The Wildlife Society Leadership Chronicles
Volume 1, Issue 1 | March 2010 TWS Leadership Institute Newsletter

Editor: Laura M. Bies
LI Newsletter Subcommittee Chair: Allison Fowler

In this Issue

TWS Leadership Institute Starts its Fifth Year!

In 2006, with some money from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and a small committee of dedicated members interested in leadership development, TWS launched its Leadership Institute. Now we’re in the process of selecting our fifth class of participants! How time flies!

Over the years, we’ve had 45 TWS members go through the program. Some have gone on to become leaders in their Chapters, and many are still involved with the LI through service on the member committee. You can read about some of these individuals below. In 2009, a grant from the National Wildlife Refuge System allowed us to accept 15 participants, expanding the reach of the program.

With the launch of this quarterly newsletter, we hope to better keep in touch with all of our LI alums, to document their accomplishments and to provide a forum for exchanging news, thoughts on leadership, and training opportunities. And we need your help!

Did you recently get a promotion, change jobs, or acquire a leadership position in your Chapter or Section? Did you recently attend a useful training or workshop on leadership development? Publish an article or complete an important project? Or read a good book on leadership or a related topic? We need your contributions to make this newsletter successful, so please keep in touch.

Suggestions can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Newsletter Subcommittee Chair or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , LI Coordinator. Please help us make this newsletter a success!

Alumni News

Read about promotions, awards, and leadership positions recently attained by LI alums…

Jordona Kirby, LI Class 2006, is currently secretary of the Wildlife Disease Working Group.

Mike Larson, LI Class of 2006, was elected vice president of the Minnesota Chapter.

Emily Munter, LI Class of 2006, was the 2009 President of the Nebraska Chapter.

Erin Patrick, LI Class of 2006, is currently secretary of the Kentucky Chapter.

Raquel (Wertsbaugh) Stotler, LI Class of 2006, began a new position as wildlife conservation biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 2006. Raquel served on the executive board of the Colorado Chapter for 2 years (2007-08).

Noe Marymor, LI Class of 2007, is President-Elect for the Colorado Chapter.

Julie Cunningham, LI Class of 2008, is currently President of the Montana Chapter.

Mayra Moreno-Parrish, LI Class of 2008, is currently executive board member for the Arizona Chapter and previously served as corresponding secretary. In addition, Mayra serves as the liaison between the student chapters and the state chapter. Mayra oversees administration of student travel grants and volunteer opportunities that are reimbursable as meeting registration costs, provided to encourage student participation at the joint annual meeting of the New Mexico and Arizona chapters.

Sarah Bucklin, LI Class of 2009, was recently elected to the executive board of the Wyoming Chapter.

Whisper Camel, LI Class of 2009, remains active in the Montana Chapter and will be co-leading a student-professional mixer at their upcoming meeting.

Katlin Miller, LI Class 2009, has a new position as a Volunteer Research Assistant on a Leatherback and Black Sea Turtle Project in Ostional, Costa Rica.

Jena Moon, LI Class of 2009, wrote an article titled "Seeking a Broader Perspective" about her experience with the Leadership Institute which was published in the January/February 2010 (Vol.7 No.1) edition of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's national publication "Refuge Update"

Audrey Owens, LI Class of 2009, is currently secretary of the Arizona Chapter.

Mindy Rice, LI Class of 2009, is currently a board member for Colorado Chapter.

Dan Walsh, LI Class 2009, is currently a board member for Colorado Chapter.

Teresa Zimmerman, Nick Kaczor, and Sarah Bucklin, LI Class of 2009, delivered a presentation at the Wyoming Chapter annual meeting in November on the 2009 TWS Leadership Institute, sharing their experiences with fellow members, and encouraging others to apply to the program.

Leadership Training Opportunities

The National Conservation Leadership Institute: This is a great program that offers more advanced leadership training to a select group of Fellows identified by their nominating organizations as having high leadership potential. Learn more at Electronic applications are being accepted until 15 May 2010.

Where are they now?

Angela Fuller, LI Class of 2008, recently became the Assistant Leader of the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Angela served as president-elect of the Maine chapter of TWS from April to December, and currently serves on both the ad-hoc TWS certification committee and an ad-hoc committee to increase student attendance at the Northeast Fish and Wildlife conference. In addition, Angela received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Maine Chapter of TWS in recognition of contributions to the leadership, support, and work of the Chapter and efforts to enhance the mission of conserving the wildlife resources of Maine.

