Our People


Michelle Stantial

Ph.D. candidate of Wildlife Biology and Management at SUNY-ESF. Her professional experience includes a large range of research and monitoring projects for endangered species with non­ profit organizations, state and federal agencies and universities.

Michelle is the LEF's lead biologist and designs its research projects.

Sabrina Schimmelfing

Holds a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with concentrations in project management and database management from Boston University. She has extensive experience developing and maintaining databases, websites and custom software solutions as well as providing long term support services to system users.

Sabrina oversees the LEF's operations and is the lead support for our partner organizations.

Melissa Groo

Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. She writes a bimonthly column on wildlife photography for Outdoor Photographer magazine, and is a contributing editor to Audubon magazine. Her work is represented by National Geographic Image Collection. She advises the National Audubon Society on photography content and ethics, and created their Guide to Ethical Bird Photography with Kenn Kaufman. She has also advised National Wildlife Magazine and NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) on guidelines for ethical wildlife photography, and she served as Chair of NANPA’s Ethics Committee from 2014-18.

Melissa advises the LEF's education and outreach programs.

Northside Jim

Entrepreneur, software systems engineer, and expert on collaborative databases. He is a passionate advocate for endangered coastal birds, and a prominent nature writer and photographer. He is the creator of the NestStory software.

Jim is responsible for the execution of the LEF's mission through the continual development of new tools for our partner organizations.


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