Introducing the CMS Consortium

The CMS software is used by a significant range of organisations but users can join the CMS Consortium and help direct the management of CMS.

 

The Consortium has a management team which acts as a 'think-tank' to focus developments of the software, and to initiate and fund projects which explore new applications. The management team is made up of the Chairman and General Secretary who have 3 year appointments with other members being elected each year by the members.

Prof. Denis Bellamy
Prof. Denis Bellamy
Executive Director
Mike Alexander
Mike Alexander
General Secretary
David Mitchel
David Mitchel (exeGesIS)
Secretariat
Hennie Blikman
Hennie Blikman
(Natuurmonumenten)
Director

Mirjam Bartels
(Staatsbosbeheer)
Director
Ben Le Bas
Ben Le Bas
(Natural England)
Director

Prof. Denis Bellamy

Professor Denis Bellamy

Prof Bellamy reached the chair of the CMS Consortium via a university career, during which he spent twenty years heading the department of zoology in University College Cardiff. He served for seven years as a council member of the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).

He describes himself thus: "I am a 'systems thinker' who uses computers to model ecosystems, with particular reference to their management. I reached the chair of the CMS Consortium via a university career, during which I spent twenty years heading the department of zoology in University College Cardiff. I have just left the CCW after seven years as a council member, during which I did my bit to promote "managerialism" at site level.

"It was the need to make predictions about the impact of rabbits on Skomer Island NNR that propelled me towards the use of computers, and set me questioning the relationships of ecological research to conservation management. I have no doubts about predictive site management being the ultimate test as to whether ecologists can say anything useful about the world. Running a mature site requires systems thinking at the highest level of biological organisation. It can be frustrating that we often have little more to put into our management plans than vague ecological generalities and natural history.

"However, I am enthusiastic about the potential for CMS to turn a species-list into resource inventory for auditing the relevant stocks and flows. Another reason for my commitment is that the CMS can be a powerful tool for spreading best practice. In this respect, I believe that maintaining care for the environment alongside economic prosperity has become one of humanity's greatest socio-scientific challenges, and there really isn't time for re-inventing wheels."

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Mike Alexander

Mike Alexander FSB

Mike originally trained in Fine Arts and Sculpture. He first got involved in conservation working in bird observatories on Skokholm and the Calf of Man, followed by research into oil pollution for the Field Studies Council.

He spent 10 years on Skomer Island - probably the most important and formative period of his life. On leaving the island he joined the Countryside Council for Wales as a National Nature Reserve (NNR) warden, covering Morfa Harlech and Morfa DyffrynCadair IdrisRhinog and Coed Llety Walter in Meirionydd. He became concerned at this time by the lack of management planning and systematic recording and in 1987 developed a paper system for planning and recording work on nature reserves. This led to collaboration with James Perrins, a long term friend, resulting eventually in the development of the CMS software and Consortium.

Mike is currently employed part time by Natural Resources Wales with responsibility for management planning and conservation management.  His international involvement has included work for ICONA (Spanish National Parks), Costa Rica National Parks, the Wildlife Institute of India, the Ramsar Bureau, Estonia National Parks etc.

He is author of "The Guide to Management Planning in Nature Reserves and Protected Areas", now in its second edition and recognised by many as a definitive work on the subject. Mike is an honorary lecturer at the School of Environment, Natural resources and Geography, Bangor University. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Biology in recognition of his contribution to nature conservation and in particular management planning.

He is also a very keen photographer with many published photographs to his name.  mike.alexandar@software4conservation.com

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Hennie Blikman

Hennie Blikman

Hennie heads the Asset Management and Projects Department at the central office of Natuurmonumenten, an NGO managing over 100,000 hectares in the Netherlands. He started his career with Natuurmonumenten in 1980, specialising in Asset Management and GIS. Since the mid '80s he has worked on the development of IT systems with full GIS integration for nature conservation.

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Mirjam Bartels

Program Manager

Staatsbosbeheer, Dutch governmental forestry and nature conservation organisation

www.staatsbosbeheer.nl

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Ben Le Bas

Ben Le Bas of Natural England works on the conservation management, research, management planning and site selection aspects of National Nature Reserves across England. After a brief spell with the National Trust, Ben worked for English Nature managing Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve for 17 years, taking up his current national role soon after Natural England was vested in 2006. Amongst his current projects is the roll out of CMSi as the planning, reporting and recording tool for Natural England’s 143 National Nature Reserves.

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David Mitchel

David Mitchel - Secretariat to the CMSC

David heads up the CMS unit of exeGesIS where he leads on all aspects of the management, service delivery and development of CMS. Prior to joining exeGesIS, David worked for the Environment & Heritage Service in Northern Ireland for 12 years, first as an assistant warden in a busy Country Park and then, for the final 8 years as the Data Manager, running a GIS system, biological recording (especially the development and use of Recorder) and Northern Ireland’s input into the National Biodiversity Network. David is a keen mycologist involved especially in grassland fungi surveys.

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