The ballot for The Wildlife Society’s 2021 elections includes candidates for the position of Southeastern Section representative. See previous articles on candidates for TWS vice president, Canadian Section representative and Southwest Section representative.
Additional nominees may be submitted by any voting member in good standing, if supported in writing by 5% of the voting membership. The deadline for additional nominations is May 16.
Electronic ballots will be sent June 1 to all members with an email address. Members without an email address will receive a paper ballot in the mail. Voting will close June 30. Mailed paper ballots must be postmarked on or before June 30. Newly elected council members are scheduled to be installed at the virtual 28th Annual Conference, Nov.1-5.
The candidates’ statements expressing their vision for The Wildlife Society and their interest in running for this council position are below.
Nominees for Southeastern Section Representative
I have been involved with teaching and research in wildlife for many years. I strongly believe it is important to give back to the profession and encourage current and future wildlife biologists to continue the great work of TWS. I am passionate about including diverse voices as I know wildlife conservation issues faced tomorrow will require many different ways of thinking. I know it is important to participate and for everyone to make their voices heard. I want to promote communication and collaboration in the profession. I also encourage wildlife professionals to engage the public and explain the science and thought that goes into management decisions.
Solutions to conservation issues and progress in natural resource management will come from an informed and passionate membership. I believe TWS provides many opportunities for professional growth and I will continue to advocate for education, training, and mentorship. I have been very fortunate to have had great guides, colleagues, and friends at all levels of TWS. I would like to be a part of the tradition and promote involvement. I welcome interactions, ideas, and suggestions from all members. If elected, I will do my best to serve the Southeastern Section with all my energy.
Having served at the chapter, section, and parent levels and on committees and working groups within TWS over the past 23 years, I would be honored to serve as Representative of the 13 states and 3 territories comprising the Southeastern Section – a diverse and active region. As we move deeper into the 21st Century, wildlife professionals in the southeast and across the U.S. are facing diversified pressures including competing land uses, population growth, climate change, disease, anti-management sentiment within various publics, and greater demands on our time as technology rapidly expands. Our young, early career professionals are faced with expanding educational requirements in addition to the traditional field taxonomy and techniques courses essential to being a good biologist. With these increasing demands, we must honor our foundation as leaders in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation while adapting to changing political, public, and natural climates all while trying to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in science.
To achieve this, I believe diversification (inclusion, diversity, equity, and awareness) of our membership and development of robust mentorship opportunities at all levels is essential. True mentorship involves reciprocity; it is a synergistic relationship between two or more people that results in a mutually beneficial, collaborative structure where information, culture, and knowledge can be exchanged inter-generationally or within peer groups. These diverse synergies will help address the multiplicative demands we have on us as stewards of our wildlife resources by streamlining training, leadership development, and communication across diverse stakeholder groups.
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