Welcome New Board Members!

Please join us in welcoming our new OkIPC Board Members who take office this month!

Michael Kenna, Ph.D. – Director of U.S. Golf Association Green Section Research

Dr. Michael P. Kenna has been the Director of USGA Green Section Research since February 1990. He oversees the USGA’s turfgrass and environmental research activities, including soliciting and evaluating research proposals, grant making, and development of cooperative funding with government and commercial sources. Dr. Kenna travels extensively to visit turfgrass and environmental research sites, speak at conferences about the USGA’s research programs and serves on advisory boards and research foundations. He has worked closely with the US Department of Agriculture on water and energy conservation research that relates to golf courses. Dr. Kenna has served as an editor of several books concerning turfgrass biotechnology, environmental issues, and water conservation and reuse.

Dr. Kenna received his B.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. While at Oklahoma State University, he received his M.S. degree in Agronomy and Ph.D. degree in Crop Science. His graduate studies involved turf and forage grass breeding, quantitative genetics, plant physiology and turfgrass management. In 1985, Dr. Kenna joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor, responsible for turfgrass research activities and a statewide extension program. He received the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Agriculture at California State Polytechnic University, and the 2016 Turfgrass Producers International Distinguished Service Award.

Candice Miller – Education Coordinator Blue Thumb, Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Candice Miller has worked with the Blue Thumb water pollution education program for the past three years; working with volunteer monitors across the state of Oklahoma. Candice earned a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of North Dakota and a MS in Biology from Eastern Illinois University. While earning her degree, she had internships with North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Idaho Fish and Game, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
While working for North Dakota Game and Fish and US Fish and Wildlife, Candice worked on controlling noxious weeds including the invasive absinth wormwood, Canada thistle, musk thistle, leafy spurge, and Russian olive. While working on her degree at Eastern Illinois University, Candice worked on a large riverine project where she conducted Asian carp collections.

Curtis Tackett – Fisheries Biologist, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Curtis Tackett is a biologist within ODWC’s fisheries division where he serves as coordinator for the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Program, the Fish Kill and Pollution Program, as well as the aquatic section of the Wildlife Diversity Program. Curtis is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology within the Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management.

After graduation, Curtis accepted a seasonal technician position with Yale University in New Haven, CT where he worked with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health on a project understanding the interaction between tick species and their mammalian hosts for the Lyme disease causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Upon completion of this project, Curtis began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 2009 as coordinator of the ANS program where he implements the ANS Management Plan through outreach and education, early detection of invasive species, monitoring of current populations, funding research, regulatory authority through state statutes, and coordinating between various local, state, and federal agencies on the management of ANS both statewide and on a regional level. He was introduced to the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council in 2009 where he gave a presentation to the Council about ODWC’s ANS Management Plan and he has served in some capacity since then including holding a position on the Board of Directors. Curtis has served on the executive committee for the Mississippi River Basin Panel on ANS, which is one of six regional panels established by the ANS Task Force to coordinate governmental efforts to prevent and manage introductions of ANS in the U.S. with those in the private sector and other interests. Curtis also serves as the OK representative on the Pollution Committee within the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society. The Pollution Committee collaborates regionally on fish kill and pollution issues and is currently working to develop a revision of the American Fisheries Society special publication #30 “Investigation and Monetary Values of Fish and Freshwater Mussel Kills.” Curtis is also the lead aquatic non-game biologist within ODWC’s wildlife diversity program where he works with other biologists on monitoring and research needs for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Curtis serves on the ranking committee for the State Wildlife Grants Program to fund research for SGCN as well as Aquatic Nuisance Species.

Curtis has conducted research and population monitoring on various ANS in Oklahoma including Asian Carps, Zebra Mussels, and aquatic plant species such as Hydrilla. Curtis is currently working on various outreach projects with ODWC and will be launching a population monitoring project of native and non-native crayfishes in 2017. Curtis currently resides in Tulsa, OK and works out of ODWC’s field office located in Porter, OK.

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