More about me
It is wonderful to have the opportunity to move from one great conservation position to another. I wasn’t quite done with the Missouri Department of Conservation, or rather, they weren’t quite done with me. In any case, I recently retired as the Strategic Wildlife Conservation Planner after 30+ years with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Throughout the last 30 years, I’ve been a heritage ecologist, prairie grassland ecologist, invertebrate ecologist, cave ecologist, T/E Species Coordinator, Missouri River Unit Chief, Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Conservation Planner. Over the years I supervised more than a few botanists, community ecologists, zoologists and data managers. Many of these people I hired or promoted or mentored (or aggravated) over the years are now MDC leaders at the highest levels.
But enough about me. SECAS is not about me, but about your good work and how we reach the broadest possible definition of the conservation community. Building and implementing a vision for fish and wildlife conservation is a challenge at any scale. Tackling that assignment for the southeast United States is a huge endeavor. Fortunately I am optimistic, positive, overly ambitious and frequently gullible.
I bring some experiences to the table that may help us all move forward together. I really have spent my entire career (which started well before MDC started paying me a salary) promoting the lands and waters that we need to sustain fish and wildlife. After the development of the Missouri Strategy I was an invited member on the National Council for Science and the Environment, Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program, a 5-year program that funded research to further the development of a habitat system for the nation. I co-authored the BioScience article, A State-Based National Network for Effective Wildlife Conservation, which suggested that the emerging network of Large Landscape Conservation Cooperatives could play a fundamental role in shaping the conservation network valuable to fish and wildlife. During the last 2 years John Tirpak and some good folks from AR, MO and OK demonstrated conservation planning for fish and wildlife at the scale of an ecological region. Most important, I know and value the work of state agencies, federal partners and the emerging LCC community.
I am particularly excited to be working more closely on climate issues. I have been the lead from Missouri to implement the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. I am an invited member of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Climate Adaptation Technical Advisory Group.
SECAS is working with the conservation community to get agreement on the conservation landscapes of the future.