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Our staff

Catherine Schloegel, Executive Director

Catherine Schloegel joined our team in 2008 and currently serves as the Foundation's Executive Director.  Prior to joining FCT, she worked with the Pinchot Institute`s sustainable forestry project on the coastal plain of Ecuador.  She has a B.A. in geography from Vassar College and a M.E.Sc. in social ecology from Yale University.  She enjoys spontaneous adventures, soccer, hiking, birding, and travel.

María Elena Fajardo, Accountant

María Elena Fajardo has ten years of administrative and management experience workingwith non-governmental organizations in Ecuador. She has worked as an accountant and administrator and has extensive experience working in rural areas, and in the management of micro-credit programs.  She earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Audits from the University of Cuenca (Ecuador).

Armando Garzón, Field Technician

Armando Garzón has worked as a community park ranger for the past 3 years in
communities adjacent to southern Sangay National Park. He is trained as a para-biologist and para-hydrologist. He is also a passionate educator and powerful public speaker. In 2013, he was named a ¨Disney Conservation Hero¨ for his work to protect the spectacled bear. He has completed 10th grade and continues with his studies in hopes of earning a high school degree in the future.

Omar Laudázuri, Field Technician

Omar Laudázuri has collaborated since 2011 with the Foundation as a researcher, culminating in the recent publication of his undergraduate thesis, ¨Estimation of the Abundance of the Andean Bear in an Andean forest in southern Ecuador¨ and graduation from the Department of Biology at the University of Azuay, Ecuador. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, long walks in the mountains, and all types of artistic endeavors.

Renata Márquez, Project Coordinator

Renata Márquez joined the FCT team in mid-2011 and is responsible for coordinating our environmental education programs. Prior to working with the foundation, she collaborated with water and forest resource projects, and provided support to a diversity of community initiatives. She received a degree in biology from the University of Azuay in Cuenca, Ecuador and a Master's of Environmental Agrobiology from the Public University of Navarra in Spain, and the Basque Country University. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading good books, listening to music, travelling and thinking about the small details of nature and everyday life.

Becky Zug, Senior Scientist

Becky Zug joined the Foundation as a senior scientist in mid-2011 and has been a Foundation scientific collaborator since 2008.  She is currently a candidate for a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will continue to research the role of private and communal lands adjacent to protected areas in Andean bear conservation.  She received a Master of Science degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009.  As part of her thesis to better understand the ecology and habitat requirements of Andean bears, she pioneered the use of camera traps in the montane forests of southern Ecuador.  Her research has contributed toward regional conservation programs and targeting.  She currently lives in Quito, Ecuador with her husband and two labradoodles.



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