Georgia TWS member earns award

By Steve H. Smith, CWB, State Director, USDA Wildlife Services-North Carolina

Georgia TWS member Elizabeth A. Miller has been selected as the 2018 Eastern Region Wildlife Biologist of the Year for the USDA Wildlife Services program. ©Wildlife Services

Elizabeth Miller, a member-at-large on the Georgia TWS chapter board,has been selected as the 2018 Eastern Region Wildlife Biologist of the Year for the USDA Wildlife Services program. As the state office’s staff biologist, she works across Georgia on projects mitigating damage issues related to white-tailed deer, Canada geese, predators, vultures, pigeons and beavers — and she has become adept at constructing lifelike vulture effigies used to disperse vultures for livestock and property protection.

A 2013 M.S. gradate from the University of Georgia, Miller began her Wildlife Services career as a biologist for the National Wildlife Research Center’s Utah field station for predation damage research. She returned to Georgia in 2014 to conduct wildlife hazard assessments at five general aviation airports in Atlanta. The year-long assessments document wildlife usage of an airport and surroundings, systematically surveying wildlife at different times of the day and year and providing the scientific basis for a formal management plan.

An Associate Wildlife Biologist, Miller approached the logistical challenge of multiple simultaneous assessments enthusiastically, using a Trimble handheld GPS data collection device. Six months after completing the last surveys she delivered five wildlife hazard assessments that included maps more dynamic and spatially accurate than anything our state program had produced previously.

She streamlined data collection for predator damage management projects, creating ArcGIS maps in a more efficient, time-saving process. Miller is working with state partners to develop an application for data collection on iPads real time in the field for reports, management and data-sharing.

She routinely participates in scientific research efforts and teaches labs for wildlife damage management classes at the University of Georgia, which led to Miller’s participation on the search panel for a University of Georgia wildlife faculty member.

Wildlife Services is a Strategic Partner of TWS.


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