Faculty Profiles

The SBI Training Initiative is comprised of expert faculty with decades of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, marketing, and communication.  We are privileged to also have dedicated Advisory Committee Members who represent a variety of biological infrastructure projects, and ESA Staff who have helped create and spearhead this initiative.  You can read more about the vast array of skills and experience that make up the whole SBI Team below.

Current SBI Faculty:

Ms. Marilyn Hoyt

hoyt marilyn 913 hi res head shot2Marilyn speaks and trains nationally for the Foundation Center and nationally and internationally at fundraising, science museum, and zoo conferences. She also consults to two U.S. foundations, providing proposal analysis and technical assistance for proposers. Her past work includes 12 years as a grantmaker for the Westchester Arts Council in New York and the Washington State Arts Commission; fundraising consulting with various nonprofits for J.C.Geever, Inc.; and 20 years at the New York Hall of Science first as head of advancement, COO, and ultimately President and CEO. There she raised nearly $200 million, including a successful $92 million expansion campaign that doubled the Hall’s budget and attendance.

Recent publications include articles on the role of museums in STEM education (National Council of Science Museums/India in press), exhibition funding (American Alliance of Museum exhibition committee, in press), chapters of the Foundation Center’s book, After the Grant, and the fundraising chapter for the Handbook for Small Science Centers.

Dr. Jon Anderson

Jon A Headshot2Jon is a Senior Research Scientist and Product Manager at LI-COR Biosciences in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. specializing in strategic management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After four years as a Research Fellow at the University of Washington, he began working at LI-COR Biosciences on developing a next-generation sequencer and developing reagents for research scientists. He has written research grants and has participated on scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Anderson was recently involved in the initial concept, feasibility, development, marketing, and product launch of the C-DiGit Blot Scanner from LI-COR Biosciences, a personal and affordable chemiluminescent based Western Blot imager.

Ms. Lynda S. Ramirez-Blust

Lynda Headshot Color2Lynda is owner of LSRB Consulting LLC and is committed to building the financial management, accounting, and governance acumen and capacity of not-for-profit board members, management teams, staff, and volunteers. She has over 19 years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations in various capacities including board member, treasurer, CFO, external auditor, consultant, and volunteer. Lynda specializes in identifying and managing risks, translating programmatic goals into financial plans, and designing financial reports to meet the needs of various stakeholders.  She has been recognized by the Center for Social Leadership as a Best Practices Leader. She currently serves as a faculty member of the American Institute of CPAs. She completed the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute Nonprofit Management Executive Certification Program and holds a CPA license in both Wisconsin and Virginia.

SBI Advisory Committee:

Dr. William Michener

Bill headshotBill is Professor and Director of e-Science Initiatives at the University of New Mexico’s University Libraries and Project Director for Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE)—a large DataNet project supported by NSF. He is involved in research related to creating information technologies supporting data-intensive science, development of federated data systems, and community engagement and education.  He has a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Carolina and has published extensively in marine science, as well as the ecological and information sciences. He serves on several Boards of non-profit organizations and has expertise in project management and meeting facilitation.

Dr. Helen Berman

HMB_2013r2Helen is a Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  From 1998-2014, she was the Director of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB), Protein Data Bank (PDB). She was a founding member of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB), which provides the essential PDB archive of information about the experimentally-determined structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies. She is also involved in the EMDataBank, the Structural Biology Knowledgebase, and the Nucleic Acid Database resources. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1967 from the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of George Alan Jeffrey, and stayed on for postdoctoral training as a National Institutes of Health Trainee. She was a faculty member at the Fox Chase Cancer Center from 1969-89. In addition to her work on structural databases and ontologies, she has had an active research career in structural biology with a particular focus on nucleic acid-containing systems and collagen.

Ms. Mary L. Klein

Mary headshot_smallMary is President and CEO of NatureServe located in Arlington, Virginia (2006 to the present). NatureServe is a nonprofit organization that works with a network of data providers to use science as the basis for effective conservation action, and recently won the 2014 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  NatureServe’s role is to develop and disseminate highly credible and detailed information about the location and condition of species and ecosystems, in a non-partisan way. Essential components of NatureServe’s business strategy are the development of data standards, collection and management of biological data, analyses and syntheses that combine datasets to illuminate conservation challenges, and deployment of software tools for data access and decisions support. Under Mary’s leadership, NatureServe constantly works to cultivate a diverse user base that includes government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses, as well as philanthropic support from foundations and individuals. The NatureServe network is comprised of 80+ member institutions spread across the Western Hemisphere. Members participate by signing data sharing agreements that include a commitment to using the standards, methods and tools collectively developed by the network. Klein’s other affiliations include serving on a SESYNC work group for Business and Biodiversity, the Yale Climate Adaptation Science Panel, the University of Florida’s Advisory Council for the Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, the IUCN Red List Partnership, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Governing Board, and the Teaming With Wildlife Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, among others.

