Baikal water

Robert J. Liebermann
ecologist, geographer, photographer

PO box 720, St. Ignace, Michigan
49781, United States

Full contact info here
streamside sedges near Lake Baikal

Web vita, May 2020



Ecologist/botanist (GS-0430), US Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, Michigan (February 2020-present). East side botanist - rare plant modeling & surveys, invasive plant operations, etc. More details here later.

Right before current (and a fast edit):

Ecologist/botanist (GS-0408), US Forest Service, Washburn, Wisconsin (January 2018-February 2020). Washburn District ecologist for botany, invasive plants, etc.

Older positions:

1: Botanist (GS-0430), US Fish & Wildlife Service, Fairbanks, Alaska (December 2012-December 2016, term position). Development and coordination of vegetation and floristic inventories in National Wildlife Refuges. Project planning and development of field methods 20%, ecological fieldwork 25%, logistics; contracting; and equipment acquisition 10%, GIS and imagery acquisition; processing; & mapping 15%, crew recruitment & supervision 10%, post-field data processing & botanical work 15%, project reporting and presentations 5%. 40-70 hours/wk. More on this here.

2: Forestry technician, research (GS-0462), US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Moscow, Idaho (October 2010-November 2012, term position). Forestry and forest ecology research support including Lidar data processing & analysis 30%, aerial & satellite imagery processing; analysis; and management 30%, surveying; measuring; and ecological & forestry fieldwork & data collection 20%, and geospatial processing methodology development 20%. 40+ hours/wk.

3: Biological technician, vegetation (GS-0404), US National Park Service, Central Alaska Monitoring Network, Fairbanks Alaska (May-September 2010, temporary position). Botanist & crew leader for ecological inventory project. Ecological & botanical fieldwork 70%, GIS and GPS collection; management; and processing 20%, communications & documentation 5%, & logistical planning and field support 5%. Position built on my experience in the same NPS unit 2008-09 with the USDA NRCS and working for same supervisor 2005-2007 at Denali NP. 40-60 hours/wk.

4: Geospatial & geographical consulting, self-employed dba Vermillion Geographics, Fairbanks, Alaska-Ishpeming, Michigan (2009 & ongoing as time and other projects allow). Data management, GIS, cartography, ecological inventory and site description, and photography.

5. Vegetation ecologist (GS-0408), USDA National Resources Conservation Service, Fairbanks, Alaska (May 2008-May 2009). Lead vegetation ecologist on a soil survey project in Yukon-Charley National Preserve. Ecological and botanical survey planning and fieldwork 60%, ecological landscape classification 25%, GIS data creation and manipulation; management; and cartography 10% project documentation, outreach and communication 5%. Includes remote fieldwork and logistics by helicopter and boat. 40-70 hours/wk.

6. Program officer, World Wildlife Fund US Arctic Field Program, Anchorage, Alaska (November 2007-May 2008, term position). Coordinator for Alaska-Bering Sea region of the worldwide "Conservation Measures" project. Compilation of socioeconomic, ecological, and conservation data for the Kamchatka-Bering Sea ecoregion (US-Russia) to gauge efficacy of WWF projects, elucidate ongoing and emerging conservation concerns, and help plan and coordinate future priorities. Communication with US and Russian government; university; and NGO representatives to source and assemble data 60%, GIS; data management; and mapping 20%, coordination with WWF and Nature Conservancy staff to plan and prioritize data needs 10%, & project reporting & metadata 10%. 40-50 hours/wk.

7. Vegetation ecologist (GS-0408), US National Park Service, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska (April 2005-November 2007, term position). Project ecologist for environmental assessment and management planning of off-road vehicle use in subsistence areas. Field and aerial surveys of landscape ecological conditions 20%, field assessment of ORV impacts 15%, landscape-vegetation mapping 10%, writing (vegetation and wetland EA chapters, research summaries, law enforcement reports, and other NPS documentation) 25%, GIS data creation; processing; analysis; and management 15%, logistical and safety planning for backcountry fieldwork and coordination and supervision of support and field crews 10%, and other project participation in support of Botany Program 5%. 40-55 hours/wk.

8. Biological technician (GS-0404), US National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska (April-November 2004, seasonal position). Landscape mapping and field ecology for a long-term (1948-2004) vegetation and hydrological landscape change analysis project in a recently deglaciated & rapidly uplifting area of GBNPP. GIS data creation; analysis; data management; quality control; and cartography 55%, vegetation and wetland landscape classification 25%, project reports and management 10%, botanical and ecological fieldwork and ground truthing 5%, other GIS; cartographic; and ecological work in support of Glacier Bay's Resource Management program 5%. A continuation of the work done earlier (see below). 40-55 hours/wk.

