USA Office Contacts - Operation Wallacea

USA Office Contacts

Based in Staunton, VA we have a new office dedicated to recruiting research assistants and thesis students from the USA.

Postal address:
P.O. Box 3068,
VA 24401

Telephone:  +1(973)920-0487 or +1(540)-569-2411



Who’s who at Operation Wallacea USA

US Director – Scott Sveiven
Scott came to Opwall after working at a small forestry college deep in the backwoods of the Adirondacks in New York, where he taught students tree and plant species, as well as general biology. He recently completed concurrent graduate degree programs, earning an MS in Conservation Biology from SUNY-College of Environmental Science & Forestry and an MPA with a focus in Environmental Policy from Syracuse University. Born and raised in Minnesota, but having spent considerable time abroad, Scott has been heavily influenced by his travel experiences, especially studying wildlife management in Kenya. His professional interests are broad, and he views the collection, interconnectedness, and diversity of life on this planet as pieces of the larger puzzle of conservation. He is very pleased to be a part of Opwall’s research initiatives and global conservation efforts.

Country Manager & Biodiversity Research Presenter  – Freddy Herrera
Freddy first joined Operation Wallacea as a habitat surveyor in Indonesia during the 2014 field season. Before joining Operation Wallacea, Freddy worked as a science teacher and resident scientist for 2 years in High Point, NC. Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Freddy spent 12 years practicing the craft of football (aka soccer) until the promising career was cut short because his family moved to Queens, New York. He would spend the next year learning English until his family relocated once again to Charlotte, North Carolina. Freddy graduated from East Carolina University in 2010 with a B.S. in Biology. Beginning his sophomore year, every summer Freddy would work in the Croatan National Forest sampling and collecting organisms in temporary pond ecosystems. In these years, Freddy’s passion from playing football outdoors would shift to just being outdoors. Following his passion and interests in the outdoors, Freddy attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and graduated in 2013 with an M.S. in Biology.

Bookkeeper – Cristi Kyler
Cristi is a CPA and graduated from James Madison University with a double major in Accounting and Economics, although she seriously considered majoring in Marine Biology after several high school trips to Wallops Island, Virginia. Cristi loves visiting the barrier islands of North Carolina every year and enjoys living out in the country surrounded by unspoiled woods and wildlife. She is delighted to be using her accounting skills to help Operation Wallacea achieve its research and conservation goals!

Office Manager– Kirsten Pickford
Kirsten graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. She first began working with Operation Wallacea in the summer of 2014 as a research assistant at our marine site in Tela, Honduras. She spent the 2015 season at Cusuco National Park in Honduras as a volunteer coordinator. Her favorite part about expedition is getting to meet people from around the world with similar interests, while participating in some extraordinary research. She enjoys traveling, SCUBA diving, and most especially, birding. Kirsten is looking forward to working with students across the US, preparing them for the life changing experience that is an Opwall expedition.

Schools and University Support Ellen Fluharty
Ellen graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She first began working with Operation Wallacea in the summer of 2014 as a research assistant in Utila, Honduras. She fell in love diving and continued the summer completing her PADI Dive Master training. In the summer of 2015 she returned to Honduras with Opwall to run a research project studying the biomass of sponges and soft corals on the Mesoamerican reef. She then spent the summer of 2016 running the marine science program in Nosy Be, Madagascar and continuing the long term biodiversity monitoring of its heavily overfished reef. Her favorite part of the expeditions is getting the opportunity to explore new parts of the world and being immersed in their different cultures. Aside from diving, she also enjoys camping and traveling whenever possible. She is excited to be a part of the Opwall team and to contribute to their conservation research.

Alaska Regional Advisor – Caitlin Marsteller
Caitlin graduated from the University of West Florida in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. She first began working with Operation Wallacea in the summer of 2011 as a research assistant in Indonesia. She loved the program so much, that as a graduation present to herself in 2013 she completed another field season in Mexico. Working with Operation Wallacea opened her eyes to her passion for marine biology and conservation research. Her favorite activities on expedition included bimodal respiration of yellow-lipped sea kraits and sea turtle nesting behavior. In her free time, along with SCUBA diving and obsessing about sea turtles, Caitlin enjoys outdoor adventuring such as rock climbing and hiking. She is excited to become part of the Opwall team and hopes to use her position to spread understanding of current biological issues in order to further efforts in conservation research.