Congratulations to TWS’ Leadership Institute Class of 2024

This year’s class of 10 participants represents nine states and five sections of The Wildlife Society.

The Wildlife Society is excited to introduce you to the Class of 2024 of the Leadership Institute, TWS’ flagship leadership development program.

Members of this year’s class were selected from a competitive pool of applicants. Throughout the six-month program, participants will engage in a variety of distance learning and hands-on projects and develop a greater understanding of how to apply leadership skills in their professional careers. The Leadership Institute will culminate at TWS’ 31st Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, this October.

Leadership Institute participants are selected by a committee of TWS members and staff based on factors like demonstrated leadership capability or potential, commitment to and involvement in TWS and the wildlife profession, and potential to contribute to the growth and development of the group as a whole. This year’s class represents nine states or provinces and five sections of TWS.

Meet the Leadership Institute Class of 2024:

Wesley Boone, Clemson University. Wesley is a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. David Jachowski’s lab at Clemson University where he studies carnivore community dynamics and how carnivores influence prey populations. As a researcher, he seeks to provide insights that better enable conservation and management of natural resources by conducting applied and theoretical research with an interdisciplinary approach. His other, equal passion is providing quality instruction and mentorship to undergraduate students.

Laura Hancock, The Walker Basin Conservancy. Laura is the Conservation Science Field Manager for the Walker Basin Conservancy and is about to defend her PhD at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Program. Laura’s work with the Walker Basin Conservancy focuses on overseeing day-to-day monitoring activities to assess general land health and habitat for sensitive and imperiled species, such as the western yellow-billed cuckoo, bi-state sage-grouse, and monarch butterfly.

Alan Harrington, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alan works as a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Montana Ecological Services Field Office. He is engaged in the listing and recovery of threatened and endangered species, provides Section 7 consultation support to other federal agencies and develops conservation programs for pollinators, native plants and sage-grouse in grassland and sagebrush ecosystems in Montana.

Annalei Lees, The Tulalip Tribes. Annalei is the wildlife technician coordinator for The Tulalip Tribes of Washington state. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in conservation biology at Miami University, with an anticipated graduation in December.

Terrah Owens, Idaho National Laboratory. Terrah is a natural resource scientist for Batelle Energy Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that manages the Idaho National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. She works at the intersection of research and land management to help manage 890 square miles of a nearly intact sagebrush ecosystem while supporting the INL’s mission of researching renewable energy and critical infrastructure security. 

Garrett Peachey, Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Garrett is the wildlife biologist for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio, Colorado. In that position, he coordinates terrestrial conservation program for game species, culturally sensitive species and threatened and endangered species. Garrett’s primary focus is to monitor and research conservation efforts for mule deer, elk, eagles and species of conservation concern.

Bethan Roberts, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Bethan is a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Imperiled Species Management Program. She works with partners and stakeholders implementing manatee protection plans and leads the interagency Manatee Water Control Structure Working Group, which acts to prevent manatee entrapment and mortality.

Sierra Scauzillo, Quail Forever. Sierra is a Farm Bill biologist with the nonprofit conservation organization Quail Forever. She works in northwest Georgia, assisting private landowners in her 20-county area with their wildlife objectives through conducting site visits with landowners, offering management advice and discussing cost-share opportunities.

Hope VanDerwater, Virginia Tech. Hope is a research associate in the Virginia Tech shorebird program. Her research examines nest-site selection, prey availability and reproductive success of the federally threatened piping plover in the hurricane- and human-disturbed barrier island habitats on Fire Island, NY. 

Amanda Veals Dutt, Borderlands Research Institute. Amanda is a postdoctoral research scientist with Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University in Texas. She specializes in spatial ecology, with a focus on mammalian carnivores, and is committed to mentorship and building community. 

Over the course of their Leadership Institute experience, these participants will have the opportunity to learn from TWS Council and staff, take part in discussions on a variety of leadership topics and engage in mentorship activities with established TWS members, including members of TWS Heritage Committee and Leadership Institute alumni.

Congratulations again to the Leadership Institute Class of 2024!

Learn more about The Wildlife Society’s Leadership Institute.

Header Image: Trumpeter swans at LaCreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS