Title: Field notes : wildlife news & views
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088891/00002
 Material Information
Title: Field notes : wildlife news & views
Series Title: Field notes : wildlife news & views
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Publication Date: Spring 2007
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Bibliographic ID: UF00088891
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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In this Issue

2 Dexter Fellowships
in Tropical Conservation

3 Changes in Store
for Gopher Tortoise
Regulation and

4 Sustainability in
Florida Program for
Resource Efficient

4 Living Green

5 Welcome to the

5 Teaching Across
the State Enhancing
Teaching with
Technology in WEC

6 Owls, Rodents, and

6 NEON and the
Biological Station

7 Alumni Profiles

8 Awards

Have you received
an award, been
promoted or
recognized for your
hard work?
Let us know!
Send your news to:
extension@wec.ufl.ed u

Wildlife News & Views

Notes from the Chair

John P. Hayes

Florida is home to one of the most (if not
the most) impressive wildlife resources in
the country. It is sometimes easy to take
the state's wildlife for granted, and many of
us regularly pass by eagles, alligators, egrets,
ibises, herons, turtles, storks, and many other
species of wildlife with little more than
a glance encounters that many people
from other parts of the country would (and
do!) spend considerable money to come to
Florida to experience.
Some recent experiences have caused me to
reflection Florida's fantasticwildlife resources
and the delicate relationship between some
of our wildlife populations and Florida's
rapidly expanding human population. Last
week I spent a day in north Florida
with new WEC faculty member,
Dr. Holly Ober (see p. 5),

the Florida Fish
a.: and Wildlife

Conservation "
Commission, for an n
update on information
needs and the status of :
Florida's bat populations. '
While sitting in a
postage-stamp size habitat /
island wedged among a suiteof
housing developments, we watched some
25,000 Southeastern Bats emerge from a
cave into the night sky, on their way to
feed on millions of insects (many of which
are pests of plants important to the state).
The cave entrance was guarded by a gray
rat snake, who managed to dine on three of

Sprfin 2007

the emerging bats that it snatched during
their exit from the cave. Throughout this
time, we were serenaded by the sounds
of human voices, tractor trailers, and
ambulance sirens.
This experience the impressive natural
history event and the juxtaposition of
our wildlife populations and human
development blends with a number of
others to impress upon me the importance
of WEC's mission "to foster education,
expand knowledge,and reward scholarship,
using multi-disciplinary approaches for the
purpose of understanding, managing, and
conserving biological resources."

This issue of Field Notes provides a
glimpse at some of our efforts to fulfill
our mission, including an overview of
some of our work with sensitive species
(p. 3), community development (p. 4), and
wildlife and agriculture (p. 5), aspects of
the Department's innovative extension (p.
4) and educational programs (p. 6), and our

: / ; work with tropical
research and education
(p. 2). In addition, in this issue we
report on exciting developments linking
the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station to
an important new national effort in the
ecological sciences (p. 6). Having just
completed my first academic year at the
University of Florida, I am more excited
than ever about the events taking place
in WEC and the opportunities awaiting us
in the coming months and years. In this
issue of Field Notes we provide a look at
some of these exciting things... I hope
you enjoy reading about them.

Spring 2007

Wildlife News & Views

Dr. John P. Hayes
Designer and Editor
Jennifer Walford Vann
Contributing Writers
Dr. John P. Hayes
Dr. Mark E. Hostetler
Dr. Susan K. Jacobson
Dr. Steven A. Johnson
Jason Martin
Dr. Perran Ross
Contact Us
Department of Wildlife Ecology and
University of Florida
110 Newins-Ziegler Hall
PO Box 110430
Gainesville, FL 32611-0430
(352) 846-0643
fax (352) 392-6984
Address changes:
Jennifer Walford Vann
(352) 846-0554
Field Notes is published by the
University of Florida, Department of
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Our
goal is to keep alumni, friends, faculty,
staff, and students informed about the
Department of Wildlife Ecology and
Conservation and its many activities
and programs.
The University of Florida is an Affirmative
Action and Equal Opportunityemployer.
Gift funds provided to the Department
of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
help pay for reproduction of Field

