Howdy, I’m John Zikias, Steward Class 81, and I’m excited to be joining the Citizen Science team as Assistant Chair. I first moved to Scottsdale in 1992 with our two sons and have always loved the outdoors and all the beautiful Sonoran Desert has to offer. I currently live in Scottsdale Mountain ¼ mile from Ringtail Trailhead.
In June of 2018, I retired early and found I had a lot of time on my hands and wanted to participate with an organization where I could enjoy the outdoors and give back at the same time.
I hike Ringtail and Sunrise trails nearly every day, and a friend suggested that I volunteer for the Conservancy, which is exactly what I did last April. Once I was able to schedule my class and meet with my mentor, I was excited about all the programs available and really jumped right in.
Since October, I have been conducting Phenology observations weekly. I’ve also participated in setting up restoration experiment plots, obtained my invasive species herbicide certification, got certified as a Guided Hike & Bike assistant and lead, as a pathfinder at Lost Dog Wash and Gateway, as a certified Nature Guide, participated in Spectular Saguaro training and Patrol Shadow, served as a Mentor, and participated in several Construction & Maintenance projects at Gateway, Lost Dog and Sunrise.
While my background is not directly science based, I have a BS degree in Marketing and have worked on a significant number of testing and research projects throughout my career. So while not directly related to the outdoors, I understand the importance of developing tests that provide actionable results that will help preserve our beautiful desert.
I look forward to working with all the talented and knowledgeable individuals that have made the Citizen Science Program one of the most important programs the Conservancy supports. You can reach me at 602-315-9139 or