SERVIR-Amazonia’s people aim to prevent and mitigate the impact related to climate change, large infrastructure projects and related development activities in the Amazon region.

Carlos Gasco

Program Director (CIAT)

Carlos is the Project Director of SERVIR-Amazonia. He is an experienced international development professional who has worked on major international programs, primarily funded by USAID, providing overall program management, financial and administrative supervisory services, actively involving project stakeholders, and assuring general compliance of technical, financial and administrative client requirements.

Brian Zutta

Science and Data Lead (SIG)

Brian is a multidisciplinary scientist with expertise in ecology, plant ecophysiology and remote sensing. His most recent work focuses on predictive geospatial modeling, deforestation and forest degradation monitoring, and bridging the gap between science and policy in Latina America. For several years, he served as the coordinator of the MRV and national forest monitoring system for REDD+ of the Ministry of the Environment of Peru.

Nurymar Feldman

Communication and Outreach Coordinator (CIAT)

Nurymar is a specialist in Communication for Development and Advertising Sciences. She has extensive experience in the development of disclosure documents and socio-environmental awareness. She also has experience in the production of audiovisual reports, and management of social networks.

José Leandro Fernandes

User Engagement Lead (CIAT)

José Leandro Fernandes is the User Engagement Lead of SERVIR-Amazonia. He is an experienced international development professional who has worked on major international programs, funded by USAID, IDB/BID and UN, coordinating projects, and providing services in the areas of economic development, urban sustainability and environmental management.


Natalia Uribe

Capacity Building Coordinator (CIAT)

Natalia is a scientist with experience in the development and application of geospatial and hydroinformatics technologies. In recent years, she has served as coordinator of projects related to drinking water, facilitating the implementation of knowledge transfer, monitoring and evaluation systems. Natalia has a PhD in Hydroinformatics from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Katia Villanueva

Agreement Office Representative (USAID)

Katia is the Agreement Office Representative. Working at USAID Amazon Regional Program Office as a Project Management Specialist she is in charge of supporting, coordinating and monitoring the technical, financial and administrative aspects of the SERVIR Amazonia activity from USAID’s side.

Helen Parache

SERVIR-Amazonia Regional Science Coordination Lead 

Helen entered NASA’s Capacity Building Program in 2016 as part of the DEVELOP program. Her interests are GIS and remote sensing, with a focus on international collaboration. She earned a BA in Japanese Studies from Middlebury College and is currently studying Earth System Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Kelsey Herndon

SERVIR-Amazonia Regional Science Associate  (NASA)

Kelsey’s research interests focus on the human dimension of remote sensing science for decision making. Her current work addresses the long term dynamics of ephemeral water bodies in the Nigerien Sahel and the implications of political and cultural practices for managing these resources. She also has a background in archaeology, where she focused on human-environment interactions through excavations in Central America and the Southeastern United States. Outside of work, Kelsey enjoys intense hikes, pottery, and delving into the culinary traditions of the Southeast.

Vanesa Martín

Earth System Science Center Research Associate, University of Alabama

Vanesa’s research interests include the applications of optical and radar data for land use monitoring, food security, and biodiversity in Latin America. Her current work assesses how water quality in Belize may be affected by projected land cover and climate change impacts. She is also involved with the SAR-CBC project, which seeks to build capacity in Latin American partner institutions to use SAR data to carry out hazard monitoring. 

Doug Morton

Applied Science Team
(Goddard Space Flight Center)

Douglas Morton is a Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Douglas studies land use change in tropical forests. He is also part of the research team for the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED,, an effort to combine multiple sources of satellite data to better understand fire activity, greenhouse gas emissions from fires, and changes in savanna and tropical forest ecosystems following fire events. Douglas has been working in the Brazilian Amazon since 2000, in collaboration with scientists at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) and the Instituto do Homen e Meio Ambiente (Imazon).

