VGBI team group photo

Justin Proctor, VGBI Coordinator (Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes)
(607) 229-6255

Justin works to assist producers and landowners in adopting a suite of best management practices for bird conservation on their landscapes. Justin has spent 15+ years working in the fields of science, education, and conservation, affording him opportunities to conduct ecological research across the western hemisphere. Justin is excited to be a part of an initiative that takes science and turns it into action that builds back biodiversity and the sustainability of local farmland.

Favorite grassland bird: Chimney Swift

October Greenfield, VGBI Co-Coordinator (The Piedmont Environmental Council)
(540) 347-2334 ext. 7051

October is the Wildlife Habitat Restoration Coordinator for The Piedmont Environmental Council. Her work includes executing a diverse portfolio of wildlife habitat restoration projects, leading community-based conservation efforts, and promoting landowner engagement around habitat management. She manages the VGBI Financial Incentives Program and is a licensed raptor bander, banding birds from many of the nest boxes VGBI has installed. 

Favorite grassland bird: Barn Owl

Lauria McShane, VGBI Assistant (The Piedmont Environmental Council)
(540) 977-2033 ext. 7056

Prior to joining PEC’s staff, Lauria graduated from Sweet Briar College with her B.S. in Biology, worked with the James River Association as a riparian buffer steward, and studied and worked in sustainable agriculture productions at her campus greenhouse. Lauria also works for Seven Bends Native Plant Nursery as part of their marketing team. She currently serves as VGBI’s program assistant based out of PEC’s office in Charlottesville.

Favorite grassland bird: Loggerhead Shrike

Jacob Gilley, Senior Technical Livestock and Grazing Specialist (American Farmland Trust)

Jacob coordinates AFT’s Sustainable Grazing Project, working with producers in central Virginia to increase awareness of holistic practices focused on improving soil and water quality, the positive impacts of responsible grazing on carbon sequestration and producer profitability.

Favorite grassland bird: American Kestrel

portrait image of a man with a field and cow in the background

Alison Menefee, Senior Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist (Quail Forever)

Alison works in joint capacity with partner agencies at the local, state, and federal levels to coordinate and implement wildlife habitat-related conservation programs within bobwhite quail focal regions throughout northeast Virginia, while also promoting habitat programs and initiatives. Alison also oversees additional Quail Forever biologists in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.

Favorite grassland bird: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Caty McVicker, Quail & Grassland Field Biologist (Quail Forever/NRCS/VGBI)

Caty’s position brings new technical assistance for quail and grassland bird conservation into the Shenandoah Valley. This position is jointly overseen by NRCS, Quail Forever, and VGBI, and will help bring the collective expertise, programming, and outreach of each of those organizations to more landowners and farmers in Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, and Rockingham Counties. Caty received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Conservation Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and she is currently pursuing her Master’s in Ecosystem Management and Administration from Pennsylvania State University. She became especially interested and passionate about bird and habitat conservation during her time with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Migratory Bird Center.

Favorite grassland bird: Red-winged Blackbird

Amy Johnson, Program Director (Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes)

As Program Director for Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes, Amy leads a team that cultivates a dynamic network of private landowners, citizen scientists, NGOs, state agencies and research scientists to collectively investigate the impacts of conservation management and land use on biodiversity. In addition to research, she is committed to developing a strong outreach program that communicates research findings to inform best management practices for regional conservation partners and the community.

Favorite Grassland Bird: Eastern Meadowlark


(Fall 2021) Hannah Adamson, Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation

Adamson Final Presentation_PGBI

(Summer 2021) Olisaneme Okonkwo, Conservation Centers for Species Survival

(Spring 2022) Alexi Hunt, Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation

(Spring 2022) Eva Noroski, Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation

Noroski Final Presentation_PGBI

(Summer 2022) Xavier Barreda