Meet the Staff

Man in mud with scientific equipment

Dusty Perkins, Program Manager

(970) 589-1474, email

Primary Responsibilities: Planning, management, implementation, and coordination of all aspects of the NCPN I&M program. Protocol lead for big rivers, invasive exotic plants, and landbird monitoring.

Education and Experience: PhD, Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine; MS, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, University of Massachusetts; BS, Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine.

Before coming to the NCPN in 2007, Dusty served as program manager for the Southern Plains Inventory and Monitoring Network. Prior to joining the National Park Service, Dusty was a Wildlife Biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Naples, Florida.

Woman in red shirt

Rebecca Weissinger, Aquatic Ecologist

(435) 719-2356, email

Primary Responsibilities: Managing and coordinating monitoring of water quality and springs and seeps. Assisting with wadeable streams monitoring.

Education and Experience: MS, Environmental Science and Policy, Northern Arizona University

Rebecca started as a seasonal biological science technician on NCPN amphibian and reptile surveys—and liked it so much she figured she might as well dedicate her career to the I&M program. After graduate school, she worked as a field crew leader for riparian and springs monitoring for the Southern Colorado Plateau Network before returning to NCPN as an ecologist.

Woman in NPS uniform stands among pink-flowering fruit trees.

Carolyn Livensperger, Vegetation Ecologist

(435) 425-3015, email

Primary Responsibilities: Protocol lead for upland vegetation and wadeable streams monitoring.

Education and Experience: MS, Ecology, Colorado State University
BS, Environmental Science, State University of New York–Plattsburgh

Carolyn has worked a variety of ecology related jobs throughout the western United States. Prior to joining NCPN in 2021, she was the ecologist for Capitol Reef National Park.

Man in front of canyon sunset

David Thoma, Landscape Ecologist

(406) 994-7725, email

Primary Responsibilities: Satellite-based monitoring of land surface phenology and landscape dynamics, and integrating results from multiple monitoring protocols.

Education and Experience: PhD, Watershed Science, University of Minnesota; MS, Soil Science, Montana State University; BS, Agronomy, University of Arkansas.

David uses satellite imagery to describe broad-scale patterns of vegetation response to climate. Before joining NCPN, he helped map the soils of Yellowstone, and worked as a research hydrologist for the Agricultural Research Service in Tucson, Arizona.

Man measures a saguaro cactus

Dan Gusset, Data Manager


Primary Responsibilities: Design, development, implementation, and maintenance of the network's data management applications and processes.

Education and Experience: BS and BA in Natural History, Environmental Science, and Mathematics, The Evergreen State College

Prior to coming to NCPN, Dan worked as a biological science technician throughout the West and managed data for Yosemite National Park and the Sonoran Desert Network.

Woman with red soil in background

Aneth Wight, Cartographic Technician

(435) 719-2348, email

Primary Responsibilities: Obtaining, creating and managing spatial data for the network; creating maps and performing spatial analyses.

Education and Experience: BS, Geography and Earth Resources, Utah State University.

Aneth specializes in GIS, cartography, and GPS technology. She previously worked as the GIS Specialist for a small town in Colorado before finding her way back to Moab. She worked briefly for the Southeast Utah Group before joining the network.

smiling woman

Mary Anne Schrade, Administrative Assistant

(928) 556-7405, email

Primary Responsibilities: Providing administrative support to Northern Colorado Plateau Network and Southern Colorado Plateau Network, including travel, timekeeping, and purchasing.

Education and Experience: BA, Psychology, Northern Arizona University

smiling man

Luke Gommermann, Biological Science Technician

(435) 719-2354, email

Primary Responsibilities: Managing field crews for monitoring of big rivers, invasive exotic plants, and wadeable streams (crew leader), and collecting data across network parks.

Education and Experience: MS, Soil and Water Science, University of Florida; BS, Geological Sciences, University of Florida

Before permanently joining NCPN in January 2017, Luke worked seasonally with the NPS as a biological science technician with NCPN and as a park ranger of environmental education at Big Cypress National Preserve.

Woman in front of waterfall

Sarah Karinen, Biological Science Technician

(435) 719-2342, email

Primary Responsibilities: Managing the uplands monitoring crew (crew lead), and collecting vegetation data across network parks.

Education: BS, Environmental Biology/Plant Biology, Michigan State University

Sarah has been counting, measuring, and identifying plants for the network since 2011. Prior to that, she spent a few years working in the West on various projects for universities and the US Forest Service. For the last decade, she has been a field botanist and currently works at her dream job, teaching and leading our amazing field crew.

Woman in winter hat

Amy Washuta, Biological Science Technician

(435) 719-2353, email

Primary Responsibilities: Collecting data and assisting crew leaders for monitoring of uplands, big rivers, invasive exotic plants, and wadeable streams across network parks.

Education and Experience: MS, Interdisciplinary Ecology, University of Florida; BS, Geological Sciences, University of Florida

Amy has a hybrid background of science and education. She has taught high school biology and worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger in environmental education.

Woman with water quality meter smiles at camera

Carolyn Hackbarth, Hydrologic Technician

(435) 719-2344, email

Primary Responsibilities: Collecting and summarizing hydrologic data associated with water quality and wadeable streams monitoring.

Education and Experience: BS, Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado

Before joining the NCPN team in 2012, Carolyn worked as a biological science technician for the aquatic resources program at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Last updated: September 22, 2023