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NEON in Transition

June 1, 2006

 

Two current NEON staff members, Brian Wee and Bruce Leighty, have taken on additional management duties for the National Ecological Observatory Network.

Brian Wee has been named the NEON Project Management Office administrative director. In his new capacity, Wee oversees the program's staff, activities, and deliverables; interfaces with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the project's principal investigators; and sees that work is completed on time and on budget. He had previously served as a postdoctoral associate since the inception of the NEON Project Office, and as a staff scientist.

Wee received his BSc in information systems and computer science from the National University of Singapore in 1992. Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) sponsored his MS in computer science at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He focused primarily on designing and implementing computer-augmented learning solutions for high school classrooms, and on corporate training. After graduation, Wee returned to work with Andersen Consulting, leading projects in instructional design, knowledge management, business process redesign, and Web development. In 1998, he began work on his PhD in ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Texas at Austin. In his dissertation, Wee investigated the relative effects of behavioral, physiological, and landscape barriers on the genetic structure of insect populations.

Bruce Leighty, who has worked as a consultant for NEON throughout the design process, now serves in an expanded capacity as operations manager for the project, overseeing the development and management of key operational systems (especially financial systems), contract administration, and compliance with governmental rules and regulations for NEON, Inc.

Leighty holds dual master's degrees—an MBA from the Yale School of Management and an MFS from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies—and has extensive experience in natural resource management, business administration, and program management operations. His varied career includes positions with the National Wildlife Federation (Barrier Islands project coordinator) and the Harvard Forest (inventory forester); he also has extensive experience with US government projects, including projects of the US Agency for International Development and the NSF. Before joining the NEON effort, he served as the World Wildlife Fund's director of management and Eastern European programming for the Biodiversity Support Program.

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