Jim Nelson

Applied Science Team  (Brigham Young University)

Jim’s research focus is hydrologic modeling and analysis specializing in geographic processing and visualization. As a principal member of BYU’s Environmental Modeling Laboratory (EMRL) he led the initial development of the Watershed Modeling System (WMS) now used by public and private agencies worldwide. In 2007 EMRL was successfully migrated to the private company Aquaveo ( Jim has worked extensively in Latin America, leading capacity building activities, most recently under AmeriGEOSS of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and is an active participant of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) in promoting free and open source tools for water data sharing ( 

Naiara Pinto

Applied Science Team (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Naiara Pinto is a landscape ecologist with the Radar Division at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. As the science coordinator for the UAVSAR instrument, she enjoys developing data recipes to help researchers take advantage of new radar technology. For her research, Naiara employs field and remote sensing observations to characterize forest fragmentation in the context of agricultural expansion. In the last 10 years, Naiara has helped develop approaches to characterize forest 3D structure with Lidar and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Naiara is a Brazilian national and looks forward to working with SERVIR-Amazonia  to refine agriculture and forest disturbance maps. One of the objectives of her project is to produce an online tool to support Zero Deforestation certification.



Stephanie Spera

Applied Science Team  (University of Richmond)

Stephanie Spera’s research focuses on using remotely-sensed data, spatial statistics, climate models, and other tools to analyze trade-offs in ecosystem services. Much of her previous work has focused on mapping and understanding the socioeconomic drivers and consequences of land-clearing for large-scale agricultural expansion the eastern Amazon/Cerrado boundary in Brazil. She is excited to bring her expertise to this SERVIR-Amazonia team and focus on the Western Amazon.

Louis Verchot

Senior Scientist (CIAT)

Louis is a forester with over 30 years of experience in the tropics. He leads CIAT’s research program on restoration of degraded lands with research interests in issues related to land use change, deforestation, and agroforestry contributions to climate change, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, and restoration of ecosystem processes.

Sophie Alvarez

Consultant for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (CIAT)

Sophie  is a Social researcher in Monitoring & Evaluation, Knowledge Management and Capacity Building and a Consultant with 15+ years of experience in the design and facilitation of participatory processes and evaluations. She has worked since 2005 leading and facilitating the design and implementation of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) systems for various Research for Development (R4D) international programs and projects; and in the development of specialized publications, materials, capacity building and training workshops in the topics of M&E, Impact Pathways, Theory of Change, Knowledge Management and Social Network Analysis. Before pursuing Sustainable Development Studies, she was a professional U.S. Court Interpreter.


Jenny Burbano

Financial and Administrative Support (CIAT)

Jenny, a Colombian national, works at CIAT and offers financial and administrative support to SERVIR-Amazonia. Jenny holds a Bachelor in Business administration from Universidad de Santiago, Colombia; and a Bachelor in Information and Technology Systems from Universidad del Valle, Colombia.


Andrea Carvajal

Communications Consultant (CIAT)

Andrea is a social communicator and audiovisual practices specialist with a master’s degree in rural development. She is committed to good quality content generation and to communications about development and science. She has a keen interest in knowledge management and graphic design, and she is currently supporting communications at SERVIR-Amazonia. Before working as a consultant, she worked at CIAT as part of their communications team and then as communications liaison for CIAT’s Director General’s Office.


Kim Chan

Consultant, (CIAT/University of Guyana)

Kim is from Guyana whose studies include physical and human geography, ecologic studies, geology, GIS, and remote sensing. She also has experience with Python and Javascript Coding, and Google Earth Engine (GEE). Kim will be working at the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute of Guyana (NAREI), Guyana, and closely with SERVIR-Amazonia to co-develop a GEE based mangrove monitoring platform.


Silvia-Elena Castaño

GIS Specialist, GIT (CIAT)

Silvia, a Colombian national, studied Systems Engineering. Her taste for Geography motivated her to grow professionally in the area of Geographic Information System (GIS) at the master’s level as well as in the subject of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). Additionally, Silvia has a keen interest in the dissemination of projects results, which has led her to work with data management, basic cartography, storymap and Cloud-based GIS platforms like ArcGIS Online.


