Our Team

High Country Apps logo High Country Apps is dedicated to developing applications that deliver high quality natural history information with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Our goal is to enable discovery! We present information in simple, non-technical language that will delight and empower the rank amateur who loves the outdoors and wants to learn more. Yet we are also meticulous about creating scientifically accurate apps, thus making them excellent tools for serious biologists. To accomplish this goal, we actively partner with expert botanists and photographers in each region so that we can provide information of the highest quality in our mobile field guides.

High Country Apps

Katie Gibson Katie Gibson works as a software developer in Bozeman, Montana. She has degrees in electrical engineering (BS) and computer science (MS). Katie spent 15 years working for Hewlett-Packard, initially as a hardware engineer, later as a software engineer, and finally as an supervisory system & automation engineer. Since leaving HP in 1999, Katie has consulted in computer science (with projects ranging from mobile apps to cloud computing) for companies across the USA. When she's not pounding the keys, Kate enjoys hiking, telemark skiing, biking, and reading.

Whitney Tilt Whitney Tilt - When not hiking, fishing, bird hunting or otherwise enjoying the Northern Rockies, Whitney works as the Director of Land and Wildlife Conservation at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Throughout his career Whitney has focused on conservation, working with such organizations as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sonoran Institute and National Audubon Society, among others. He earned a Masters of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and his introduction to the greater Yellowstone region was ranching in the Tetons of Idaho. Whitney lives with his wife Sarah in Bozeman, Montana.

Collaborating Organizations

Botanical Research Institute of Texas Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) - Flora of Texas: Fort Worth Prairie is produced through collaboration with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Zoe Gossett and Becky Grimmer). BRIT’s mission is to conserve our natural heritage by deepening our knowledge of the plant world and achieving public understanding of the value plants bring to life. Founded in 1987 and based in Fort Worth, BRIT documents the diversity of plant life and conducts extensive research around the world. In the last 10 years, BRIT scientists have located and described scores of species previously unknown to science. To learn more, visit www.brit.org.

Flora of Virginia Flora of Virginia Project - Flora of Virginia was produced in collaboration with the Flora of Virginia Foundation. Many thanks go to Bland Crowder, Cliff Gay, Chris Ludwig, Johnny Townsend, and many many others who worked long hours on this project. The Flora of Virginia Project was initiated in 2001 to steer creation of the first comprehensive reference work on the native and naturalized plants of Virginia. In 2012 the Flora of Virginia Project published the Flora of Virginia book in partnership with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The flora was the first comprehensive flora offered for Virginia in exactly 250 years. For more information about the Flora of Virginia Project, please visit www.floraofvirginia.org.

Burke Museum University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum is our partner for both Washington Wildflowers and Idaho Wildflowers. Many thanks go to David Giblin, Ben Legler, and Dick Olmstead for their time and effort in making both of these apps possible. The University of Washington Herbarium is an international resource for research into the diversity, distribution and ecology of Pacific Northwest vascular plants, non-vascular plants, fungi, lichen, and algae. To learn more, visit www.burkemuseum.org/herbarium.

University of Idaho Stillinger Herbarium University of Idaho Stillinger Herbarium is our collaborator for the Idaho Wildflowers app. Credit goes to Dave Tank from the Stillinger Herbarium for his collaboration and guidance. Established in 1892, the University of Idaho Stillinger Herbarium is the largest herbarium in Idaho and functions as athe official site repository for more than 200,000 plant specimens and is currently supported by the University of Idaho and the Charles R. Stillinger Trust. To learn more, visit www.uidaho.edu/herbarium.

Idaho Museum of Natural History Idaho Museum of Natural History - The Idaho State University Herbarium at the Idaho Museum of Natural History is our collaborator for the Idaho Wildflowers app. Credit goes to Rick Williams from Idaho State University Herbarium for his collaboration and guidance. The Idaho Museum of Natural History is home to collections in Anthropology, Earth Sciences, and Life Sciences. To learn more, visit imnh.isu.edu.

College of Agriculture at Montana State University Montana State University (MSU) College of Agriculture is our partner for the Montana Grasses app. For the descriptions and vast majority of grass images, credit goes to Matt Lavin. Jane Mangold and Hilary Parkinson provided the grass identification information as well as critical input into the overall content. As the foundation of the land grant mission at MSU, the College of Agriculture provides instruction in traditional and innovative degree programs and conduct research on old and new challenges for Montana’s agricultural community. To learn more, visit ag.montana.edu.

