Category Archives: Elections

Annual Business Meeting

Annual Business Meeting

10:00 a.m. Embassy Suites Norman, Room University A (OKNRC)

Tentative Agenda

  1. Minutes – reading and approval of previous meetings records
  2. Membership Status of Board Members
  1. Elections

Slate of Nominees approved by the board 10 Jan 2020 (no additional nominations were made by OkIPC members)

      • President-Elect – Amy Buthod
      • Secretary – Jeri Irby
      • Treasurer – Amy Buthod

At Large Board Members –

Term 2019-2021

      • Mike Kenna
      • Marla Peek
      • Jay Pruett
      • Greg Scott

Term 2020-2022

      • Laura Goodman
      • Steven Smith
      • Priscilla Crawford
      • Curtis Tackett
  1. Action Items
    • Update to Invasive Plant Watch List – Amy Buthod
    • Fact sheets and Publications – Karen Hickman
  2. Announcements
  1. Adjournment

Mission:  Facilitating education and management for protection of our economic and natural resources.

 Stakeholders:

  • Businesses/Industries:  agricultural, horticultural, landscape, aquacultural, wildlife, tourism, forestry, and recreational
  • Landowners and managers: private and public
  • Agencies:  federal, state, local
  • Native American Tribes
  • Non-profit organizations:  conservation, agricultural, and land management
  • Institutions and Programs:  education, research

 Strategies:

  1. Increase awareness through education about invasive plants, focusing on:
  • Sources of invasives
  • Economic and ecological effects of invasives
  • Recognition of invasives
  • Prevention of invasives
  • Early detection and rapid response to invasives
  • Control and management strategies for invasives
  1. Encourages legislative and regulatory improvements that increase invasives control effectiveness.
  2. Promote greater coordination between all entities engaged in or affecting invasives management.
  3. Serve as a clearinghouse for invasives management strategies.
  4. Identify and encourage sources of funding for invasives education and management.
  5. Identify invasive species and assess their potential threat for Oklahoma.

adopted 29 September 2009 by the OkIPC Officers and Board of Directors, revised 16 December 2013

Election Results

It was a very close elections for At-Large Board members:
Marla Peek and Jay Pruett were re-elected and we can welcome Greg Scott, Jeri Irby, and David Gerkin to the Board.
Thank you so much to Mike Porter who has served for the past two years on the OkIPC Board!
As anticipated, Tonya Dunn and Amy Buthod were re-elected to Secretary and Treasurer respectively.  Karen Hickman was approved as President-Elect, this will be her 3rd term as President.

Election Nominations

The OkIPC Nomination Committee has solicited nominations for 5 At-Large Board members, President Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Below is information about each nominee.  Please familiarize yourself with the candidates before the elections which will begin with online voting on January 5th and concluding on January 19th.


At-Large Board Nominees:


Jerí Irby

Jerí Irby is the Forest Regeneration and Tree Improvement Area Forester for Oklahoma Forestry Services. Irby is responsible for the OFS Forest Regeneration Center, also known as the state nursery, where OFS grows trees and shrubs chosen for their adaptability to Oklahoma’s climate and environment.  Seedlings are sold to landowners and others for reforestation, wildlife habitat development, erosion control, windbreaks, and a variety of other environmental purposes.  The facility is located on 120 acres south of Norman in Goldsby. Irby is also overseeing the Tree Improvement Center which conducts research, breeds and propagates genetically improved seeds for the state nursery. Serving as Education Coordinator with Oklahoma Forestry Services since 2012, Irby coordinated the environmental education program Project Learning Tree; directed youth forestry camp; developed and implemented forestry curriculum and managed outreach events throughout the state.  Irby has served as secretary/treasurer for the Oklahoma Division of the Ouachita Society of American Foresters and is the recipient of the Ouachita Society of American Foresters Young Leadership Award in 2016 and Ted Silker Award in 2015. Irby holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resource Conservation from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science degree in Land Resources and Environmental Science from Montana State University.


David Gerken

David Gerken is the Turfgrass Product Manager for Johnston Seed of Enid, OK. David joined the Johnston Seed Company in March of this year after 19 years serving as an Assistant/Associate Professor in Horticulture at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus. David has a BS in Vocational Agriculture and MS in Horticulture/Turf Science. In addition to his faculty experience at OSU-OKC he was a high school instructor back in the 1980s in Kansas, and following his MS program he worked in the golf course management industry and for an environmental solutions company prior to taking the position at OSU-OKC in the late 1990s. On the side David and his wife Cara maintain a registered cattle herd and a commercial stocker operation, They have also produced and market some specialty crops such as high tunnel vegetables.


