Steering Committee

The steering committee consists of the heads of all committees and the coordinator. They work together to achieve the AMC's goals as a whole.

Irene Dickinson

Irene is the coordinator for the AMC and is responsible for organizing all AMC activities, communications and outreach to member organizations and communities. 

Cheri Bouchér

Cheri Bouchér is a wildlife ecologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Phoenix, where she is the agency’s species lead for the monarch butterfly. As a member of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Monarch Working Group, she contributed to the development of the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan, and is coordinating efforts to establish and improve monarch butterfly habitat on many of the state’s Wildlife Areas. 

Natalie Melkonoff 

Natalie Melkonoff is the Plant and Insect Ecology Program Manager at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. She manages the Garden’s monarch and pollinator conservation initiative, Great Milkweed Grow Out, which includes robust native plant materials development, outreach, and research programs. She studies plant-insect interactions with special attention to the relationships between plant physiological traits, chemical ecology, and insect success under predicted climatic stressors. She also works on questions of seed and restoration ecology with milkweeds and other native plants that support insects. 

Kris Gade

Kris Gade is Assistant Environmental Administrator  in Environmental Planning at  the Arizona Department of Transportation.  She is an ecologist by training and is also co-chair of the Transportation Sector team for the Monarch Butterfly Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement on Energy and Transportation Lands.

Jessi Miller

Jessi Miller is a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based in Flagstaff. She is the agency’s Arizona lead for the monarch butterfly.

Kim Pegram

Kim Pegram is the program director for pollinator conservation and research at the Desert Botanical Garden.  She directs the Garden's monarch and pollinator conservation initiative, Great Milkweed Grow Out, and studies plant-insect interactions with a focus on monarchs and milkweeds. 

Kathryn Thomas

Dr. Kathryn Thomas is a research Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Southwest Biological Science Center in Tucson. She has mapped and characterized vegetation throughout the southwest for National Parks and the Gap Analysis program and most recently is studying invasive insects, invasive Salsola, and pollinator-plant ecology.