Welcome to new Associate

Sound Science LLC welcomes new Senior Associate Dr. Healy Hamilton, who specializes in ecological forecasting, biological response to global change, and marine ecosystems.

A Recent Sound Science Project:

David Maddox facilitated and helped plan the workshop "MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: Building a Research Agenda." Held in New York City, the workshop brought together practitioners and scientists to plan new research that would improve the practice of urban forestry, advance understanding of economic and social aspects of green infrastructure, and contribute to the body of knowledge in urban socio-ecology.



About us

Sound Science LLC was founded in 2004 by Dr. David Maddox and Dr. Robert Unnasch. Together they have over forty years of experience in conservation practice, adaptive management, statistics, and monitoring.

David and Bob are joined by a broad array of staff and Associates who offer diverse expertise and experience. Christine Wisnewski is Sound Science's Director of Projects, managing projects, administration, and the production of reports.

A list of selected recent and relevant publications by Sound Science staff can be seen here.

Sound Science LLC has a wide array of clients that includes large governmental agencies and NGOs, and maintains corporate partnerships with several companies in teaming arrangements for projects with the federal government and NGO's.

Sound Science subject areas

Urban ecology & sustainability, statistics, livelihoods, facilitation: David Maddox

Natural resources managment, modeling, monitoring: Robert Unnasch

Ecological forecasting, climate change, marine ecosystems: Healy Hamilton

Water resources planning and management: David Braun

Information technology and App development: Scott Santulli

Writing, editing, and document preparation: Liz Pierson

Plant ecology, arid lands, grasslands, science writing; Cindy Salo

Social ecology and organizational sociology: Shawn Dalton

Land and management planning, prescribed fire: Michael Batcher

Land cover change, conservation, ecosystem modeling: Megan Creutzburg

Spatial analysis, mapping, GIS: Nathan Welch

Sound Science LLC maintains corporate partnerships with the following companies in teaming agreements and joint projects:

Nature Serve A Network Connecting Science with Conservation
Providing the scientific basis for effective conservation, NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs are the trusted source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems. http://natureserve.org/


L I F E   I N  W A T E R :  EcoAnalysts, Inc. is committed to helping our clients make highly informed decisions regarding the condition and stewardship of our natural resources. http://www.ecoanalysts.com/

Software ADE has 13 years of solid, successful experience providing enterprise infrastructure and IT solutions and services to the US Army and Joint service systems and other federal and private sector clients. They provide engineering solutions and program management leadership and are highly experienced in designing, engineering, managing and documenting complex systems solutions. Their expertise includes Enterprise systems engineering, legacy systems modernization, and joint interoperability of war fighter systems. Software ADE information technology professionals, systems architects and program managers provide full software and product lifecycle support in developing complex federal and private sector information management systems.   http://www.softwareade.com/

Established in 1989, CALIBRE is an employee-owned management and technology services company. CALIBRE builds and delivers practical, timely, best value solutions to solve management, technology, and program challenges. We serve customers in the public and private sectors - defense, federal civil, state and local government, and commercial. http://www.calibresys.com


Sound Science Founders and Chief Scientists

David Maddox, PhD, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder
I am committed to the health of the natural environment, urban resilience and livability, the application of ecosystem services for human welfare and livelihoods, and the effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of these issues.

I am Founder and Editor of TheNatureOfCities.com, Co-Founder of Sound Science LLC, and the Director of Science for the NYC Natural Areas Conservancy..

My current work is in the development of useful knowledge for design and management of social-ecological systems in urban landscapes. Recent projects include facilitation of the “Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests” task force, and co-authorship of the New York City case study in the forthcoming book “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook”, published by the United Nations. I hold a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a statistics minor, from Cornell University. David is also a composer, musician, and published playright. For that life, see www.williebellmusic.com. I live in New York City.
View David's complete Bio

Contact David

Robert Unnasch, PhD, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder
Bob has over 20 years experience in designing and managing ecological research and monitoring programs. Research experience and publications in ecological genetics, animal behavior and population ecology, plant population dynamics and community, ecosystem and landscape ecology.  Experience in experimental and sampling design, quantitative analysis of complex data sets, database design and program management. 

