Patagonia, AZ, January 26, 2023 – Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) welcomes Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona as the new Executive Director following the departure of Kurt Vaughn who recently relocated back to California to be closer to family.
“I want to thank Kurt Vaughn for leading BRN through our first five years, building strong systems while expanding our resources, capacity, and impacts leaving us poised to move forward with our recently adopted strategic plan,” said Lynn Davison, BRN Board Chair. “We welcome Dr. Sierra Corona to the team as a strong ambassador and experienced leader with considerable on-the-ground experience in conservation and restoration, solid management experience, and a broad network of colleagues in the US and Mexico.”
Dr. Sierra Corona is a conservation scientist with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing conservation practices on endangered landscapes. He is a native of Queretaro, Mexico, having completed his Ecosystem Management doctorate in 2016 at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, working in the Chihuahuan Desert native grasslands. His Ph.D. work focused on the ecological interaction of black-tailed prairie dogs and domestic cattle, challenging the longstanding view of prairie dogs as an undesirable species. Rodrigo has worked on the recovery of black-footed ferrets, American bison, prairie dogs, and jaguars. He is also currently involved in understanding the US-Mexico border wall’s effects on wildlife.
Rodrigo comes to BRN from his prior role as the Director of Ecological Management at the Santa Lucia Conservancy in Carmel, California. He brought both an academic and in-practice perspective to the Santa Lucia Preserve to improve its ecological integrity through the development and implementation of science-based management strategies designed around climate change adaptation and resilience with particular attention to wildfire patterns, drought, ecosystem connectivity, and biodiversity. Rodrigo oversaw biological monitoring and research, restoration, and conservation grazing programs.
Dr. Sierra Corona completed his bachelor’s dissertation at BRN network partner Cuenca Los Ojos 20 years ago, following black bears and mountain lions and setting camera traps at the Mexico-US borderline. During this time, he heard the call, loud and clear, to work with nature to improve the ecological conditions of degraded landscapes.
Rodrigo will begin in his new role on March 20, 2023.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to return to the arid landscapes of the borderlands to join BRN and work with the many partners, volunteers, and donors who are committed to safeguarding the ecological well-being of the borderlands region,” Sierra Corona said. “I enthusiastically look forward to building upon the current successes of BRN and further growing the impact and work on both sides of the border.”
Borderlands Restoration Network partners to grow a restorative economy by rebuilding healthy ecosystems, restoring habitat for plants and wildlife, and reconnecting our border communities to the land through shared learning.