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ACR AFOLU Technical Committee

After an open call for applications, the following high level, independent experts have been selected to serve on ACR’s Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Technical Committee.

ACR's AFOLU Technical Committee supports the objective of bringing to market high-quality AFOLU carbon offsets based on scientifically sound methodologies. The AFOLU Technical Committee will provide ACR independent advice on a range of agriculture, forestry, grassland, rangeland, wetland and other land-use topics needed for greenhouse gas (GHG) methodologies being brought to ACR and/or developed by Winrock. ACR approves new methodologies, tools and significant methodology modifications through a process of public consultation and expert peer review. The AFOLU Technical Committee will not replace that process, but rather complement it. This is a standing committee with a subset of Committee members, serving on two-year terms, consulted for specific issues that match their expertise.

ACR AFOLU Technical Committee members include Neil Sampson, The Sampson Group Inc  (Chair); Alison Eagle, PhD, Duke University – Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Karen Haugen-Kozyra, KHK Consulting Services; Deborah Lawrence, PhD, University of Virginia; Neville Millar, PhD, Michigan State University; Marcelo Rocha, PhD, Fábrica Éthica Brasil / CDM A/R Working Group; Timothy Robards, PhD, Spatial Informatics Group; William Salas, PhD, Applied Geosolutions; and Gordon Smith, PhD, Ecofor LLC.

R. Neil Sampson (Chair) is a career conservationist with service in the Soil Conservation Service, the National Association of Conservation Districts, and American Forests. As President of the Sampson Group, Inc., a natural resources consulting firm in Alexandria, Virginia, he works with a variety of public and private clients on carbon sequestration projects.   At Vision Forestry, LLC, he and partner Larry Walton operate a consulting firm that manages over 130,000 acres of sustainably-managed forests for public and private clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. He is a Technical Advisor to the National Carbon Offset Coalition and serves on the Forestry Committee at the Chicago Climate Exchange.  Sampson is a 1960 graduate of the University of Idaho, where he received his B.S. degree in Agriculture (Crops and Soils).  He earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1974.  He has authored three books on soil conservation in addition to publishing over 100 scientific and popular articles on natural resource topics.  His most recent work, published by Wheatmark and available on a variety of online bookstores, is With One Voice: The National Association of Conservation Districts, a history of the development of public conservation policy from 1980-2005.

Alison Eagle, PhD, is a Research Associate with the Alberta Land Institute at the University of Alberta. She previously served as the research director for T-AGG (Technical Working Group on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases), synthesizing scientific information on the potential of agricultural land management practices to mitigate greenhouse gases. With an interdisciplinary background in soil science and agricultural economics and policy, her work focuses on economic and policy issues related to agricultural land management, primarily addressing interactions between agriculture and the environment. This includes issues of farmland conservation, greenhouse gas mitigation, and nutrient management. Dr. Eagle holds a BSc from the University of Alberta, a MS from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD from Wageningen University (the Netherlands).

Karen Haugen-Kozyra, has 13 years of experience in greenhouse gas measurement and modeling, climate change and environmental policy. Working for the Alberta Government, Karen served on a federal-provincial-territorial government working group called the National Offset Quantification Team (2002-2006), and in this capacity designed the protocol development process and coordinated the development of several agricultural quantification protocols, including leading the development of Alberta’s beef protocols.  In 2007, Karen was seconded to Climate Change Central, a not-for-profit established by the Government of Alberta, and there led the effort to build sound rules, platforms, quantification protocols, tools and infrastructure (e.g. registry) needed to launch a carbon offset market in Alberta. Karen also developed and coordinated the Alberta Offset System’s transparent protocol development and review process on behalf of the Alberta government; to date, over 30 protocols run through this process have been approved by Alberta Environment. She was contracted by Environment Canada to conduct a scan of all globally available quantification protocols and methodologies to assess their suitability for adaptation into Canada’s Offset System. The results of this work were incorporated into Environment Canada’s list of eligible Fast Track Protocols, in the Annexes of Turning the Corner’s August 2008 Guide to Protocol Developers publication. Currently as principal of KHK Consulting, Karen works in offset system design and implementation, including market infrastructure and tool development (rules documents, protocols, project documentation templates and others), advising Canadian provinces, at a national level in Canada, and in the United States. Karen obtained a Biological Sciences Diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, BSc in Plant Sciences and MSc in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. She is a registered Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrology.

Deborah Lawrence, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, with research focusing on the ecological effects of deforestation. She has spent over twenty years conducting field work in Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cameroon. She conducts interdisciplinary research with partners in economics, anthropology, geography and hydrology to understand the drivers and consequences of land use change. In 2009 Dr. Lawrence was selected as a Jefferson Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences, a six-year assignment beginning with a year in residence at the US Department of State. In 2009-2010, while serving as the Science Advisor on forests and climate in the Office of Global Change, she participated in the international negotiations of the UNFCCC, supported the US delegation to the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and Forest Investment Program, and was part of several inter-agency scoping missions on REDD in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. She also served as the point of contact for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) with a focus on the Forest Carbon Task. She consulted with State, US Agency for International Development, US Forest Service and Department of the Treasury on issues regarding the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, mission program development for sustainable landscapes, and congressional issues relating to tropical forests. In 2010-2011, Professor Lawrence is consulting for the US Forest Service and the Climate Office of USAID on scientific and technical aspects of forest carbon measurement and monitoring under SilvaCarbon, the US contribution to the GEO Forest Carbon Task. She is also a visiting scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Center for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management (CCROM) at Bogor Agricultural University, in Indonesia. Dr. Lawrence was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, earned her Ph.D. (Botany) at Duke University, and received a B.A. (Biological Anthropology) from Harvard University.

