support innovative conservation

Board of Directors


Cathryn Wild

Cathryn Wild founded Seventh Generation Institute in 2006, after observing that typical conservation efforts were often slow, expensive and less than effective. In response, she molded the vision and approach of the Institute: "New School" conservation.

Together with Bill Morris she leads Seventh Generation Institute as both a board member and as Executive Director, described below. Formally trained in conservation biology, sustainable agriculture and education, she has expanded her skills and knowledge through the years. She has worked in Honduras, Colombia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Bonaire and the western US and her work has spanned projects ranging from marine protected area management to ecotourism planning, endangered species conservation, stream restoration, leadership workshops, and climate change adaptation.

Moving beyond the Institute, Cathryn is a member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and regularly contributes to their work.

She holds an M.S. in environmental management, with an emphasis in conservation biology, from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.S. in Agricultural Education and teaching credentials in Life Science and Vocational Agriculture from the University of California at Davis.

“I am most proud of being a lifelong learner and having the initiative to teach myself many things. But I am also insatiably curious and a person who must spend some time outside every day. As a child, I spent all my time wandering in the fields and woods near my family home and it broke my heart to see them turn into suburbs, acre by acre. I can’t imagine a world where children cannot find that refuge. Later, I put myself through college and worked at a wide variety of odd jobs. I don’t regret any of those odd jobs, because I learned something at each one and got to know a lot of people with different ideas and values, but nearly always sincere. Now in my work at the Institute, I am able to communicate with a wide variety of people and find common ground. I have been lucky in more recent years to travel both for work and for pleasure. I think Ray Bradbury best expressed the experience of travel: “Stuff your eyes with wonder....” How can one travel and not expand one’s understanding of the world, nature and people? I hope I have gained some wisdom along with the wrinkles that come with years and many days outdoors. So I guess it was inevitable that I would end up in the conservation field while trying to incorporate sustainable use, communication, and collaboration. Everything I’ve learned in life is wrapped up in the Institute’s “New School” approach to conservation.”
— Cathryn Wild


William J. Morris

William (Bill) Morris, president, is a life-long supporter of conservation and sustainable use. Since the founding of the Institute, he has played dual roles, the first, as board president and the second as the very hands-on Operations Director, described below, where he uses many of the skills he developed in his career in construction management. He was a volunteer in Honduras and Colombia, where he worked with residents to build local resource management skills that couple sustainable use with small-scale agriculture and ecotourism. Bill cherishes the natural heritage of the Rocky Mountains and the open spaces of the western United States. He presently resides in Santa Fe New Mexico where he has the opportunity to enjoy open space all year.

Lisa Degen, DVM

Lisa Degen, vice president, is a veterinarian with a long-standing interest in wildlife veterinary medicine. She is an advocate of personal volunteerism, serving on several professional veterinary boards and as an adult literacy volunteer, in addition to her work with 7GI. Dr. Degen resides in Florida where she owns the Village Animal Clinic in partnership with her husband, and (somehow) finds time to be a mom.

Cynthia Wagstaff

Cynthia Wagstaff, secretary, is an artist, writer, surfer and dynamo who helped launch Seventh Generation Institute and has been an integral part of the organization since the beginning. Semi-retired, she divides her personal time between the wilderness of Idaho and the remote regions of Baja California Sur. She writes and illustrates children's books, cares for abandoned dogs and enjoys long walks on the beach.

Michael Moore

Michael Moore is the Institute's treasurer. An avid hiker, skier and self-described vagabond, Mr Moore grew up on a family sheep ranch and was educated as an economist. He has lived in small towns around the western US, as well as traveled extensively internationally. He is interested in the impacts of large-scale economic change on local communities and environmental systems. Now retired, he resides in Washington state.

Advisory Board

Lucy Moore

Lucy Moore has been an environmental mediator, facilitator and trainer since 1981. She has worked with government agencies, communities, tribes, organizations and individuals to improve working relationships within and among entities, build public collaboration and improve cross-cultural understanding. She has helped groups solve problems, reach consensus, or negotiate outcomes related to endangered species, water rights, noise pollution, hazardous waste clean-up, mine closures, Superfund sites and land use conflicts.

James Rogers

The general manager of the Winecup Gamble ranch, James Rogers is a renaissance man without equal. He is an expert on all the things that are needed to successfully run one of the largest ranches in the US and all around good person as well.


Current Staff


Cathryn Wild

With 7GI since it was founded in 2006, Cathryn Wild wanted her job title to be "wearer of many hats." Instead, she got Science and Stewardship Director/Executive Director. When wearing the hat of Science and Stewardship Director, every day is different. She works with land owners and communities to strengthen stewardship of natural resources and improving the scientific basis of that stewardship. She makes films, presents at conferences, creates posters, manipulates data and more. When wearing the hat of Executive Director, she is responsible for strategic planning and juggling all the balls.

Cathryn is an expert on the use of beavers as biological engineers in building watershed resilience and on the role of the pika as an indicator species for climate change in alpine ecosystems. Previously, she worked extensively in protected area planning and management for national parks, marine protected areas, and other protected areas in the US and internationally.

Bill Morris

Bill Morris is the Institute's Operations Manager - a fancy way of saying he's a jack of all trades. He has thirty years of experience managing people and projects, which comes in handy during a typical hectic field season at the Institute. He coordinates and trains contractors, live-traps beaver, surveys for pika, pushes the buttons and twirls the dials on the Institute's various cameras and - oh, yes, he is also the Institute's president (see above). He enjoys all things "outside."

Ralph Pastor

Ralph Pastor keeps the website up-to-date and handles the mountain of administrative tasks for the Institute. We are extremely pleased to have him working with us.

Anita Romero

Anita Romero is the Institute’s current conservation assistant. Anita will be working on the Women Making Waves for Conservation Program, Outsider Corps and assisting Ralph Pastor with many tasks.

Past interns and assistants

Chyanne Stowell, Kathy Brown

Special Volunteers and Collaborators

See these folks on our Partners page

The Institute also hires contractors on an as-needed basis. Openings will be announced on the jobs and internships page.