Louise Misztal

Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

“It’s been my great privilege to work with Sky Island Alliance for more than fifteen years to develop collaborative conservation initiatives. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary and look ahead to the next thirty years, I hope to see our cross-border corridors reconnected as we remove harmful border wall and restore transboundary ecosystems. The Sky Islands are such a special place in the world and deserve recognition and reverence. I look forward to ensuring the Sky Island region is sustained by effective transboundary conservation initiatives and by contributing to our global need to protect 30% of our natural environment to sustain the diversity of life that surrounds us.”

Louise Misztal has worked at Sky Island Alliance for the past fifteen years in various positions ranging from volunteering to serving as Conservation Director. She now serves as our Executive Director and is committed to crafting creative solutions to pressing conservation issues and building collaboration among diverse partners.

Previously, Louise was the principal architect of a regional climate change adaptation workshop series designed for resource managers to advance understanding of impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. This led to critical new work to survey, protect, and restore fragile spring ecosystems. She was also principal investigator on a project to collaboratively develop a climate-smart landscape conservation design for the Sky Island region, focused on springs, streams, and grasslands.

Louise holds a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a B.S. in Microbiology, and an M.S. in Geographic Information Systems, all from the University of Arizona. For her master’s work, she mapped bi-national conservation priorities for wildlife corridor and habitat protection in the Sky Island region.

In 2015, Louise conducted sabbatical work in Australia, where she met with natural resource colleagues to share methodologies for assessing vulnerability of biodiversity, water sources, and human communities to climate change, and developing responsive science, policy, and adaptation strategies. Revisit Louise’s sabbatical on her blog, Springs Down Under.

When Louise isn’t leading the team at Sky Island Alliance, she loves exploring the Sky Islands: hiking desert and mountain creeks, looking for birds and swimming holes, and seeking out quiet camping spots where she can snooze in her hammock.

Learn more about Louise and her favorite Sky Island wildlife in this fun staff highlight.