Created and ran research grants programs that distributed over $1,500,000 in research funds each year for 15 years. Developed several training courses on ecological  monitoring and the analysis of ecological data which have been integrated into the core training of the Nature Conservancy, the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management. Co-created a curriculum of training for the US Army Environmental Command. Created and directed the Aridlands Grazing Network a 13 State initiative to foster cross-site learning and adaptive management throughout the arid west. 

Currently co-directs the Grassland Conservancy Network, a tri-national conservation effort to protect threatened and endangered grassland nesting birds throughout North America. Primary- or Co-Primary Investigator on several research programs; currently co-investigator on a $2.8 million, multifaceted study on the ecology of encephalitis. viruses in the southeastern US.

View Bob's complete bio
Contact Bob

Senior Staff

Christine Wisnewski, M.S. (Director of Projects)
Christine has 15 years experience in every aspect of project management and coordination in support of conservation programs. As Sound Science's project manager, she administers contracts, coordinates the production of documents, writes and is chief editor.  As a program manager at the Nature Conservancy, Christine managed a $6 million competitive ecosystem research program, coordinated the department-wide planning and budgeting process, and provided financial review and training for senior management.

She is an experienced meeting coordinator and facilitator. As coordinator of a state-wide water quality monitoring program in Pennsylvania, she managed
watershed analyses, trained volunteers on field sampling methods and provided
community outreach on the importance of healthy freshwater systems.

Christine holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns
Hopkins University, emphasizing environmental impact assessment and decision methods for natural resource management. 
Contact Christine

Senior Associates

Healy Hamilton, PhD, is a biodiversity scientist with a research focus on ecological forecasting. Her lab integrates spatial data on biodiversity, environment, and climate from both models and observations to understand biological response to global change. Current research projects include forecasting climate-change induced range shifts for species of management concern, characterizing the spatial and temporal patterns of climate change impacts to landscapes, and developing methods to characterize uncertainty in ecological forecasting. The Hamilton lab collaborates with a wide range of conservation organizations and government agencies, providing science in support of adaptation planning in the U.S. and around the globe. Dr. Hamilton is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, a Senior Research Fellow at the Marine Conservation Institute, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at San Francisco State University. She received her masters degree from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. For both degrees she conducted extensive field research in Latin America, and she continues expedition research today across a range of marine environments. Dr. Hamilton is a former U.S. Fulbright Fellow and a Switzer Foundation Environmental Leadership Grantee.
Contact Healy

David Braun, PhD,
has conducted extensive research and project development and management experience in the integration of ecological, hydrologic, and watershed science to conserve freshwater ecosystems to meet both societal and ecological needs in both mixed-use and agricultural watersheds, including in context of climate change; designed and implemented ecological adaptive management projects – both in general and for watershed-based freshwater projects in particular – including development of ecological threshold-based management goals and performance metrics; water quality and hydrologic research design, monitoring and data analysis; hydrologic alteration analysis with particular application to agricultural watersheds and freshwater inflows to estuaries; application of watershed modeling to land-use planning and evaluation of governmental policy impacts; public-private partnerships in watershed management. Extensive experience developing guidance materials and providing training in biodiversity conservation with particular emphasis on watershed-based freshwater conservation. Increasing experience in the causes, impacts and policy implications of methyl-mercury terrestrial and freshwater bioaccumulation “hotspots.”
Contact David


Scott Santulli is a collaborative associate of Sound Science LLC specializing in information technology and website design and development.  Scott is an experienced technology executive with more than 20 years of technical team management and product development experience. Most recently Scott served as Vice President of Technology for The National Geographic Society’s Digital Media Division where he oversaw all technological aspects related to the delivery of digital content to the consumer.  Under Scott’s direction the Society’s web production efforts evolved from manually built and updated sites to an automated publishing system, and saw the creation of an in-house engineering department to support customized software development.  His leadership of the Society’s Digital Media program is characterized by increased performance, capacity and reliability of the Society’s website, one that handles on average 2,500,000 pageviews per day.  In addition to his experience overseeing the development and management of one of the web’s most popular sites, Scott has extensive experience with on-line product engineering, development of interactive reference products, and all aspects of on-line administration.  Scott is a strategic thinker with proven track record of innovation, building and leadership of high performance teams, and managing infrastructure and services necessary to meet the goals and objectives of the organization.
Contact Scott

