Meet the Team That Created the Pando Photographic Survey

Meet the Team

In Fall of 2019, Friends of Pando began work to develop models and garner support tro develop this first of its kind document of Pando, the world’s largest tree. Over the course of the project, 41 people have contributed their time, talents and enthusiasm to help bring the project to fruition. Aged 12 to 66 years of age, and coming from all walks from throughout the United States, the Pando Photographic Survey is a testament to how trees connect us to nature and, connect us to one another.


Meet the Team: Lance Oditt Lead Photographer

Lance Oditt

FOUNDER & Lead Photographer

Lance Oditt is the Founder and Executive Director of Friends of Pando and Lead Photographer on the project having developed the concepts and models for the project in Summer of 2019. In addition to this project, Lance is a fine art and documentary photographer. Lance’s work documenting the endangered Pando Tree has appeared in Digital Photographer, Professional Photographers of America, Discover Magazine, PBS Newshour, The New York Times, Topos Magazine and Nature. His photographic works have been shown at the Richfield Visitor’s Center, Microsoft (Redmond, WA), the APA San Francisco’s “Something Personal” exhibit (2018) and have been commended by American Fine Art Photography Awards and American Forest.

Meet the Team: Ryan Thalman, Chief Scientist

Ryan Thalman

Chief Scientist

Ryan Thalman is an Associate Professor at Snow College in Richfield, Utah teaching Chemistry, Geographic Information Systems, and Natural Resources. He enjoys teaching a highly field-based curriculum which lets students get practical experiences in a variety of Natural Resource related careers as well as experience in field work in areas such as forestry, range management, recreation, and land management.

Field Crew


April Anderton


I have been a registered nurse for 25 years. I am currently an Assistant Professor at Snow College for the nursing program! I love being outdoors and I love the Fishlake area. The Pando amazes me. I also love photography. I am so excited to volunteer for the Pando project.


JD Anderton

Photography Assistant

I am a 13 year old eighth grader at South Sevier Middle School. I love everything outdoors. Hunting camping fishing and mostly riding my dirt bike. I am excited to volunteer for the Pando project with my Mom. I love Fishlake.


Kaci Anderton


My name is Kaci Anderton and I am from Monroe, Utah. I am currently working as a parks maintenance worker at Monroe City but I am also a Certified Nurses Aid. I am just starting my sophomore year at Snow College and plan to major in nursing. In my spare time I love to go camping, fishing, and dirt bike riding. Any chance I get, I spend time outdoors. I love Fishlake and all it has to offer and I love to travel! The thing that gets me excited about the Pando Photographic Survey is the chance to work in the mountains all week and be part of making history with my family who are also volunteering!


J Brunner

Senior Photographer

I’m J Brunner. I was born in Hunter, Utah but I’m from lots of different places. I’m a photographer/print maker (photography is a process for me, not necessarily an avocation.) I currently reside in Seaview Washington, near Cape Disappointment. My hobbies are travel and the outdoors. The entire scope of Pando excites me, both the science and the spirit of it. Responsible and pragmatic conservation is part of my career ethos. 


Interesting things about me.. My right eye is permanently focused at 12 inches… without glasses I see the world two dimensionally, like a painting or photograph, which may be why I chose the career I did. In the fall of 2020 I decided to create a print collection focused on Pando, I was led by my research to contact Paul Rogers at the Western Aspen Alliance who was very helpful and put me in touch with Lance Oditt, the WAA photographer at large. Lance was kind, candid, helpful, and extremely forthcoming with information on the geography, history, and challenges of making images of the clone. The collection would not be what it is without Lance’s gracious help. I had the pleasure of meeting Lance when we were both in Salt Lake City, and he was kind enough to invite me to participate in the photographic survey, and I’m very excited to be a part of this project.


Kaylee Carlson

Senior Photographer

I am Kaylee A Carlson from Salina, Utah. I currently work at Petal Lane in Richfield, Utah, where we do picture framing and laser images. I go to Richfield high where I will be a senior next year and plan on graduating
early. For my career, I am looking into going into something in the medical field. I have passed the EMT class and plan on taking the national exam to become certified. I am also interested in doing floriculture and photography. In my spare time I go fishing, play with my dog, and hang out with friends and family. I play soccer in school and out of school whenever I can!


I’m excited to be participating in the Pando Photographic Survey and am looking forward to learning more about photography and about the amazing trees we will be photographing. Thank you for the chance of being part of this great experience!


Janis Connell

Senior Photographer

Janis Connell is an artist whose works, which include photography and glass mosaics and fusing, can be seen on her website, JanisCArtistry. After her retirement from Dell in 2014, she has been pursuing her interests art, photography, and travel. She traveled the US in an RV with her husband for six years and through that experience came to cherish out National Parks and public lands. She has visited 33 of the 62 National parks in the US loves experiencing nature via hiking, biking, and especially from the comfort of her portable hammock. She has ridden her bike across Iowa (RAGBRAI), hiked the Grand Canyon several times, and summited Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and loves to tell stories of her adventures through the lens of her camera.