Marla Peek

Background: Marla Peek is Director of Regulatory Affairs for Oklahoma Farm Bureau, where she has worked for almost 30 years. Marla works with state and federal agencies to achieve the goals of the Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural organization. Farm Bureau’s mission is to improve the lives of rural Oklahomans.

Marla grew up on a farm in Custer County in western Oklahoma, where her family grew wheat and stocker cattle. She and her sisters raised registered Duroc hogs. Marla has a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications from Oklahoma State University, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Marla works extensively on natural resources issues, including water quality and quantity, invasive plant species, and threatened and endangered species. She has served on the boards of or worked with various natural resources conservation initiatives including the:

  • Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council
  • American Farm Bureau Federation Water Quality Task Force
  • Oklahoma Eastern Redcedar Task Force
  • Oklahoma Grazinglands Management Association

Some of the proposed, candidate, threatened or endangered species issues she has worked with include the Arkansas River Shiner, Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Monarch Butterfly.


Mike Porter

Michael D. Porter is a senior wildlife and fisheries consultant with the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma where he has worked for 37 years. Mike provides wildlife and fisheries management technical assistance to land managers in south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas. Prior to working with Noble, he was self-employed as an independent wildlife management consultant to ranchers in South Texas and as a range research technical assistant for Texas A&M Range Research Laboratory. His career has been devoted to helping people, especially land managers, better understand and conserve wildlife and fisheries resources.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences and a Master of Agriculture Degree in wildlife science from Texas A&M University. Mike is a certified wildlife biologist and a certified professional in range management.

Mike has considerable experience managing white-tailed deer, northern bobwhite, eastern bluebird, beaver, waterfowl, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, grass carp, ponds, hunting leases, prescribed fire, woody plantings, aquatic vegetation, soil erosion as well as other natural resource issues.


Jay Pruett

My career of 45+ years in environmental management has included work for a pollution control agency and as director of environmental affairs for an electric utility corporation in four states, along with work on conservation projects in Latin America.

For the past 14 years, I have been the director of conservation for the Oklahoma Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, overseeing the operation of our 12 nature preserves, new acquisitions, conservation program development and implementation, and partnerships with other conservation entities, organizations, and agencies.  It was in this role that I arranged for and oversaw an ‘audit’ of invasive species management in Oklahoma in 2009. The results of that audit led me to create the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council (OkIPC), to fill a need for coordination and facilitation among a number of stakeholder entities involved in one way or another with invasive plant species in the state.  I designed the organization and guided development of the strategies and implementation plans for accomplishing the organization’s goals.  I have been on the board since its inception and served as president for several years.

My years of overseeing operation of The Conservancy’s preserves, including their invasive species management programs, as well as working with a multitude of agencies and organizations, along with my creation and leading of the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council, have all given me experience that is directly relevant to the work of OkIPC.  I would love to continue to work with the OkIPC board to build on the board’s past successes and make further strides in managing the negative impacts of invasive plant species on our native habitats and wildlife in Oklahoma.


Greg Scott

Background: Gregory has been practicing as a soil scientist for over 40 years, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service from 1976-2013; and currently, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission since 2013 following his retirement from the USDA-NRCS in 2013 as the State Soil Scientist for Oklahoma. His field experience includes Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas.

He earned his B.S. degree in Agronomy-soils in 1976. He earned his M.S. in Environmental Science-Geology in 1999. His thesis examined the interplay between fluvial and aeolian processes along the terraces of the Cimarron River in Major County, Oklahoma.

Greg serves on the board of directors for No-till on the Plains, an educational NGO in Kansas, and is a Director for the Lincoln County, Oklahoma Conservation District. He is a published author, including Soil Surveys, peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and popular publications. He represents Green Cover Seed, (Bladen, Nebraska) in Oklahoma. Green Cover Seed specializes in seed mixes for cover and forage crops, concentrating in soil health and plant diversity.

Greg lives with his wife Becky on a small cattle operation in Lincoln County, Oklahoma. They have a cow-calf operation, and experiment with forage and grazing systems.

