I am a Wildlife Habitat Specialist with the Government of British Columbia, Canada, and a TWS Leadership Institute Alumni. I have been facilitating habitat restoration and conservation for the last 11 years through applied research and science-based tools delivered in North and South America. My engagement with the Habitat Restoration and Conservation Working Group started last year. Since then, I have helped the development of the revised Charter and I have continued to serve the Working Group as Chair. My vision for the Working Group is to enhance science-based knowledge to facilitate habitat actions and to increase access to knowledge across institutional boundaries, while respecting and nurturing the rich diversity of members and their personal and professional backgrounds. I hope to help increase member engagement through webinars and discussion sessions, strengthen collaborations with other Working Groups and across institutions, and prepare technical materials to support wildlife professionals in their effort to restore, manage, and conserve habitat.
I am a Natural Resources Specialist at the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) in Fort Collins, CO and an active member of TWS at both the state and national levels. In 2019, I was elected to the board of the Colorado Chapter of TWS. In this role, I have spearheaded member outreach and development efforts to better support CCTWS members. This position has complemented my experience as a TWS Leadership Institute (LI) participant from 2019-2021. LI was a wonderful introduction to TWS National and paved the way for my involvement with the Habitat Restoration and Conservation Working Group. I have spent much of my professional career as a seasonal wildlife/ natural resources technician. Over six years, I had the adventure of a lifetime working for state, local and federal natural resources agencies as well as several private companies. In 2017, I returned to school to get a master’s degree in Natural Resources Stewardship and eventually landed my current role at CEMML. As a Natural Resources Specialist I support DOD natural resource management efforts around the world. The projects vary wildly and my most recent work has focused on bat acoustic monitoring, vegetation and soil sampling, and public outreach.
I am a professor emeritus in the Wildland Resources at Utah State University, where I served as Department Head and Associate Dean. I’m presently a Visiting Scholar in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia. As a long-time member of The Wildlife Society, I’ve enjoyed serving on a host of TWS committees and Working Groups at the state-chapter and international levels. I’ve also served in a variety of other capacities: chair of the Section on Fish and Wildlife of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; chair of the Research Committee of the National Association of University Fish and Wildlife Programs; twice president of the Western Chapter of the Ecological Society of America; chair of the USFWS Recovery Team for the recently delisted Delmarva fox squirrel. I began my career on the faculty of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, where I started a long-term study of mammals, birds and plant communities on the Virginia barrier islands. This wilderness coastal landscape has turned out to be a benchmark system for assessing the effects of climate change, sea-level rise and exotic species on a host of ecosystem properties and services. The NSF designated the area a long-term ecological research site in 1987. This research program now includes 30 investigators and 50 students from 9 universities. I recently returned to UVA, where I continue field research, writing and TWS involvement.
My name is Michelle Ford and I am a Certified Wildlife Biologist® (CWB), Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) (SWS #2310), Certified Erosion, Sediment, Stormwater Inspector (CESSWI) (CESSWI #4041), and Registered Professional Soil Scientist. In 2001 I completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Ecology and Environmental Science from Michigan Technological University located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I returned to Michigan Tech in 2004 to complete my Masters in Applied Ecology where my thesis focused on the influence of shoreline housing development along the coast of Lake Superior on breeding forest bird communities. Upon completion of my Masters I began working in environmental consulting in Massachusetts and Connecticut New England. I have been fortunate to work alongside many qualified biologists who have helped me hone my skills in a variety of fields, including freshwater and marine mussel surveys, bat surveys, grassland bird surveys, and amphibian surveys. In order to accommodate the need for a more regulate schedule and reduced travel, I left environmental consulting in 2014 to take a position in Middletown, Connecticut as the Environmental Planner. In my current role I serve as staff to the Conservation Commission, conduct project reviews, pre-application meetings, and provide staff comments for the City’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency (IWWA), write grants for a variety of environmental initiatives including habitat protection and enhancement, brownfield assessment and cleanup, and correspond frequently with the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on matters ranging from protected species habitat protection to sediment and storm water control implementation. Prior to being employed by the City, I served for over 2 years as an IWWA Commissioner. I am currently an active member of the Environment, Land Use and Energy Committee with the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, The Wildlife Society, Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists, Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England (SSSSNE), and the Society of Wetland Scientists. I have been a CWB and member of TWS since 2010. I see this as an opportunity to give back to TWS and to the wildlife community as a whole.
Scholarships and Awards Committee Chair
Drew Ann White-Jacobson
I received my BS at Utah State University in Conservation and Restoration Ecology, and a later a MS from Tarleton State University with a thesis preforming a habitat assessment in the context of ungulate health for the AZA accredited Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. My professional experiences have centrally focused on enhancing management decisions on the conservation and restoration of species in decline, while simultaneously mentoring the young professionals as a graduate student TA, volunteer, and supervisor. As a passionate young professional I would serve on this board by bringing energy and dedication to enhancing the impact of our valuable scientific efforts while becoming more inclusive to women and minorities interested in our changing world.
I am a wildlife biologist with LGL Limited in Sidney, British Columbia. I work on some of the largest reclamation sites in the world, which are located at decommissioned sites in the tar sands area in northern Alberta. Prior to that, I worked with the province of British Columbia in a role aiming at empowering staff to conduct conservation work in 1,035 protected areas in British Columbia. I also worked as a field biologist specialized in monitoring bird species at risk such as Black Swift, Bank Swallow and Barn Swallow in Jasper National Park, in Alberta.
I grew up in Québec and I completed a BSc in biology at the Université de Sherbrooke. My undergrad thesis was on the spatial ecology and reproductive strategy of racoons around my apartment. One of my favourite party tricks at the time was to take out my telemetry antenna and locate raccoons in the neighbour’s trashcan. Then I got to live like a woodpecker for a number of summers during my MSc at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, studying the foraging ecology of Williamson’s Sapsuckers.
I am an alumnus of the 2020-21 Leadership Institute of The Wildlife Society. I am one of the members who actively worked to revitalize the name and charter of the Habitat Restoration and Conservation Working Group. I see communications as a core element in the next steps to revitalizing the HRCWG and contribute to a flourishing TWS community. I am excited to have the chance to help the HRCWG engage its members and leaders under the new group format.