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Who we are

Dr. James Bland
Founder, Director, CEO
Jim Bland has had a lifelong passion for game birds, beginning with hunting and aviculture in his youth (FFA game bird propagation award, age 15). During his college years (BS in Wildlife Management, CSU Humboldt; MS in Wildlife Ecology, UW Madison; PhD in Geography, UCLA), he conducted field work on the Himalayan Snowcock (Nevada), Himalayan pheasant species (Nepal and India), Lady Amherst Pheasant (China), Mountain Quail and Ring-necked Pheasant (California). He has studied and monitored Sooty Grouse for California Department of Fish and Wildlife in various capacities for more than 20 years. He was formerly a tenured professor at Santa Monica College (1997-2006), where he taught Biology, Zoology, Human Ecology, and Field Ornithology, and has also taught Ornithology at Sacramento State University and UCLA Extension. Prior to founding GBRG in 2014, he worked as a contract game bird researcher. He has a longstanding interest in the Himalaya Region (Fulbright Scholar in Nepal, 1992), and regularly partakes in projects and tours related to the region's wildlife, especially pheasants. He has long wished to be a wildlife photographer, but has progressed little beyond photographing his research subjects. He is married to wildlife biologist and veterinarian Dr. Meenakshi "Mini" Nagendran (USFWS, Division of International Conservation). Additional information on Jim's pursuits can be found at his personal website, www.jim-bland.com.

Robert Reighart
Robert Reighard
Director, Secretary/Treasurer
Robert Reighard retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in May 2012, with over 30 years of service.  He graduated from California State University at Stanislaus before attending the Air Force’s Officer Training School, where he earned his commission in 1982.  In 1983 he graduated from basic flight training (Fort Rucker, AL), and then learned specialized combat flight training skills (Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM).  During his 30 year career, Robert flew more than 4500 hours in HH-3E and HH-60G Sikorsky helicopters, specializing in Combat Search and Rescue and Special Operations.  He had flying assignments in the Republic of Korea, Philippines, and Florida, before taking a break from active duty flying and joining the AF Reserves in AZ. While in the Reserves he attended Northern Arizona University, earned a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy, and went on to work as a licensed Physical Therapist for the Indian Heath Services.  After a distinguished career in the Reserves, he returned to the Air Force full-time as a senior staff officer assigned to Combat Command Headquarters (Langley AFB, VA) and Air Force Reserve Command (Robins AFB, GA).  Also during this time he attended the Army’s War College and graduated with a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies. His last assignment was as a senior AF Reserve consultant at Air University, Maxwell AFB (Montgomery, AL), where he served as a direct liaison between the university Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, and the Air Reserve Personnel Center.  Robert has a lifelong passion for the outdoors, where he spends much of his free time hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.  He recently embarked on a habitat improvement program for upland game (Wild Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, and Mourning Dove) on family property in west-central Pennsylvania.  He currently lives in Yorktown, VA, where he is married and has two daughters.
Howard Higley
Dr. Howard Higley
Howard Higley is an anatomist and toxicologist who currently works as a clinical and regulatory contractor supporting various National Cancer Institute, and Foundation for the National Institutes of Health projects as well as drug development activities for private pharmaceutical and biotechnology company clients. Prior to his present position as Director of Scientific Affairs at CCS Associates in Mountain View, California, he was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Experimental Biology, at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas and held multiple NIH grants supporting research investigations in various areas of transplantation biology and hematology. He received his PhD at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois where he also received a post-doctoral fellowship in pathology. His long standing interest in natural history, in particular ornithology, has resulted in his involvement in both paid and citizen science volunteer wildlife surveys and field studies over the years. These have included Breeding Bird point counts and transects for USGS, field work with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and Cerulean Warbler surveys), Audubon Canyon Ranch (Mayacamas Preserve and Tomales Bay waterfowl surveys), San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (Snowy Plover, waterbird nesting colony, and Clapper Rail surveys), and the US Department of Defense (Iowa Army Munitions Plant bird habitat survey); radiotracking work with USFWS and National Park Service (Western Sandpiper and California Condor projects) as well as Sooty Grouse capture and tracking volunteer work for CDFW/USFS projects under Jim Bland. He has participated in numerous Audubon Christmas Bird Counts in five states and in Mexico, and most recently volunteered on several Earthwatch projects mist netting and banding birds in South America, and camera trapping wildlife in South Africa. He was a summer employee of the National Audubon Camp in Maine in college.  He is married with two grown children.
Adam Rich
Adam Rich
Adam Rich has been working in the wildlife field for 34 years.  He received his B.S. in Biology from Rutgers University in 1988 and worked for the NJ Dept. of Fish & Game. He returned to school at Rutgers for his graduate degree and received a M.S. in Biology in 1993.  After graduate school, Adam worked three years for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Oregon and Nevada at the Hart Mountain and Sheldon refuges.  He then continued conducting wildlife research in Oregon with the High Desert Ecological Research Institute in Bend before accepting a position with the Deschutes National Forest.  Adam then transferred to the Stanislaus National Forest and has worked as a District Biologist there for 17 years.  With the US Forest Service he served as Region 5 Emphasis Area Leader for upland game bird partnerships (2005 - 2012) and currently serves as Region 5 Emphasis Area Leader for Partners In Flight. During his career Adam has published several research papers in the area of Avian Ecology. He enjoys birding, fly-fishing, and sport hunting.
Dan Gibson
Dr. Dan Gibson
Dan Gibson is a population ecologist who recently completed his Ph.D in the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program at University of Nevada, Reno. He is interested in how organisms react to their experienced environmental conditions, and specifically, how humans influence these ecological relationships. His current research is focused on population demographics of Piping Plover. He conducted his doctoral research on Greater sage-grouse, an upland game bird endemic to the Rocky Mountain-west, which is of current conservation concern due to range-wide population contraction and decline related to large-scale habitat degradation. Prior to graduate school, Dan worked on various research and conservation projects involving species such as California condors, sandhill cranes, black brandt, and greater sage-grouse. His hobbies include upland game bird hunting, snowboarding, and hiking.