8b. GIS specialist, US National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska (November 2002-April 2003, contract position). Produced georeferenced aerial imagery and other GIS data from multi-decade aerial photography to determine long-term vegetation and geomorphological change. Completed all steps in project from imagery scanning to final output of geospatial imagery, supporting data layers, and metadata. Photo print scanning & image processing; georeferencing & orthorectification; GIS work 90%, project documentation and metadata to document processing history and ensure long-term data viability 5%, occasional other cartographic; and GIS; and ecological projects performed in support of Glacier Bay's Resource Management Program 50%. 40 hours/week.

8c. Biological technician, fisheries (GS-0404), US National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska (May 2002-November 2002, seasonal position). Documentation and field research on fisheries activity in Park waters. GIS data collection and creation; editing; analysis; metadata preparation; and cartography 60%, plane and boat-based field surveys including GPS & photographic documentation 20%, planning and coordination of field surveys 5%, database design and analysis; project documentation and data management 15%. Also volunteer assistance with botany expertise outside of working hours. 40-50 hours/week.

9. University teaching, Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (August 1998-May 2002 and August-December 2003). University instructor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia (August 1998-May 2002 and August-December 2003). Taught and supervised laboratory, lecture, and discussion courses in undergraduate physical geography, meteorology, and environmental philosophy, developed syllabi, assignments, lectures, and exams. Assisted students with difficult material and evaluated students' work and assigned course grades.

10. Teaching and Research Assistance, Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (August 1995-December 1996). Assisted in grading, supervision, class preparation, and media support of remote sensing, conservation, environmental impact assessment, and regional geography courses. Assisted in research and planning for implementation of a departmental PhD program in Geography.

11. Tourism Intern, Naturally Superior Adventures, Wawa, Ontario (Canada) December 1996-August 1997. worked in researching, developing, and operating Lake Superior and nature-based tourism and recreational programs and educational materials for adults and children, general customer service and customer interaction.

12. Park Ranger, Ft. Wilkins State Park, Copper Harbor, Michigan, May-August 1990. Maintained park historical and visitor facilities and trails, registered and directed visitors, and managed permit sales and accounts.

13+ More... A wide variety of experience and skills from jobs held during study, school breaks, etc. Includes scientific, educational, legal, communications, skilled trades, wilderness recreation, industrial, labor, service, and office work. This experience continues to be a benefit when approaching new and more familiar situations and understanding the experiences and motivations of others. A full, detailed record can be supplied upon request.

Primary work research projects 2002-2016:

1. Vegetation & floristic inventories in interior Alaska National Wildlife Refuges (2012-2016)
2. Lidar and other remotely-sensed data applications in fire and forest ecology. (2010-2012)
3. Vegetation and landscape monitoring in the Alaska Central Alaska Network of the US National Park Service. (2010)
4. GIS project reconstruction, data mining, and metadata documentation. (2009-2010)
5. Vegetation and soil mapping of the Yukon-Charley National Preserve, Alaska. (2008-2009)
6. Documentation of conservation and cultural landscapes of the Bering Sea ecoregion. (2007-2008)
7. Off-road vehicle impacts and landscape inventory of the Cantwell area, Denali National Park, Alaska. (2004-2007)
8. Postglacial vegetation landscape mapping of the Dry Bay area, Glacier Bay National Preserve, Alaska. (2002-2004)
9. Aerial inventory and mapping of fishing vessels in the outer waters of Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. (2002)
10. Distribution of crab fishery activities, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. (2002)

Examples of projects I've worked on:

1. Here's some mapping of wildfire burn severity and extent that I made from Spot satellite imagery for the 2012 Duck Lake Fire in Michigan.
2. See also links in the publications section.
+ More here...

Education and university research

Degrees & coursework:

1. BS, 1994, Geography and Conservation Biology, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan.   Includes one year study and research at Belarusian National University, Minsk, Belarus.

2. MA, 1998, Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

3. PhD studies, Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.   all field- and coursework and exams completed; to ABD. Includes 9 month Boren Fellowship at Lviv National University, Lviv, Ukraine.

4 Additional coursework; non-degree, [boreal flora & bryology; 10 semester hours; audited]. University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, Michigan.

5 Additional coursework; non-degree, 2005-2015 [biology, geology, journalism, geography; 22 semester hours]. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Research interests:

Topical: Boreal vegetation, rare and disjunct plant geography, landscape ecology and conservation, geography of large lakes and biogeography of large lake islands, limnoclimatology.

