The FLTI is pleased to introduce you to our mutli-disciplinary team of planners, engineers, and scientists. These staff members have on-the-ground experience in public land units from coast-to-coast; they also have a broad range of technical skills and expertise including transportation planning studies; transit management; advanced technology system development and evaluation; bicycling and pedestrian studies; transportation safety; congestion management; and animal-vehicle interactions. These biographies summarize highlights of their experience and qualifications.
Quick Links to FLTI Staff by WTI Program Area
Western Transportation Institute
Steve Albert is the Director of the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Mr. Albert has been involved in addressing rural and urban transportation and planning, traffic operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) research and development in over 35 states. A pioneer in the field of transportation on federal lands, Steve conceived and developed the 1999 conference, “National Parks: Transportation Alternatives and Advanced Technology for the 21st Century.” He is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands, and he has led transportation planning, enhancement, and outreach projects in some of our most treasured National Parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, and Glacier. Mr. Albert also provides national leadership through his positions on the USDOT ITS Advisory Board, as Chair of the ITS America Rural ITS Committee, and through several testimonies before U.S. Congressional Committees. Recently, Mr. Albert was presented with the Management and Operations/Intelligent Transportation Systems (M&O/ITS) Council Individual Award at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibit.
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Safety and Operations Group
Jaime Eidswick is a Research Engineer for the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University, with thirteen years of experience in developing transportation solutions for federal lands and national parks. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. Ms. Eidswick has been a licensed professional civil engineer in Montana since 2005.
For the past five years she served as the resource manager for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIPTAC) assisting federal lands with alternative transportation. She has developed a Congestion Management System Toolkit for the National Park Service, crafted a Model National Park ITS Plan called “ITS Applications for California National Parks,” and recently developed traveler information systems for Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Parks as a way of inducing mode shift. She has extensive experience in the implementation of traveler information systems, and has played key roles in the deployment, evaluation, and enhancement of 511 systems in Montana and Alaska.
Pat McGowen has 20 years of experience in transportation engineering and research. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Montana State University, and his Ph.D. in Transportation Systems Engineering from University of California Irvine. Dr. McGowen has been a licensed professional civil engineer in Montana since April 2000 and a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer since November 2013. He is a research engineer with the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University where he has worked on projects relating to transportation impacts to wildlife, transportation safety, intelligent transportation systems, congestion management, travel demand modelling and transportation policy. He has completed transportation related projects in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Devil’s Tower, and Yosemite.
Dr. David Veneziano is a Research Scientist at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University. His expertise focuses on safety and operations, remote sensing, ITS and GIS analysis, particularly in rural areas. He led the effort to automate the data collection of traveler information for Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and to make this information available to visitors via Montana, Wyoming and Idaho 511 systems. For the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), he managed a study to quantify the safety performance of Gateway Monuments and analyze how they add economic value to the surrounding communities. Dr. Veneziano is currently leading an effort to develop a rural traveler information system, which will provide travelers making a trip in or through rural areas access to current travel information on a route-specific basis, customized for a specific origin and destination.
Dr. Natalie Villwock-Witte, PE is a Research Engineer for the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University. Natalie is a Young Member of the Transportation Research Board’s ADA40 Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands. In 2009, Natalie served as a Transportation Scholar at Valley Forge National Historical Park planning, implementing, and evaluating a pilot transit system. Natalie has worked on numerous projects with federal land managers, including but not limited to evaluating an intelligent transportation system for Rocky Mountain National Park, enhancing travel and transportation management planning with the Bureau of Land Management, promoting an alternative transportation connection with Aztec Ruins National Monument, developing the “Good Practices to Encourage Bicycling & Pedestrians on Federal Lands,” and serving as a mentor for a Public Lands Transportation Scholar.
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Mobility and Public Transportation
Rebecca Gleason has a wide variety of experience from over 19 years of engineering and transportation research. Since November 2006, Ms. Gleason’s work in the Mobility and Public Transportation Program Area at WTI has focused on integrating bicyclists and pedestrians into transportation networks, in small urban and rural communities. Ms. Gleason was the primary author of the Guide to Promoting Bicycling on Federal Lands, the first comprehensive report that examined bicycling issues in federal lands and gateway communities across the country. She has provided technical assistance to various federal lands for bicycle and pedestrian issues. Her interests include relationships between active transportation, the built environment and public health. She believes an ecological approach that considers individuals, social environments, physical environments and policies is necessary to influence people’s transportation choices and create more balanced transportation networks.