, Dexter Fellowships in Tropical Conservation Biology

"Our Dexter Fellowship Program in Tropical
Conservation Biology enhances the
conservation of biodiversity by supporting
the training and research of outstanding
graduate students from tropical countries
where the needs and opportunities for
biological conservation are greatest," says
Dr. Susan Jacobson, professor and director
of WEC's Program for Studies in Tropical
Conservation. The generous support of the
Lewis Anthony Dexter Fund has created
an innovative fellowship program at the
University of Florida. The Dexter Fellowship
Program in Tropical Conservation Biology
was established to honor Mr. Lewis Anthony
Dexter, and his family, Robert Cloutman
Dexter and Elisabeth Anthony Dexter. Lewis
Dexter was a renowned political scientist,
who became increasingly interested
in environmental
conservation later in life. |
The Dexter Fellowship-
Program supports
students from tropical
developing countries
who are pursuing ,:.
graduate studies at the .
University of Florida in
the natural sciences.
Fellowship recipients
are individuals who
show strong leadership Arjun Gopalasv
capacity, excellent tranquilizer tec
communication and mammals. Photo
critical thinking skills, and the ability to
make a significant contribution to tropical
conservation through their work, personal
abilities, and dedication. The objective
is to produce graduates who are able to
contribute to the conservation of natural
systems and to appropriate development
necessary for long-term sustainability.
The first recipient of a Dexter Fellowship,
Arjun Gopalaswamy, graduated with his MS
degree in Wildlife Ecologyand Conservation.
His thesis was on "Estimating site occupancy
rates and abundance of sloth bears in
Nagarahole, India." He has returned to
India, where he coordinates a major new
initiative for the Wildlife Conservation

Society on monitoring tigers and their
prey in Western Ghats. "1 will be heading
up the research division and will be
responsiblefordesigning and conducting
monitoring programs for tigers and prey
in this region," Gopalaswamy explains.
"I also will be involved with teaching
and local capacity building. My studies
at UF allowed me to build up a'toolbox'
of essential theoretical principles and
concepts of ecology, statistics, as well
as the necessary field skills that will aid
in designing and conducting rigorous
scientific field studies to promote
biodiversity conservation in Asia."
WEC's Program for Studies in Tropical
Conservation has helped fund the
research of 30 international students
in 14 departments since 2000. "But the

vamy practicing
hniques for large
credit: Kim Annis

Dexter Fellowships
are outstanding," says
Professor Jacobson.
for coursework and
training of really
who otherwise would
not be able to get
advanced degrees.
They'll be able to
return to their home
countries and make a
significant impact on

tropical conservation.

Dexter Fellows
2007 Mariela Pajuelo
(Peru) MS studies in
Zoology on the ecology of sea turtles on the
Peruvian coast.
2006 Aditya Singh (India) PhD studies in
Interdiscipinary Ecology on the population
dynamics of Indian mammals.
2005 Omar Antonia Figueroa (Belize) PhD
studies in WEC on wetlands conservation for
jaguars in Central America.
2004 Maria Camila Pizano (Colombia) PhD
studies in Botany on soil-plant dynamics
in the regeneration of tropical montane

Changes in Store for Gopher Tortoise
Regulation and Conservation
The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), whose sandy
burrows remain common wherever the soil is deep and well
drained, faces significant conservation challenges. Loss of
uplands to development is estimated to have reduced the
available habitat and gopher population in Florida by 60 to
70% since 1900. Designated a Species of Special Concern by
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
in 1979, the FWC is now proposing the species be listed as a
Threatened species under Florida's newly adopted (2004) listing
Dr. Perran Ross, a faculty member in the Department of
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, is working closely with a
team of FWC specialists in consultation with a diverse group
of stakeholders to help draft a species management plan for
the gopher tortoise. According to Ross, "We have moved well
beyond the point where agencies can act independently on
sensitive conservation issues, and working in close consultation
with stakeholders is key to developing effective conservation
strategies in the 21st century." Ross is making an important
contribution to the process by facilitating stakeholder meetings
of people representing diverse interests, including agriculture,
forestry, mining, conservation, local governments, development
interests, animal advocacy groups and the general public. The
result of this effort was a draft conservation plan, which was
released for public comment in February and will be reviewed
by the FWC commissioners at their meeting in June. The plan
is based on four goals: managing protected habitat to optimize
carrying capacity (largely with prescribed fire); acquiring
additional habitat for the species, both through public purchase
(such as through the Florida Forever program or new County
Conservation Lands) and by conservation ---.
easements on private lands; restocking tortoises .
in suitable habitat that currently have low
tortoise density due to past exploitation or land
use; and reducing the mortality of tortoises
displaced by development. ....
An important element of the plan is a structure
of permit costs and habitat loss mitigation .
charges structured to encourage developers -
to move tortoises and private land owners
to receive them. Developers will pay a fee .
that land owners can use to cover future ." -
management costs. According to Ross,
"Reducing the number of gophers buried and .
left to die under building foundations turns -
out to be an objective of both the concerned .- ..
public and many developers. Broadening '--
the possibilities for relocation to willing land .
owners could provide a revenue stream to help Go