Regional: Geography of northlands. Soviet and post-Soviet natural science and conservation. Cultural and natural geography of the USSR and post-Soviet states, Canada, and the Great Lakes region of North America.

Graduate research:

1. Landscape conservation and ecological connectivity in the East Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine, dissertation research at UGA (1998-2004).
2. Comparative phytogeography and conservation of the Caribou Islands, Lake Superior, Canada and the Ushkanii Islands, Lake Baikal, Russia, MA thesis research, Western Michigan University, 1995-1998

Undergraduate research (links open excerpts of papers):

1. Phytodemography of butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) on Beaver Island, Lake Michigan; ongoing study (1994-?).

2. Nature conservation history of the USSR and post-Soviet states (USSR, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine; 1991-1994).

3. Toponym dynamics of the USSR and successor states (1992-1994).

4. Comparative phytogeography of Lake Baikal and Lake Superior regions (1992-1994; became master's thesis).

5. Phytogeography, climate, and landscape of the Crimean Peninsula (Ukraine, 1992-93).

Other relevant information

Publications (selection):

1. Hudak; A.T., A.T. Haren, N.L. Crookston, R.J. Liebermann, & J.L. Ohmann (2014). Imputing Forest Structure Attributes from Stand Inventory and Remotely Sensed Data in Western Oregon, USA. Forest Science 60(2): 253-269.

2. Lewis S.A., Robichaud P.R., Hudak A.T., Austin B., Liebermann R.J. Utility of Remotely Sensed Imagery for Assessing the Impact of Salvage Logging after Forest Fires. Remote Sensing. 2012; 4(7):2112-2132.

3. Soiseth, C., J. Kroese, R. Liebermann, & S. Bookless (2007). Vessel use and activity in Glacier Bay National Park's outer waters. Pages 176-180 in: Proceedings of the Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium. US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5047, Reston, Virginia.

4. Liebermann, R. J., & M. B. Shilin (2002). Interdisciplinary approaches to coastal and island conservation research in Russian areas of the Finnish Gulf, Baltic Sea. UNESCO Baltic Floating University Bulletin 2002, St. Petersburg, Russia.

5. Box, E. O., K. Fujiwara, G. Nakhutrishvili, N. Zazanashvili, R. J. Liebermann, & A. Miyawaki (2000). Vegetation and landscapes of the Republic of Georgia (Caucasus), as a basis for landscape restoration. Bulletin of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan, 26:69-102.

6. Liebermann, R. J. (2000). The value of landscape conservation in the Ukrainian Carpathians. In: Proceedings of the Carpathian Euroregion Peace and Security Conference, sponsored by the Hungarian NATO attache, July 2000, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.

7. Liebermann, R. J. (1999). The Barents region nature reserve archipelago. In: Materials of the 3rd international workshop "Rational Exploitation of the Coastal Zone of the Northern Seas", Russian State Hydrometeorological University Press, St. Petersburg, Russia.

8. Various policy, legal, informational, and EA documents for USNPS, NRCS, USFS, US FWS work, 2002-2016.

Some datasets:

1. Hudak, Andrew T.; Liebermann, Robert J.; Moreira, Eder P.; Link, Timothy E. (2013). Digital surface, terrain, and canopy height models for the Bannock Creek unit of Boise Basin Experimental Forest in 2007. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

2. Hudak, Andrew T.; Liebermann, Robert J.; Moreira, Eder P.; Rowell, Eric. (2013). Digital surface, terrain, and canopy height models for a portion of the Black Hills Experimental Forest in 2002. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

3. Hudak, Andrew T.; Liebermann, Robert J.; Moreira, Eder P.; Gessler, Paul E. (2013).
Digital surface, terrain, and canopy height models for Priest River Experimental Forest in 2002. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Some useful skills:

A set of five narrative, contextual descriptions of my experience in 1) ecology, 2) geospatial technologies, 3) remote fieldwork and logistics, 4) communications, and 5) project management, budgets, & employee supervision is available from this page.

Extensive field botany; ecology; and related experience including using identification manuals, vegetation and soil collection and sampling equipment, and post-field operations (identification, collection & curating, specimen preparation and herbarium deposit, etc.).

GIS and remote sensing (aerial and satellite imagery, Lidar) experience including all phases from electronic and print data acquisition to processing, manipulation, conversion, and documentation to output in digital and print formats.

Experience and training in field data and documentation methods including GPS, cartography, surveying equipment and methods, aerial photography interpretation, photographic technique and equipment (advanced creative and scientific photographer), and field and technical illustration.

