June - October, 2020

Online Educational Webinars & Interactive Workshops

In our new online 2020 Science Solutions series, you can learn about the conservation work happening at Rookery Bay with a FREE webinar and then take it to the next level by participating in an interactive skill building workshop.


June 18 WEBINAR – Click to View Recording
Mosquito Control and a Healthy Environment: The Delicate Balance at Rookery Bay

Learn how the research at Rookery Bay resulted in changes to spraying techniques and how current mosquito control is driven by integrative pest management.

Dr. Michael Shirley

Mike Shirley | Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Dr. Michael Shirley is the Director at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve).
He also serves as regional program administrator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) East Coast Aquatic Preserve Program. GTM Research Reserve is within FDEP’s Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection.

Dr. Shirley started his professional career as staff scientist for Save the Bay Inc. (Rhode Island) in 1980. During his graduate studies, he worked at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division Laboratory. Mike has also held positions as a research biologist, resource management coordinator and research coordinator at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. He has held adjunct faculty appointments with Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida Southwestern State College, and Hodges University.

Dr. Shirley has a Ph.D. in marine science with a minor in environmental toxicology from North Carolina State University, a Master of Science in biology from the University of West Florida, and a Bachelor of Science in zoology from the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Keira Lucas

Kiera Lucas | Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Dr. Keira Lucas is the Director of Research at Collier Mosquito Control District in Naples, Florida.

She earned her B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at California State University, Fresno, and her Ph.D. in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics at University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation research focused on the molecular and hormonal regulators of mosquito reproduction for species-specific mosquito control.  

Lucas works to facilitate projects related to mosquito biology and ecology, evaluation of new control materials and insecticide resistance management. She also manages mosquito trapping and identification, calibration of aerial and ground-based spray systems, propagation of mosquito fish, and mosquito-borne disease surveillance. On-going research projects involve detecting saltmarsh mosquito habitat through UAS mapping, elucidating the role of invasive aquatic weeds on mosquito propagation, identifying the association between disease vector mosquito species and exotic ornamental plants, and exploring pyrethroid-based insecticide resistance in mosquito species of Collier County. She also facilitates collaborative partnerships with several University researchers, United States Department of Agriculture, Navy Entomology Center of Excellence, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lucas is an active member of the Florida Mosquito Control Association and American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). She currently serves as Chair for the AMCA’s Science and Technology – Sterile Insect Technique Subcommittee.  

June 30 & July 1 WORKSHOP
Social Science Basics: Understanding Stakeholders and Asking Effective Survey Questions

Explore and understand established social science methods to help increase your capacity to deal with the human dimensions of an environmental issue.

Brenna Sweetman

Brenna Sweetman | Science Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Brenna Sweetman is a Social Scientist with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management based at the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Her work focuses on integrating social science to support sound decision-making to address complex coastal and water resource challenges. Through partnerships, collaboration and the integration of social and natural sciences, she works to better understand the data, tool and information needs to protect and maintain coastal communities, ecosystems and economies.

Prior to working with NOAA, she worked in Central America on coastal and marine natural resource management topics and instructed environmental education. She holds a Master’s in Geography from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh.

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Dr. Chris Ellis is a social scientist with NOAA’s National Ocean Service, based in Charleston, SC.
His training is in environmental sociology, survey design and implementation, recreation and tourism choice behavior, organizational behavioral networks, and social-psychological interaction with the coast. He has extensive experience in working with state and local municipalities to build capacity in coastal conservation, and community resilience.

He also has a portfolio of projects that lend technical assistance to the National Weather Service to enhance its social science capacity. Working currently for NOAA, and formerly for both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, he has gained unique perspectives of how the public and institutions understand, perceive, and use natural resources, particularly in coastal areas.

Dr. Ellis is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston, where he works with students on an array of human dimensions-based research topics. He received his PhD in 2005 from East Carolina University.

July 9 WEBINAR – Download PDF of the Presentation
Building the Alliance for Collier’s Coastal Resilience

Learn how scientists are working with community leaders to address climate change threats like sea level rise and increased hurricane intensity.