Ruben Coppus

Geographer  (CIAT)

Ruben is a physical geographer who has lived and worked throughout Latin America. His main interest is in geospatial analysis related to land degradation and restoration. He has over 25 years of experience in academia, NGOs and the private sector where he gave, among others, hands-on GIS training for students and professionals at the beginners and advanced level.


Mayesse Da Silva

Soil Scientist  (CIAT)

Mayesse has over 7 years of experience working on soil and water management in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia), and India. She holds a PhD in Soil Science through a joint program between the Federal University of Lavras/Brazil and Purdue University/United States. Has experience on mapping and modeling landscape-soil-hydrology relationships to develop quantitative predictable patterns reflected by soil geomorphology and on applying those relationships to support decision-making regarding soil and water management, soil remediation (heavy metals), land use planning, and landscape restoration.


Marina Irigoyen

Gender Advisor (Consultant) (CIAT)

Marina is a Peruvian sociologist who has developed extensive practice establishing multi-actor relationships and promoting dialogues oriented towards sustainable development. With an emphasis on issues related to governance and gender, she got vast experience in strengthening national and international teams, capacity development and monitoring and evaluation.

Javier Mauricio Martín

GIS specialist / Digital Soil Mapping  (CIAT)

Javier is an agricultural engineer from the National University of Colombia with experience on Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) and Geoinformatics. He currently works as research associate at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. His work has focused on the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and Digital Soil Mapping for monitoring and modeling soil organic carbon, erosion risks, landuse changes, soil heavy metals and spatial variability of soil properties through machine learning and expert knowledge approaches.


Thomas Moore

Indigenous Peoples Advisor (Consultant) (CIAT)

Thomas is a US-born anthropologist with more than 40 years experience working with indigenous peoples and their organizations in Amazon Basin countries. He has also worked in USAID Missions in Peru and Ecuador, and on international development projects throughout the Amazon Basin related to indigenous peoples, biodiversity conservation, forest management, and governance.

Paula A. Paz

Caribbean Engagement Coordinator (CIAT)

 Paula is a Topographic Engineer, who works as a research assistant at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. Her work focuses on monitoring land use and cover changes in the tropics by using GIS and Remote Sensing. She has participated in the development and implementation of the Terra-i- system in several countries around Latin America and the Caribbean.



Ovidio Rivera

Systems Engineer, GIT  (CIAT)

Ovidio is a Colombian systems engineer with expertise in GIS, providing computer technology support. In the last ten years he has participated in multiple research projects focused on land use, mainly contributing to spatial analysis, field work with RPAS and GPS, data management and web design and mapping. Ovidio is currently pursuing a master’s degree in GIS at UNIGIS Latin America.

Elkin Romero

Consultant  (CIAT)

Elkin is a civil engineer from Brigham Young University where he also earned his master’s degree. He has experience in the development of hydroinformatics applications, as well as the development of tools for the analysis, discovery, download and visualization of water data.

Jorge Luis Sanchez Lozano

Research fellow (Brigham Young University, CIAT)

Jorge Luis is a Colombian hydrologist who is doing his Ph.D. at Brigham Young University evaluating the accuracy for the historical simulation and the forecast of the Global Hydrological Model  GEOGloWS ECMWF Streamflow Services before and after applying a bias correction  methodology to the modeling results.  Additionally, as visiting researcher at the Alliance Bioversity-CIAT, he is in charge to strengthen local capacities in the use and development of hydrological models for resource management, ecosystem services, and disaster management. 

Jhon Jairo Tello

Software Engineer, GIT (CIAT)

Jhon Jairo is a specialist in software engineering  at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali. He is the website manager of the Terra-i project working on the development of the web platform and on the processing, updating and data visualization. He has participated in the implementation and capacity building of Terra-i users in several Latin American countries. Jhon also has experience in drones and field data collection and validation. Jhon is a programmer for the visualization of geospatial data and general information such as JAVA, Google APIs, CartoDB, MapBox, among others.

