Nomination Statement for Monica Folk, recipient of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s 2019 Influential Woman in Wildlife Award
Monica Folk has been a member of the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society (FLTWS) for 20 years. During this period, she has contributed to the Chapter’s growth through her leadership and teaching. In her long career as a biologist here in Florida, she has worked with wildlife managers at various Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Water Management District, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and US Fish and Wildlife conservation areas in Central and South Florida. She currently leads banding, capture and translocation of the threatened Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) at many of these areas; conducts monitoring and banding of threatened Florida scrub jays; and assists with monitoring the endangered Florida bonneted bat in South Florida. Additionally, when she was the Science Program Manager at the TNC Disney Wilderness Preserve from 1998-2005, she was paramount in successfully reintroducing the RCW back to that Preserve.
Monica’s dedication to conservation of wildlife in Florida is obvious from her résumé, however, her leadership and inspiration to others is not always as apparent. These qualities are most often observed through her involvement with college students and teaching community members across the state. She was lead instructor at TNC’s Natural Areas Training Academy for over 10 years, and has led the FLTWS Scholarship Committee since 2014 and been a member of the FLTWS Spring Conference Planning Team since 2015. She has been invaluable with getting students from multiple Florida universities more involved with Chapter activities and attending meetings. She is always available to assist with outdoor events at the conservation areas she works with, often leading wildlife walks or giving species presentations to personnel and/or communities tied to those areas. I believe her knowledge and support of wildlife conservation in Florida is priceless, and it is clear that she is indeed, an influential woman in wildlife.