Florida Stakeholders Fish & Wildlife Forum
A statewide conference to address conservation issues
Date: 6-7 June 2007
Location: Orlando, Crowne Plaza Hotel
Hosted by: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission and The University of Florida, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife Ecology and
Who Should Attend:
This top level conference is a 'must attend'for every sector of
the conservation spectrum that is concerned about the future
of Florida's wildlife:
Business, commercial and development
Wildlife and land management
Marine and freshwater fisheries
Agriculture, forestry and mining
Angler and hunter organizations
Citizen and recreational organizations

For up-to-date information, visit the conference Web site:

conservation for tortoises while at the same time help provide
extra income that may help maintain some of our agricultural
and forestry land base. There is also increasing interest among
some private owners in generating tax relief thru conservation
easements that combine personal financial and wildlife needs.
Trying to find'win-win'solutions with strong buy-in from diverse
stakeholders is becoming a cornerstone of many conservation
strategies when humans and the natural world interface."

. .

ipher Tortoise grazing vegetation. Photo credit: Jennifer Walford Vann

Florida Wildlife Extension
Sustainability in Florida Program for
Resource Efficient Communities
Residential construction is one of the biggest industries driving
the Florida economy. Just this past year, over 200,000 building
permits were issued in Florida. As the population and number
of residences grow, the loss of habitat and demands for energy,
water, and other resources also steadily increase. As a result of
the dramatic growth in the region, developing resource efficient
communities is an important element of conservation in the
To identify and coordinate educational and analytical resources
available at UF to support the design, construction, and
management of more resource efficient developments, Dr. Mark
Hostetler, an associate professor in the Department of Wildlife
Ecology and Conservation, and Dr. Pierce Jones, a professor
in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering,
worked with partners at the University of Florida to establish
the Program for Resource Efficient Communities (PREC) in 2004
(see http://www.energy.ufl.edu). PREC uses a multi-disciplinary
approach to focus on best practices for application in residential
community design and management, using teams with expertise
in environmental engineering, energy, water, wildlife, forestry,
landscape architecture, building construction, and other fields to
work with developers interested in sustainable development. The
focus of PREC extends from lot level through site development
to surrounding lands and ecological systems. PREC supports the
implementation of resource efficient community development
through: 1) direct training and consulting activities, 2) applied
research projects and/or case studies, 3) academic courses and
degree programs, and 4) partnering with "green" certification
PREC is truly innovative on several levels. According to Hostetler,
"PREC effectively reaches audiences, such as design/build
professionals (eg.Architects, engineers, etc.) and policymakers,who
are not always reached by traditional Extension programs. These
are key audiences since developers and policymakers can play a
major roles in creating healthy, resource efficient communities."
PREC has been actively partnering with policymakers and
design/build professionals to create "model" resource efficient
Most of PREC's activities are fee-based. Whether the activities
are continuing education courses or consultation activities with
developers, monies generated from the activities are funneled
back into the program to fund graduate students, conduct
research, and to further develop continuing education and other
Extension activities.
An example of PREC's work is the incorporation of design and
management approaches to conserve natural resources in the
Town of Harmony, Florida. Highlights of this development include
funding to develop and implement a long term environmental
educational program within the community; all of the homes are
EnergyStar certified; creation of covenants, codes and restrictions
that address environmental issues; use of native plants in the
landscaping palette; and conservation and management of open
space. More information about the sustainable features in the
Town of Harmony, can be found on the Living in Harmony Web
site: http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/gc/harmony/.