Ana Belen Torres Silva

Finance and Administrative Coordinator/Contracts and Grants Manager (Consultant) (CIAT)

Ana is a Colombian national, a business manager who specializes in finance. She has more than 18 years’ experience in administrative and financial management, grants and contracts, structuring and development of projects and strategic alliances in financial development programs for the American agency for international development (USAID) in Colombia. She has the skills to plan, coordinate and manage actions, and build harmonious and efficient work teams. She speaks Spanish and English.

David Saah

Professor (University of San Francisco) and Senior Scientist (SIG)

David has been trained as an environmental scientist with expertise in landscape ecology, ecosystem ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, ecosystem modeling, natural hazard modeling, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. He has used these skills to conduct research primarily at the landscape level in a variety of systems.

Oliver Baldwin

Software Engineer

Oliver is a Software Engineer at SIG. He takes creative, data-driven approaches to problem solving and is especially interested in evolutionary computation, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Sifeddine "Sif" Biri

Software Engineer

Sif is a Software Engineer at SIG, working primarily with the Environmental Mapping Domain products and tools.

Kenneth Cheung

Software Engineer

Kenneth Cheung is a Software Engineer. He works on risk analysis of natural disasters, forest fires, the relationship between agriculture and deforestation, and environmental mapping. He trains decision-makers in the research advances related to these topics.

Karen Dyson

Geospatial Analyst

Karen holds a PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington. She has experience leading and collaborating on research and science communication projects addressing diverse audiences. Her areas of expertise include applied methodologies such as ecological sampling design, sampling methods, including in urban ecosystems, case study design, among others.

Gary Johnson

Director of Software Development

Gary is Director of the Software Development Team at SIG. His passion is finding new ways to use advanced computational techniques to solve meaningful environmental problems.

Fernanda López

Capacity building specialist

Fernanda is a biologist and environmental manager. She has a particular interest in Remote Sensing techniques. Fernanda has experience working in environmental education and conservation, and is currently collaborating in a project that aims to measure aboveground biomass using LiDAR technology.

Andrea Puzzi

Geospatial Analyst

Andrea holds a master’s degree in Earth System Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She supports trainings focused on geospatial analysis and algorithms using optical and SAR data sets, Jupyter Notebooks, and Google Earth Engine. Her areas of expertise include geospatial analysis, remote sensing, modeling, image processing, and machine learning.

Richard Sheperd

Software Engineer

Richard is a software engineer focused on creating applications that provided increased speed, capability and accuracy. Currently, one of his research projects is Collect Earth Online (CEO) in which GIS is collaborating with NASA, SilvaCarbon, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Karis Tenneson

Environmental Scientist (SIG)

Karis is an environmental scientist with expertise in ecology, statistics, remote sensing and GIS, and urban planning. Most recently, her work has focused on monitoring land-use and land cover changes using collaborative development of remote sensing-based decision support tools, building capacity for generating activity data for REDD+ and greenhouse gas inventories, assessing ecosystem services, and scenario planning. She has been managing the co-development of the regional land cover monitoring system with the SERVIR Mekong and Hindu Kush Himalaya hubs.

Crystal Wespestad

Project Manager

Crystal is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology specialist graduated from the University of Arizona with experience on applied science project design and management. Among her areas of expertise there are geospatial tools and softwares such as ArcMap, ArcPro, QGIS, Github/Git and Python, among others.


Kátia Fernandes

Climate Scientist (UARK)

Kátia is a climate scientist with expertise in tropical climate, including the impacts of large-scale climate variability and change on droughts and fires in the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests. Working at the interface of climate and society, she has conducted research aimed at informing climate-risk management decision making.

Sidney Novoa

Project Manager (ACCA)

Sidney is a director at Amazon Conservation (ACCA) for GIS & Technology Applied for Conservation with more than 10 years of experience as a researcher and manager in resource management, biological monitoring, and threat monitoring of the Amazon forests. He published up to 80 articles regarding deforestation drivers, forest fires, floods, natural forest loss. Currently, he focuses on the use and application of technological solutions for monitoring the conservation status of natural ecosystems.

