Kris is an engineer and scientist with over 25 years of experience providing leadership and technical expertise related to climate change resilience and adaptation strategy development, with an emphasis on coastal environments, sea level rise, and extreme hazard analysis. Kris served as a lead author of the Fourth National Climate Assessment for the United States Global Climate Research Program. Kris has a solid understanding of the policies and guidance in place nationally and locally that are driving climate change adaptation planning. Kris has also lent her unique blend of science, engineering, policy, and visualization techniques for collaborative projects with FEMA, USGS, NOAA, EPA, USACE, FHWA, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Principal, Wetland Science and Coastal Management
Steve Crooks, PhD
Steve is a wetland scientist / geomorphologist with 25 years of experience in the response of coastal wetland systems to human impacts and climate change. Steve specializes in translating scientific information to formats accessible to policy and decision makers as well as senior-level managers. He also works within organizations, governments, and agencies to develop teams and initiatives that support capacity building. He regularly briefs US and Foreign governments, government agencies, and Federal, State, and local leaders. He was a lead author of the IPCC 2013 Wetland Supplement. He is an Approved Methodology Expert to the verified Carbon Standard. He leads the U.S. interagency/science community Coastal Wetland Carbon Working Group, incorporating coastal wetlands within the U.S. Inventory of GHG emissions and sinks. He also co-chairs the carbon advisory panel for the Global Environmental Facility Blue Forest Project and is the co-founder of International Blue Carbon Initiative.
Principal, Climate Policy and Financing
Moritz von Unger, PhD
Moritz has over 18 years of professional experience in international climate and low-carbon interventions. He specializes in climate finance and climate investments, institutional due diligence assessments, public-private partnership advice, and program evaluations. He has extensive experience advising governments at all levels, as well as international finance institutions and the private sector. Moritz is currently advising: the World Bank (FCPF Carbon Fund, Washington D.C.) with preparing a number of REDD+ recipient countries to become investment-ready; the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the design of an investment fund focusing on coastal environments and blue carbon; the European Commission with an implementation assessment of the bloc’s free trade agreement and trade and sustainability agenda with Central American countries; and the German government with respect to international emissions trading.
Principal, Carbon Project Development
Igino Emmer, PhD
Igino is a geographer and carbon project developer with more than 30 years of experience supporting the creation and development of world’s leading carbon projects. His international experience spans Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. He is a member of the Conservation International / International Union for Conservation of Nature Blue Carbon Working Group, and the lead author of the Verified Carbon Standard Wetland Restoration and Conservation requirements. Igino is the original founder of Silvestrum in Europe, and he continues to support Silvestrum Climate Associates.
Senior Associate, Flood Risk and Climate Adaptation
Mike (Michael) Mak, MSc, PE
Mike is a water resources engineer specializing in climate change vulnerability and risk assessments, storm flood modeling, watershed and storm water management planning, and ecological restoration planning and design. He is currently supporting the development of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's climate vulnerability and adaptation assessment for the multi-billion dollar sewer system improvement program, which includes cross-sector engagement with the SFPUCs Flood Resiliency Program, the Collection System Strategy Program, as well as multiple shoreline development projects that will ultimately connect to the SFPUCs combined sewer system. Mike has applied his expertise in both built and natural environments, and enjoys working with clients that need climate mitigation and adaptation solutions that span both green and gray infrastructure to reduce flood risks and provide ecological and social benefits. He stays up to date on the latest climate science, and can translate the science to develop vulnerability and risk findings that support cost-effective, multi-benefit adaptation solutions.
Senior Associate, Coastal Ecologist and GIS Analyst
Lisa Schile-Beers, PhD
Lisa is a coastal ecologist with over 20 years of experience studying wetland plant ecology, carbon cycling, and soil biogeochemistry. Using field, GIS, and spatial modeling tools and techniques, Lisa examines tidal wetland and marsh resilience to sea-level rise and other climate change impacts. Through her postdoctoral work as a fellow for the Smithsonian Institution, she studied latitudinal gradients in soil carbon storage and decomposition in wetlands and mangroves from Alaska to Panama, whole ecosystem carbon dynamics in the intertidal zones of the United Arab Emirates, and methane emissions from bald cypress trunks. As a postdoctoral researcher at the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Lisa collected data on variability in suspended sediment concentrations across channels, marshes and seasons, and modeled their effects on marsh accretion under different sea-level rise scenarios.