IFAS Extension

Living Green is a half-hour TV show designed to help
individuals understand what it means to "live green" in their
own communities. Living Green focuses on how communities
incorporate environmental concerns into their homes,
neighborhoods, and businesses to help conserve natural
resources and wildlife for future generations.
The Living Green series is a collaborative effort between
public television station WUFT-TV/DT, and the University of
Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
Each episode, hosted and produced by Dr. Mark Hostetler,
incorporatesan upbeatand humorousapproach tothe myriad
of challenges and solutions associated with environmental
issues. Living Green hopes to inspire individuals to take local
action and make a difference. Each episode highlights a
specific environmental issue, emphasizing the need for a
united response at the local, and most important individual
level. Specific attention is paid to the solutions to growth
and environmental challenges, and the opportunities for
individuals, developers, and counties to search for 'win-win'
strategies that balance socioeconomic and environmental
concerns in their own community.
The Web site, http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu, is a companion
to the show, and it helps one make informed decisions to
cultivate a healthy environment in a community. The Web
site provides additional information about sustainable
living practices, including fact sheets and links to additional
resources. Mark Hostetler, Elizabeth Swiman, and Sarah Miller
originally created the content and design, and Jennifer
Walford Vann currently maintains it. With the help of IFAS
Communications, the current look and functionality was built
for the Solutions for Your Life Extension Web site in 2006.
The TV shows are currently aired across the United States,
particularly in Florida, and can be viewed on local PBS
stations, government access channels, and local cable
stations. To date, we have produced four shows: Landscaping
for Wildlife, Invasive Exotics, Conservation Easements, and
Renewable Energy. These shows have been well received
and have won various broadcast media awards including The
Communicator Award of Distinction and the Videographer
Award of Distinction. If you have not seen it aired in your area,
you can view the streamed video online at http://livinggreen.
ifas.ufl.edu. Our next shows in production are on energy
conservation and sustainable fishing ... stay tuned!2

L~d^ r

Welcome to the Department!

Dr. Holly Ober
Dr. Holly Ober was recently hired as an
assistant professor in the UF Department
of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. She
arrived in Florida in March, and is stationed
at the University's North Florida Research
and Education Center in Quincy, near
Tallahassee. Ober's appointment has both
research and extension components.
Originally from the northeast, Ober
obtained a B.S. in biology from Duke
Dr. HollyOber University, an M.S. in wildlife science from
the University of Arizona, and a dual Ph.D. in forest science and wildlife
science from Oregon State University. Ober worked on the aspects
of the ecology and behavior of bats for both of her graduate degrees,
examining interactions between agaves and nectar-feeding bats in
southern Arizona, and food webs linking riparian vegetation to insects
to bats in forests of western Oregon. However, Ober's background
has included research on a wide variety of species, including geese,
seabirds, bowerbirds, burrowing owls, small mammals, and primates, at
a diversity of locations.
In her new position, Ober will focus on wildlife ecology and management
in forests. She plans to develop an integrated research and extension
program, fostering collaboration with colleagues in a diverse suite of
natural resource sciences, both in the University of Florida and with state
and federal agencies in Florida. She anticipates emphasizing research
questions that will enhance basic and applied understanding of wildlife-
habitat relationships in forests. By examining functional relationships
between wildlife and habitats,she hopesto determine causal mechanisms
underlying observable patterns, with the ultimate goal of enabling
predictions of wildlife response to alternative management strategies.

Teaching Across the State Enhancing
Teaching with Technology in WEC
Undergraduate education is a key mission of the Department of Wildlife
courses are taught by faculty on the main campus in Gainesville, Florida.
However, WEC also has faculty stationed at Research and Education
Centers across the state from Milton in Florida's panhandle, to Fort
Lauderdale in south Florida. For a number of the WEC faculty housed
away from the main campus,
teaching undergraduates is a
significant part of their jobs. New
technology is helping to broaden
their educational impact and
enhance the teaching programs
of these faculty.
One example of how WEC faculty
are enhancing teaching through
the use of technology is a course
on Conservation of Amphibians
and Reptiles offered by Dr. Steve
Johnson this spring. Dr. Johnson
co-taught the course with WEC
Dr. Steve Johnson lectures in person graduate students Betsy Roznik
to students in Plant City, FL and via and Kris Hoffman. The course
Polycom to students in Gainesville, was taught simultaneously to
FL. Photo Credit: Monica McGarrity