Dr. Kevin McCluskey


Kevin received his Bachelors and Masters in Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He obtained his Doctorate in Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University and after a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona, he accepted the position of Curator of the Fungal Genetics Stock Center in in 1995.
His activities on behalf of culture collections have led to election onto the Executive Board of the World Federation for Culture Collections and to a leadership role in the nascent US Culture Collection Network.  He is a member of the American Phytopathological Society Public Policy Board and has represented the WFCC at the meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  After over 50 years of support by the NSF, the FGSC relocated to the Department of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University in 2014 where he is a Research Professor.  He has published on genome biology of fungi for many years and is currently using whole genome sequence analysis to characterize the genetics and genomics of Neurospora.

ESA Staff:

Dr. Clifford Duke

CliffSince 2003, Cliff has directed ESA’s Office of Science Programs, which promotes the continued development of ecological science and its integration into decision-making and education. As Science Director, he has led a wide range of projects including data sharing and archiving initiatives; ESA’s Emerging Issues Conference series; outreach efforts for engagement of the U.S. scientific community in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); workshops on continental scale ecology and on sustainability of research infrastructure; and peer reviews of research programs and studies for federal and state agencies. Previously, Dr. Duke worked for thirteen years as a consultant in environmental impact analysis and project management on National Environmental Policy Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act projects for defense, transportation, and waste management facilities. He has a PhD in Botany and an MA in Public Policy Science, both from Duke University, a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, and did postdoctoral research at Northeastern University, Wellesley College, and Harvard University.

Ms. Jill Petraglia Parsons

parsonsfamily-154Jill has worked at ESA since March 2010 as the Science Programs Manager.  She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University and an M.A in Anthropology from the University of Sussex.  Before ESA, she worked as a Training Support Officer for a UK-based charity that conducted financial management training for NGO professionals.  At ESA she has managed a variety of projects, including NSF-sponsored workshops on “Strategies for Sustainability of Biological Infrastructure” and “Strategies for Developing and Innovating Living Stock Collections.”

Former SBI Faculty:

Mr. Thomas M. Berger

TMB PHOTO 12 06Tom is the Vice President, Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He has a distinguished career as a consultant and senior not-for-profit executive with expertise in strategic planning and general/financial management. Starting as a Senior Consultant with Coopers and Lybrand designing a financial management system for the Museum of Science in Boston, he was ultimately hired by the Museum as their first Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Positions that followed included Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer at Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village; Vice President of Finance and Treasurer at the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago); and Deputy Treasurer at the National Gallery of Art. Consulting clients have included Maryland Zoo in Baltimore; Naples (Florida) Botanical Garden; Goodwill International; and United Way, National Capital Area. Mr. Berger has written and spoken extensively on financial and strategic planning; change management; and investment-related issues for museums and colleges. He is formerly an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program, Museum Studies at George Washington University and previously at the University of Baltimore in the graduate program in Economics / Finance / Management Science.  Tom played an integral role in developing the SBI Strategies for Success course, and acted as the lead instructor in 2014.  He continues to contribute to the course in an advisory capacity.

Dr. Jim Croft

JC_2012_Formal_Picture2Jim is the Executive Vice President of the Field Museum (Chicago, Illinois), where he is responsible for Finance (CFO), Protection Services, and Facilities Planning and Operations. Dr. Croft also served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the museum. In that role, he was Chief Development Officer, which included annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation giving, and a capital campaign. Dr. Croft serves on several Boards, including the First Nonprofit Insurance Company, the Salvation Army, and the Natural Science Collections Alliance. Dr. Croft’s Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska focused on higher education and nonprofit finance. He has taught finance, accounting, and management courses at several Chicago area universities and serves as a featured speaker in the Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.  Jim was part of the 2014 SBI instructional team.