Dr. Mike Savarese

Mike Savarese | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Dr. Michael Savarese is a Professor of Coastal Resilience & Climate Adaptation, The Water School, Florida Gulf Coast University
He is a Professor of Coastal Resilience Climate Adaptation within the Department of Marine and Earth Sciences within Florida Gulf Coast University’s Water School. He has degrees in geoscience with background in coastal geology. He has been a faculty member at FGCU since the University’s opening in the fall of 1997. Mike’s teaching and research interests concern the history of environmental change in coastal settings, particularly in response to human development, climate change, and sea-level rise.

Throughout his years at FGCU, he has served as a liaison between scientists and managers/decision-makers, serving in the past as the Chairperson of the Big Cypress and the Southwest Florida Restoration Coordination Teams. More recently, he has served as a community liaison to foster coastal resilience and climate-change preparedness efforts throughout Southwest Florida and beyond, working closely with natural, urban, and cultural resource managers and elected officials within local, state, and federal government.

Linda Penniman

Linda Penniman | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Linda Penniman is a former city councilor for the city of Naples, and the previous chair of the Coastal Advisory Committee-Collier County.
She is a resident of Naples , Fl. for over 20 years. In late 1990s, she formed a group to petition the City of Naples to review zoning as it related to lot coverage for new homes. She has been a advocate for clean water, resiliency and adaptation for over 20 years. Linda believes aging infrastructure, climate change, and sea level rise will be a continuing challenge until people and government come together to address the changes that are necessary to ameliorate these challenges.

Throughout his years at FGCU, he has served as a liaison between scientists and managers/decision-makers, serving in the past as the Chairperson of the Big Cypress and the Southwest Florida Restoration Coordination Teams. More recently, he has served as a community liaison to foster coastal resilience and climate-change preparedness efforts throughout Southwest Florida and beyond, working closely with natural, urban, and cultural resource managers and elected officials within local, state, and federal government.

Kevin Godsea

Kevin Godsea | Science Solutions| Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Kevin Godsea is the acting Project Leader for the J.N. Ding Darling and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. He has worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for over 20 years. For the last 10 years, he has worked to address coastal management issues as manager for several National Wildlife Refuges in Southwest Florida.
July 28 & 29 WORKSHOP
Hard-Wired for Stories: Translating Complex Information into Broad Understanding through Storytelling

Jason Jordan

American Planning Association
Jason Jordan | Science Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Jason Jordan is Director of Policy & Government Affairs for the American Planning Association in Washington, DC
He directs policy and federal relations programs for the American Planning Association.  He is responsible for advancing the organization’s legislative and policy agenda and overseeing the development of campaigns related to critical planning and community development issues. Jason was a visiting policy fellow with the Royal Town Planning Institute in London. He served as a partner in the public affairs and government relations firm, Advocacy Associates, LLC, where he directed the firm’s transportation, planning and community development practice. Previously, Jordan worked for U.S. Senator Max Cleland and in policy and management positions for several organizations, including the Center for Transportation Excellence, Council for Urban Economic Development and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. He has degrees from Emory University and American University.


Liz Lang

American Planning Association
Liz Lang | Science Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Liz Lang is Marketing Director for the American Planning Association in Chicago, Illinois.
She is an advocate for effective creativity and leads communication strategy, development and implementation at the American Planning Association.

Tenacious and focused, with an eye for what lies just beneath the surface, Liz is a firm believer that the small things can be big, and one size does not fit all. Liz’s work has been honored with Gold, Silver and Bronze Addy awards, Telly, Excel and Communicator awards, and a Most Watched YouTube designation. Using a unique blend of insight, story, culture and context, Liz translates complexity into narratives that influence and persuade—finding opportunity amid challenge. Prior to joining APA, Liz served as Global Chief Marketing Officer for Opportunity International, a nonprofit providing financial services to people living in extreme poverty. There she unified the global brand and forged key partnerships, developing the Opportunity cause marketing partnership program and boosting revenue and reach. Liz has also held leadership positions and developed successful multifaceted campaigns for top brands at major agencies including Havas Worldwide, Young & Rubicam, and boutique firm Translation.