Dr. Robert Fletcher ,,
Dr. Rob Fletcher recently accepted the --
landscape ecologist position in the UF '9
Department of Wildlife Ecology and
Conservation. He is a landscape ecologist p
who blends many approaches to better
understand wildlife biology and ecology
He received a B.S. from the University of
Colorado and a Ph.D. from Iowa State
University. Between undergraduate and
graduate degrees, he spent nearly a year
doing research in the Everglades National Dr. Robert Fletcher
Park on the non-breeding ecology of the endangered Cape Sable seaside
sparrow. Fletcher is currently a research assistant professor atthe University
of Montana, and will be moving to UF this summer.
Fletcher's research broadly revolves around themes critical for
understanding population and community ecology at large spatial scales.
He primarily focuses on linking mechanisms influencing individuals to
the conservation of populations and communities at landscape scales.
He is also interested in improving concepts and theory in ecology. He
has worked in a variety of ecosystems, including grassland, wetland,
and riparian habitats, and most of his research to date has centered on
birds. Some of Fletcher's current research directions include identifying
the fundamental processes that are influenced by habitat loss and
fragmentation; developing conceptual and predictive frameworks for
interpreting human impacts; evaluating the impacts of habitat restoration;
and understanding the consequences of individual behavior at large
scales. According to Fletcher, "I am excited about joining the faculty at
the University of Florida. I see this as a great environment to further my
research and teaching interests and to work closely with state and federal
agencies to develop conservation strategies in the state."

students in Gainesville and at the Plant City campus of the Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center using videoconferencing technology on
a system called Polycom. The Polycom system allowed the students and
instructors at one location to see and hear the students and instructors
at the other location and to participate in discussions with them in real
time. It also allowed the instructors to share PowerPoint presentations
between the two sites.
The Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles course combined use of
the Polycom with other technology, including use of a program called
WebCT Vista. WebCT Vista is an online course management system
available to all University of Florida teaching faculty. Dr. Johnson and
his co-instructors posted presentations, the course syllabus, handouts,
and student grades online using this program. This provided students
from both campuses equal access to their grades and course materials
whenever they needed them.
Using technology in teaching, such as Polycom, is one way for WEC
faculty to share their expertise with students at geographically distant
campuses and enhance their learning experiences. According to
Dr. Johnson, "Use of this technology is helping us to bridge the gap
between traditional distance education courses taught online with more
traditional approaches using live, in-class presentations. As technology
evolves and access tovideoconferencing hardware and othertechnology
becomes more commonplace, we anticipate that this approach will be
an important tool to help us reach non-traditional students in locations
spread across the state"

Owls, Rodents, and Agriculture
The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), located primarily in
western Palm Beach County, FL, contains 400,000 acres of
sugarcane cropland. This agricultural landscape is home to
several species of rodents that eat crops and gnaw on farm
equipment, resulting in millions of dollars in damage each year.
Rodenticides are used to reduce the number of rats; however,
these chemicals are expensive and may have unintended
ecological side-effects. Natural predators, such as barn owls, may
offer an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative
to chemical rodenticides. In recognition of the potential role
barn owls can play in these systems, over the past 20 years EAA
farmers have increased the population of these predators by
installing nest boxes in agricultural fields. Whilethere is anecdotal
evidence that barn owls may have reduced the number of rats
in some areas, quantitative data have not been Jason Martin
collected. Photo credit
Jason Martin, a graduate student in ..
the Department of Wildlife Ecology
and Conservation, is conducting
research focused on determining if the
artificially inflated barn owl population
in the EAA is impacting pest rodent
abundance. He conducts capture-
mark-recapture studies to compare
rodent populations in areas with and
without owls, and is manipulating the
density of barn owls in some locations
by installing large numbers of nest

boxes. According to Martin, "Although barn owls clearly play
some role by preying on rodents in these fields, my findings
suggest that the overall impact of owls is limited because of the
sheer number of rodents in these fields. Barn owls are not the
lone solution to the rodent problem, but incorporating them
into an integrated pest management strategy that includes other
eco-friendly techniques may reduce the need for rodenticides
while maintaining, or possibly enhancing, current levels of rodent
Martin's research also involves monitoring population dynamics,
patterns of nest box use, and nesting success of barn owls in the
area. He determines which boxes are used for nesting, tracks the
number of eggs and chicks produced in each nest, and marks
adults and chicks with leg bands to study their activities over
time. While this species appears to be doing quite well in the

with Barn Owl.
: Brian Mealey

EAA, it is declining in many portions of its near-
global range. Martin hopes that determining
why the species is successful in the EAA
may benefit barn owls elsewhere.
The EAA barn owl program is an example
of how ecologically sound management
techniques can benefit wildlife as well
as the farming industry; agricultural
development and wildlife conservation
need not be mutually exclusive
approaches to land management. For
S more information on the EAA barn owl
project, visit the study's Web site: http://