Neville Millar, PhD, is currently a Senior Research Associate at Michigan State University, Kellogg Biological Station, researching the effects of Nitrogen management practices on N2O emissions from agricultural cropping systems. His work has a particular emphasis on developing protocols and projects suitable for inclusion in the US carbon market and beyond. Dr. Millar received his Masters at the University of London in Applied Environmental Science, conducting studies on plant tolerance to heavy metal contamination in Finland; and his PhD in Agricultural Science from Imperial College London, with his research there focusing on soil N dynamics and N2O emissions from agroforestry systems in western Kenya. He has held research positions in Switzerland at ETH-Zürich, investigating grassland soil C and N transformations under elevated CO2 conditions, and at the Institute of Arctic Biology in Fairbanks, Alaska, investigating the effects of climate change on wetland carbon balance and greenhouse gas emissions.

Marcelo T. Rocha, PhD, is an agronomist with Masters and PhD degrees in Applied Economics from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has been working on climate change, carbon markets and forestry projects since 2000. He is currently a member of the expert review team for Annex I Greenhouse Gas Inventories at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Registration and Issuance Team (RIT) of the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM - EB), Afforestation and Reforestation Working Group of the CDM – EB, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Peugeot-ONF Forestry Carbon Sink. In recent years Dr. Rocha has been a negotiator for the Brazilian Government at the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol process, and has also worked as co-facilitator of the LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) Group of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) during the last negotiation rounds of the Kyoto Protocol. Dr. Rocha is a frequent consultant and researcher for governments, NGOs and private companies in Brazil and other countries.

Timothy Robards, PhD, has worked as a forest growth scientist, forest practices regulator, multi-disciplinary research manager and forest-climate change mitigation and adaptation researcher.  Dr. Robards is a California Registered Professional Forester with the State of California and a Certified Forester ® with the Society of American Foresters.  As a graduate of Purdue University, he received a BSF in Forestry with an emphasis in Forest Management and Soil Science.  He received a MS and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley while studying Forest Biometrics.  Dr. Robards has over 20 years experience developing statistical models of forest growth and mortality, having recently developed climate-sensitive tree diameter and height growth models for six Sierra Nevada conifer species.  As the first Sustained Yield Forester for the State of California, Dr. Robards was the project manager for the first Sustained Yield Plan submitted under California’s new regulations in 1996.  Dr. Robards served for 8 years as the Research Manager for the Demonstration State Forests, developing research infrastructure and managing a competitive grants program.  He was the quantitative committee lead for the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) forestry protocol workgroup that assisted in the development of version 3 of the protocols.  He has also been active in the development of forest carbon offsets under a number cap and trade programs.  As part of the 2010 statewide assessment, Dr. Robards has completed an analysis of forest carbon storage and sequestration covering over 30 million acres.  As a forester, Dr. Robards is also a wildland firefighter with experience in plans and situation units, including managing structure damage assessments on large fires.

William Salas, PhD, is the President and Chief Scientist of Applied Geosolutions, LLC (AGS). AGS was formed to promote, support and provide scientifically sound cutting-edge geo-spatial technologies, biogeochemical models and integrated spatial information services for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories, GHG mitigation studies, and water and air quality impacts of agricultural and forestry management. Dr. Salas has performed these services for private companies, universities, state agencies (e.g. California Energy Commission), NGOs and Federal agencies (NASA, USEPA, USDA).  Prior to forming AGS in 2000, Dr. Salas worked for 5 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and for 10 years at Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Dr. Salas received his BS in Mathematics and Physics at University of Vermont and MS and Ph.D. in Natural Resources at UNH. Salas' expertise and interest includes use of remote sensing, land use modeling, soil biogeochemical modeling, and GIS tools for environmental applications focusing on urban sprawl and impacts of land use on water and air quality. Current research and application development focuses on building tools for GHG emission inventories, developing process models for estimating air emissions from animal feeding operations and developing web-based decision support system for agricultural and rangeland management through the integration of GIS, remote sensing and the DNDC biogeochemical model.

Gordon Smith, PhD, is Carbon Development Director at Wildlife Works, a leading REDD project developer. Previously, Dr. Smith was the managing partner of Ecofor LLC, a firm that works on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by changing land management. Dr. Smith has worked on GHG mitigation since 1994, addressing forest carbon sequestration, avoided forest emissions (REDD+), soil carbon, manure management, fertilizer nitrous oxide, and soil methane. Dr. Smith works world wide on the entire spectrum of mitigation, including modeling likely emission benefits of project and programmatic activities, policy analysis for governments, standard and methodology development for offset registries, project development, project and methodology validation and verification, and verifier accreditation. He is an expert in biomass carbon sampling efficiency and designing sampling systems to meet precision goals. Other topics of expertise include leakage quantification and baseline determination. As a leading GHG professional, he is an editorial board of the journal Greenhouse Gas Measurement & Management, is a member of the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute advisory committee and professional standards committee, is a VCS expert in afforestation/deforestation, improved forest management, avoided deforestation (REDD), and agricultural land management, and is a member of the ACR AFOLU Technical Committee. Dr. Smith has numerous technical and scholarly publications to his credit, including being the first technical author of a book of guidelines for quantifying terrestrial greenhouse gas emission offsets published by the Nicholas Institute of Duke University. He is currently the Chairman of Seattle Mountain Rescue.