Megan Creutzburg, Ph.D, has 8+ years experience as a plant ecologist and in developing innovative tools to monitor land cover change and conservation efforts. She holds a B.A. in Biology-Environmental Studies from Whitman College and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Utah State University.
Contact Megan


Shawn Dalton, PhD,
is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (Biology, 1988), the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Masters of Environmental Studies, 1992), and The Johns Hopkins University (Doctorate, Dept. of Geography and Environmental Engineering, 2002). For the past two decades, she has worked in the areas of integrated and community-based urban resource management, watershed management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the application of social ecological models to a variety of human ecosystems. She has led collaborative research teams conducting applied research in urban and rural communities, and uses an interest-based approach to the application of social sciences in resource management. Dr. Dalton has been Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Research Centre at the University of New Brunswick, in Fredericton, NB, Canada; is a member of the US Department of Interior’s Strategic Sciences Working Group, which applies integrated sciences to the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico; and is the Executive Director of the Canaan-Washademoak Watershed Association. In addition, she serves as the Chair of the Fredericton Area Watersheds Association Steering Committee, and is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research site; and an Associate of the Canadian Rivers Institute at UNB. Contact Shawn

Elizabeth Pierson has 34 years experience as a freelance editor and writer. The vast majority of her work focuses on conservation, natural history, the environment, and sustainability issues, with a particular interest in ornithology. Liz has written two birdwatching books and more than 220 magazine, newspaper, and journal articles. She works with nonprofit and government organizations as well as with publishers and businesses. Among Liz’s recent long-term editing assignments was serving as technical editor for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s landmark publication Cities and Biodiversity Outlook: Action and Policy (2012), which involved working for 15 months with more than 60 authors from around the world. She has also edited several college biology textbooks, including the well-known Life: The Science of Biology by Sadava et al. (Sinauer Associates, 2012). Liz is facile with technical language and adept at translating scientific work for students and the general public. She has extensive experience working directly with the scientists and policy-makers whose work she edits, including those for whom English is a second language. Liz holds a B.A. from Smith College, where she majored in biology and minored in English. Contact Liz.


Nathan Welch, M.S.
Spatial analysis, mapping, GIS

Nathan provides GIS services, including map making, spatial analysis, data management, and training. He has 6 years of experience using GIS to support land and water conservation in the non-profit and private sectors. A scientist by training, Nathan has earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Whitman College, master’s degrees in animal and plant ecology from Utah State and Duke Universities (including 4 years of teaching experience), and a minor in geospatial analysis..

Cindy Salo, PhD, is a plant ecologist committed to protecting the wild open landscapes of the Intermountain West. She has over fifteen years experience designing, managing, and describing ecological research projects. These have included investigating plant invasions and interactions in the Sonoran Desert, the Intermountain West, Mexico, and Senegal. Research topics have included both Mediterranean grasses spreading in the US West and Neotropical trees spreading in Africa. She has conducted research at the University of Arizona and the Department of Interior and published research results in scientific and popular venues.
Contact Cindy

Michael Batcher, MS, is trained as both an ecologist and environmental planner and has more than 20 years experience in ecological field studies and analyses, land use planning, and environmental planning. As a consultant, he provides services in biological surveys and conservation planning to state agencies and nonprofit conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy, the Thousand Islands Land Trust, the Mohonk Preserve, Scenic Hudson, the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Before becoming a consultant, Mr. Batcher worked for The Nature Conservancy, where he designed and managed ecosystem level research projects that involved collecting information at multiple scales. He was also responsible for stewardship of TNC preserves and for both biological and property management of those sites. He has extensive experience working with both public and private organizations to develop strategic planning and partnerships for conservation planning and the solution of environmental problems. He has experience in ecological management, including invasive species and fire management (qualified as a prescribed burn boss, RXB2) and has been trained in natural heritage program methods for mapping rare species and natural communities, methods used by the State of Vermont for stream assessment, and in wetlands delineation. He is experienced in the use of ARCVIEW 3.3, ARCGIS 9.2, and ERDAS Imagine as well as statistical analyses. He received a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and a Master of Science in botany from the University of Vermont in 1990. Contact Michael