 


Treasurer Nominees:

Amy Buthod, Oklahoma Biological Survey

I have served as the Botanical Specialist at the Oklahoma Biological Survey since 2000. In this position, I am charged with overseeing the collections (approximately 275,000 specimens) of the Robert Bebb Herbarium and with participating in botanical surveys throughout the state of Oklahoma. During my tenure, I have collected approximately 18,000 specimens of vascular plants, both native and exotic. I am familiar with all of Oklahoma’s invasive plants taxa and, because of my ongoing, extensive field duties, am on the “front lines” when it comes to identifying new invaders to the state. For instance, in 2013, Bruce Hoagland and I discovered the presence of marsh dayflower (Murdannia keisak; Commelinaceae; Buthod and Hoagland 2013) in southeastern Oklahoma. Marsh dayflower is a fast grower and forms a thick mat of vegetation, reducing water flow and allowing it to outcompete native species. It is considered a noxious weed in Washington, and is on the “watch” lists of many other states. I believe my work could provide valuable knowledge to the Oklahoma Invasive Plants Council, and I would look forward to serving on the board as treasurer or in any other capacity.

Secretary Nominees:

Tonya Dunn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tonya has served as secretary already and her attention to detail in her minutes of the board meetings has been very valuable in recording the often fast-paced and complex discussions of the board members in a very readable style.  Her representation of USCOE is also a value to us on the board, especially now that she is working in the aquatic invasives arena.

President-Elect Nominees:

Karen Hickman, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University

I am currently Assistant Dean of Academic Programs in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University.  I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Range Management and the Ecology of Invasive Species, and advise quite a few undergraduate and graduate students.  My research program has focused on the ecological interactions of invasive plant species with native communities and the effects of management on plant population and community dynamics in the Great Plains.  I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Society for Range Management, president of the Enid, OK Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and previously served as president of the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council, the Oklahoma Section of the Society for Range Management, and the Range Science Education Council.  As a founding member of the OkIPC, I am confident that we can continue to influence how Oklahoma deals with invasive plant species. I am eager to continue to serve OkIPC again as President..

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.

2017 Elections

 

Go-Vote-500x500Please take the time to read the candidates’ nomination statements below before voting.

Polls will be open until noon on Friday, January 20, 2017.

We have three At-Large Board Member positions up for election this year.

The OkIPC Nominating Committee puts forward the following individuals for the slate of candidates.  Write-in candidates are also accepted.


Slate of Nominees

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.

Board Meeting, 22 December 2016, 2:00 p.m.

At the offices of the Oklahoma Biological Survey, Norman (map).  To join via conference call, dial 405-325-8164.

  1. Minutes – reading and approval of last meeting’s record
  2. Officer Reports
    1. President
    2. President Elect
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
  3. Committee Reports
    1. Annual Meeting
    2. Policy
    3. Membership and Communication
    4. Citizen Science
    5. National Association of Invasive Plant Councils
  4. Old Business
    1. Nominations for next class of Board Members
    2. Small Grants Program
    3. State Management Plan (discussion outline and draft of plan)
  5. New Business
    1. Monarch Summit and OkIPC involvement
  6. Announcements
  7. Adjournment

Election Results!

The Votes Are Tallied!

Congratulations to the new and returning OkIPC Board members!

Russell Stevens, President-Elect
Tonya Dunn, Secretary
Amy Buthod, Treasurer

At Large Board Member Class 2016-2017
Lydia Calhoun
Lisa Castle
Marla Peek
Michael Porter
Jay Pruett

Look for information in the coming weeks regarding Board meetings and activities.


 

Don’t forget to register for the Oklahoma Natural Resources Conference. Early registration deadline is February 1st!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Register for Meeting

Nominees for OkIPC Elections, January 2016

Go-Vote-500x500Please take the time to read the candidates’ nomination statements below before voting.

Polls will be open until 5:00 p.m. January 15, 2016.


President Elect

Russell Stevens,  The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

I am a wildlife and range consultant and Strategic Consultation manager for the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. I have worked for the Foundation for over 26 years. During this time, I have helped many landowners learn about and implement management practices that are beneficial for native plant communities critical for wildlife habitat and other ecosystem services. I have also had the privilege to serve the OK Section Society for Range Management as President (two times), board member and various committee assignments as well as the OK Chapter of The Wildlife Society as President and on various committees. Additionally, I have served as an OkIPC board member for the past several years. Invasive plants in Oklahoma should be a concern to all landowners and professionals across the state. Awareness is the first step to prevention and I’d like to continue to help OkIPC with its efforts.


Secretary

Tonya Dunn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tonya has served as secretary already and her attention to detail in her minutes of the board meetings has been very valuable in recording the often fast-paced and complex discussions of the board members in a very readable style.  Her representation of USCOE is also a value to us on the board, especially now that she is working in the aquatic invasives arena.