Michael Dalton

photographer and Production Assistant

Hi! I am Michael Dalton and I am a student at the University of North Texas. I will be a sophomore in the fall and I’m from Dallas Texas which means the Pando Project will be a new experience in a new environment for me! I am currently studying marketing and in my free time I enjoy running, skating and spending time with my dogs. I love to explore and see new places, especially with other people, and I find adventure to be the most exciting thing in my life. I cannot wait to explore Fishlake National Forest and seeing the effects of our work for the Pando Tree.


Corban Gibson


Hi, I’m Corban Gibson and I’m from Coalville, UT. I attended school at Snow College last year and have goal to eventually major in Natural Resources. I’m currently working for the school as a Natural Resource Technician. I enjoy being outdoors and participating in any outdoor activities especially, hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking. In my spare time I also enjoy participating in sports and other physically challenging activities. I’m looking forward to working on the Pando Project because of what can be learned and the experiences I’ll have.


Brady Gordon

Surveyor and Senior Photographer

My name is Brady and I am becoming a certified EMT and I am already a certified EMR. I am from Richfield and really enjoy the Fishlake National Forest. I will be attending Snow College and getting my Associates in Natural Resources. I’m really excited to be taking part in the survey and look forward to learning more about the Pando.


Lena Lindsay


I am Lena Lindsay and I am from Sandy, Utah. I am currently working as a swim teacher and English tutor, and I am a sophomore at Brigham Young University studying Education. In my spare time I enjoy all sports, spending time with good people in the great outdoors, photography, floral design, and learning new things. I’m looking forward to participating in the Pando Photographic Survey and I am excited to experience something new with new people who have a lot of common interests with me. I love photography and documenting the world around us, I adore nature and camping and the planet that we live on, and I love learning new things.


Nathan Lindsay

Technology Integrator

I am Nathan Lindsay from Sandy, Utah. I’m a Digital Cinema major at Utah Valley University (UVU) finishing up my last semester for my bachelors. I enjoy video editing and all things digital video. In my spare time I enjoy watching movies and building computers. I am excited to help with the Pando Photographic survey because I am interested in learning about 360-degree cameras, and the digital systems that will be included to edit and house the photos in post.


Lindy Madden

Senior Surveyor

Hello! My name is Lindy, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this project. I grew up in Venice, Utah, not far from this beautiful tree. I was raised by a father who was a surveyor, photographer, biologist, and nature enthusiast. He instilled in me a great love for all things natural and scientific. Since his passing in 2019, I’ve found great comfort doing the things he loved so much. Participating in this endeavor feels like the perfect way to pay homage to his memory. I am a single mother to six incredible (and somewhat feral) children, both adopted and biological, an old dog, and a funny looking cat. We like to spend our time cooking together, finding lovely rocks and strange bugs, playing games, and snuggling to Netflix. In an effort to better myself, and show my kids it’s never too late to find what you’re passionate about, I recently headed back to school. I’ll be starting my second year as a full time student at Snow College in the fall, ready and excited for all the opportunities that will afford me.


Andrew Russon


I’m Andrew Russon from Northern Utah. I’m currently enrolled at Snow College studying natural resources. I also worked for Snow College as a natural resource technician during the summer of 2022. I’m an avid outdoorsman and enjoy exploring Utah and the surrounding areas. I’m interested in the Pando Photographic project because Pando is a unique living organism. Also the photography and data collected during this project will be a helpful tool for researchers and help preserve Pando for future generations. Participating will be a great experience for pursuing a future career in natural resources.


Ngawang Salaka


Hey! I’m Ngawang Salaka, currently a B.A. Visual Arts & New Media/psychology at SUNY Fredonia as well as an aspiring interaction designer. The thing that gets me excited about the Pando Photographic Survey is being able to contribute to a project that revolves around the world’s heaviest known organism. Even as I’m typing this, the thought of that fact alone quite blows my mind. I’m excited to contribute this summer through more than just design thinking and hopefully make history by helping with this once in a lifetime opportunity.


Kyden Saner

Senior Photographer

My name is Kyden Saner, I’m from Nephi Utah. I’m going to school at Snow college and will be majoring in Natural Resources. During the summer I’m working under the college as a natural resource field technician. In my spare time I love fishing, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. I’m excited about the Pando Photographic Survey because I think it will turn out great and I can’t wait to see the finished product!


John Shattuck


John Shattuck grew up in San Francisco and has lived for many years in Tucson, Arizona. Since black-and-white darkroom days, he has been a landscape and travel photographer who loves getting out in nature. Whether in the high sierras or and a tropical island, his insatiable curiosity made him a natural for the Pando Survey. For years he developed and ran a supportive housing facility in Phoenix and as travel begins to reopen, he conducts National Park and other tours in the southwest and California.


Hope Smith

Photographer, Hospitality Coordinator, PRODUCTION, WEBSITE DESIGNER, & FUNDER

I’m Hope Smith and I’m volunteering for the Pando Photographic Survey helping with photography, logistics and hospitality among other things. I have a background in non-profit and worked for 13 years as an Executive Director at two health-related non-profits. I loved that my work made a difference in people’s lives and learned so much about how to bring people together and get things done. These days, I work in HR for a software engineering firm whose mission is a clean-powered planet. 