David Kack is the Director for the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) - Montana State University. David holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and has fourteen years of experience specializing in transportation coordination, management, and planning. At WTI, he has worked on several projects to develop and improve rural passenger transportation systems. Further, Mr. Kack has helped three communities in Montana start public transportation systems, and has an on-going management role with two of those systems. In addition to his work in Montana, David has studied transportation services in Federal lands, and has worked on transportation issues in places such as Tuskegee, Alabama; Juneau, Alaska; Sedona, Arizona; and Jackson, Wyoming. In 2011, David was the Principal Investigator for the Montana Intercity Bus Service Study, funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. Mr. Kack is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee, and has extensive experience working with the public and cultivating multi-agency institutional relationships for the purpose of transportation development.
Jenni West is a Research Associate at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) and the Interim Business Manager for the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) at Montana State University. She has over 19 years experience in both the public and private sectors, with expertise in international transportation logistics, operations and fiscal management, economic development, outreach and training. From 2009-2014, Jenni managed a $6.5 million federally funded transportation technical assistance center for federal land management agencies. Previously, she has directed an aviation maintenance workforce development partnership program for an aerospace manufacturer and local technical college, managed international freight logistics for a UK-based manufacturer, and served as a Senior Vice-President for an economic development authority in Georgia. She also currently serves as board President for a local economic development organization in Bozeman. Jenni has traveled and lived abroad, and speaks Spanish and German.
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Rob Ament is the Road Ecology Program Manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University. Rob leads WTI’s efforts to research, monitor and develop solutions to minimize the impacts of roads on the natural environment – wildlife, aquatics, soils and vegetation. He has more than 30 years of experience in field ecology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. He is the principal investigator of several active research projects – and oversees 7 staff in four offices in western North America working on approximately 15 other research projects, he has led projects as diverse as evaluating carbon sequestration potential for federal land management agencies’ roadsides to developing strategies for incorporating new wildlife data into transportation plans for the Western Governors’ Association. He was an expert panelist for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s (NCHRP) development of a synthesis report on new technologies for environmental surveys and was an invited judge for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2013 National Environmental Excellence Awards. He serves on the organizing committee for the International Conference on the Environment and Transportation (ICOET) and was recently elected to MSU’s Campus Sustainability Advisory Council.
Dr. Marcel Huijser received his M.S. in population ecology (1992) and his Ph.D. in road ecology (2000) at Wageningen University in Wageningen, The Netherlands. He has over 16 years of experience in road ecology research, ranging from projects that focus on direct mortality to mitigation measures and economic analyses in both Europe and North America. He has much experience with reliability and effectiveness research of animal detection systems. Currently Marcel works on wildlife-transportation issues for the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (2002-present) and he is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Ecology and Transportation.
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Systems Engineering Development and Integration
Doug Galarus is the program manager for the Systems Engineering, Development and Integration focus area for the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University. Mr. Galarus has more than 20 years experience in information technology development, testing, implementation and management. He has extensive experience as the project manager and lead for mobile data communications systems, database-driven web sites, web site design, desktop applications, kiosk development, PDA and Tablet PC –based development, and interactive CD-ROMs. At WTI, he has applied his technical expertise to the development of specific applications for transportation safety, including improved tools for road weather management, incident management and mobile data communications. He has also led several efforts to develop new and enhanced traveler information applications and systems for Yellowstone National Park. The Systems Group has led the technical implementation of the TRIPTAC website and associated repositories and databases.
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University of Maine
Dr. John Daigle is a professor and the Program Leader for Parks, Recreation and Tourism at the University of Maine. He has conducted visitor experience and ecological impact studies for 12 National Forests throughout the United States, two National Parks, and one National Wildlife Refuge. In 1999, he began to incorporate transportation issues with a visitor evaluation of the inauguration of the Island Explorer Bus system at Acadia National Park. He later was one of the principal investigators of a multi-year Field Operational Test study of Intelligent Transportation Systems at Acadia National Park. These research efforts led to an invited position in 2004 as a member of the TRB working group examining the Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands, now a full TRB committee. He has organized a workshop on visitor experiences and has co-authored several papers presented at the annual TRB meetings. He has published work on ATS studies in the Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, Journal of Travel Research and George Wright Forum (GWF).
Shapiro Transportation Consulting
Phil Shapiro, owner of Shapiro Transportation Consulting (STC), has over 35 years of experience in multimodal (highway, transit, and pedestrian) planning, traffic engineering, transportation safety, survey development and analysis, system engineering, ITS, and project management. Throughout his career he has conducted numerous transportation, land use, and environmental studies at the local, state and regional level. Mr. Shapiro has significant experience in traffic operations analyses, data collection, travel forecasting, subarea and corridor studies, alternatives development and evaluation, and public/agency involvement. He has spent most of his career providing technical assistance to federal, state, and local entities, including eight years as Deputy Director of Transportation Planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments where he coordinated transportation activities of multiple local and state agencies, and facilitated public/agency involvement in the transportation planning process.
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