Treasurer

Amy Buthod, Oklahoma Biological Survey

I have served as the Botanical Specialist at the Oklahoma Biological Survey since 2000. In this position, I am charged with overseeing the collections (approximately 275,000 specimens) of the Robert Bebb Herbarium and with participating in botanical surveys throughout the state of Oklahoma. During my tenure, I have collected approximately 18,000 specimens of vascular plants, both native and exotic. I am familiar with all of Oklahoma’s invasive plants taxa and, because of my ongoing, extensive field duties, am on the “front lines” when it comes to identifying new invaders to the state. For instance, in 2013, Bruce Hoagland and I discovered the presence of marsh dayflower (Murdannia keisak; Commelinaceae; Buthod and Hoagland 2013) in southeastern Oklahoma. Marsh dayflower is a fast grower and forms a thick mat of vegetation, reducing water flow and allowing it to outcompete native species. It is considered a noxious weed in Washington, and is on the “watch” lists of many other states. I believe my work could provide valuable knowledge to the Oklahoma Invasive Plants Council, and I would look forward to serving on the board as treasurer or in any other capacity.

Chadwick Cox, Oklahoma Native Plant Society

I, Chadwick Cox, renominate myself to serve as the Treasurer. Keeping the accounts for this 501c3 corporation with limited financial transactions and amounts is the easiest treasury I have ever maintained. We do have our bank account here in Norman and both I and Priscilla are cosigners, so if there was a problem with the account, we would be readily available. Although moving the account would be easy, this banking is free and currently convenient.


At-Large Board Members

Lydia Calhoun, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University

Lydia is a Bachelor of Science graduate of the Natural Resource Ecology and Management program at Oklahoma State University. Since Graduating in 2012 Lydia spent 6 months interning with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an Environmental Technician at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Following her internship Lydia was employed with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in Muskogee from October of 2012 to June 2014. While working with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission Lydia gained experience in habitat restoration along stream sides as well as controlling invasive species in Oklahoma. Since June of 2014 Lydia has been employed with Oklahoma State University under my direction in our roadside vegetation management program as an Extension Assistant in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Lydia helps to conduct herbicide research studies for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) as well as train ODOT employees in plant identification, vegetation management programs, weed control programs as well as herbicide selection, handling, safety and use.

Lisa M. Castle, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, Southwestern Oklahoma State University

I am a plant ecologist who teaches at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.   Since my doctoral work at the University of Kansas, my research focus has been plant population ecology with a focus on conservation of edible and medicinal plants and their habitats.  Studies into habitat conservation and population dynamic have become investigations into invasive species in many cases.  One of my teaching goals is to help undergraduate students (most of whom are not planning on careers in the environment) become curious observers of their botanical surroundings.  I’ve found that because there are so many of them (alas) and because the populations change quickly, invasive species and other weedy plants are a great introduction to field work.  During my five years at SWOSU, I’ve involved over 200 students in collecting data on local populations of Ailanthus altissima, Cyclanthera dissecta, and Sorghum halepense. Several students have completed follow-up projects and many have reported noticing invasive plants in their home communities that they had never before noticed.

I am also a gardener and daughter-in-law of Kansas ranchers, so I am well aware of some of the practical costs of dealing with invasive plants.  I make no claims about knowing “the solution” to invasive plant issues, but I feel strongly that educating a broad audience as to the problems is an essential component of any successful strategy.  I would look forward to working with others on the OkIPC as we try to combat invasion and protect habitats.

Clayton Hurst, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University

Clayton Hurst is a 2012 Bachelor of Science graduate of the Natural Resource Ecology and Management program at Oklahoma State University. His background experiences since graduating include 8 months of experience working for a construction damage abatement service performing site restoration and in some cases remediation to the land areas affected during the construction phases of wind farm and electrical transmission line projects. Since February of 2013 Clayton has been employed with Oklahoma State University under my direction in our roadside vegetation management program as an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture where he supervises one staff member. Clayton leads and helps to conduct herbicide research studies for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) as well as train ODOT employees in plant identification, vegetation management programs, weed control programs as well as herbicide selection, handling, safety and use.

