.  Kay is an artist working mostly in oil.

Her main subjects are old architecture and landscapes. She has painted scenes from visits in France, Italy, Cyprus, Ireland and various locations in the US. She enjoys talking about her art as much as she does her numbers, go figure.


Development

Jessalyn Giacona

Director, Membership

Prior to joining BCI as their Membership Director in May of 2016, Jessalyn has had the opportunity to work for three other exemplary nonprofits. Read more...

Prior to joining BCI as their Membership Director in May of 2016, Jessalyn has had the opportunity to work for three other exemplary nonprofits in the Houston area: Armand Bayou Nature Center, Buffalo Bayou Partnership and most recently, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, where she was responsible for growing membership. Jessalyn’s true passion, however, remains environmental and wildlife conservation, and she is thrilled to be back in that vein of the not for profit world!

Jessalyn graduated with a BA in Visual Design from Centenary College of Louisiana, and looks forward to utilizing her design background at BCI. Having only worked for non-profits, Jessalyn also enjoys working with and cultivating volunteers. She recognizes the importance they play to any organization, and counts many volunteers she has met along her career path as her dearest friends.
When not working towards the welfare of bats worldwide, Jessalyn can be found in her kayak, on her bike or bird watching.


Caitlin Gilmore

Database Administrator

Caitlin has been working in the museum field for a few years, both in Washington, DC and Dallas, TX Read more...
  • Administrator of donor database
  • Coordinates and fulfills all membership and donation processes
  • Caitlin has been working in the museum field for a few years, both in Washington, DC and Dallas, Tx, but decided to make the switch to her other passion, environmental conservation. She attended the University of North Texas for a degree in Anthorpology and The George Washington University for her Master’s in Museum Studies. Her specialty is database administration and has been working with in-house database systems, FileMaker Pro, and Raiser’s Edge, for a number of years.

    In her spare time, she enjoys reading, anything Scifi/Fantasy but will jump happily into the history section of a bookstore. She also loves to travel and attending festivals of all kinds when she gets the chance.


    Lisa Murdock

    Development Services Associate

    Lisa received her B.S. in Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin, and spent many years in the medical field before focusing on her true passion—animals. Read more...

    Lisa Murdock joined the Bat Conservation International Philanthropy team in March 2016 as a membership data entry clerk. She received her B.S. in Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin, and spent many years in the medical field before focusing on her true passion—animals. Lisa has experience with small and large companion pets, as well as native wildlife, and even zoo animals.


    While not working to save the bats, Lisa enjoys hiking, reading, watching sports, traveling, and spending time with her boyfriend. She hopes to someday work more hands-on with bats in their natural environment, helping to ensure their future survival and success.


    Communications

    Katie Jepson

    Communications Associate

    Washington D.C.
    Hailing from the vast wilds of New Jersey, Katie has always possessed a keen interest in the natural world Read more...

    Hailing from the vast wilds of New Jersey, Katie has always possessed a keen interest in the natural world. That fascination followed her to Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology at James Madison University.

    The observational nature of geology instilled a desire to use a visual medium to tell the stories of the natural world. Soon after graduation, she moved out to Montana to pursue her MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. Since then, her work has been featured in numerous film festivals, museums, and the occasional airport waiting room.

    She has worked for a number of national brands such as National Geographic, PBS, and Curiosity Stream. Katie is a strong believer that laughter is key to fully appreciating the world around us.


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