board of directors

photo of John Amos John Amos, President

John is an expert in the use of satellite images and other remote sensing data to understand and communicate local, regional and global environmental issues. Educated as a geologist (University of Wyoming - MS, Cornell University - BS) he spent 10 years applying image processing, image analysis, and digital mapping techniques to conduct environmental, exploration and resource assessment studies for the energy and mining industries and government entities. In 2001 John founded SkyTruth, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to strengthening environmental conservation by illuminating environmental problems and issues through the use of satellite images, aerial photographs, and other kinds of remote sensing and digital mapping. As President, he directs day-to-day operations, develops and manages projects and programs, and is responsible for fundraising and administration.  Prior to founding SkyTruth, he worked as an exploration geologist for Advanced Resources International and Earth Satellite Corporation.

Paul Woods, Chief Technology Officer/Treasurer/Interim Chairman

Paul is a serial software entrepreneur with 25 years experience in software development and software startup companies.  Beginning at the University of Maryland before moving on to Washington DC-area startups Compass Point Software, CareerBuilder, Intelligenx and GeoStellar, Paul has developed a broad range of software and web-based applications and managed globally distributed teams of technology professionals.  A lifelong commitment to environmental conservation and a passion for improving the world via applied information technology solutions has led him to serve as SkyTruth's CTO, with a particular emphasis on leveraging emerging online technologies to expand SkyTruth's reach and enhance its core mission of promoting environmental awareness.

photo of David Festa David Festa
David is Vice President for Environmental Defense Fund’s west coast operations, which include scientists, economists and lawyers based in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. He recently served on the Obama transition team for the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he worked during the Clinton administration as Director of Policy and Strategic Planning. He won honors for leading agency efforts to end overfishing, help Central America rebuild after Hurricane Mitch (one of the most powerful hurricanes on record), promote electronic commerce and strengthen the National Marine Sanctuaries. David chairs the Conservation Committee of the SeaChange Investment Fund and serves on the board of the California League of Conservation Voters. His 25-year career includes working as a journalist for The Economist, where he covered business, technology and science, and was nominated for the Glaxo Award for Science Journalism. He has been a management consultant, analyst for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, and Deputy Director of the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington, DC. David is a visiting scholar at Oregon State University. He has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he earned a Jefferson Academic Achievement Scholarship, was an Echols Scholar (the University’s top honors program) and graduated with distinction.
photo of Elliott Norse Dr. Elliott Norse
Founder and Chief Scientist of Marine Conservation Institute in Redmond WA, Dr. Norse has worked at the conservation science-policy interface for his entire career. After earning his B.S. in Biology from Brooklyn College, he studied the ecology of blue crabs in the Caribbean for his Ph.D. at University of Southern California and his Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Iowa. Starting in 1978 he worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency, President’s Council on Environmental Quality (where he defined biological diversity as conservation’s overarching goal), Ecological Society of America, Wilderness Society and Ocean Conservancy before founding MCBI in 1996. Elliott’s 140+ publications include 4 books: Conserving Biological Diversity in Our National Forests (1986), Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest (1990), Global Marine Biological Diversity: A Strategy for Building Conservation into Decision Making (1993) and Marine Conservation Biology: The Science of Maintaining the Sea’s Biodiversity (2005). He is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and Adjunct Professor of Marine Conservation Science and Policy at Duke University Marine Laboratory, served as President of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Marine Section, and received the Nancy Foster Award for Habitat Conservation from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Brooklyn College named him its 2008 Distinguished Alumnus.

Dr. David Shearer

Dr. Shearer is co-founder and CEO of Full Circle Solutions, a new for-profit enterprise that is developing biochar products for global agricultural and carbon sequestration applications. At Full Circle Solutions, he is co-leading product and market development plans for gigaton scale carbon sequestration. Dr. Shearer is also crafting carbon accounting methodologies for these products. Prior to launching Full Circle Solutions in 2008, Dr. Shearer was Chief Scientist at California Environmental Associates where he worked in the next generation transportation, energy, carbon mitigation, and information technology space. In 2006/2007, he collaborated with in evaluating next generation plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and implementing a PHEV demonstration program. During the same time period, Dr. Shearer provided technical and policy guidance for Design to Win, a foundation based initiative that is creating a 10 year map for philanthropic investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation under the umbrella of ClimateWorks Foundation. Before joining California Environmental Associates in 2001, David was Principal Environmental Scientist for AeroVironment Inc. (1990-2001). He currently serves on the Board of Directors for SkyTruth and Black Rock Solar, both non-profit organizations. He is a member of the technical advisory boards for the Bay School of San Francisco, the Lindbergh Foundation, and As You Sow. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental epidemiology from the University of California, Irvine, an M.S. in environmental microbiology from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Oregon.

