Who We Are

Cloudbridge Nature Reserve is a leader in the restoration and conservation of the endangered Costa Rican cloud forest biome. Its primary mission is to provide education, research, training, and nature-based activities engaging local and international communities. Cloudbridge is operated by the Cloud Forest Conservation Alliance.

The mission of the U.S. based non-profit, Cloud Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA), is to support and guide the operations of the Cloudbridge Nature Reserve and seeks to expand the knowledge, skills, tools, practices and physical facilities available there. The CFCA collaborates with individuals, educational institutions, non-governmental and governmental organizations that hold similar values toward education, conservation and sustainability. Its vision is that the Cloudbridge campus will become an international destination known for its thriving, learning laboratory and variety of life-shaping, immersive experiences in the cloud forest.

The CFCA Board of Directors

Tom Gode, President, Tom has been with Cloudbridge since 2006. Serving as the Director from 2010-2020, developing the facilities and programs over those years. Tom has over 35 years of not for profit management experience prior to joining Cloudbridge.





Dr. Martin Stone.  Martin Stone is an Associate Professor of Horticulture and Director of the Baker Arboretum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  He teaches courses in many areas including Plant Propagation, Local Food, Agroecology of Costa Rica, and Sustainability of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.  He is a community organizer for local foods and co-founder of the Community Farmers Market where he also sells his family’s farm products.  He is a contributing editor to the Kentucky Gardener magazine.





Valerie Brown, Treasurer, Valerie retired after 34 years as CEO of a credit union. She has a BA in Administrative Services/Economics and a MA in Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University. She has served on various local, national and international boards and commissions. Her interests include travel with an emphasis on birds and nature, community and church volunteer work, and native plant gardening.






Derick B. Strode, Secretary, Derick first visited Cloudbridge in 2010 seeking a place to call homebase for a field-based research study abroad program for science students. Strode returned with 16 students in January 2011 for the inaugural Gatton Academy Costa Rica Experience, a program that immediately became a fixture at the school. Because of the program’s popularity, the school created a second study abroad program at Cloudbridge in 2017. Strode is now the Director, Regional Campuses and Dual Credit for Western Kentucky University.





Dr. Ken Kuehn is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Western Kentucky University and a registered Professional Geologist.  His interests focused on natural resources management, sustainable development, and new technologies for wiser use of traditional fossil fuels resources.  Example publications and projects can be found here: https://wku.academia.edu/KennethKuehn






Linda Moskalyk, Member at Large, Linda has been the Cloudbridge Resident Artist since 2010. Linda’s career experience is as an arborist and she welcomes visitors to her art studio to sit and discuss all things related to reforestation and our changing climate.







Cloudbridge Staff

Casey Ella McConnell Smith, General Manager and Development Officer.  Casey has been a friend of Cloudbridge since its inception 21 years ago and is now honored to help steward the ecological communities of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve.  Casey is an Agricultural Engineer with a Masters in Environmental Studies (MES).  She has held a leadership role at Cloudbridge since January 2020 and has helped to impulse much of the development that has taken place since then.




Maximilian King, Operational Manager. I first visited Cloudbridge in 2019 as I was working for a partner organization here in Costa Rica, and I was instantly enamoured. I started working here in November 2022, and since then I have immersed myself in the Cloudbridge lifestyle, which involves being up to your knees in mud, eyeball-to-eyeball with a highland-specialist species of herpetofauna. I am passionate about expanding the scientific platform and reach of Cloudbridge through cooperations and skills, and I love hearing fresh and unique ideas and opinions.





Greilin Fallas Rodríguez, Scientific Coordinator. Greilin studied Biology, Natural Resource Management, and is a member of local environmental groups. Since February 2022, she has been welcoming researchers and interns who are keen to explore the cloud forest and live the Cloudbridge experience.







Madelyn Peterson, Scientific Officer. Maddy initially started at Cloudbridge as a researcher, and now works with the science team to aid the researchers with the development and execution of their projects. She has a degree in Environmental Science, while additionally loves to connect with the people who come to this jungle and live out their Cloudbridge experience.




Anthony Garita.   Hospitality coordinator.  Visitors to Cloudbridge often have the opportunity to meet Anthony, who has worked for Cloudbridge for 3 years and ensures that visitors to Cloudbridge receive an excellent quality of service, in our rentals, guided tours and welcome center.







Edgar Madrigal Fallas.  Maintenance team.  Edgar has worked at Cloudbridge since 2011 and is responsible for the general upkeep of the reserve and its infrastructure.  Prior to working at Cloudbridge, Edgar has worked with the National Park Service in Chirripó National Park and as a tour guide through the Herradura-Uran-Chirripó route.







Oscar Valverde.  Maintenance Team.  Oscar maintains the trails and cleans the rental cabins at Cloudbridge.  He has worked at the Reserve since 2016.