Project development, planning, and implementation experience including protocol development, contracting, crew recruitment, coordination with external parties, equipment purchasing, progress reporting, etc.

Supervisory experience hiring and leading project teams, project and regional orientation, and coordinating field and office work.

Technical writing skills and experience for scientific and academic presentations and publications, project and consulting reports, environmental assessments, government documents, and research funding proposals.

Research and data mining methodology proficiency including literature, library & archive, internet, interviews, in foreign languages, etc. Field transport using airplanes, helicopters, boats and canoes, motorized vehicles, and on foot.

Logistical planning experience for isolated locations, wilderness and protected areas, in controlled access areas, under restricted budgets, in foreign countries and languages, and other complex and challenging settings.

Backcountry safety and procedural experience, including bear encounter behavior and conflict avoidance, spray and shotgun defense, bear-resistant containers, camp placement, radio and satellite phone use, wilderness research permitting, backcountry itinerary documentation and field check-in, wilderness navigation by map; compass; aerial photos; GPS; and landscape orienteering, and other concerns.

Lidar experience including scripting and processing of large datasets, creation of DEMs, data transformation, quality control, etc. Geospatial software experience with most major products including ArcGIS et al., Envi, Imagine, PCI Geomatica, LasTools; Fusion; and other Lidar applications, Trimble Pathfinder Office and other GPS programs, Adobe Illustrator et al. for cartography, etc.

Computer software, operating system, and hardware experience including word processor, text editor, spreadsheet, database, web editing and publishing, design, image processing, and graphics software; Windows, Unix, Apple, and Linux OS's; various peripheral devices such as flatbed and film scanners, digitizers, projectors, etc.

Logistical and contracting experience with aircraft in fieldwork (fuel supplies, loading, distances, scheduling, safety, etc.)

Extensive flight experience and data collection from aircraft including natural and human landscape interpretation and identification, photography, site reconnaissance, & navigation from helicopters and airplanes in remote and mountainous terrain, rough weather, etc.

Comprehensive university studies centered on ecology and geography facilitate comprehension and research abilities of complex systems. Coursework included botany, ecology, taxonomy, soils, geology, hydrology, meteorology, biogeography, landscape science, systems geography, conservation biology, limnology, forestry, cultural geography, planning, field research methodologies, remote sensing and imagery interpretation, GIS, cartography, quantitative and qualitative data methods, technical writing, foreign languages, botanical illustration, history, sociology, and others.

Broad work, volunteer, and life experiences and commensurate ability, adaptability, and interests. Good physical health and work ethic, respect for people and the natural environment, attention to details and sums, common sense, mechanical and problem-solving abilities, and creativity.

Other participation:

1. Invited reviewer of UNESCO World Heritage Site nominations for IUCN.
2. Other invited reviews for funded conservation and research projects [former USSR-related].
3. Participating ecologist-botanist (July 1997), cooperative vegetation monitoring project between the US Forest Service, Grand Island National Recreation Area, and the Michigan Natural Areas Council (MNAC) to assess possible management and scientific concerns on a newly established recreational area.
4. Continuing research on various academic topics and projects, and regular attendance and presentation at professional meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Foreign experience:

1. Student and research travel to USSR in 1991, and post-Soviet Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic States, and Republic of Georgia since 1992; Includes approximately 34 months in 9 extended visits.
2. Canada: Lived and worked in Ontario; December 1996-September 1997, continuing frequent research and personal travel to Canada.
3. Ecuador: Geographical and ecological studies as part of University of Georgia delegation, May-June 2001.
4. Other countries: Scandinavia, West and Central Europe.

Foreign languages:

I read, write, and speak Russian and Ukrainian; experience with other Slavic Languages; Swedish; Spanish; and French in working capacity.

Community service:

I believe in active civic participation including voting, community involvement, and donations. I've volunteered at library work, animal work at Humane Society shelter, organizing and assisting with fundraisers and community events such as dogsled races, a sister city organization, community radio, etc.

General interests:

Books, analog/emulsion photography, bicycle history & bicycles (1930s-1980s) and of course riding them, regional history and geography (esp. tourism & conservation of the northwoods 1920s-70s), wild and pet Cats, and [of course] all things related to Lakes Baikal and Superior, botany, nature conservation, the taiga, the former USSR, Michigan, Alaska, Canada, and the geography of northlands. 


You've seen this web vita; get the full-format resume on pdf with references, additional experience and background, and more: contact me!

See my main website with links to some other ones I've authored

Robert - your one-stop source for all your northern geography & botany needs!

Baikal water

last updated: 2020.05.01

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