Partial Sound Science Client List

Governmental Organizations

• Clark County, Nevada
• Colorado State Insectary
• Grafenwöhr US Military Installation (Germany)
• Idaho Fish & Game • New Jersey Fish and Game
• New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation
• US Army Environmental Command
• US Bureau of Land Management
• US Bureau of Reclamation

• US Fish & Wildlife Service
• US Geological Survey
• US Geological Survey Jornada Research Station
• US National Park Service
• USDA Forest Service
• USDA Forest Service Continuing Education Program for Natural Resource Professionals

NGO and Foundations
• American Museum of Natural History
• City Parks Foundation
• Conservation International
• Earth Explorer Group
• Fundacao de Vivir, Preservar e Producir (Brazil)
• Idaho Conservation Data Center
• Institute of Ecosystem Studies
• LandScope America
• Maryland Natural Heritage Program
• NatureServe
• Nature Conservancy
• New York Restoration Project
• Saude e Alegria (Brazil)
• World Resources Institute

Polling and Market Research
• Benenson Strategy Group
• Freedman Consulting LLC

• Arizona Western College
• Lanzhou University Grasslands Center (China)
• Northern Arizona University
• University of Alabama
• University of South Florida

Representative Publications from Sound Science LLC Chief Scientists and Associates

McPhearson, Timon, David Maddox, Bram Gunther, and David Bragdon 2013. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the New York City Social-Ecological System. Cities Biodiversity Outlook: A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystems. UN Convention of Biological Diversity. October 2013.

Chen H.Y., Zhu T., Krott. M., and Maddox D. 2012. Community forestry Management and livelihood development: Integration of governance, project design and community participation. Regional Environmental Change, DOI 417 10.1007/s10113-012-0316-3.

Chen H.Y. Shivakoti P.G., Zhu T., Maddox D. 2012. Livelihood Sustainability and Community Based Co-Management of Forest Resources in China: Changes and Improvement. Environment Management49: 219-228.

Zhu Ting, Ganesh Shivakoti, Chen, Haiyun, and David Maddox 2012. A survey-based evaluation of community-based co-management of forest resources and livelihood: a case study of Baishuijiang National Natural Reserve in China. Environment, Development and Sustainability14(2): 197-220.

Dalton, S. E. (2011). Application of the Human Ecosystem Model in Warfare Ecology. In Machlis, G.E. and Hanson, T. (2011). Proceedings of NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) Warfare Ecology: Synthesis, Priorities, and Policy Implications for Peace and Security, 10-12 December, 2009. Springer-Verlag.

Maddox, G. David (Ed.) Contributing Authors: Brian Aucoin, Martina Barnes, Lindsay Campbell, Lisa Hawkins, Dexter Locke, Morgan Monaco, Andrew Newman, Erika Svendsen and Daniella Zanin-Pereira 2010. Supporting Success: Making the Transition to Green Collar Jobs. Report from the Workshop. USDA Forest Service & NYC Parks & Recreation.

Jacqueline W.T. Lu, Megan Shane, Erika Svendsen, Lindsay Campbell, Cristiana Fragola, Marianne Krasny, Gina Lovasi, G. David Maddox, Simon McDonnell, P. Timon McPhearson, Franco Montalto, Andrew Newman, Ellen Pehek, Ruth A. Rae, Richard Stedman, Keith G. Tidball, Lynne Westphal, Tom Whitlow 2009. MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: Building a Research Agenda. 48pp.

Dalton, S.E., Ed. (2009). Climate Change Adaptation, Preparation, and Mitigation in New Brunswick, Report to the NB Environmental Trust Fund.

Maddox, G. David and C. Wisnewski 2009. Measure Success. Landscope America. http://www.landscope.org/

Unnasch, R.S., D. P. Braun, P. J. Comer, G. E. Eckert. 2008. The Ecological Integrity Assessment
Framework: A Framework for Assessing the Ecological Integrity of Biological and Ecological Resources of
the National Park System
. Report to the National Park Service.

