The Sierra Nevada Network (SIEN) is one of 32 National Park Service inventory and monitoring networks across the country that monitor the condition of park ecosystems. SIEN works with four parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Devils Postpile.
SIEN is responsible to a board of directors and technical committee composed of park superintendents and staff. Program guidance and oversight is also provided by the National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Division. The network leverages staff and resources by collaborating with parks, other networks, and partners.
Sylvia joined the Sierra Nevada Network in April, 2015. She oversees the Sierra Nevada I&M Network staff and projects, and coordinates with parks and partners. Previously, she spent 18 years as a program manager in the Division of Resources Management and Science at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. As plant ecologist for the two parks, she oversaw the Stock Use and Meadow Monitoring program, provided subject matter expertise in botany and vegetation ecology, and played a lead role in the development of the recently completed Wilderness Stewardship Plan.
While at the parks she worked closely with the Inventory & Monitoring Program from its inception, overseeing the rare plant inventories at Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Devils Postpile and the vegetation mapping project at Sequoia and Kings Canyon. She contributed to the selection of vital signs for long-term monitoring and was closely involved in the development of the Wetland Ecological Integrity protocol. She also spent seven years as a field botanist with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Natural Resource Inventory project, which documented the distribution and abundance of vascular plants throughout the two parks.
A three-month internship in Sequoia National Park in the early 1980s turned into a career-long love affair with the wild landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, and she has yet to tire of exploring, studying, and sharing the extraordinary biodiversity found here. She holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University and a M.S. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis.
Alex Eddy, Data Manager
Alex joined the Sierra Nevada Network in November, 2016. Her primary interests lie in the nexus between the environment and society, focusing on leveraging data and technology to support resource decision-making and responsible environmental stewardship. She works with network and park staff and cooperators to develop and promote effective data and information management practices that ensure the quality and value of our long-term monitoring datasets. Alex has a strong foundation in science and geospatial theory provided by a B.S. in Geography (with a specialization in GIS and Analytical Cartography) and a M.A. in Geography (with a specialization in Society and the Environment), both from Ohio State University.
Previous experience in public service includes positions at state and local government, and she has worked in several academic environments dedicated to exploring landscape-level environmental issues. Alex previously worked for the National Park Service as a Cartographic Technician at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as Gateway National Recreation Area and the National Parks of New York Harbor.
Jonny Nesmith, Ecologist
Jonny joined the Sierra Nevada Network in 2012 and is the lead for high-elevation forest and wetlands monitoring projects. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011, where he earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. His dissertation research focused on the effects of prescribed fire on sugar pine mortality in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Before attending UC Berkeley, he earned a M.S. in Forest Science from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz.
He has an extensive history of working in the Sierra Nevada as a biological science technician, field crew supervisor, and ecologist, beginning in 1998 with the USGS Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field Station. More recently, he has worked for the USGS Redwood Field Station on a project investigating the effects of climate change on fire severity and forest dynamics throughout the western United States.
Jonny grew up in the Bay Area and has spent most of his summers exploring and working in the Sierra Nevada. His hobbies include mountain biking, backpacking, and rooting for the San Francisco Giants with wild abandon.
Andi Heard, Physical Scientist
Andi has worked with the Sierra Nevada Network since 2004 and is the lead for lake monitoring, river monitoring, and climate reporting projects. She previously worked for NPS and USGS in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where she supported watershed and air quality research and monitoring, a study on the effects of contaminants on amphibians, and research related to fire and non-native plants. Andi has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, a M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science from the University of California, Riverside. Her areas of interest include water quality and biogeochemistry.
Linda Mutch, Science Communication Specialist
Linda worked as the Sierra Nevada Network Program Manager from 2002 through 2009, and left this position in January 2010 to pursue her interest in science communication through a new role with the network. Linda works with network and park staff and cooperators to communicate inventory and monitoring results.
Before joining the network, Linda worked as a 5th grade teacher, an ecologist with the USGS Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field station studying forest population dynamics, a biological technician with the National Institutes of Health in Montana, and a park or biological seasonal technician in numerous western national parks. Her interests include fire ecology and forest dynamics, as well as science education and communication. She has a B.A. in Biology from the University of Oregon, a M.S. in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona, and an elementary school teaching credential from California State University, Fresno.