Renewable Natural 

Resources Foundation

2017 Congress on Contemporary issues in

forest and wildland management

Molly Cross

Molly Cross is the Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for the North America Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her work focuses on bringing together science experts and conservation practitioners to translate broad-brush climate change adaptation strategies into on-the-ground conservation actions. Cross has contributed to several national climate change efforts including the U.S. National Climate Assessment, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies guidance on incorporating climate change into state wildlife action plans, and the Climate-Smart Conservation guide to climate adaptation. She is the Science Advisor to the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, which supports applied projects demonstrating effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change.

Cross earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley.


Amy Gibson-Grant is Vice President of Campaign Development of the Ad Council. The Ad Council has some of the longest-running and most successful public service campaigns in history, such as the Wildfire Prevention campaign featuring Smokey Bear. Since 2008, Gibson-Grant has led and managed marketing communications campaigns such as Public Service Advertising for Wildfire Prevention and Re-connecting Kids with Nature (Discover Your Forest).

Gibson-Grant earned a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from New York University.


Sarah Greenberger oversees the National Audubon Society’s national policy team and coordinates Washington-based strategies. Greenberger also leads Audubon’s Working Lands program which focuses on building public and private partnerships to advance collaborative conservation solutions on landscapes dominated by private farms, ranches and forests. Greenberger came to Audubon from the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she spent five years driving strategy and policy for the agency as a counselor and senior advisor to Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell. In that role, she was instrumental in shaping the pioneering Greater Sage-grouse conservation strategy working closely with Audubon, Western State Governors and other stakeholders. She has also served as Legislative Counsel to Senator Benjamin L. Cardin and was a clerk to Judge David S. Tatel on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Greenberger obtained her Bachelor's degree from Williams College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Sarah Mccaffrey

Sarah McCaffrey is a research forester at the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado. She conducts and coordinates research to better understand the social dynamics of fire management. As more people move into high fire hazard areas, their active involvement in fire management will be central to successful efforts to reduce the hazard. McCaffrey’s research helps clarify the reality behind much of the conventional wisdom about public beliefs and actions in relation to fire and fuels management, and what shapes those beliefs and actions.

McCaffrey is also currently responsible for a National Fire Plan grant examining social acceptability of fuels treatment methods. She has helped initiate almost two dozen studies in a variety of ecological and geographical settings across the country, examining a range of topics including what shapes acceptability of prescribed fire and thinning, why people do or do not implement defensible space practices, and social issues around post-fire restoration. Additionally, she is involved with the Fuels Planning synthesis project, a national effort to synthesize current scientific knowledge on fuels treatments from both the ecological and social perspectives and provide it to managers in accessible format.

McCaffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in wildland resource science from the University  of California–Berkeley.


V. Alaric Sample is a senior fellow and president emeritus of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, D.C. He served as president there from 1995-2015. He has worked in the public and private sectors, including work in resource economics and forest policy as a senior fellow at the Conservation Foundation, and later as vice president for research at the American Forestry Association.

Sample earned a Ph.D. in resource policy and economics from Yale University. He holds an MBA and a master of forestry both from Yale, and a bachelor of science in forest resource management from the University of Montana.

Cecilia Romero Seesholtz

Cecilia Romero Seesholtz has served with the Forest Service for 33 years, working in forests from Oregon to Arizona to Michigan. Most recently she has served as the Forest Supervisor for Boise National Forest since 2008.

Seesholtz holds a Bachelor's degree from the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University.

tony tooke

Tony Tooke is Chief of the USDA Forest Service. He has worked for the USDA Forest Service since he was 18 years old. Most recently he served as Regional Forester for the Southern Region. Previously as Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System, Tooke was the Forest Service executive lead for Environmental Justice; Farm Bill implementation; and implementation of the Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment Improvement Strategy. Another priority included implementation of a new planning rule for the National Forest System. Tooke has also served as director for ecosystem management coordination, deputy director for economic recovery, and assistant director for forest management.

Prior to 2006, Tooke served as deputy forest supervisor for the National Forests in Florida as well as district ranger assignments at the Talladega NF in Alabama, the Oconee NF in Georgia, and the DeSoto NF in Mississippi. His other field assignments were timber management assistant, other resource assistant, silviculturist, and forester on six ranger districts in Mississippi and Kentucky.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Mississippi State University. He was in the Forest Service’s inaugural class of the Senior Leadership Program, and he has completed the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.