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Mission statement

About us

The 3 Sigma Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Corvallis, OR.

Board of Directors

Colette Barron, J.D

Greta Boye, MBA

Ralph Garono, Ph.D.

David Hackleman, Ph.D.



Ralph Garono, Ph.D., Director

Email: ralph_garono at 3sigmainstitute.org
Phone: 541.757.7896

Dr. Ralph Garono is President of Earth Design Consultants, Inc. (Corvallis, OR) where he heads up the Wetland & Watershed Assessment Group. In addition, Dr. Garono holds a faculty (courtesy) appointment in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University and advises graduate students in the Marine Resource Management Program. He is trained in biochemical limnology (e.g., the role that phosphorus limitation plays in structuring planktonic communities) and in aquatic entomology. His current research interests focus on assessments, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, of aquatic and marine ecosystems. His recent research projects include: the use of aquatic insects as a wetland assessment tool; GIS-based watershed assessments; the use of GIS-based models to evaluate alternative land use scenarios; and, the use of hyperspectral imagery to map landscape patterns in estuarine vegetation.










Affiliated Scientists




Dr. Shon Schooler is a research scientist at the South Slough National Research Reserve. He has conducted research on the ecology and management of invasive organisms for over 17 years with a focus on sustainable management and the reduction of pesticides using integrated management and biological control. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and given over 50 public presentations on the subject. His goal is to use ecological knowledge, public outreach, and adaptive management to create self-sustaining control strategies for invasive organisms.   


Dr. Alice Yeates is a research scientist at the South Slough National Research Reserve. She has published five peer reviewed journal articles and given over ten public presentations at venues ranging from local community groups to international conferences. She has worked on a diversity of ecological systems over the past 10 years and is interested in integrating theoretical ecology with invasive species management and understanding. Current research focuses on 1) integrating plant community response to invasive species removal into management practices in order to maximize the health of the community as well as the successful removal of the target species and; 2) using biological control to understand the mechanisms behind introduced species success and failure. 


Liz Allen, Ph.D., Collaborative Modeling Project Leader

Email: liz_allen at 3sigmainstitute.org

Dr. Liz Allen is a research scientist at Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute in Boston, MA, where she coordinates international partnerships and contributes to research on climate change resilience, energy system transitions, and public perceptions of natural resource management issues. She is the collaborative modeling project leader at the 3 Sigma Institute.

She is interested in using collaborative system dynamics modeling to facilitate dialogue and span boundaries between different ways of understanding complex environmental, economic and social changes. Liz holds a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Oregon, a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University in Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Washington State University.



Becky Hill, M.S.

Becky Hill grew up in the soggy Willamette Valley of Oregon where she developed a deep appreciation and giddy enthusiasm for amphibians and wetland ecosystems. She received a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Zoology, and a M.S. in Environmental Sciences with an aquatic ecology emphasis from Oregon State University. 

Nine years as a wildlife biologist have allowed her to sharpen skills as an amphibian ecologist, while also gaining professional experience in the following areas: wetland delineation and habitat restoration, plant and animal aquatic invasive species, survey for a wide variety of taxa ranging from zooplankton to beetles and Washington ground squirrels to sea lions, laboratory experiments with fungal pathogens, and teaching environmental education.

In addition to field work, Becky has served as a project manager, field coordinator, task lead, and liaison between stakeholders (agency, tribal, private landowners). She has also been a technical editor and author for state and federal (NEPA) permits and technical reports.

In her free time, Becky enjoys snowboarding, boating, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and home improvement projects.




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For more information about 3 Sigma Institute, please contact Ralph Garono.
3 Sigma Institute | P.O. Box 2421 | Corvallis, Oregon 97339
Website last modified: January 5, 2016