IRST Members

IRST members were nominated and selected by the Adaptive Management Program Committee (AMPC), with final approval of the IRST candidates being made by the Oregon Board of Forestry. Members are serving for a four year term beginning in October 2023. A member’s term may be renewed upon a two-thirds vote of the rest of the IRST and then ratification by the Board. A two-thirds vote of the other IRST members, or a majority vote of the board, may remove an IRST member before the end of their term.

Ellen Bishop holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from Oregon State University (1977, 1983). Her research interests include the petrology and tectonic history of the older rocks (terranes) of Northeast Oregon’s Blue Mountains and the process of accretion of these terranes to North America. This work led her to explore regional forests, mountains, and canyons, pursuing a life-long interest in ecosystems, forest processes, compositions and health issues. She taught geology and environmental studies at the University of Arkansas, Sul Ross State University (Alpine, Texas) and Whitman College.

In 1987 she turned her interests toward engaging the public with science. This included hands-on involvement with eastern Oregon’s landscape when she married David Bishop and worked with him, managing ranches and forests in Union, Baker, Wheeler, and Jefferson Counties. She also worked for the Pacific Rivers Council in restoring salmonid habitat, providing outreach to Union, Baker and Wallowa County communities, and serving as conservation representative and initial co-chair of Oregon’s first watershed collaborative (Grande Ronde Model Watershed.)

She continued in public engagement with science, publishing In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geologic and Ecologic History in 2006. The book won the Oregon Book Award for non-fiction. In 2015 Oregon State University Press published her book “Living with Thunder: The Past, Present and Future of Pacific Northwest Geology and Ecosystems.” This volume included recognition of Indigenous stories and understanding of regional landscape histories.

Bishop has served as reporter, photographer and editor of the Wallowa County Chieftain, winning Oregon Newspaper Assoc. and Society of Professional Journalists awards for photojournalism, feature reporting, editorials and best Oregon small newspaper. She is presently continuing her work in public outreach on the Eastern Oregon Climate Change Coalition board. She lives on and manages forest and grassland near Halfway, Oregon.

Dr. Burnett holds a Ph.D. degree in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University and has over 35 years of experience in conducting collaborative policy-relevant studies and communicating findings to decision makers. She has authored numerous refereed peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reports addressing how stream habitats are distributed and used by fish, how watershed processes and human uses influence aquatic ecosystems, and how complex systems can be best characterized to plan for and evaluate the effects of land management. Dr. Burnett was a member of the Forest Ecosystem Management and Assessment Team and continued in the role of science liaison to help translate the FEMAT Report through the NEPA process that resulted in the Northwest Forest Plan. She served as the acting National Fish and Aquatic Program Leader (USDA Forest Service, Washington Office Research and Development) and was awarded the National Rise to the Future Award by the Chief of the US Forest Service for professional excellence in research. Before and since retiring as a Research Fish Biologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, Dr. Burnett regularly consulted on regional and national issues, including stream habitat restoration, climate change vulnerability, and systematic review techniques for natural resources. Most recently, she provided science support in the development of, and subsequent processes related to, Oregon's Private Forest Accord. Dr. Burnett is a trained mediator (University of Oregon School of Law), on the graduate faculty at Oregon State University, and is a certified yoga teacher.


Dr. Rebecca Flitcroft is a Research Fish Biologist with the United States Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon, USA. She completed a B.S. at Willamette University double majoring in Environmental Science and Economics and at Oregon State University, completed an M.S. in Natural Resource Geography, and Ph.D. in Fisheries Science. She has worked with the USFS since completing her doctorate in 2008.

Rebecca has always loved water and is fascinated by the creatures that live within it. Her family has always lived near water, and she grew up paddling her toes in the Singapore Straight, as well as the North Atlantic, and the Pacific Oceans. As a fish research biologist, Rebecca seeks to better understand how people, forests, and riverscapes can better be understood in order to support the diverse and imperiled freshwater fishes and other biota that occupy them. As part of her work, she is interested in facilitating the development of science, and translation of science, into information that supports applied conservation, protection, and understanding of freshwater habitats.

Dr. Jessica Homyack is the Director of Environmental Research and Operational Support for Weyerhaeuser. In this role, she serves as the scientific advisor and environmental research program lead for more than ten million acres of managed forest lands in the United States. She values an inclusive and collaborative approach to science that effectively engages stakeholders throughout the process. Dr. Homyack is an accomplished researcher who has published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. Her expertise covers the intersection of forest management, sustainability, and conservation of aquatic and terrestrial species. Dr. Homyack received her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, a M.S. from the University of Maine, and a B.S. from West Virginia University. She is an alumnus of the National Conservation Leadership Institute and was selected as a Fellow of The Wildlife Society in 2023.

Jeff Light is a biologist with more than 30 years of experience in salmonid ecology and watershed science. He has a B.S. in biology from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington. His primary focus has been salmonid ecology and related sciences that describe watershed structure and function and the ways land management, principally commercial forestry, can affect fish habitat and water quality.

For more than 12 years, as part of Washington state’s Timber, Fish and Wildlife agreement, he worked with technical experts, resource managers, and policy representatives from the timber industry, Native American Tribes, environmental groups, and state natural resource agencies to develop a watershed analysis method of evaluating, anticipating, and avoiding potential cumulative effects of forest management. In Oregon, Jeff has collaborated with researchers and administrators from Oregon State University, state and federal agencies, and industry scientists to study the effectiveness of forest practices on fish and water quality (e.g., the Watersheds Research Cooperative, OSU’s Fish and Wildlife in Working Forests research program, the Institute for Working Forests, and the timber industry’s National Council of Air and Stream Improvement’s Forested Watershed Science Task Group). Beyond his professional life, Jeff has worked collaboratively with individuals in his community to complete numerous successful downtown improvement projects as president of the Philomath Downtown Association.

At the IRST's 5 January 2024 meeting, each IRST member was asked to give a short presentation about the breadth and depth of their expertise, their employment history, their involvement in the PFA process to-date or similar processes related to adaptive management and/or science teams, and information about themselves outside of work (e.g., show a photo of the outdoors and what it means to them; tell about one of their hobbies, etc.). See their presentations in the video recording.