Tag Archives: Nominations

Board Member Elections, Dec 2022

The Nominating Committee has developed a slate of candidates who have agreed to run for a position on the OkIPC Board. 

  • Jodie Crose, Corteva Agriscience
  • Elaine Ewigman, ODWC
  • Brandon Gibson, Tribal Alliance for Pollinators
  • Chris Hise, The Nature Conservancy
  • Steven Smith, Noble Research Institute (re-elect)

You can read the profile of each candidate below.  Write-in candidates will also be accepted during the election.
The link for voting will be sent through this eNewsletter on the morning of December 8th.  Online voting will be open Dec. 8-14. Subscribe to the newsletter!

Jodie Crose

I was raised on a small cattle and pecan operation in northeast Oklahoma. I grew up in agriculture and found my passion for invasive species control while attending college at Oklahoma State. I studied botany and plant and soil science and took courses that introduced me to the impacts of these plants and taught me how to control them. I just couldn’t get enough of Oklahoma State, so I stuck around for a Master’s degree in agronomic weed science. From there, I traveled to northeast Wyoming where I recently completed my PhD with the University of Wyoming. My dissertation focused on invasive annual grass control and native species restoration. In May, I accepted a position as a field scientist working in range and pasture with Corteva Agriscience. I look forward to becoming more involved with OkIPC and working with land managers throughout the state to reduce invasive plant impact.  

Elaine Ewigman

I am the Aquatic Nuisance Species/Fish Kill Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. I worked as the very first ANS Technician, starting my time with ODWC in December 2021, and just recently promoted to the coordinator position September 1 of this year. I work with anything that is invasive in and around water as well as investigating reported fish kills on public waters. Even though the organisms I work with are not wanted in our state, I still find them fascinating in their own ways. I’m looking forward to being a part of this group!

Brandon Gibson

I am a program coordinator for Tribal Alliance for Pollinators based in Bixby, OK. I began my current position in January 2020 and have been enjoying it ever since. We collect seeds of plants that are native to Oklahoma and sourced exclusively from Oklahoma, often from remnant areas. We then grow those seeds out and distribute the plant plugs to the tribes of Oklahoma at no cost to them. I spend most of my time during the warm months of the year propagating native plant species, collecting seeds, conducting plantings with tribes, and doing presentations about how, and why, to establish native habitat. During the winter months, I spend most of my time cleaning/processing native seeds for our native seed bank that is available to the tribes of Oklahoma for habitat restoration, as well as conducting presentations about our native plants and pollinators.

Chris Hise

I direct land management and research efforts at The Nature Conservancy’s Four Canyon Preserve, a 4,000-acre natural area in western Oklahoma. I also serve as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager for TNC’s Oklahoma Chapter and is a certified Type 2 Prescribed Fire Burn Boss. I graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. A lifelong resident of the Great Plains, Chris enjoys all types of outdoor activities and spending time with his family.

Steven Smith

I grew up in Yukon, OK on a small farm. I graduated with a bachelors and master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. After OSU, I served as a wildlife management area manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Department for two years. I have spent the last 17 years as a wildlife and fisheries consultant for the Noble Research Institute. I am privileged to get to work with farmers and ranchers to achieve their regenerative agricultural goals in the Southern Great Plains. It has been my pleasure to serve on the OkIPC board the past few years. The OkIPC has been a valuable resource in highlighting the danger of numerous invasive species as well as promoting native species.


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

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.


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.


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.