Prior to joining defenders in 2014, Rob was executive director of the Western Slope Conservation Center in the small town of Paonia, Colorado, and before that worked for World Wildlife Fund as an expert on how global warming affects biological diversity. Rob worked for Defenders as a conservation biologist in Washington, DC from 1994 to 1997. Rob has also been a web programmer, free-lance editor, and college teacher. Rob is co-editor with Tom Lovejoy of the book Climate Change and Biological Diversity, author of Defenders’ report Beyond Cutting Emissions: Protecting Wildlife and Ecosystems in a Warming World, and most recently co-editor with Michael Soule on his Island Press book Collected Papers of Michael E. Soulé. Rob received a Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University and a B.S. with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
As a jack-of-all trades in the Tucson Office, Rob collaborates with the Defenders Renewable Energy Group, helping evaluate and influence renewable energy policies and projects to ensure that renewable energy is developed wisely, with minimum harm to natural ecosystems. He also works on jaguar issues, helping plan for the eventual return of a viable population in the U.S., and he is the lead on Defenders efforts to safeguard Arizona’s Mountain Empire, a Defenders’ priority area surrounding the town of Patagonia. This area contains some of the last best native grasslands in the Southwest, along with important habitat for jaguar, Mexican spotted owl, and other endangered species.