The Team

Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Team

The Team

Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Our team has a philosophy of transparency and making data free, a love of the environment, and an optimism that we can change things for the better.

Our people are our best assets

Confronting global environmental challenges both locally and globally means finding the right people to take on a task in ways that no one else has tackled before. And so SkyTruth’s family of staff and consultants includes programmers and others from around the world and from Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where our headquarters are located. You can learn more about each of us below.

Kudos to SkyTruth for spotting this. You guys provide quite a reality check on things.

John Amos, Chief Executive Officer

John develops organizational strategy and partnerships, mentors technical staff, and provides remote sensing expertise as needed. He 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 (at the University of Wyoming for his M.S. and Cornell University for his B.S.), John 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, he founded SkyTruth, a nonprofit 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. In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer of SkyTruth, he serves on the board of Global Fishing Watch, a nonprofit organization formed by SkyTruth, Oceana and Google, and on the advisory board of The Ocean Foundation. John and his wife Amy live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Jason Schatz, Chief Technology Officer

Jason leads and supports the technology team at SkyTruth, overseeing the design, build, and management of SkyTruth’s conservation technology program. He ensures that we use and develop impactful data and technology to scale our impact on Earth’s climate and conservation. Prior to joining SkyTruth, Jason led the Sustainability Science team at Descartes Labs, which monitors the world’s forests using remote sensing data. He also spent six years as a community organizer in Dubuque, Iowa, where he led a successful campaign to commit the city to a 50% by 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target. He holds a B.S. from Iowa State University, an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Resources from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and many pets.

Jenny Allen, Chief Operating Officer

Jenny (she/her) oversees all operations at SkyTruth, ensuring that financial strategies, board relations, and fund development align with a sustainable and ambitious strategic vision. She also leads efforts to maintain the organization’s high standard of care for its exceptionally skilled staff, fostering an open and rewarding work environment. Prior to joining the SkyTruth team in 2016, Jenny served for ten years as a governor’s appointee to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the body that develops and oversees the public policy agenda for the state’s colleges and universities. She has also been a trustee of numerous nonprofit boards, including the Contemporary American Theater Festival, New Dramatists, West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation and North Country School. Jenny has participated in numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Theatre Communications Group, and is an active fundraiser for Democrats in state and federal political races.

After her undergraduate work at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, Allen received a Master of Arts from the University of Georgia and an executive certificate in nonprofit management at Georgetown University.

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Mitchelle De Leon, Chief Impact Officer

Mitchelle is responsible for scaling SkyTruth’s impact on climate change mitigation and key conservation challenges and building meaningful partnerships with stakeholders. Prior to joining SkyTruth, he was a Senior Associate in the Environmental Policy and Advocacy group at CEA Consulting, where he facilitated strategic planning efforts and conducted in-depth research for leading environmental organizations for over five years on a wide range of topics, such as ecosystem resilience, sustainable agriculture, conservation technology, and climate change mitigation. He also led stakeholder engagement initiatives and supported organizational development activities to advance the historic Klamath River dam removal project.

Prior to CEA, Mitchelle served as a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where he supported local governments on drought response and climate change mitigation efforts. As a student, he was a volunteer youth leader for the Sierra Student Coalition supporting the youth climate movement. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from California State University, Bakersfield and is currently a Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program. Born and raised in Cebu City, Philippines, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 and proudly identifies as Filipino American. He currently lives in Oakland, California.

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Johnna Armstrong, Systems Administrator and Web Developer

Johnna administers and maintains SkyTruth’s essential IT infrastructure, and performs regular audits of all systems for security and recoverability purposes. She is responsible for content management and upkeep of the website, and for user analytics related to SkyTruth’s websites and apps. Before coming to SkyTruth, Johnna freelanced as a web and UX developer and did work for both SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch in stealth mode for several years. Prior to freelancing, Johnna worked at the Bureau of National Affairs (now Bloomberg BNA), managing production of the company’s online tax subscriptions.

She has an international MBA from The American Graduate School of International Management, and an undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany and the University of Würzburg in Germany. Outside of her work at SkyTruth, Johnna is a genealogist, and she also researches house histories for Historic Shepherdstown & Museum, and maintains its website. She loves books, backpacking, long walks along the river with her dog, tai chi, and knitting socks. She aspires to becoming a better guitar player.

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Bjorn Bergman, Project Manager

Bjorn leads SkyTruth’s work on Project Inambari, using radar satellite imagery and machine learning to detect mining activity in the Amazon. He also works with SkyTruth’s partner Global Fishing Watch, helping the research team detect and track vessels broadcasting false locations. Before joining SkyTruth, Bjorn worked in a research lab and as a fisheries observer collecting biological data on commercial fishing boats in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. He has a degree in biology from Yale University and has traveled extensively throughout Latin America — particularly in Peru where he spent time as a child — and returns to the region frequently.

Dan Cogswell, Software Developer

Dan leads SkyTruth’s Alerts and Global Flaring development. He has been a software developer for 40 some years, working first in local government and then in the private sector with LEIDOS Biomedical. He has an IT degree from Shepherd College and a Data Science Certificate from Johns Hopkins University. Dan and his wife Margaret moved to Shepherdstown in 1986. In his free time, he enjoys birdwatching, traveling the country, and watching old movies.