Alan Septoff

Alan joined EARTHWORKS in July 1997 as Program Coordinator. He came to EARTHWORKS from the National Academy of Sciences.  He became legislative director of EARTHWORKS in January of 1998. As legislative director, he played a key role in orchestrating the millsite agreement which prevents future mines from using unlimited public land for toxic waste dumping, and led the legislative and regulatory effort to enact stronger mining regulations. Alan became Research and Info Systems Director in June of 2001. He earned masters degrees in Environmental Science and Public Affairs in 1996 from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.



photo of Amy Mathews AmosAmy Mathews Amos, Secretary
Amy Mathews Amos is an independent environmental consultant with more than 20 years experience working on a wide range of environmental issues for non-profit conservation and scientific groups and the federal government.  She currently focuses on policy analysis, program evaluation, and project management for conservation groups and charitable foundations working on marine conservation issues.  In previous positions she has served as Vice-President and Program Director for Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Policy Analyst for Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice), and Senior Evaluator for the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO).  In addition to serving as SkyTruth's Secretary-Treasurer, Amy is President of the American Conservation Film Festival based in Shepherdstown WV.   She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources and holds graduate degrees in both environmental science and public policy from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. 

David Manthos, Outreach/Communications Director
A native of Garrett County, Maryland, David Manthos became interested in environmental issues impacting Appalachia, particularly focused on unconventional shale gas development and watershed issues from past and present extractive industries. After receiving his B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Bucknell University, he returned to the Appalachian Mountains near his home to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) for Friends of the Cheat in Kingwood, WV. While at Friends of the Cheat, David worked to expand a volunteer water quality monitoring program created in response to Marcellus Shale developments, assisted with Acid Mine Drainage reconnaissance, monitoring, and treatment, and other brownfields development projects. At SkyTruth, David will work to tell the SkyTruth story to the world and develop relationships with existing and future partners. David is committed to caring for our planet and sharing with its residents the big picture of our impact through a variety of lenses and narratives. In his spare time, David is an amateur photographer, occasional writer, and studies political science vicariously through his wife Vaida, a Ph.D. candidate at West Virginia University from Vilnius, Lithuania.

Teri BiebelTeri Biebel, Office Administrator
Teri comes to us after a long career in the casino industry, where she worked on both the customer service side and the administrative side. Teri grew up in Wildwood, along the Southern New Jersey coastline and attended the former Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) before leaving to work in the bright lights of Atlantic City. After 24 years, she decided to make a major career change and wanted to work in a much more positive environment. She has been involved in other non-profit organizations including the Girl Scouts Council of the Nations Capital as a Girl Scout leader. Teri lives in Shepherdstown with her husband Don, her daughters Jennifer and Amanda, and her dogs Henry and Cosmo. She is an avid runner and completed the Goofy Challenge (Half-Marathon & Full-Marathon in one weekend) in January 2012.

Kevin Howald, GIS Technologies Associate
Kevin is a specialist in geographic information systems (GIS) with extensive expertise in the areas of spatial data processing and customized digital mapping applications. He has over 15 years experience working with raster and vector based mapping systems, and has used satellite and aerial remotely sensed data for a wide variety of environmental mapping procedures. Kevin is also an active private pilot.

Andy Waxman, Application and Internet Technologies Associate
Andy is our geospatial application development expert. Over the past seven years he has worked with every major software package employed in this industry and is an experienced user of nearly 20 different analytical and image processing products. He focuses on creating integrated applications that are seamless and user-friendly. On a recent project for the US Department of Transportation, he built a web-based geospatial application that integrated multiple technologies to create user-defined, interactive maps using the DOT’s mapping application server.

Dorn Moore, Spatial Analyst Volunteer

Owner of Green Space GIS in Baraboo, WI, Dorn focuses on using spatial technologies and cartography to support conservation efforts around the world. He earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish at Beloit College before he discovered the wonders of GIS and Remote Sensing.  Dorn focused on conservation applications of spatial technology while earning his M.A. in Geography at The University of Arizona.  Dorn served as the GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst for the International Crane Foundation, providing geospatial and database support to projects protecting crane species around the world.  Dorn spent three years in Charleston, SC on contract to the NOAA Coastal Services Center supporting conservation and social science related projects.  In 2009, he started Green Space GIS to support the conservation efforts of non-profit organizations around the world.  Dorn provides volunteer support to SkyTruth with custom cartography and helping support GIS efforts in a variety of ways.  


Marc Levitt

Marc’s daytime job is an archivist at the Robert

C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies in Shepherdstown, WV.   He’s had a long and varied academic career: he began with a B.A. in Political Science Pre-Law (Michigan State University), an M.A. in History (Villanova University), and most recently an M.I.S. in Archives and Records Management (University of Michigan). At SkyTruth, Marc is very excited to have found a way to combine his interests in preserving the environment with his enthusiasm for corporate accountability, especially in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. Marc is currently examining satellite images in conjunction with NRC reports to determine the latter’s veracity.


Alex Yates

Alex Yates is a student at Shepherd University majoring in Environmental Sustainability. His work with SkyTruth involves developing a system to quickly and effectively georeference satellite images . This is his first work with GIS systems and he is finding it a fun and challenging experience. Alex comes from Baltimore, MD where he was born and raised. He first became interested in protecting the environment in high school where he studied environmental science.

Yolandita Franklin

Yolandita Franklin is a certified drafter, working toward her B.S. in Environmental Sustainability at Shepherd University. She is an active member of Rotoract and V.P. of U.S. Green Building Council, Shepherd University chapter. Her work at SkyTruth includes creating 3D models and videos that illustrate environmental impacts. She is married to Erik Franklin, a Senior Airman of the U.S.A.F. She is from New Jersey and her hobbies are reading, swimming, and volleyball.