FLTWS members, are you ready to vote in an election where all of the candidates are awesome? This is your chance! It is time to elect your board for 2019, and that means a board made up of YOUR peers who represent YOUR interests.
Please take a look at the biographies below, and then find the link to vote at the bottom of the page.
Monica Folk has been an ecologist for over 25 years. She has degrees from Southern Illinois University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. Her training is in wildlife ecology and management with a specialty in endangered species conservation. She has managed projects in Florida and throughout the Southeast, working primarily with red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCWs) and Florida scrub-jays (FSJs), but also Key deer, wood storks, gopher tortoises, bald eagles, Florida sandhill cranes, wading birds, several bat species and wetland restoration projects.
After 18 years working as an ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in central Florida, in 2010 she started her own consulting company, Wild Folk, LLC. Since then, she has focused on recovery of RCWs and FSJs through state, federal and private contracts to survey, monitor, band and manage habitat for critical populations. She also manages several important wetland restoration projects in South Carolina. She is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has been a member of The Wildlife Society (TWS) since 1986 and of the Florida Chapter of TWS since 1992.
“If elected to serve in the leadership of the Florida Chapter, I would like to continue the excellent work of recent Boards to integrate students and early career professionals in the activities of the Chapter. We hope to offer more training and continuing education opportunities to the membership and assist members in participating in TWS certification programs. Strengthening the work of the Conservation Committee to advocate for critical wildlife issues will be an important focus, by involving more members with topical expertise. We will also increase our collaboration with the Florida Wildlife Federation, providing technical expertise to bolster their lobbying activities. Many of these projects are already underway following the strategic planning workshop for the Chapter’s future, and I hope to be a part of implementing them and other significant initiatives in the coming years.”
Tim Hall became involved with TWS in 1987 when he was a junior at the University of Florida, where he was immediately welcomed into the group, learning how to get around Gainesville as well as the dynamics of the wildlife ecology program. His involvement with the Student Chapter definitely helped with both his personal and professional successes at school. After graduation, he spent three years in Central America with the Peace Corps and then another five years in Africa working for mineral and mining companies. After returning home to South Florida in 1997, he began working with a small consulting firm in Naples and has been there ever since, becoming a partner in the firm in 2002 and expanding our activities into more wildlife related aspects.
Although Tim let his membership with the Chapter lapse after college, he rediscovered FLTWS 12 years ago. He was thrilled to find the people involved in the State Chapter just as friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating as those he interacted with at the Student Chapter. He renewed his membership and became more involved through various committees, a member-at-large board position, and representing the Chapter at various outdoor events.
“I was surprised and honored to have been considered for the President-elect position and if elected, I am ready to take on the challenges ahead and do my best to move the organization forward. As President-elect I would like to increase the visibility of our Chapter to the public as well as to other wildlife and natural resource professionals by continuing our presence at outdoor events throughout the state and collaborating with other organizations at professional meetings.
FLTWS is a knowledgeable resource for decision and policy makers of all levels. I will continue to promote our organization’s position as a source of sound science and ethical standards.
In addition to increasing the numbers and diversity of our membership, I would also like to involve more members in the actual workings of the Chapter. I know that when I started volunteering to help at events or with committee assignments, I developed a sense of stewardship to our organization, similar to the sense of stewardship I have for our state and its numerous natural resources. I would like to encourage our members to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with (or that I can make them comfortable with) in the hope that they can come to find that same sense of place and camaraderie that I have, while at the same time promoting our goals and objectives within and outside of our organization. I am well aware that this leadership position entails a lot of hard work and cooperation and I believe that I have the knowledge and experience to be an effective leader on your behalf.”
Samantha Baraoidan graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida, and subsequently worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a biologist in the Upland Habitat Research and Monitoring Program. Sam is now a graduate student at UF in the WEC Department. Sam has been an active member of FLTWS for seven years, and spent the last 4 years serving as the Treasurer. In addition to managing and reorganizing FLTWS’ financial records and activities, Sam serves on the Program Committee for the FLTWS Spring Conference, assisting the Program Chair with conference planning and implementation. As FLTWS Secretary, Sam would continue her involvement in the chapter, with a focus on conference planning and facilitating action on the chapter’s new strategic plan. Sam’s research interests include landscape ecology, community-based natural resource management, habitat restoration, and mammalian ecology. She also enjoys hiking, kayaking, herping, cooking, and playing with her dogs.
Lisa Smith is a Research Associate at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Lisa has studied a variety of rare and imperiled Florida mammal species across the state including Florida bonneted bats, Florida mice, and round-tailed muskrats. Her research focuses primarily on gaining a better understanding of Florida’s cave bats and monitoring for white-nose syndrome and evaluating the distribution and habitat associations of salt marsh mink. Lisa is co-lead of the bat monitoring subcommittee of the Florida Bat Working Group and has been a member of FLTWS since 2012. Prior to working in Florida, she has worked with a variety of species ranging from sea turtles to butterflies to wading birds. She has a M.S. from Frostburg State in Applied Ecology and Conservation Ecology and a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Maryland.
Alexis Cardas graduated from the University of Florida (UF) in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (WEC). She is currently in the middle of completing her Master’s degree at UF through the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the WEC department. Her thesis involves studying the impacts of translocation on a donor population of the cooperatively breeding Florida Scrub-jay. Before beginning her graduate studies, Alexis worked on white-headed woodpecker ecology with the U.S. Forest Service, Southeastern American kestrel monitoring and the Florida scrub-jay project in Ocala National Forest with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Alexis began getting involved with The Florida Chapter of Wildlife Society in 2013 through the UF Student Chapter and has been a member of FLTWS since 2015. Prior to becoming a wildlife professional, Alexis worked in the banking and financial industry for six years. When she finds free time, Alexis enjoys relaxing outdoors (especially on a beach), reading, woodworking, and exploring nature.