Kelly Franklin, Creative Director

As SkyTruth’s Creative Director, Kelly oversees the organization’s brand identity, leading the planning and creation of all visual content including data analysis and visualization, maps, graphics, website design, promotional materials, storytelling, and more. In her previous role as Data Storyteller, Kelly lead SkyTruth’s internal data analysis and digital communication, telling compelling stories using SkyTruth’s datasets, tools and programs. Kelly has a BFA in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, as well as a BS and a MS in Biology from Temple University in Philadelphia. While pursuing her masters, Kelly worked as a research assistant investigating White-nose syndrome in little brown bats. Kelly is passionate about conservation and enjoys using art to advocate for the protection of the natural world. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys many forms of outdoor recreation including mountain biking, rock climbing and gravel biking, and loves to try new restaurants wherever the adventure takes her.

Shannon Holliday, Operations Coordinator

As the Operations Coordinator, Shannon supports SkyTruth’s daily organizational needs including financial records and reporting, fundraising and development, and Board support. Shannon is from West Virginia and has called Shepherdstown home since 1996. She earned a Master’s degree in higher education administration from Shepherd University (where she served for ten years as the Director of Academic Pathways and Transfer Programs), and has held careers in higher ed, organizational administration, and management. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and traveling, and has been a fan of all-things-space since touring Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, during a cultural exchange program in high school.

Shaila Huq, Communications and Engagement Manager

Shaila (she/her) is responsible for planning and implementing SkyTruth’s comprehensive communications and engagement strategy with an overarching goal to build awareness of its climate tech offerings, as well as SkyTruth’s measurable impact on communities locally and globally. Shaila graduated from Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a B.S. in Public Health, where she wrote her senior thesis on social media as a tool of advocacy and led as a campus organizer around global health issues. Her career as a mission-based communicator covered a wide range of topics including intersectional and affirming sexual health education, DC statehood, maternal health, Fairtrade products, and seafood sustainability. In her spare time, Shaila loves hiking, songwriting, and organizing her local community around collective liberation and radical joy.

Brendan Jarrell, User Support Engineer

Brendan is in charge of SkyTruth’s Internship Program and has worked on a number of projects related to Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring, oil and gas development, and machine learning. Brendan is a resident of Shepherdstown who earned his B.S. in Engineering Science from Shepherd University. Outside of work, Brendan can be found playing Ultimate Frisbee, riding his bike around Shepherdstown, or watching his beloved Red Sox.

Aemon Malone, Senior Software Engineer

Aemon builds APIs, web applications, maps and other interfaces to make SkyTruth’s data and analytics accessible to a wide range of users. He leads the development for the Cerulean oil pollution monitoring project. His previous experience includes working as an engineer at a cybersecurity company and as a production assistant at NPR. In his spare time, Aemon enjoys hiking with his dogs and abruptly stopping his car on country roads to relocate frogs, turtles, snakes, and the occasional skunk. He lives in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife and an ever-rotating cast of furry and scaly characters.

Torey Mill, Director of Development

Torey Mill (she/her) leads SkyTruth’s development efforts by steering strategic fundraising initiatives that ensure long-term organizational growth and sustainability. Before joining SkyTruth, she served as the Manager of Engagement and Development for Athlete Ally, a nonprofit that aims to make athletic spaces safer and more inclusive for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Throughout her career, Torey has held diverse and impactful roles in the environmental nonprofit sector; she served as the Program Manager for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, as a Federal Liaison for the Montana Association of Land Trusts, as a Program Associate for People and Carnivores, and as a wilderness counselor for troubled adolescents on the Big Island of Hawaii.

In 2023, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro appointed Torey as a Commissioner on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women, where she provides recommendations on policies and programs benefiting women in the state. Additionally, Torey is an educator with G.E.T Phluid, a comprehensive diversity and inclusion training program that equips organizations with skills and knowledge to spearhead inclusion initiatives and create affirming spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace. Torey holds a B.S. from Stanford University in Science, Technology, and Society — a multidisciplinary study exploring the intersection of political theory, scientific innovation, and the cultural values that shape technological advancement. In her free time, you will most likely find Torey surfing, skateboarding, or trail running with Supai, a dingo-dog that followed her out of the Grand Canyon.

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Amber Nelson, Director of Operations and Finance

Amber is responsible for SkyTruth’s operational effectiveness and efficiency. She supports the development, improvement, and execution of all organizational processes, including financial management, grants and contract management, HR, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding, IT, and administrative infrastructure. Prior to SkyTruth, Amber was in charge of operations and HR for the US office of Compassion in World Farming. She served as the VP of Operations and Finance at the Summit Land Conservancy, responsible for all facets of finance, operations, and fundraising. For many years before that, she had a small accounting office where she gravitated toward nonprofits.