Milagros Becerra

Research Assistant, SIG specialist (ACCA)

Milagros is a geographer with emphasis in environmental science. She is a specialist in GIS and Remote Sensing applied to forest monitoring, land cover change, forest conservation and deforestation in the Amazon Region. She has participated in the development and implementation of Forest Zoning in the Amazon Region in Peru. She published a thesis at PUCP on “Agroforestry as a proposal for sustainable agriculture in amazon ecosystems”.

Marvin Quispe

GIS & Remote sensing Specialist

Marvin is an Environmental Engineer with experience on Remote Sensing, GIS and the use of programming languages applied to spatial analysis and environmental sciences. He has developed projects and research in hydroinformatics, environmental numerical modeling, water resources in mining and Internet of things.


Lucio Villa

Technical Expert in Remote Sensing & GIS (ACCA)

Lucio is a specialist in GIS and remote sensing applied to earth sciences and the environment, with more than 8 years of experience in land-cover monitoring and land-use change analysis. With expertise in the field of environmental and georisk engineering, he has developed studies focused on monitoring anthropogenic impacts as well as those caused by natural phenomena on the Peruvian coastal and Amazon regions.   He currently serves as GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist for the MAAP (ACCA) Initiative and as a Remote Sensing Professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering (UNALM).

Isabel Garcia-Drigo

Gender and Indigenous People (IMAFLORA)

Isabel is the project coordinator of the Climate and Agriculture Supply Chain Initiative of IMAFLORA. She is working at IMAFLORA since 2017. Isabel works with the development of systems for verification and certification to the forestry and agriculture sectors (soy and beef industries). She is also involved in studies about natural capital and conditions to enable sustainable landscapes in the Amazon and Cerrado regions. As a social auditor and FSC member, she works with gender and indigenous people issues.

Heidi Buzato

Social Coordinator

Heidi is social coordinator at IMAFLORA. She has a social sciences degree, a master’s degree in forestry sciences, and a PhD in Territorial Planning and Management. Since 2008 she has been developing activities on; social and environmental certification, gender studies in the cocoa production chain, training for internal and external social auditors, participating in the training of forestry businesses for The Amazon Alternative (TAA), and in the revision of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Rainforest Alliance (RA) Norm certification standards.


Mayra Castro

Press relations and content production

Mayra is a journalist, Master’s student in Communication Sciences, and Marketing specialist. She is currently responsible for managing and monitoring the press office at Imaflora and its public relations strategy. With more than 10 years of professional experience, her expertise is in strategic communications, project management, and social marketing.

Felipe Cerignoni

Technical Leader (IMAFLORA)

Felipe is a geoprocessing analyst at IMAFLORA. His work is about developing and maintaining spatial databases to help with analysis and modeling frameworks to identify possible synergies between agriculture production and nature conservation in Brazil. He also works with full-stack web development to communicate the results of the spatial analysis on IMAFLORA’s platforms.

Adeandro Pedro de Castro Mota

Geotechnologies Coordinator (IMAFLORA)

Adeandro is a Geographer from the University of Belo Horizonte and a Specialist in Integrated Environmental Management. He is currently pursuing an MBA in Data Science and Analytics at USP/Sao Paulo University.

Aline Fransozi

Geotechnology Analyst (IMAFLORA)

Aline is Forestry Engineer and PhD in Forest Resources Conservation from the University of São Paulo, where she studied hydrology applied to forest management and to tropical forests restoration. She is currently a geospatial analyst at IMAFLORA, where she works on projects and studies to find relationships between Brazilian agricultural supply chains and sustainability in the use of natural resources.

Jessica Gaise

Communications Assistant

Jessica is a communications assistant at Imaflora and has a degree in photography and publicity. Her work involves audiovisual productions including the transmission of lives and webinars, capture of images, scriptwriting, and contact with animation producers and video editors. She is also involved in actions, campaigns, disclosures, and other institutional communication products.

