Project Team Members

Vital Signs

Monica Noon

Geographic Information Science (GIS) Manager


Monica Noon is the Geographic Information Science (GIS) Manager providing cartographic and GIS support to Vital Signs. Prior to joining Conservation International in 2016, Monica worked with the National Audubon Society as an Enterprise GIS Intern. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Linking Income, Food and the Environment (LIFE) program in northern Zambia where she worked with rural communities to build capacity in sustainable agriculture, forestry and food security. Ms. Noon was awarded an extension position where she led participatory forest management efforts with communities to regain protective status within a degraded local forest between Kasanka and Lavushi Manda National Parks. Monica holds an MS in GIS for Development and Environment from Clark University where she was awarded the Career Development Grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and developed skills in remote sensing, GIS, raster analysis, and spatial modeling. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from The Ohio State University where she studied wetland ecology and water quality at the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park. Monica has an interest in protecting wildlife in Africa while fostering local capacity to sustain healthy and prosperous livelihoods.

Mariano Gonzalez-Roglich, Ph.D.

Director, Ecosystem Analysis


Mariano Gonzalez-Roglich is a member of the Geospatial Applications team at the Moore Center for Science. He is interested in the use of geospatial technologies to study land-use and land-cover change dynamics to better inform management and conservation strategies. He is currently working on developing methodologies and guidance for monitoring land degradation, and other projects for the Ecosystem Services team including the development of a global hotspots map for nature-based climate change adaptation and mitigation opportunities, as well as Firecast.

Carly Silverman

Finance Manager


Carly Silverman is the Finance Manager for Vital Signs. She monitors Vital Signs spending, ensuring financial compliance and manages grants and contracts. Carly worked previously as a fundraiser for Conservation International's Science Division. She has a BSc in Sociology from the College of Charleston and an MSc in Environment, Culture and Society from the University of Edinburgh. Her research focused on urban climate change resilience and international development and investment.

Alex Zvoleff, Ph.D.

Director, Data Science


Alex Zvoleff is the Director of Data Science in the Moore Center for Science. Alex leads the development of new methods and tools to integrate large interdisciplinary datasets to study interactions among climate, land use and land cover change, and human-wellbeing. Alex has expertise in using statistics and modeling to assimilate data from a broad range of sources to ensure the best possible information is available to inform conservation decisions. His work includes research on the effects of climate variability and change on rural livelihoods, interactions between environmental and social change, and research on tropical forest change. Alex received his Ph.D. in geography in a joint program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and holds a master’s from Columbia University.

Tristan Schnader

Senior Project Manager


Tristan Schnader is the Senior Project Manager for Vital Signs, focusing primarily on the GEF-Land Degradation Monitoring Project. Tristan began at CI as an intern in 2011, where he split his time working for CI’s Global Marine Team, Sojourns, and the US Government Policy Division. He returned as an intern in 2012, where he worked full-time for the US Government Policy Division, helping to develop CI's congressional outreach strategy. Tristan returned yet again to CI after graduating from The College of William & Mary in 2013 and managed Conservation International's Board of Directors until June of 2016. In that capacity, Tristan planned and implemented nine successful Board meetings. In addition to his Board-related work, Tristan also served as the Manager of the Strategic Priorities Group and is a member of the Millennial Advisory Committee, which oversees an internal innovation lab.


John Lee David

Sr. Programmer/Analyst


I like to tell people that working here at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is the dream job I never knew enough to fantasize about. I started college at 15 as an early admittance student focusing on computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics and art. Years later I got interested in applied restoration ecology, and continue to work in areas that support ecological restoration efforts including hydrological modeling, remote sensing, spatial statistics and analysis, and occasional forays into the field. LEARN MORE

Katherine Melocik

Senior Research Scientist


Research Interests

Land Use/ Land Cover Change, Climate Change. LEARN MORE


2011, B.S., Environmental Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
2014, M.P.S., Geospatial Information Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park


Yavaşlı, D. D., C. J. Tucker, and K. A. Melocik. 2015. "Change in the glacier extent in Turkey during the Landsat Era." Remote Sensing of Environment163: 32–41 [10.1016/j.rse.2015.03.002]

Jorge Pinzon, Ph.D.

Lead Research Scientist


An applied research mathematician with interest in: a) feature extraction from large geophysical temporal, multi- and hyper-spectral data; b) uncertainty quantification, quality assurance, and calibration of geophysical observations; c) image analysis, image compression, image classification, Bayes analysis; d) remote sensing applications for monitoring eco-climatic conditions associated with emerging infectious diseases. LEARN MORE

Compton Tucker, Ph.D.

Physical Scientist


Compton Tucker, a native of Carlsbad, New Mexico, received his B.S. degree in biological science in 1969 from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. After working for Colorado National Bank in Denver and the First National Bank in Albuquerque, he realized banking was not his cup of tea, and returned to Colorado State University for graduate school in Earth science. He received his M.S in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1975, both from the College of Forestry. In 1975, he came to NASA/Goddard as a National Academy of Sciences post-doctoral fellow, and in 1977 became an employee of NASA. He has used NOAA AVHRR, MODIS, SPOT Vegetation, and Landsat satellite data for studying deforestation, habitat fragmentation, desert boundary determination, ecologically-coupled diseases, terrestrial primary production, glacier extent, and how climate affects global vegetation. He also takes part in NASA’s Space Archaeology Program, leading a group that assists archaeologists mapping ancient sites in Turkey, including Troy and Gordion. He has authored or coauthored more than 160 journal articles that have been cited more than 16,000 times, is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, is a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and has appeared in more than twenty radio and TV programs.

Lund University

Lennart Olsson, Ph.D.

Director of the Centre for Sustainable Studies


Lennart Olsson is Professor of Geography at Lund University and the founding Director of LUCSUS – Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. Lennart is also the Coordinator for a Linnaeus programme, LUCID, sponsored by The Swedish Research Council for the period 2008-2018. Lennart holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography Lund University (1986) specialising in desertification and particularly the use of GIS, remote sensing and spatial modelling to study the interaction of nature and society in semi-arid Africa. His current research fields include human-nature interactions in the context of land degradation, climate change and food security in Africa and globally. His current research focuses on the politics of climate change in the context of poverty and food security. He has had research positions in Australia, USA and Hong Kong. He participated in several international assignments and was Lead Author on the IPCC report on Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF and Lead Author on the GEO-4 Global Environmental Outlook. More recently, he was coordinating lead author (CLA) for the chapter on Livelihoods and Poverty and a Cross Chapter Box on Heat Waves and Heat Stress in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, Working Group IILEARN MORE

Anna Tengberg, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor


Anna Tengberg holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography from Gothenburg University, Sweden where she also worked, in the beginning of her career as a lecturer at its Earth Sciences Centre. During her time as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, U.K she had the opportunity to link her environmental interest with development issues. This led to a career with the United Nations where she worked for more than ten years, first for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its Division of Global Environment Facility (GEF) Coordination in Nairobi, and later for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its Regional Centre in Bangkok for Asia-Pacific. LEARN MORE

Genesis T. Yengoh, Ph.D.



On-going Research

Enabling the use of global data sources to assess and monitor land degradation at multiple scales

Project Objective: To provide guidance, methods and a toolbox for assessing and monitoring status and trends in land degradation using remote sensing technology which can be employed to inform land management and investment decisions as well as to improve reporting to the UNCCD and the GEF. The project is being implemented in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Senegal. LEARN MORE