Amber has a B.A. in History, Sociology/Anthropology, and Women’s Studies from St. Olaf College, an MBA with an Emphasis in Accounting from Grand Canyon University, and recently obtained SHRM-CP certification. Living in rural Utah, Amber likes to run, ski, kayak, hike, backpack, and do everything outdoors. When forced indoors, she reads and sews. She has a boyfriend and two dogs to keep her company on her many adventures.

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Jona Raphael, Machine Learning Engineer

At SkyTruth, Jona automates large-scale image analysis using cutting-edge machine learning techniques. He is a Mechanical Engineer with a B.S. from Olin College of Engineering and an M.S. from Boston University, who ended up in San Francisco (where code is king). So, he taught himself how to program. He co-founded two hardware start-ups and was the first employee at a third — all focused on humanitarian issues and sustainable development in industries such as aquaculture and rural off-grid electrification. His experiences as a full-stack developer, PCB designer, injection molder, and client liaison serve as the foundation for his contracting business: designing bespoke state-of-the-art hardware and software systems. When not working, Jona can often be found planning his next rock climbing adventure or board game design.

Jason Seiple, Product Lead

At SkyTruth Jason is excited to lead Product efforts related to SkyTruth’s 30×30 and Cerulean products. Jason is the founder of An Ocean Advocate, which partners with groups focused on environmental policy, advocacy and oversight on all things data and technology. Prior to founding An Ocean Advocate, Jason spent two decades working as a leader in tech across industries including travel, financial services and health care. In his pursuit of spending as much time around the ocean as possible, Jason recently completed his dive master certification and is working on becoming a dive instructor. When Jason isn’t in the water, he can be found exploring his new hometown of New York City, where he and his wife Neha recently relocated to from San Francisco. In addition to SF and NYC Jason has called London, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas home and counts experiencing new locations and travel as things he’s been lucky to do in life.

Suzy Stillman, Geospatial Data Scientist

Suzy is responsible for SkyTruth’s earth observation applications development. She applies statistical, analytical, and machine learning methods to satellite imagery and large vector datasets and presents her analysis in rigorous, memorable, and accessible ways. She holds a Ph.D. in Hydrometeorology from The University of Arizona and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to coming to SkyTruth, she was an applied scientist at Descartes Labs, where she developed tools that allowed users to easily interact with and gain insights from geospatial data, and before that, she working on topics ranging from land-atmosphere interactions to evaluating and improving climate datasets to the fate of radionuclide contaminated soils. The common thread that ties together her assortment of research topics is her passion for finding better ways to use observational data to better understand the earth and climate systems. She is based out of Tucson, and enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and generally spending time outdoors.

Eric Teller, Program Strategy Analyst

Eric coordinates research and outreach to ensure that SkyTruth’s programs, tools, and datasets are driving impact for SkyTruth’s users and partners. Previously, he served in a network engagement role with the Rights and Resources Initiative, where he supported the governance of a global coalition dedicated to the recognition of Indigenous and communal land rights across the Global South. In his academic and professional career, Eric has conducted research on topics including community-based conservation, green energy policy, and natural resource governance. He holds an M.Sc. in Human Ecology from Lund University in Sweden and a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Eric lives in Cleveland, where you can usually find him exploring the woods and waterfalls of northeast Ohio, plotting out ambitious road and rail adventures on Google Maps, or baking homemade pizza in his kitchen.

Christian Thomas, Geospatial Engineer

Christian leads SkyTruth’s resource extraction monitoring work, both on land and at sea, focusing on surface mining, offshore infrastructure development, and marine pollution events. In addition to applying his background in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, he has helped to design lessons for SkyTruth’s educational outreach program. Christian is a native of Shepherdstown, West Virginia who joined the SkyTruth team after graduating from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Geoscience. When he’s not in the office, Christian enjoys travel, intricate board games, and adventuring in the great outdoors.

SkyTruth Advisor

Ian R. MacDonald, Ph.D., Cerulean Science Advisor

Ian is Emeritus Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science at Florida State University. Dr. MacDonald is an internationally recognized authority on the biology and geology of marine oil seeps with over 100 peer-reviewed articles and over 80 reports and popular articles on related topics. He was a prominent voice for academic science during the Deepwater Horizon blowout and was one of the first to challenge the accuracy of official discharge rates in the early days of the emergency. Subsequently, he published scientific papers detailing the magnitude and distribution of surface oil and its impact on mesophotic corals for the National Resource Damage Assessment program, and the Deep-C and ECOGIG GOMRI consortia.

SkyTruth Interns

Ethan Bevan

Ethan Bevan

Abhinav Krishnan

Abhinav Krishnan

Alana Lutz

Alana Lutz

Dira Mahmud

Dira Mahmud

Office Dogs and Cats

Lois

Lois

Lucy

Lucy

Cookie

Cookie

Gracie

Gracie

Oreo

Oreo

Fenrir

Fenrir

Beau & Tango

Beau & Tango

Jade

Jade

Henry & Rusty

Henry & Rusty

Mia

Mia

Cricket

Cricket

Vita

Vita

Supai

Supai

Sophie

Sophie

Lotus

Lotus