Marina Jordão

Communications Analyst

Marina holds a degree in advertising, specialized in strategic marketing, Marina Jordão is a communication analyst at Imaflora and has been working for 8 years in the third sector. She currently contributes to the development of communication strategies and analysis, promotional actions, campaigns, advertising, brand positioning and protection, production of content and visual communication pieces, management of social networks and the website, as well as relations with various stakeholders.

Priscila Mantelatto

Communications Coordinator

Priscila Mantelatto majored in social communication with a specialization in strategic marketing and business administration. She has 24 years’ experience in communications management and currently coordinates Imaflora’s communications activities, which include; developing communication strategies, promotional actions, campaigns, disclosures, management and positioning of the institute’s brand (branding), event organization, content production, supervises the institutes relationship with the press, in addition to managing social networks, website and coordination of all the institute’s audiovisual production.

Carmen Josse

Executive Director (EcocCiencia) 

Carmen holds a PhD in Biological Sciences with a specialty in vegetation and biogeography. Her experience lies in producing and managing information on biodiversity to support its planning processes, management and conservation policies. Carmen handles methods and products for classification, mapping and evaluation of ecosystems at the national level and throughout Latin America. She has experience with georeferenced tools for evaluating the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change, quantitative analysis of threats and monitoring of conservation objectives.

Ana María Acosta

Communications Coordinator
(Fundación EcoCiencia)

Ana María is the communications coordinator for Fundación EcoCiencia and is a journalist with a master’s degree in strategic communications. She has more than 15 years’ experience working in NGOs and international organizations in Colombia and Ecuador. She has developed topics in social marketing, knowledge management and institutional journalism. As part of the EcoCiencia team, she devises and implements communication strategies and communication inputs for projects and programs, both nationally and internationally, as well as institutional communication plans and strategies.


Lorena Caiza

GIS specialist (EcoCiencia)

Lorena is a Geographic and Environmental Engineer. In recent years she has worked on automating processes for monitoring forest dynamics, integrating artificial intelligence and remote sensing, using SAR and UAV data together with passive sensors to support sustainable forest management. She currently works in the co-development of services for CIIFEN.

Karina Larco

Hydrologist Consultant (EcoCiencia)

Karina is an environmental engineer from the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador and has a Master’s degree in Hydrology with a major in Ecohydrology from the University of Cuenca. She has participated in various projects of Environmental Consulting and Research for the Paramo and the Amazon. She has vast experience in Ecohydrology, Hydrometeorology, stable water isotopes, hydrological modeling, transit times, monitoring: biotic, in plots and in watersheds, database management and geographic information systems.

Sandra Terán

Geospatial Analyst (EcoCiencia)

Sandra is a Geographical Engineer, with a mention in Sustainable Development and Land Management, from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador; Master in “Energy Science and Policy” at Ajou University – South Korea; and Master in GIS and Systems at Salzburg University. During her professional career, she acquired extensive experience in the management of GIS (open source and ARCGIS), management of spatial data infrastructure, digital processing of satellite images (remote sensors), projects related to conservation of forests under a REDD + approach, monitoring and evaluation of conservation areas at the national level, land use planning, natural resource management and sustainable forestry (timber and non-timber products), bio-economy, and renewable energies.

Rodrigo Torres Muñoz

Coordinator Geography Unit (EcoCiencia)

Rodrigo is a geographer and environmental engineer from the Military Polytechnic School of Ecuador, and has a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Salzburg-Austria. He has experience as a GIS specialist in the production of land use and deforestation maps for the Ecuadorian Amazon. He is in charge of managing the spatial component of EcoCiencia projects, with emphasis on the Amazon Geo-Referenced Socio-Environmental Information Network (RAISG), including projects that entail the collection and processing of georeferenced data, pressure analysis, and the generation of thematic maps. In addition, Rodrigo supports the MapBiomas Amazonía project.