Senior Associate, Community Engagement and Climate Resilience
Yanna Badet, LEED AP
Yanna is an Environmental Scientist (Umweltwissenschaftlerin, Dipl.) with a specialty in community engagement, resilience, and sustainability planning. She has more than 18 years of experience advising governmental agencies, cities, and firms in California and Germany. Ms. Badet has also managed climate change mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability projects. Ms. Badet has the unique ability to explain complex, technical analyses to all levels of stakeholders, and build consensus among a varied array of community officials, agency staff, academia, NGOs, and community members. She led the community engagement for several large infrastructure and resilience-focused projects, reaching millions of people. Ms Badet is bilingual in English and German and fluent in French.
Associate, GIS Manager and Analyst
Mark Lightner, GISP
Mr. Lightner is a Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst with over a decade of experience bringing innovation and automation to climate change and flood mapping projects. He has used his technical expertise to develop the “one map equals many futures” sea level rise and storm surge inundation mapping available on the Adapting to Rising Tides Shoreline Flood Explorer, and is currently expanding on this work to look at the impacts of sea level rise on the shallow groundwater layer. Mr. Lightner is experienced in python scripting and automation techniques, web-based database management, and developing web-based geospatial applications and tools that can support stakeholder engagement and decision-making processes.
Associate, Marine Geographer and GIS Analyst
Abby Mohan, MSc
Abby Mohan is a marine geographer and GIS analyst who works on the intersections between coastal use, coastal policy, coastal science, and best practices in communicating these complex issues to the public. Abby is active in the maritime community and serves as the Vice Chair of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (GFNMS). Abby also supports climate change vulnerability and risk assessments with a focus on sea level rise and emergent groundwater. Abby has worked with the GEF Blue Forests project translating the experiences of project managers from carbon and ecosystem service based mangrove conservation and restoration in seven countries (Abu Dhabi, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique) to develop lessons learned, tools and guidance to replicate and scale up successes from these pilot projects. Abby is also a licensed captain and enjoys being out on the water every chance she can get.
Associate, Resilience and Flood Risk Management
Maryellen Hearn, MSc
Maryellen is a resilience and floodplain management specialist, with a primary focus on flood risk assessments and climate adaptation. She has been supporting the Port of San Francisco’s Waterfront Resilience Program since 2018, providing the critical intersection point between the multi-disciplinary team focused on seismic and flood hazards as well as long-term resilience. Maryellen’s background also extends to multi-disciplinary projects with an environmental focus, bringing together aspects of socio-economic science, social equity, sustainability, and resilience in planning for flood and disaster risk reduction. She uses GIS software to collect, organize, analyze, and present geospatial data for local and international projects. Maryellen is also active on the volunteer front and served two years as the Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction on the Advisory Board for the international nonprofit Water Youth Network.
James Neher, MSc
James is a PhD candidate (on leave) at the University of California Berkeley, and an Engineering in Training (EIT) with a background Civil and Environmental Engineering, including environmental fluid mechanics and numerical modeling. He is experienced in data analysis, visualization, and predictive modeling, and proficient in multiple coding languages including. Through his academic experience he has , developed strong collaboration skills and he enjoys communicating about his research to technical and lay person audiences. His PhD research focused on meso- to micro-scale coupled simulations of flow over complex terrain, and he is bringing these skills to Silvestrum’s current collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looking at how atmospheric rivers and extra tropical storms throughout the Bay Area will change with a warming climate.
Intern, Environmental Engineer
Daisy Ramirez Lopez
Daisy is a recent graduate of the University of California, Merced with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering. She has a solid background in research and report development, along with a personal passion for improving both our natural and built environments. Daisy is supporting Silvestrum’s "Shallow Groundwater Response to Sea Level Rise" project funded by the California Resilience Challenge. Her educational background and previous internships have helped her develop strong technical and communication skills that will be an asset across multiple projects.
Intern, Climate Analyst
Rafael is an Atmospheric Scientist and graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science. His research focused on analyzing volcanic aerosols and their impacts on the environment and society by bringing together historic records, paleoclimate data, and climate modelling techniques. He also has a strong background in education and science communication, having taught high school physics and earth science, emphasizing making science more accessible to underrepresented communities. Rafael will support the analysis of potential future climate extremes to help communities prepare for the inevitable variability that climate change will bring. Rafael will use his educational background to make the results more accessible to both decision makers and the public.