August 6 WEBINAR – Click to view Recording
Protecting Shorebirds at the Second Chance Critical Wildlife Area

Learn how the second chance critical wildlife area was created and how you can help protect shorebirds as a volunteer.

Brad Cornell

Audubon Florida & Audubon Western Everglades
Brad Cornell | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Brad Cornell is Southwest Florida Policy Associate for both Audubon Western Everglades and Audubon Florida.
He has held the joint position since summer, 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001.  He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, migratory and nesting shore and seabirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls.

He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years prior to joining Audubon.  Brad, his partner Martha, and their two adult children enjoy hiking and camping in Florida, North Carolina and Michigan.

Adam DiNuovo

Audubon Florida
Adam DiNuovo | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Adam DiNuovo is the Shorebird Monitoring and Stewardship Program Manager for Audubon FL.
He has worked on seabird and shorebird research projects from coast to coast for the past 20 years.  Projects have included American Oystercatchers in SC, Piping Plovers in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Atlantic Puffins and Arctic Terns in ME.  Prior to his arrival in Florida, he was the Research Coordinator for the California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover Program at San Diego Zoo Global’s Institute for Conservation Research and the Sanctuary Manager for National Audubon’s Project Puffin in ME.

Keith Laakkonen

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Keith Laakkonen | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Keith Laakkonen is the Director of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. He is responsible for administration and supervision of the 110,000-acre Reserve, working with more than thirty on-site employees involved in research, education, and coastal stewardship.
Current priority efforts at the Reserve include watershed restoration, maintaining native biodiversity, and research and monitoring. He also serves as the state’s Regional Administrator for aquatic preserves in Southwest Florida, with oversight for field offices and staff in Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay.

Keith worked for seven years as Environmental Sciences Coordinator for the Town of Fort Myers Beach. He has worked in resource management at the Charlotte Harbor State Buffer Preserve, St. Martin’s Marsh Aquatic and Buffer Preserve, and Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve. He was also the Stewardship Coordinator at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve as the Stewardship Coordinator from 2005 to 2007.


Keith has extensive experience with watershed management and restoration, listed species management, wildlife ecology, land acquisition, prescribed fire management, hydrologic restoration, exotic plant and animal management, public access management, and environmental education and outreach. He began his career as an intern conducting research on American alligators with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit in Gainesville after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida in 1998.  Keith completed his Master’s Degree, focusing on sea-level rise policy in Florida at FGCU in 2018.

A native Floridian, he is an avid birder and fisherman and enjoys exploring Collier County.  He also volunteers for many environmental causes.  Keith has lived in Florida for his entire life and has been a Collier County resident since 2005.

August 20 WORKSHOP
15 Strategies for Communicating Science and Data to Non-Scientists
Learn how to engage your audience and design effective PowerPoint slides.

Cathy Angell

Cathy Angell Communications
Cathy Angell | Science Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Cathy Angell, M.Ed. is the owner of Cathy Angell Communications and specializes in presentation design and delivery for scientists, educators, and public officials. Her trainings are offered both in-person and online. She was the former coordinator of Washington’s Coastal Training Program, considered to be one of the most successful training programs in the country for coastal managers. Cathy is nationally known for her transformative methods and received a communications award from NOAA which is given out each year in her honor. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.
September 8 WEBINAR – Click to view Recording
Rookery Bay Getting the Water Right Science Collaborative

Learn how this project addressed the issues of altered freshwater flows through hydrologic, ecologic, and social science research, education, and partnerships.