Lesa Kardash, LI Class of 2009, was accepted into the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Leadership Academy. The Academy’s “vision” is to develop effective leaders who build upon their traditions and experiences to guide us to a better future. The Academy requires a year-long commitment, including seven classroom learning sessions, an individual leadership project, and the development of an individual leadership development plan. Lesa’s individual project involves producing videos that document Wisconsin’s Greater Prairie-chicken (GPCH) management and research program and developing a GPCH website, with the goal of increasing the awareness of and support for the program. 

Lesa is currently serving on the TWS Ad Hoc Certification Committee in an advisory role, and continuing her work as state chapter newsletter editor. She has been eagerly promoting the TWS Leadership Institute by writing articles in the chapter newsletter and will be talking about her experiences at her chapter’s upcoming winter meeting.

Book Review: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

Shannon Pederson, TWS Program Manager, Subunits and Certification

Many of us find ourselves needing to balance the time required to succeed at our job, family, hobbies, and professional growth. And there are probably plenty of times you have wished there were more than 24 hours in the day to be able to get everything done. While this book won’t create more than 24 hours in the day, it will teach you how to value your time and prioritize tasks so that you end everyday feeling confident in your choices and start the next day refreshed and ready to tackle a whole new set of choices.

Alan Lakein takes the reader through exercises and real-life examples to help us realize that feeling overwhelmed by daily pressures of life is normal but that we can do something about it. He teaches us how to set realistic lifetime goals and how to prioritize each task to help us achieve those goals. Do not underestimate the value of a daily To-Do List! Personally, I find it satisfying to be able to cross off items from my To-Do List. But Lakein teaches us how to prioritize the items (not just to cross them off) and how to shuffle the remaining items around each day to best reach our lifetime goals.

Some readers may complete the exercises and feel reassured that they are in a career that is best-suited to them. Some may realize they’re not at their full potential and wish to make major lifestyle changes to reach their goals. No matter where you fall along the spectrum, you will feel inspired to reflect on your life, value your time, and develop a deep respect for yourself and your choices.


Katlin Miller, LI Class of 2009

“There are lots of natural variables. All it takes is a huge winter storm to wash all the larvae off the bank and away. There is only one known calculation. When you get to zero, it will produce zero. How much zero still produces zero is not known.”
~ Mark Kurlansky, from
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Sea turtles are one of the last remaining dinosaurs to live on planet Earth, yet the notion that these prehistoric reptiles may not survive much longer in this ferocious world is sadly becoming a reality. In fact, statistics suggest that only 1 in 1000 sea turtle hatchlings will survive to adulthood and have a chance to reproduce.

For example, the eastern Pacific leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)population has suffered an exponential decline in population size over the last two decades, causing the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to list them under Appendix I—the most endangered all species listed by CITES. At Playa Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the natural hatching success is less than 4%, which may be attributed to a number of confounding variables, such as high sand temperature, intensive dry summers with no rain, and biocontamination from intense olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle nesting. The obvious need for conservation inspired the International Student Volunteers (ISV) organization to sponsor a project to relocate leatherback nests to a covered hatchery where the sand is cooler and eggs are protected from natural predation and poaching. This year marks the fifth year anniversary of the project, and so far we have relocated 42 leatherback nests into our hatchery and have experienced a hatching success rate of 25.98%. This number may seem low, but it is much greater than the natural survival rate on this beach. 

As we move forward with this project and sea turtle conservation in general, we must continue to investigate and minimize threats to sea turtles both on land and in the sea. Currently, on land, global sea level rise, increasing sand temperatures, beach debris and erosion, natural predation, unsustainable  development, and people threaten hatchling survival, while shrimp trawling, gillnet fishing, and longline fishing take the lives of juvenile and adult turtles at sea. Though people worldwide are starting to understand the severity of this situation and really care about saving these ancient creatures, there is still much to be done to truly ‘get sea turtles off the hook’…in every sense of the phrase.

I would like to leave you with a quote from Carl Safina’s Voyage of the Turtle. It applies not only to sea turtle conservation but to all fields of study and to everyday life.

Do all you can and don’t worry about the odds against you. Wield the miracle of life’s energy, never worrying whether you may fail, concerned only that whether you fail or succeed you do with all your might. You must focus on what can work, what can help or what you can do, and then seize it and not let go. That’s all you need to know to feel certain that all your force of diligent effort is worthwhile on Earth.”


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