Gary Slater
Senior Advisor and Research Associate

Gary founded Ecostudies in 2001, following a decade of working in South Florida.  He has worked to identify situations where Ecostudies’ knowledge, experience, and skills can be most effective towards advancing the conservation of birds and their habitats.

His current research focuses on the reintroduction ecology of passerine bird species, the wintering and stopover ecology of waterbirds, and the recovery of the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in Everglades National Park. He currently serves on the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program Bird Workgroup Committee.

Gary’s passion for birds began as a child watching chickadees at the family bird feeder. He received a B.S. in Wildlife Science from Purdue University and a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time gardening, brewing beer, and hiking.

Leah Rensel
Field Technician

Leah is biologist who is monitoring the effect of estuary restoration on birds in Snohomish and Skagit County, Washington. She also organizes citizen science outreach in Washington, including the Leque Island bird surveys and Puget Sound Shorebird Count.

She got her start in wildlife science volunteering for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and has worked for various environmental agencies and organizations all over the west.  She has chased birds for fun and science from the tip of Alaska to the Mexican Border. In 2013, she earned a B.S. in Biology from Linfield College.

Leah is an avid skier, adventurer and musician. She currently sings with the Skagit Cantabile Choir and loves attending art museums across the world