Our Leadership

Dale Strickland

Board of Directors
Founder/Principal Ecologist

Lyman McDonald

Founder/Biometrician

David Young

Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer

Clayton Derby

Board of Directors
Chief Services Officer

J.R. Boehrs

Chief Operating Officer

Suzanne Shea-Kuno

Chief Financial Officer

Shay Howlin

President of Board
Quality Manager

Chad LeBeau

Board of Directors
Research Biologist

Todd Mattson

Board of Directors
Senior Ecologist

Gretchen Norman

Board of Directors
Project Manager

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Dale Strickland
Founder/Principal Ecologist

Dale Strickland is President and a senior ecologist with WEST. Dale received both a B.S. in Zoology in 1969 and a M.S. in Wildlife Management in 1972 from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming in 1975. Prior to his employment with WEST, he served as a scientist and administrator with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and on the faculty of the Department of Statistics at the University of Wyoming. Dale also taught courses in wildlife management and statistics as a visiting instructor at the University of Wyoming.

Dale has over forty years of experience in ecological research and wildlife management. His specialties include the design, conduct, and analysis of field studies of terrestrial and avian wildlife; threatened and endangered species; wildlife management; impact, risk, and injury assessment studies; and resolution of conflicts over natural resources. Dale is author of more than 150 papers and technical reports in the scientific and popular literature on wildlife research and natural resource conservation and management. He is the lead author of a chapter on harvest management in the 5th edition of the Wildlife Techniques Manual and co-author of the text “Wildlife Study Design” published in 2001 and “Wildlife Study Deign, 2nd Edition” published in 2007. Dale contributed to documents for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the quantification of injury due to oil spills in Type B Natural Resource Damage Assessments and authored a chapter in a guidance document on the conduct of research on avian wind power interactions for the National Wind Coordinating Committee. He is also lead author of the “Comprehensive Guide to Studying Wind Energy/Wildlife Interactions” published in 2011 by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative. Dale is currently the leader of the Third Party Contractor team for the Army Corps of Engineers for an Environmental Impact Statement regarding the expansion of two reservoirs in Colorado and has lead the development of numerous other National Environmental Policy Act documents. He worked on numerous Natural Resource Damage Assessments, including the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska, the Clark Fork River in Montana, and Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.

While with the State of Wyoming, Dale served on many regional and national boards and committees, including the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for 10 years, the Central Flyway Council, and as a charter member of the Black-footed Ferret Advisory Committee. As an employee at WEST, he served as the executive director of the Platte River Endangered Species Partnership and Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (Program) from 1998 through June 30, 2007. Dale and his staff provided scientific and administrative support for the Governance Committee, which oversees the Program. Dale has served as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the California Energy Commission and two years as an associate editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. He is a member of the National Wind Coordinating Committee’s Wildlife Working Group and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Communications Tower Working Group. Dale also served on The National Academies, National Research Council, Committee on Environmental Impact of Wind Energy Projects, and The Wildlife Society’s Committee reviewing the wildlife impacts from wind power development and is currently a member of the Council’s Committee on the Evaluation of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. He served as a technical advisor to the Federal Advisory Committee developing recommendations for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider as they revised wind energy development guidelines. Dale is currently on the Advisory Board of the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, a science advisor to the American Wind Wildlife Institute, and on the Board of Professional Certification for the Ecological Society of America.

Dale is a member of the Ecological Society of America, Certified Senior Ecologist; The Wildlife Society, Certified Wildlife Biologist; the American Statistical Association; and the Wyoming Chapter, The Wildlife Society, Past President.

Lyman McDonald
Founder/Biometrician

Lyman McDonald is a biometrician/statistician with over forty years of comprehensive experience in the application of statistical methods to design, conduct, and analyze environmental and laboratory studies. Lyman’s specialties include sampling and monitoring of biological communities, calibration of biased sampling procedures, and modeling resource selection by animals.

Lyman is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers in scientific literature and is joint author of the second edition of the book Resource Selection by Animals: Statistical Design and Analysis for Field Studies. His responsibilities on projects have included design and analysis for Natural Resource Damage Assessments, wildlife surveys, study of habitat selection by wildlife populations, and monitoring abundance of wildlife populations. Lyman has also organized and taught workshops on statistical procedures for practicing biologists.