NEON and the Ordway-
Swisher Biological Station
NEON, the National Ecological
Observatory Network, is a major
federal research initiative to address
continental-scale ecological questions
and monitor environmental change
in the face of changes in land use and
climatic conditions. To accomplish this,
the National Science Foundation has
designed a program that will implement
a network of twenty core ecological
observatories ranging from the Alaskan
tundra to Hawaii, and from the forests
of the northeastern United States to
Puerto Rico. Each of these core sites will
also coordinate activities at a group of
satellite sites located nearby.
Early this year, NEON announced that
its candidate site for the Southeast is
the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station
(OSBS). "Candidate" status indicates
that the establishment of a core site at
the location is likely if future site visits
demonstrate that the site meets all of
the needs and qualifications required by

We view this as a tremendous
opportunity for OSBS, and one
that will open the doors to
substantial new activities at *
the Station. Establishment of
a core site at OSBS will result
in deployment of a diverse set
of sensor arrays established
to measure characteristics
and monitor changes in
atmospheric chemistry,
soil characteristics, aquatic
conditions, and biodiversity,
and access to research and
educational funding targeted
at NEON sites.
Inclusion in NEON will truly
be transformational, and
will result in a significant
enhancement in the benefits
that the Station will provide
to the University, Florida, and
the public. We look forward
to sharing progress with you
on implementation in future
issues of Field Notes.

Greg Starr, Mike Binford, and Steve Coates
identifying sites for NEON sensor arrays at
OSBS. Photo credit: John P. Hayes.

Alumni Profiles

AnneMarie van Doorn
After successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation in Wildlife
Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida in November,
Annemarie van Doom returned to northern Australia where she
is living in a remote location near Litchfield National Park. Van
Doom is continuing her work there on the Purple-crowned Fairy-
wren (Malurus coronatus). The wren is a threatened species,
and its habitat requirements and present status make it a prime
candidate for studying the impacts of some of the key threats to
biodiversity in riparian zones of northern Australia. Additional
funding this year has made it possible for van Doo??ri t "rl I ith
m multiple agencies on determ ining the feasibilir .:.r i l ,:i:.Iir: r,.:.'
measures of the primary habitat of the wren. F-.-:1 .::rrl. .jii :.1'i.i
and the highly fragmented distribution of the i:.iiii:r I,:i:.,i r .:.r
the wrens indicate that the future of this species *:.r .ii. -ir .:.:. 1i.:-,i,

In addition to working on wrens, van Doorn fr_.:- ..I-iirl .:.:.i .:li.:r
bird surveys for an environmental
consulting firm that focuses
predominately on threatened
species. She has recently started
her own environmental consulting
firm, allowing her to be contracted
by multiple agencies for various
projects. In the future, she hopes
to continue working on threatened
bi.:1 -i: i. i rli.- Northern
Tei r.:.i -.:.:..i.:i i.:l r.:. van D oorn,
"L i-.: .:.- .-1 iiri..riil p ark c.rr,;-, .
m :i-, :li:,l:,, i r.i iri -; r.:.r research .r, ."'
in -,ii -i 1-, -i,- iii:iny species
have remained virtually unstudied." AnneMarievan Doorr

Paul Gray

C I,. -. ,.F .:. .,:.I r..:l : ie W atersh d Program
\A ,i i I ,,:l I .- .F
A F i I 1 I "1 11... 1 r .:. l r l ,.

GC I :1 j rh,-,l ll-i _rl-, -,.l. l: f Paul G ray
E l.- ,.- I-, _i l-, .-, ,rl r l ,.- i .e
C.....:I r.:. ..r -,,-I, -.,-.r, I -1 ,-I .- chobee W atershed Program .
"fI r, ,:, -irei .r, i.- r. :i Lake Okeechobee and its
w 1r. l-.:1 -I -1 TI.- 1 -,1 faces myriad environmental
p ..l:.l- -,;, n.:l..:liii.j i:.l :.I:.l pollutionn w ater level control,
exotic species, and downstream problems from its severely
polluted water. "I must work on diverse issues with technical
teams and the lay public, across a wide geographic range, and
within a volatile political framework. I feel very fortunate for my
time at UF because the interdisciplinary focus (both in science
and human management), and landscape planning focus, really
helped prepare me for the variety of situations I have to deal with."
Gray has become a 'go-to' person for Okeechobee issues and
appears often in the media; recently on "Water's Journey:
Everglades" that features him getting his airboat stuck, while
trying to explain Okeechobee issues. Gray is the senior author of
a recent analy:i: .f Okeechobee's situation that is now featured on
Audubon of Fl.:I. i:1:. Web site, along with a link to Water's Journey.