Oregon Flora Project Oregon Flora Project - Oregon Wildflowers is produced through collaboration with the Oregon Flora Project (OFP) and the Botany and Plant Pathology Department of Oregon State University. Katie Mitchell, Stephen Meyers, Linda Hardison, Thea Cook, Jennifer Sackinger, Dennis Albert, and Tamra Prior assembled the botanical information. The OFP mission is to serve as a comprehensive resource about the ~4,560 vascular plants of Oregon that grow without cultivation, and to foster effective use of this knowledge by all citizens. To learn more, visit www.oregonflora.org.

Collaborating Partners

Barry and Judy Breckling Barry and Judy Breckling, authors of the Yosemite Wildflower app, have always had an interest in nature. Barry was a California State Park Ranger for 38 years, working his last 30 years at Henry W. Coe State Park, the second largest state park in California. He writes articles for the park's newsletter and wrote several booklets and books, including a guide to the park's spring wildflowers. He met Judy at the park when she was a park volunteer. Judy became interested in wildflowers when she was just a toddler. As a park volunteer she led wildflower walks and worked on other interpretive projects. When they retired in 2007, they moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills just a half hour's drive from Yosemite. The photo of them at Canyon Lands is from a few years back.

Barry and Judy Breckling Elizabeth Byers, author of the Wildflowers of Mount Everest app, has been documenting and studying plants in Nepal during the last four decades. She has published numerous articles on rare plant species, natural vegetation communities, climate change vulnerability of plants, and a field guide to the wetland plants of West Virginia. Her botanical collections include 1,200 specimens from Nepal and 1,500 from West Virginia. She has authored 11 new plant associations in the International Vegetation Classification, and has built software tools to assess wetland habitats and to provide customized native plantings for restoration sites. She holds an M.S. from New Mexico Tech and a B.A. from Brown University. Elizabeth currently works as a senior scientist with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Steve Hegji Steve Hegji, author of the Flora of the Wasatch app, is a retired systems analyst and an avid hiker and wildflower photographer. Each year he averages 250 trail miles, climbing over 50,000 feet of elevation, in pursuit of new plants and old friends. He is a member of the Utah Native Plant Society, and the author of Wasatch Wildflowers, a field guide – published by Cedar Fort. Steve and his wife Patti, live in Lehi, Utah, at the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, within easy reach of many wonderful wildflowers and even more wonderful grandchildren.

Shannon Kimball Shannon Kimball, author of the Glacier Wildflowers app, has worked as a botanist in and around Glacier National Park since 1997. Her work experience includes looking for rare plants, mapping vegetation and surveying plant communities on State, Federal and private land. She also co-authored the books Wildflowers of Glacier National Park and Surrounding Areas (Mountain Press 2010) and Trees and Flowering Shrubs of Glacier National Park (Mountain Press 2013) with Peter Lesica. Shannon has a Bachelors degree in Biology from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and a Masters in Botany from Oregon State University. When not working she enjoys hiking, camping, skiing and travelling with her husband, daughter and son. She currently works as Curator at the University of Montana Herbarium.

Al Schneider Al Schneider is the author of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Wildflowers app. Prior to retirement in 1998, Al had been an English Professor, developer of the Ozark Trail, backcountry guide, and computer-based educator with the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe. Since 1990 Al has lived in southwest Colorado and he hikes, photographs, and studies the flora of the deserts, canyons, and mountains of the Four Corners states. In 2001 Al developed a web site dealing with the flora of that region and the web site has now grown to 1,000 species and 4,000 photographs and has received over two million hits (www.swcoloradowildflowers.com). The photo shows Al, wife Betty, and ever-present dog Willi on the Hidden Valley Trail above Moab.

Mark Turner Mark Turner is a freelance editorial photographer specializing in botanical subjects, especially Northwest gardens and wildflowers. He photographs extensively for books and magazines both in gardens and in a wide range of native plant environments. Mark is the photographer of the award-winning Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest and Bellingham Impressions, as well as the High Country Apps’ Washington Wildflowers. His latest book, with co-author Ellen Kuhlmann, is Trees and Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest, due out from Timber Press June 2014. He lives in Bellingham, Washington where he also runs a successful portrait business. Many of Mark’s wildflower and native plant photos can be found on his Pacific Northwest Wildflowers website, www.pnwflowers.com. His other websites concentrate on portraiture, www.turnerphotographics.com, and gardens, www.inlandnwgardening.com. He teaches at North Cascades Institute, Siskiyou Field Institute, Whatcom Community College, and has given numerous programs to garden club and native plant society groups.