David Young
Chief Executive Officer

David Young serves as the Chief Executive Officer for WEST. Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Team, and senior management, David is charged with delivering on WEST’s long-term visions and goals to provide excellent environmental consulting services to clients while maintaining the highest scientific standards. His leadership reflects the core values of WEST, providing clients with top-level scientifically defensible solutions, technical expertise, and high-quality services to address client needs and tackle difficult natural resource issues. David is also charged with upholding internal core values, creating a company that provides satisfying careers, personal and professional growth opportunities, and a collaborative team approach all under a respectful, diverse, and inclusive atmosphere.

David has been with WEST since 1992. His career progression at WEST has included field biologist and team leader, project manager, senior manager, Chief Operating Officer, and currently Chief Executive Officer. David’s background and education are in wildlife biology, specifically ornithology and chiropterology. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Earlham College in 1986 and a Master of Science in Zoology from the University of Georgia in 1988. David’s specialty areas include threatened and endangered species, Endangered Species Act compliance, and wind power research. Over his career, David has received formal training in Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation and Habitat Conservation Plans and has worked with numerous clients to address protected species issues and compliance with the Endangered Species Act. He has experience working with a wide variety of listed species throughout the US as well as internationally. David’s wind power work includes over 25 years of experience conducting avian and bat research at wind projects throughout the US, Canada, and Latin America. He has been an invited speaker and conducted workshops for wind-wildlife interactions and research and has presented wind power wildlife research at national and international meetings.

Clayton Derby
Chief Services Officer

Clayton Derby serves as the Chief Services Officer for WEST, in this role Clayton is responsible for: ensuring the quality of the company’s products and services, customer loyalty, satisfaction and retention; and the development of new business. He is also an active project manager and wildlife biologist with over 20 years of experience. Clayton received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Moorhead State University and a Master of Science in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming. His graduate research focused on determining the impacts of cormorant and pelican predation on trout and other fishes.

Clayton has worked for WEST as a wildlife biologist since 1995. His work has covered numerous subject matters, including raptors, migratory birds, wetlands, fisheries, water quality, big game, and vegetation. Clayton has been a project manager for several large natural gas pipeline development projects in the midwestern and western US and wind energy development projects throughout the country. As a project manager, Clayton has ensured that the wildlife, vegetation, and state- and federally listed species resource surveys and reviews are completed on time, within budget, and to the client’s and resource agencies’ high demands. For eight years, he was the assistant executive director for the Platte River Cooperative Agreement. In this position, Clayton assisted in conducting meetings and building consensus with both technical- and policy-level individuals from state and federal government, water users, environmental groups, and private individuals in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. As the Chief Services Officer at WEST, he works extensively with several of WEST’s branch offices throughout the country, assisting clients and agencies in identifying and implementing strategies to address wildlife issues at all levels.

In 2005, Clayton opened a branch office of WEST in Bismarck, North Dakota.

J.R. Boehrs
Chief Operating Officer

J.R. Boehrs serves as the Chief Operating Officer at WEST. J.R. is responsible for managing and continuously improving WEST’s day-to-day business operations, with a focus on strategic short- and long-term operations management. He collaborates with the management team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes, and personnel designed to accommodate WEST’s operational and growth objectives. J.R. is responsible for the design, operation, and improvement of systems and processes that create and deliver WEST’s products and services and supports the core operations. He coordinates, maintains, and improves business operations to increase departmental and organizational productivity, efficiency, and performance. J.R. maintains ongoing knowledge, control and inventory of WEST’s health & safety, information technology, purchasing & inventory departments as well as, administrative support and company infrastructure.

J.R. has extensive experience leading operational and cross-functional teams and implementing strategic initiatives to achieve operational efficiencies at WEST. He joined WEST in 2007 and has held multiple roles in the company, including most recently Operations Manager. J.R. received a Master’s of Business Administration from Colorado State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Natural Resources Management from the University of Wyoming. He is a member of the Association for Strategic Planning and the Association of Business Process Management Professionals.

J.R.’s operational, leadership and management skills align well with WEST’s core values, culture, and service offering. As the Chief Operating Officer, he will continue to work with the Executive Team, Board of Directors, and WEST personnel throughout the US to deliver on long-term company goals, provide an excellent work environment for employees, and maintain the highest scientific standards when providing environmental consulting services to clients.

Suzanne Shea-Kuno
Chief Financial Officer

Suzanne Shea-Kuno is the Chief Financial Officer at WEST. Suzanne’s responsibilities include oversight of accounting functions, monitoring fiscal budgets, ensuring internal controls, authorizing expenses, providing financial analysis, and assessing the stability and profitability of WEST. She participates in the development of WEST’s plans and programs as a strategic partner and provides financial input and leadership on decision-making issues affecting the company. She ensures accurate recording of company stock purchases, sales, and transfers. She is also a member of the senior management team, providing leadership and developing effective solutions to business challenges.