Pilliod, D.S., C.L. Aldridge, R.S. Arkle, J.L. Downs, C.G. Homer, D.A. Pyke, D.A., L.F. Salo, J.D. Tagestad 2009. In review. Landscape-level monitoring of Greater Sage-grouse habitats using remote sensing information. Studies in Avian Biology.

Unnasch, R.S., T Korves, E Cupp, G Hill and T.R. Unnasch. 2012. An ecological systems model for Eastern
Equine Encephalomyelitis in the Southeastern United States
. In press.

Kress, W.J., G David Maddox and R.L. Bartgis 2009. Genetic relationships and the taxonomic status of
Harperella, Ptilimnium nodosum (Apiaceae), and endangered plant of the eastern United States. 24pp.
Submitted to American Journal of Botany.

Washington-Allen, R.A. and L.F. Salo. 2007. Symposium Review: Icons and Upstarts and the Detection of Thresholds: Definitions, Perspectives, and Methods. Ecological Society of America Bulletin April, pp. 219-225.

Grieser, K. and S. Dalton, (2006). Quantification and Characterization of Recreational Paddling on Tivoli Bays and Constitution Marsh. Section VII: 83 pp. In W.C. Nieder & J.R. Waldman (eds). Final Reports of the Tibor T.Polgar Fellowship Program, 2005 Hudson River Foundation.

Dalton, S.E. (2006) Watershed Stewardship in Canada. Horizons, Policy Research Initiative.

D.P. Braun. 2006. Freshwater Fundamentals (Chapter 2, co-author), Focusing Freshwater Conservation Efforts (Chapter 3, co-author), Understanding Threats to Freshwater Biodiversity (Chapter 4, co-author) and Measuring Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation Success (Chapter 5, author) and Indicators of Freshwater Ecological Integrity (Appendix B, author), In N. Silk and K. Ciruna, editors, A Practitioner’s Guide to Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation, Island Press.

Salo, L.F. 2005. Red brome (Bromus rubens subsp. madritensis) in North America: possible modes for early introductions, subsequent spread. Biological Invasions 7:165 - 180.

Salo, L.F., G.R. McPherson, and D.G. Williams. 2005. Sonoran Desert winter annuals affected by density of red brome and soil nitrogen. The American Midland Naturalist 153:102-116.

Salo, L.F. 2004. Population dynamics of red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens): times for concern, opportunities for management. Journal of Arid Environments 57:291-296.

Unnasch, R.S., S.K. Rust, D. Leptick, R.C. Martin, G. Servheen, M. Terra-Berns. 2003. Monitoring and
Evaluation Plan for Idaho Wildlife Mitigation Projects. Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.

Parrish, J.D, D.B. Braun and R.S. Unnasch. 2003. Are we conserving what we say we are? Measuring
ecological integrity within protected areas. Bioscience 53:851-860.

Muchoney, D. and R.S. Unnasch. 2001. Speaking the Language of Remote Sensing: How to use change
detection techniques for monitoring. Conservation Biology in Practice 2: 35-38.

Ottke, C., P. Kristensen, G David Maddox, and E. Rodenburg 2000. Monitoring for Impact: A Handbook
on Natural Resources Monitoring based on Lessons from 13 NGO's, Volume 1. World Resources Institute, 90pp.

G David Maddox., K.E. Poiani, and R.S. Unnasch 1999. Evaluating Management Success: using ecological
models to ask the right monitoring questions. IN N. Johnson (Ed.) The Ecological Stewardship Project:
A common reference for Ecosystem Management (3 Volumes)
Elsvier Science: Oxford.

Kress, W.J., G David Maddox and S. Roesel 1993 Population genetics of the endangered semi-aquatic plant,
Ptilimnium nodosum
. Conservation Biology 22: 225-230.

Bartgis, R.L. and G David Maddox 1991. Designing and implementing a riverine preserve for the endangered
plant Ptilimnium nodosum: Sideling Hill Creek as a case study. IN A.E. Schuyler (Ed.) Symposium on rare
plants of Pennsylvania. Bartonia 57: 49-52.

G David Maddox and R.L. Bartgis 1990 Harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum) recovery plan. US Fish and Wildlife
Service, Newton, MA, 60pp.

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