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Who We Are

Those of you who care about the iconic monarch butterfly and our other pollinators know…
their numbers have plummeted. 


In the past several years, our precious western monarch population has drastically dropped even more- near what is coined as “quasi-extinction” numbers. 

There are many wonderful groups, advocates, researchers, horticulturists, teachers, funders, and agencies making great efforts to restore the Monarch population throughout the western United States.  We believe that we will have a greater chance of success to restore the population if these groups from all of these states and regions pull together.  If we listen, share, and learn from one another, we each will “do what we do” better.


And the Monarchs win.


To serve as an overarching entity to encourage and facilitate communication and interaction of groups and individuals committed to restoring the western monarch butterfly population-regardless of their affiliation or location- in the hope that the shared knowledge will empower each of them to improve and better achieve restoration goals within their own respective affiliation or location.

Meet Our Board Members

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Gail Morris

Southwest Monarch Study Coordinator

Central Arizona Butterfly Association Vice President

Monarch Butterfly Fund Vice President

Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist

Master Gardener

Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University;

Master of Arts, University of Notre Dame

Gail has been involved in monarch conservation and research in Arizona and the Southwest since 2006. She dedicates her time inspiring and training Community Scientists to participate in monarch research, education and conservation in the southwestern United States. In addition to an extensive tagging program, as Coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study Gail also advocates for the creation of Monarch Waystations and pollinator habitats working with partners and volunteers to add over 9,000 milkweeds in the region. 

Gail has authored several monarch research papers and publications and writes a weekly Western Monarch Update for Journey North during the migration. She believes that monarchs are a gateway to a greater understanding and appreciation of all pollinators and the natural world.


Dr. David James

Associate Professor, Department of Entomology

Washington State University

Author: Monarch Butterflies in the Pacific Northwest

Director: Pacific Northwest Monarch Tagging Program

David developed a passion for entomology at the age of 8 in England by rearing caterpillars in his bedroom. He studied Zoology at the University of Salford, UK, then migrated to Australia to work for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture in Sydney researching agricultural pests and their management.  A PhD on the winter biology of Monarch butterflies in Sydney and a career as a biocontrol and conservation biology scientist in Australia and the US followed.  Since 1999 David has been a Professor in Entomology Washington State University. David has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers, extension articles and books and co-authored Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies, which was pronounced ‘magisterial’ by Sir David Attenborough! 

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Dr. Tom Landis

Cofounder, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

Tom is a forester who retired after 30 years of working as a nursery specialist for the US Forest Service, and has spent the last 10 years creating pollinator habitat in southern Oregon. Tom has given over 120 Monarch and Milkweed workshops in the western states, and is particularly interested in working with schools. Coming from a nursery background, one of his primary interests is how best to propagate native milkweeds and how other pollinator plants can be used in monarch waystations. Tom is currently a volunteer for the US Forest Service who, as part of the Early Plant Materials Working Group, is collecting California milkweed seeds in that state and distributing them to native plant nurseries and Master Gardeners. Using their collective experience, he will use this information to develop a propagation protocol for that uncommon species.

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Amanda Egertson

Deschutes Land Trust, Stewardship Director

MS Animal Ecology, research focus on butterflies and songbirds

BA in Elementary Education and Music

Amanda is the Deschutes Land Trust’s Stewardship Director, overseeing the management of all the Land Trust's protected lands (~18,000 acres). She leads butterfly tours on Land Trust Preserves, participates in annual North American Butterfly Association butterfly counts, and is guiding the Land Trust's work with regional monarch conservation.


Prior to joining the Land Trust in 2004, Amanda worked as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Central Oregon Environmental Center and as a naturalist for the Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory. Amanda is a volunteer at the local Humane Society and is involved with numerous monarch advocacy and conservation groups across the state of Oregon. Amanda and her family spend their free time exploring Oregon's great outdoors and scuba diving tropical waters.

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Rachel Taylor

Founder, Utah Friends of Monarchs (501c3)

Research Associate, Southwest Monarch Study

Partner, Global Recruiters Network (full time career)

Rachel lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where she helps lead an organic movement in monarch conservation throughout the state of Utah. She founded Utah Friends of Monarchs, and leads a Facebook group of the same name. Through this group, she shares native milkweed seeds statewide, coaches on how to establish monarch waystations, and frequently teaches workshops on monarchs and milkweed at garden clubs and other nature based organizations.


In addition, she has created a partnership with the Utah State Prison (Utah Department of Corrections) where she provides native milkweed seeds (as well as native pollinator plant seeds) and they grow the seedlings through their nursery program to be shared with organizations throughout the state.

"Sharing is the soul of citizen science."

Mary Ellen Hannibal



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Lucy Egertson sm.jpg

Artwork by Lucy Egertson


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