In WEST’s employ since 2002, Suzanne previously functioned as an accounting manager. This encompassed multi-state payroll and tax reporting, accounts payable, employee expenses, accounts receivable, general ledger, retirement plan, contracts, bonus plans, and various corporate reporting. She implemented many changes in processes and technology within the accounting department.

Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She has over 20 years of experience and has worked in public accounting, government accounting, not-for-profit accounting, and corporate accounting.

Shay Howlin
President of Board/Quality Manager

Shay Howlin has been a consulting biometrician for WEST since 1999. Shay holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Science in Statistics from Oregon State University. Her experience in the implementation of survey techniques and formal training in statistical theory and analysis qualify her to assist in the design, conduct, and analysis of wildlife field studies.

As a biometrician for WEST, Shay has been involved primarily in ecological monitoring studies and analyses, designing and estimating resource selection functions, conducting data analyses for wildlife research, and analyses associated with Natural Resource Damage Assessment cases. She has applied numerous statistical techniques to ecology, including generalized linear models, multivariate methods, and sampling. Shay has experience in simulation and computing using SAS, S-Plus, R, ArcView, and Microsoft Access. Her clients have included the US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Chad LeBeau
Board of Directors/Research Biologist

Chad LeBeau has been conducting wildlife monitoring studies across the western US since 2006. Chad’s work is highlighted by coordinating the first studies investigating the effects of wind energy infrastructure on greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken, and sharp-tailed grouse population ecology. He is a Certified Ecologist with the Ecological Society of America and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics that focus on human and wildlife interactions and species conservation. Chad has presented these topics at multiple national conferences, where he is able to connect with some of the top researchers in the world. His pioneering work evaluating the effects of wind energy development on a greater sage-grouse population was featured in the New York Times. In addition, Chad designed, implemented, and analyzed a study to evaluate greater sage-grouse habitat to develop habitat conservation credits in the flagship greater sage-grouse habitat conservation bank in Wyoming.

While his research focuses on the interaction of wind energy infrastructure on grouse species, Chad has studied numerous other species, including mule deer, pronghorn, white-tailed prairie dogs, and bald and golden eagles. His current research includes evaluating the effects of a wind energy facility on lesser prairie-chickens in Kansas and sharp-tailed grouse in South Dakota. In addition to species-specific research, Chad has consulted on multiple energy development projects across the western and southern US, where he has designed and implemented wildlife surveys, developed Eagle Conservation Plans and Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies, and assisted in the development of Habitat Conservation Plans.

Todd Mattson
Board of Directors/Senior Ecologist

Todd Mattson is a project manager, senior ecologist, and branch manager in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office. Todd is responsible for assisting clients with managing regulatory compliance issues for major energy development projects, particularly those requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. He has led environmental planning, permitting, and regulatory compliance efforts on wind, solar, and other energy development projects throughout the US. Additionally, Todd’s work at WEST includes managing sector and geographic business diversification efforts throughout the US and Canada.

Prior to joining WEST, Todd was a director of environmental affairs at Element Power, where he was responsible for leading environmental permitting and compliance efforts for Element Power’s wind and solar energy development projects throughout the US, Prior to Element Power, Todd was also a vice president and wind energy program manager at HDR Engineering, Inc.

Gretchen Norman
Board of Directors/Project Manager

Gretchen Norman is a trained rangeland ecologist who has been involved in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance for most of her professional career. Gretchen has served as a NEPA project manager or assistant project manager for a variety of industries, including large-scale water supply projects, oil and gas development, solar energy, wind energy, land conveyance, agriculture, municipal water systems, and transportation. She has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park System, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration on NEPA projects. Gretchen has experience in preparing all levels of NEPA documents and is adept at locating existing data, analyzing data in relation to potential impacts from proposed actions and alternatives, and recommending mitigation measures to minimize potential impacts.

Gretchen specializes in large-scale projects at WEST, utilizing her NEPA experience and education to track multiple aspects associated with complex projects. Gretchen’s education in biology and rangeland ecology provides a foundation for her to evaluate various biological aspects involved in a project as well as understand the challenges a team member may encounter. Gretchen’s NEPA experience provides her with the ability to develop productive relationships with staff, subcontractors, and agency personnel to ensure large-scale projects remain on track and that communication is maintained between all personnel.