David J. White
David White had almost completed his graduate studies at UF
when he became convinced that wildlife policy and ecosystem
management was based as much on politics and economics as it
was on sound science. Armed with a B.S. in Zoology (UF 1980) and
an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology (UF 1983), White went on to receive his
law degree (UF 1986), specializing in environmental law.
White worked as the Regional Counsel for the National Wildlife
Federation for the next 9 years, litigating endangered species
cases and advocating for conservation of wetlands. He worked on
litigation to protect the Everglades from agricultural pollution, and
filed several lawsuits to protect endangered Key deer and other
vulnerable species in the Florida Keys.
White currently serves as the Regional Director for the Ocean
Conservancy in St. Petersburg, where he works on establishing
marine protected areas and advocating
for ecosystem based management
in the oceans. After more than 20
years practicing environmental law,
White still :.i. that, while sound
science is iin:..ir iir in informing
environmental i:..i:H .:y, mauy resource
decisions are driven mor by politics
then long-teW sustainability.
Id ,- 1 ii, ii-i.:i oll i to future
h.:in l.:.ne d v.:.F' r.: ruin the planet,"
1 .. I of disappearing
1n 1,,I .-.1 ecosystems
.ai-e ..Ir, ,irii: environmental
David J White conditions should not be our legacy
to future generations."

Kris Thomas
After graduating from the
Department of Wildlife Ecology
and Conservation with a
Bachelor's degree last year, Kris
Thomas was hired by the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission's Habitat Conservation
Scientific Services Section in the
KrisThomas North Central Region in November
of 2006. Her responsibilities
include providing a very diverse
group of private landowners with wildlife related technical
assistance. This assistance ranges from answering simple
wildlife related questions to more involved assistance
helping landowners develop and implement their land
management goals. Thomas helps facilitate this process
by working with the landowners to find additional funding
resources, complete application reviews, develop wildlife
practice plans, and conduct site visits to verify completed
practices for numerous programs such as tl.- FARM Bill
Conservation Programs, the Florida Forest Sewardship
Program, or the Landowner Incentive Program.
According to Thomas, "Among the most exciting parts of
my job is having the privilege of working with private
landowners to help them see their management goals
become realized, and meeting someveryinteresting people."

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Wildlife News & Views
University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
P.O. Box 110430, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-0430


Faculty & Staff
Dr. Bill Giuliano WEC Undergraduate Faculty of the Year, 1st Place Florida Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals
Award: Quail Program Web Page and Slide Set / Computer Graphics
Dr. Mark Hostetler Award of Distinction for Broadcast Media from The Videographer Awards: Living Green: Conservation Easements;
Honorable Mention for Broadcast Media from The Communicator Awards: Living Green: Invasive Exotics
Dr. Perran Ross and Dr. Katie Sieving WEC Graduate Faculty of the Year Award
Dr. Mel Sunquist WEC Undergraduate Faculty of the Year Award
Dr. George Tanner- Selected to serve as a member of the Science Advisory Board to the Science and Technology
Program of the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study
Steve Coates WEC Staff of the Year
Sam Jones 33 Years of Service!
Laura Hayes 15 years of Service
Julien Martin and Rafael Reyna UF Outstanding International Students Award Sam Jones
Montana Atwater, Andrea Ayala, and Scott Travers University Scholars
Aletris Neils UF Graduate Student Teaching Award, Agricultural Women's Club Dee Ann Conner and Marceita Hoffmann Scholarship
Vanessa Oquendo Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society's 9th Annual Undergraduate Scholarship, WEC Outstanding Service to the
Department and University Award
Arpat Ozgul- UF Chapter of Sigma Xi's Graduate Student of the Year Award
Jose Silva-Lugo Florida Chapter ofThe Wildlife Society's Best Student Paper Award
Julia Altman WEC Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Achievement Award
Judit Ungvari-Martin and Daniel Gualtieri WEC Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award
Lauryn Cannon WEC Outstanding Service to the Department and University Award
Courtney Hooker, Lindsay Jacobs, Leander Lacy, Jr., Jonathan Saunders, and Eric Thomas WEC Outstanding Professional
Promise Awards L

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