Who We Are


Dr. Robert H. Horwich, Director received his Ph.D. in zoology 1967 from the University of Maryland and worked in a postdoctoral position in India with the Smithsonian Institution.

Based on over 20 years of research on infant development, he developed a successful method for reintroducing endangered cranes into the wild used internationally on a number of species. He has studied primate behavior in India and Central America since 1967 and pioneered a reintroduction effort for endangered black howler monkeys.

In 1984 he began work with community sanctuaries and established the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Belize. He is the founder of Community Conservation Inc./Howlers Forever, Inc.

Ashley M. Morga, Projects Coordinator, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and continues to build upon her grant writing and administrative experience in both the for- and non-profit fields.

In addition to her work with Community Conservation, Inc. and her life-long love for animals, Ashley also volunteers with several other community organizations and spends much of her time teaching and sharing her passion for dance at her dance studios.

Board of Directors

Keefe Keeley (President) comes from the Kickapoo Valley of Wisconsin. He studied biology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and then traveled on a Watson fellowship to live with farmers in the UK, Zambia, New Zealand, India, and Japan, and learn about the spiritual dynamics of their relationships with the land. He returned to Wisconsin and worked at an organic vegetable farm, and at the state’s Department of Agriculture connecting farmers with mentors. Since he began volunteering with Community Conservation partners in Peru, he has developed an ongoing effort to use agroforestry to improve livelihoods for cacao farmers and habitat for the critically endangered San Martín titi monkey. He is also doing research focused on engaging farmers with their forests in the Kickapoo Valley, for a MS degree in Agroecology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He lives in Madison, where he enjoys canoeing, bicycling, and escaping the city to plant trees on his family’s farm.

Dr. Terry Beck (Vice President) has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Composition from the Union Institute and taught in the English Department at UW-La Crosse from 1978 to 2008. He has a small farm near Avalanche, Wisconsin where he raises cattle, sheep, chickens, and wine grapes. He was a founder and long-time board member of Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School in Viroqua, Wisconsin. He currently serves on the Board of Youth Initiative High School in Viroqua and is a water quality monitor for Valley Stewardship Network.

April Sansom (Secretary) is currently working on a PhD in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She completed her Master's degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development in October of 2003. The action research she conducted for this degree focused on the role of women in natural resources management decision-making in two small rural communities in Bolivia . Her doctoral work will take her to Ecuador and Mexico as well as Bolivia . April served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1996-1998, and worked for the Philippines program of Conservation International for a year after that. She worked with an indigenous group of people on Coron Island that had just received legal rights over their ancestral land and water. She coordinated a conservation enterprise project, which focused on the processing of cashews by the local community people.

Joe Rising (Treasurer) has a strong background in not-for-profit organizations and law. He has a Juris Doctor Degree and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Anthropology. Joe is a licensed Minnesota attorney with nearly 25 years of experience advocating for the environment and assisting communities with resource conservation. His environmental commitment came off the prairie where Joe grew up spending summers near St. Cloud, MN. He has written for numerous publications and enjoys writing haiku to reach further into nature. Community Conservation has always been an integral part of Joe’s work.

Teri Allendorf Dr. Teri Allendorf has been working in Asia on issues of local communities and protected areas since 1994. She is an Honorary Fellow in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Land Tenure Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a research associate with the Conservation and Research Center at the Smithsonian Institution. She has also been a AAAS Fellow with USAID’s Biodiversity Team and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal. Through August 2012, she is also the program manager of the University of Wisconsin’s NSF IGERT “Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Southwest Yunnan” program. Her interests are in the human dimensions of biodiversity conservation, park-people relationships, community-based conservation, biodiversity values and attitudes, and interdisciplinary graduate education. She has worked in Nepal, Myanmar, China, India, Uganda, Guyana, and Guatemala, to develop the capacity of local and national NGOs to design and implement biodiversity conservation projects in collaboration with local communities. Her primary research focus is on developing and applying a comparative methodology to understand park-people relationships in a global context as well as to manage individual protected areas more sustainably. To date, she has conducted this research in ten protected areas on three continents.

Scott Bernstein has a BS from the University of Illinois in Accounting/MIS, and completed his Master's degree in Land Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May, 2006. He is currently studying Environmental Law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has a strong interest in community-based conservation, environmental policy in the developing world and environmental dispute resolution. Scott did his thesis research on community co-management capacity in Belize. In the past, he owned a computer training and consulting firm, and has traveled, lived and worked extensively around the United States and the world. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan from 1992-1994. Scott's interests include writing, music, and photography.

Community Conservation Partners and Associates

These project personnel have worked and continue to work in collaboration on a number of domestic and international projects with conservation organizations, community development organizations, and governmental agencies. Community Conservation projects have also included active participation by a large number of faculty, students, and graduate students from numerous colleges and universities. In addition to informally working with many volunteers to accomplish long-term goals.

Firoz Ahmed is completing his Ph.D. at Gauhati University with a thesis on tree frogs of the northeast states of India. He has published widely on frogs and is currently writing a herpetological guide for the northeast states. A member of Aaranyak, Firoz is an Honorary Wildlife Warden in Assam. He attended the Smithsonian Institution conservation/ management program, training on turtle conservation in the USA and attended the Applied Environmental Education Training Programme in Thailand. He recently won the Sanctuary-ABN AMRO Wildlife Service Award (see above). He was the voluntary coordinator of the Golden Langur Conservation Project from 1998-2006.