Amanda Lindsay has been with the University of Central Florida’s Landscape & Natural Resources program since 2011 as their Senior Biologist. She maintains compliance with environmental permits held between the University and various governmental organizations, helps to manage the urban canopy on campus as a certified Arborist, and assists with land management activities in the >700 acres of urban wildland interface on UCF’s main campus. As part of UCF’s prescribed burn program, Amanda and the UCF burn team often offer support on interagency burns throughout the Central Florida region. In addition to field activities, Amanda assists with GIS projects, website management, undergraduate student mentoring and education, and acts as co-chair on the Central Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CF-CISMA). She is dedicated to conservation and protection of our natural lands through effective land management practices, and is passionate about conveying the importance of Florida’s ecological health and functionality to younger generations.
Member at Large
Don Hardeman has a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, and is currently finishing his MS in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. Don has extensive experience working with wildlife throughout the US. Wildlife research has taken him from the Sierra National Forest in California to the deserts of the southwest and the Appalachian forests of West Virginia. Past field projects include investigating the disease ecology of raccoons in Indiana, movement ecology of Desert kit foxes in the Mojave desert of California, bat surveys in the Eastern US, ecology of American beavers and Grey wolves in northern Minnesota, the ecology of Pacific fishers in the Sierra National Forest in California, etc. Don is currently a Black Bear Biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Don's research interests are focused on using field-based methods to address applied ecological questions related to predator-prey dynamics, movement ecology, urban carnivore ecology, human-wildlife conflict, and the effect of the human-dominated landscape on wild mammalian populations.
Tyler Pittman is originally from upstate South Carolina and attended Clemson University where he received a B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (2010, 2010). After attending Clemson, Tyler completed a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Arkansas (2014) in the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. During his Ph.D. Tyler’s research focused on upland prescribed fire and wild turkey reproductive ecology. After Arkansas, Tyler spent time as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Maryland-College Park and worked on population ecology and ecotoxicology in a variety of avian species including American woodcock, bald eagles, and lesser flamingos. He joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2015 as the Upland Game Bird Assistant Research Scientist. Currently, Tyler’s research focuses on applied wildlife management in wild turkey populations and their habitats, as well as northern bobwhite quail habitat management practices. Tyler also serves on FWC’s Wild Turkey Standing Team, Bald Eagle Management Team and the Private Lands Strategic Initiative team.
Hunter Slade graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Shortly after graduating, he began work as the Wildlife Biologist at Lykes Ranch, a 340,000 acre ranch in south Florida, where he manages all game species across the Ranch’s 50 hunting leases. In this role, he conducts deer surveys, educates lease members on quality game management, and manages data on every deer and turkey harvested on the ranch. Additionally, he works with non-game species across the ranch, including gopher tortoises. The Lykes Ranch is a large recipient site for the State of Florida Gopher Tortoise Program, and he conducts practices such as prescribed burning and roller chopping to maintain quality habitat for this protected species.
Southeastern Section Representative
Dan Greene has 15 years’ experience working with wildlife in Florida, including positions as an OPS Environmental Specialist with The Florida Park Service and Wildlife Biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. At present, Dan is a Wildlife Scientist for Weyerhaeuser Company’s Southern Environmental Research Program where he focuses on maximizing biodiversity on managed and conservation lands across 11 southeastern states. His research interests include at-risk species conservation, evaluating wildlife-habitat relationships, and developing management approaches that integrate wildlife habitat within private, working forests. Although his home base is Columbus, MS, he remains actively involved in wildlife conservation and management throughout Florida. Dan has a BA in Biology from Earlham College, a MS in Forest Resources (Wildlife Ecology and Management focus) from The University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. Prior to his current role, he completed a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University.
Dan is very active with The Wildlife Society at all levels. He has been a member of several Working Groups (Forestry and Wildlife, Student Development, Early Career Professional, and Climate Change and Wildlife); and was a member of TWS Leadership Institute Class of 2018. He is currently serving on the 2019 Program Committee for the joint TWS/AFS meeting in Reno. Dan has been involved with the Florida Chapter since his graduate studies at UF, and has served as both a Member at Large and Secretary on the FLTWS Executive Board, Chair of the Student Development Working Group, and is on the Program, Certification, and Scholarship Committees. He has also served on the Publication Awards Committee with the Texas Chapter of TWS, a Judge for the Student Chapter of the Year Award, and as a member of the Southeastern Section Financial Audit Committee. Dan is currently co-organizing a Field Course for the Southeastern Section, and is serving as the Associate Editor for the Wildlife Technical Papers for Southeastern TWS and Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and will be the Editor in 2020.
Robin Boughton leads the Wildlife Research Section (WRS) in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. WRS staff conduct research statewide on mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, sea turtles and invertebrates. Robin previously served as the state’s Avian Coordinator, Taxa Coordinator Subsection leader and as FWC’s red-cockaded woodpecker coordinator. Prior to her work with FWC, she worked as a land manager and biologist for the Florida Division of Forestry, taught biology and ecology in Florida and Costa Rica, and conducted research and conservation projects with birds and other taxa in Vermont, Florida, Costa Rica and Venezuela. She received a BS in biology from Marlboro College in Vermont and a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida.
Robin has been an active member of FLTWS for the last five years and served on the Conservation Committee and as chair of it during that time. She has nearly 20 years of experience coordinating and communicating between state and federal agencies and other wildlife organizations. She believes the Southeastern Section is an important link between our Chapter and National TWS, and if elected, looks forward to serving the chapter’s interests at the Section level, communicating our issues with them and sharing their activities with our Chapter.