James Locke, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

I have Master of Science in Agronomy-Weed Science from Texas A&M University, where my thesis project was johnsongrass control in corn with an experimental herbicide and tillage. After graduate school, I managed a private, contract research company for 15 years. We conducted research on a wide variety of crops, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, regulated genetically modified crops and adjuvants. The bulk of our work was regulatory, although we also conducted numerous replicated, small-plot efficacy trials. I have been at the Noble Foundation for 11 years as a soils and crops consultant. In this capacity, I have worked with a large number of farmers and ranchers on weed and brush control issues. In working with producers, we do not approach the problem from an “invasive” viewpoint but rather from how they affect production of managed pasture, range or cropland. I am a certified crop advisor and a member of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants, Weed Science Society of America and Southern Weed Science Society. What I feel that I would bring to the board is that production focused viewpoint and knowledge of weed science and integrated pest management principals.

Marla Peek, Oklahoma Farm Bureau

Oklahoma Farm Bureau has an ongoing interest in invasive plant species and what the costs are to agricultural producers. In particular we have concerns about the spread of eastern red cedar and the lack of fire to control it. I would like to continue to bring the production agriculture perspective to the OkIPC board.

Michael D. Porter, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

I work as a senior wildlife and fisheries consultant for the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. I have worked for the Foundation and in Oklahoma for 35 years. I worked in three natural resource positions in Texas for a few years prior to coming to the Foundation. Through the Foundation, I provide wildlife, fisheries, and range management technical assistance to land managers in south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas. I have a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences and a Master’s degree in wildlife science. I am a certified wildlife biologist and certified professional in range management. My career has been devoted to helping people, especially land managers, better understand and conserve, wildlife, fisheries and range resources. I have considerable experience managing white-tailed deer, northern bobwhite, eastern bluebird, beaver, waterfowl, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, grass carp, ponds, aquatic vegetation, prescribed fire, woody plantings, hunting leases, soil erosion as well as several other natural resource issues.

I am concerned about several invasive species interfering with wildlife and fish habitats and populations, and replacing native plant and animal communities on our rangelands and in our streams. I would like to help stem this unwelcome invasion.

Jay Pruett, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy/Oklahoma

I would like to toss my hat back into the ring for consideration as a board member for the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council (OkIPC).  My role as past president is ending, but I am still very much interested in continuing to serve as a board member in the furtherance of successful management of invasive plant species that threaten our native ecological resources.

For the past 12 years, I have been the director of conservation for the Oklahoma Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, overseeing the operation of our 10 nature preserves, new acquisitions, conservation program development and implementation, and partnerships with other conservation entities, organizations, and agencies.  It was in this role that I arranged for an ‘audit’ of invasive species management in Oklahoma, the results of which led me to create the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council to fill a need for coordination and facilitation among a number of stakeholder entities involved in one way or another with invasive plant species in the state.  I designed the organization and helped develop the strategies and implementation plans for accomplishing the organization’s goals.  I have served on the board from the beginning and served as president for several years.

My years of overseeing operation of The Conservancy’s preserves, including their invasive species management programs, as well as working with a multitude of agencies and organizations, along with my creation and leading of the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council, have all given me experience that is directly relevant to the work of OkIPC.  I would love to continue to work with the OkIPC board to build on the board’s past successes and make further strides in managing the invasive plant species attacks on our native habitats and wildlife.

Mike Schnelle, Extension Specialist and Professor, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University

I believe I could make a contribution given that my specialty area is ornamentals which tends to be some of the more controversial plants.  I continue to serve as the OSU rep for the Oklahoma Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA).  My main goals would be to find common ground/compromise in the form of using more male plants, sterile selections or using related species less likely to escape cultivation, etc.  I will be incoming chair (2016 or ’17) for the Invasives Working Group with the American Society of Horticultural Science. Perhaps my role at the national level would also be of value to the OkIpc?

 

Seeking Board Member Nominations

Call for Leadership

The OkIPC is looking for people to take a leadership role in the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council. Are you interested in helping us to educate Oklahomans about the environmental and economic cost invasive species have in the state?

In the past year, the OkIPC board has organized a state-wide invasive species conference, distributed invasive species posters to state legislators, established okinvasives.org, and educated 1000s Oklahomans on the problem of invasive species. We can do more with your help!

We have an open call for nominations for 5 Board Members and President Elect.  Board members will serve for two years.  President Elect will serve a total of four years, two as President Elect and two as President.

Anyone with an interest in invasive species in the state is encouraged to be nominated. We also encourage people to self nominate if you would like to become more involved in invasive issues.

To nominate someone other than yourself, please send name, affiliation, and contact information. A member of the Nomination Committee will contact that person to verify interest in the position.

To self nominate, please send your name, affiliation, contact information, and a short statement (100-200 words) about your background with invasive species and what you feel you would bring to the OkIPC Board.

Nominations will be made public after the 4th quarter Board meeting in December.  Elections will be conducted electronically in January.