Senior Scientist, Conservation Biology Institute
Dr. Gallo started his career as an ecologist surveying for endangered species, developing habitat relationship models, and initiating a long-term ecological monitoring project. He also directed the start-up of a conservation science non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on sustaining the natural heritage of its region via science, community engagement, and long-term planning. Viewing conservation as primarily a social challenge, he then attained his Ph.D. in Geography - the understanding of interactions between humans, environment, and place, from the local to global scale. Under the guidance of Professor Michael Goodchild his driving research question was: "How can we improve the practice and protocols of conservation planning to better yield on-the-ground conservation?" Meanwhile, he was the lead scientist in developing the Regional Conservation Guide, published by the NGO, and related to his dissertation. This led to similar action-research in South Africa, where he went to work with some of the global leaders in this line of research. He expanded upon this work upon returning to the US.
Through this journey, his understanding of conservation has evolved from a focus on biodiversity to now also include the working landscape (e.g. wisely managed agricultural and renewable energy development) and the ethic of stewardship. He facilitates stewardship through his skills in project management, development, communication, as well as research and deployment of spatial decision support systems (SDSS). These systems synthesize a wealth of data and knowledge about a region into an adaptive modeling system for estimating the current and projected spatial needs of humans and nature, and how those needs can be met. He is also looking at how to better leverage collaborative participation of decision-makers, stakeholders, experts, and citizen scientists in developing and using these systems.
Key research Interests: spatial modeling, public participation GIS, conservation planning