I love the outdoors and was captivated by the idea preserving this snapshot of the entirety of the Pando for scientific research and future generations, as well as the idea of being part of something that has never been done before. I’m really looking forward to meeting all the amazing people who are volunteering and being part of creating a legacy that will help us better understand this amazing tree.


Tiesha Smith


My name is Tiesha Smith and I’m very outgoing, loud and proud. I am employed by Hyrum Smith’s Wood, where we harvest trees for firewood. In my spare time, I like to spend time with my friends and family riding four wheelers or sitting by the campfire exchanging stories. I also love working with cattle. I’ve lived in Sigurd, Utah my whole life. I may be a small-town girl, but that has never stopped me. I started my education at Snow College, Richfield last fall. The Pando Photographic Survey caught my eye, because it seemed like a good way to learn and experience different things.


Wilson Thorpe


Hi there, I’m Wilson! I am a 21 year old graphic design student entering my senior year at SUNY Fredonia in upstate New York. Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved finding new ways to express myself through my art. I love to spend my free time creating new art projects and taking photographs of nature and my friends. My hometown is Cold Spring, New York, a beautiful small town right on the Hudson River. The photography opportunities are endless in a beautiful place like the Hudson Valley, and I try to take pictures of the changing scenery as often as I can. I am really looking forward to becoming a part of the Pando Photographic Survey team and can’t wait to experience the beauty of the forest firsthand.


Carson Utley


Hi, I am Carson Utley from Richfield, Utah. I am currently working a part-time job at Papa Murphy’s where my boss says I am one of his most reliable employees. I help out as a cashier, as well as cleaning the store and preparing pizzas and other food. In my spare time, I enjoy physical activities such as running and have been on the Richfield High Cross-Country team for the past three years. Running on a team has taught me a lot about teamwork. I am currently a Senior at Richfield High School and I’m also taking concurrent enrollment classes through Snow College, including a Natural Resources class taught by Ryan Thalman, who told me about the Pando Photographic Survey. It sounded interesting, so I decided to take part. The thing that gets me most excited about the Survey is the opportunity to be a part of a historic project and learn more about different occupations in the field.

Not Pictured

Jackob Watson, Jenny Fullmer

For Fishlake National Forest Staff

Kurt Robins

District Ranger: Fremont River Ranger District
Pando's Home Range

Nick Mustoe

Former Forester of Pando

Dan Child

Grants and Agreements and POC

Production Team

Robert Press III

Technical Advisor and Production Assistant
Cade Wolcot, Production Volunteer

Cade Wolcot

Computer Scientists and Metadata STRATEGY

Hi, my name is Cade Wolcott (he, him, his). I am volunteering for the Pando Photographic Survey helping with Software development and metadata processing. I am a software engineer based out of Omaha, Nebraska. Visiting Pando was a truly amazing experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to use my technology skills to contribute to the conversation and documentation of Pando for future generations.

Joseph Farah

Imaging Scientist & Data Modeling

My name is Joseph! I’m from the East Coast and am currently pursuing a PhD in physics at UC Santa Barbara. I’m an astrophysicist and specialize in imaging exotic objects like black holes and supernova remnants. As a member of the Las Cumbres Observatory and Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, I helped take the first and second images of a black hole. I joined the Friends of Pando project because of the exciting Pando Photographic Survey and its potential to be used to do large-scale, automated science on the tree. In my spare time, I’m also an artist and a quarter-mile drag racer.

StuART Smith

GIS Analyst and Map Designer

Additional Volunteers & Support

portrait of photographer tonia lewis

Tonia lewis

Field Photographer for Friends of Pando

 I had the honor and privilege of being the  documentary photographer on the Pando Photographic Survey where I photographed a team of photographers who worked to create 360 images of the largest documented tree in the world! Combining documentary photography and nature photography on a unique project such as this a lifelong dream come true for me. The Fish Lake area is near and dear to my heart as I grew up only fifteen minutes away in Lyman, Utah. I worked at Fish Lake Resorts for two summers where I met my husband and eventually married at Fish Lake. Fish Lake and the beautiful areas surrounding my hometown inspired me to become a Nature Photographer. 

Dave Ogden, President

Dave Ogden

Friends of Pando Board Preseident

Not Pictured

dave anderton, robin arnitz, liz davy, jason dilworth, sung hee han, Heidi Johnson, elaine street

Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.

Your gift of only $14 a month will help protect Pando for generations to come.

Make a one-time or, recurring tax deductible donation today.



Friends of Pando is a proud partner of Pando’s public land stewards, Fishlake National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.

 Learn more about our partnership.

Friends of Pando and its partners are equal opportunity employers.

Contact - White

Friends of Pando
PO Box 12
Richfield, UT, 84701
Phone: 435-633-1893
IRS EIN: 87-3958681