Our Board Members

Erik Daniel Shein
Arkwatch Founder
Erik Daniel Shein was born Erik Daniel Stoops, November 18th 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is an American writer, visionary, film producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, pet enthusiast and animal health advocate. His wrtings include Thunder, An Elephant's Journey and Aurora, The Spirit Bear of the North.



L. M. Reker
Director of Education
L.M. Reker is an educator and Author and has written for many years with very diverse groups: gifted, developmental English, Humanities, and courses in critical thinking, up to his current position of college professor of English. He has written for an Associated Press newspaper in New Mexico, advertising agencies in Phoenix and LA, has helped write and produce two college texts, and became an assistant chair in the English Department after only one year with that group. He currently collaborates with Mr. Shein on various projects books and film.
Sherri Stoops
Director of Land Acquisitions
Sherrie Stoops is an animal healthcare advocate who donates her time to helping choice animal charities in the state of Arizona and California.

Sherrie; is also a multi-million dollar licensed producer, with 28 solid years of experience. She gives personal dedicated one-on-one service real estate markets and putting business people together for the greater good.




Karen Fuller
Chief Operating Officer Arkwatch Foundation
Award winning Author, screenwriter, and CEO of World Castle Publishing, LLC. She writes Adult Paranormal Romance as well as Young Adult Fiction. She is happy to be a part of this wonderful project.

Dr. John G Nickum
Scientific Consultant
John G. Nickum is a “retired” fisheries scientist who has more than 50 years experience in teaching, research, policy development, and agency management.  He holds degrees from Minnesota State University-Mankato (BS), the University of South Dakota (MS), and Southern Illinois University (PhD).  He was a member of the graduate faculty at South Dakota State University, Cornell University, and Iowa State University.  He taught an array of natural resource oriented courses, including zoology 101, environmental conservation, ichthyology, limnology, fisheries management, and aquaculture: and served as a mentor for hundreds of undergraduate students and approximately 35 graduate students. 

Since his retirement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003, he has remained active professionally as a consultant, writer, editor, and educator.  His writing and editing has been primarily in the fields of fish biology, fish culture, and fisheries management.  He has placed special emphasis on issues related to animal welfare, the use of live animals in research, and the use of propagated fish in resource management.
Mary J Nickum
Scientific Consultant
Mary Jo Nickum, a Roman Catholic since birth, has always been fascinated by her namesake, Mary, the mother of Jesus. When she turned from technical writing to writing for children, researching and writing about the Blessed Virgin Mary became a reality. Her first book for children, Mom’s Story, a Child Learns about MS, is fictionalized nonfiction written for families from a child’s perspective. A Girl Named Mary is her first ‘tween historical novel. Mary Jo resides with her husband in Fountain Hills, Arizona. She has two grown sons.
Stephen Wade Nebgen
Attorney for the Foundation
Mr. Nebgen has been practicing entertainment law as a copyright attorney and intellectual property attorney for close to twenty (20) years. He has been involved in the entertainment industry for over forty (40) years. His clients include film, television and theatre companies, actors/actresses, musicians and many authors and painters. He counsels clients regarding business formation, intellectual property matters in motion pictures and music copyright laws and trademarks, contract negotiations, and other corporate law matters. Mr. Nebgen has also been called as an "expert witness" regarding entertainment issues in various litigation matters.

Melissa Davis
Story Consulatant and Author
Born in Southern Illinois, Melissa Davis fell in love with reading from an early age, so much so that she started writing when she was in the second grade. From poetry, to short stories, she has a love for it all. When she was in high school she attended Illinois Summer School for the Arts at Illinois State University, which led her to attend the university. After graduating with a Bachelors in Education, Melissa taught for several years until her children were born, allowing her to fulfill two dreams at once: motherhood and penning her first books.
Courtney S. Vail
Director, Principal Consultant
Courtney has worked within the conservation and animal welfare field for 25 years. With a diverse background in biology, law and environmental policy, she has provided leadership for diverse domestic and international outreach and policy initiatives. Courtney has served as a campaigner, strategic planner, and director of programs for numerous non-governmental organizations focused on animal welfare and conservation, and always with a passion for seeking balanced solutions that promote understanding and empathy. Because environmental policy always has a social element and often involves intractable or enduring conflict, Courtney’s approach has been to engage with all stakeholders and forge collaborative alliances to achieve incremental progress towards a brighter future for all living creatures. Having also held positions within several Government agencies and the private sector, she has worked from within and outside of the regulatory frameworks that guide national and international policy and management.