After nine years as the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) Coordinator, Scott Robinson returned to Georgia Department of Natural Resources as Fishery Operations Manager. Following an extensive search and interview process, Dr. Jessica Graham was selected and will assume the duties of the SARP Coordinator on March 16, 2015. She will work for SARP on a contractual basis under a contract with SAFWA.
Jessica joins SARP after serving as a Regional Biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative, a program focused on developing regional partnerships to implement local conservation actions that address statewide conservation priorities identified in Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan. As a Regional Biologist, Jessica has developed effective partnerships and provided technical guidance, planning and financial assistance, and coordination for a variety of projects focused on restoring, protecting, and enhancing freshwater and estuarine habitats in northwest Florida.
Through various roles, Jessica has demonstrated her ability to build and maintain effective conservation partnerships among local, state and federal partners; secure and leverage grant funding and technical resources for habitat restoration projects; manage project budgets; and effectively communicate project activities/outcomes to garner awareness and broad-based support for fish habitat conservation.
Jessica has a B.S. in Marine Biology and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, both from the Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Graham will be housed in the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Panama City Field Office.
Curtis Hopkins retired from Ducks Unlimited in 2013 after spending 33 years with the organization. He retired as Director of the Southern Region; a position he held for six years. In his career at Ducks Unlimited, Curtis also held positions as Director of Conservation Programs, Director of Private Lands Conservation, Senior Regional Director and Regional Director of the North MS Region. Curtis brings to SEAFWA more than 41 years of field and administrative experience. Throughout his career, Curtis has demonstrated leadership capability with professional and volunteer leaders. He has also demonstrated planning, communication, administrative, wildlife management, fund raising, and research capabilities. Curtis is a graduate of Texas A & M University (Ph.D.) and Mississippi State Univeristy (MS and BS).
Angelyn Mewborn’s career has included more than 30 years of experience in budget, contract and grant management, conference planning, and regional program administration in the areas of state park natural resource protection, historic site conservation, fisheries management, and environmental education. Prior to her retirement from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Angelyn worked in all areas of the DNR encompassing park management, law enforcement, fisheries, and engineering and construction. She served as Administrative Operations Manager for the southeast region of Georgia State Park and Historic Site Operations, Budget Analyst and Program Manager for the Business Services Section of the State Parks Division, Budget & Contracts Manager for the Engineering and Construction Section, as well as the Assistant Fiscal Officer for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Angelyn assisted in field activities and programming efforts for public education of state park and historic site resources, conducted conference programs for state park managers and interpretive specialists, and participated in capital campaigns for fund raising opportunities. Since her retirement from the Georgia DNR, Angelyn has been overseeing SARP’s administrative operations.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has selected Mike Knoedl as its new director. Knoedl, currently a deputy director within Game and Fish, was a wildlife officer for 23 years before becoming a field supervisor in 1998. He succeeds Loren Hitchcock, who announced in April that he would retire but extended his directorship until a replacement was found.
The Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Commission appointed Gregory Johnson to serve as the Department’s new Commissioner. On May 16th, he became the eighth head of the agency in its 70-year history. Johnson retired in 2011 after over 30 years with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management with minors in fisheries and chemistry in 1979. Johnson grew up farming in Wasco, Illinois and worked as a fishing guide, Forest Service biologist, and in a variety of capacities with the SCS/NRCS before finishing his career as director of the Financial Assistance Program Division. He is a lifelong hunter, angler and outdoorsman.