Tabitha Stadler

Tabitha Stadler | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Tabitha Stadler is the Executive Director of Environmental Protection in the Caribbean’s International operations including creating the vision, strategic plan and overseeing all aspects of mission implementation. She began this role in early 2019 and splits her time between South Florida and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Stadler’s career spans more than 20 years and encompasses leadership positions responsible for environmental education, science, research and policy.
She most recently served as Interim Sanctuary Director and Assistant Sanctuary Director at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where she was responsible for all operations of the Sanctuary’s Blair Visitor Center as well supervising public and youth education, the volunteer and membership programs, and marketing for the 13,000-acre Sanctuary. She previously worked ten years with the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, serving most recently as principal investigator and project manager for the three-year “Restoring the Rookery Bay Estuary” project where she developed and secured funding and oversaw all aspects of its successful implementation, which included hydrologic modeling, habitat mapping, and social science research. Prior to that position, she served as the coastal training program coordinator for Rookery Bay, a managerial position involved with over-seeing the 110,000-acre Reserve and charged with working regionally to provide science-based information, skills, and technical assistance to targeted audiences, including elected officials.

Stadler’s career also includes positions with Pathfinder, Inc. as director of academic development; Newland Communities as an environmental consultant; the Science Journalism Center at the University of South Florida as assistant to the director; Tampa BayWatch, Inc., as educational coordinator for the Tampa Bay Manatee Watch project; and GeoBlue Coastal Management Solutions, as owner/operator.

Tabitha Stadler achieved a master’s degree in science communications from the University of South Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in maritime/environmental studies from Eckerd College. Her education also includes a study abroad program at the Study Center of London, undergraduate work in marine science at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, and graduate coursework in environmental ethics from Four Corners School of Outdoor Education in Monticello, Utah. Her career is distinguished by numerous awards, including a Florida Wildlife Research Institute Award in Cooperative Science for facilitating scientific collaboration and developing partnerships, and a USCG Auxiliary award for achievement in marine biology.

Tabitha Stadler is active in Florida’s professional environmental committees and boards. She has served on the board of directors for Pathfinder, Inc., in addition to committee involvement with the Southwest Florida Watershed Council, the Environmental Education Alliance of Southwest Florida, and the Collier County Florida Sea Grant Advisory Committee. She was a founder and member of the Greenscape Alliance, which focuses on stormwater management through best practices in landscaping in Collier County, Florida.

September 24 WORKSHOP
Revealing Mental Models: A First Step for Communicating Science that Motivates Action

Chris Feurt

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Maine
Chris Feurt | Science Solutions | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Christine Feurt is the director of the Coastal Training Program at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maine. She integrates natural and social science into stakeholder processes using the Collaborative Learning approach in order to sustain ecosystem services and build resilient coastal communities. Dr. Feurt worked for eleven years with the National Park Service in five coastal area parks, including two years as a ranger and biologist at Everglades National Park where she studied wading birds and aquatic food web relationships. Her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies is from Antioch University, New England, where her research examined the multiple ways people value water and how those values influence decision-making and action.
October 13 WEBINAR – Click to View Recording
Restoring the Ghost Mangrove Forests of Fruit Farm Creek on Marco Island

Learn how scientific research is bringing mangroves back to life on Marco Island and why it’s important to you.

Ken Krauss

Ken Krauss | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Lafayette, Louisiana
Dr. Ken Krauss’ research spans habitats in the southeast United States and across the global tropics, from mangroves to tidal freshwater forested wetlands and marshes. His research takes a multi-tiered approach to understanding eco-physiological processes in coastal wetland forests.

Dr. Krauss’ research interests include forested wetland habitat change and vulnerabilities due to persistent environmental change (such as sea level rise), how forested wetlands influence water cycling and flood control in coastal areas, and how science can inform management and restoration planning within the coastal zone.

Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson | Solutions | Social Science Workshop | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Corey Anderson is a Biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Corey Anderson plans, manages, and monitors fish and aquatic wildlife habitat restoration projects. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master of Science degree in Coastal Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi. Since 2012 he has worked to assess and enhance the quality of water and wetlands in Southwest Florida, the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, and the Florida Keys.
October 21 & 22 WORKSHOP
Creating Conceptual Models to Systematically Think About Ecosystem Services
Learn how ecosystem services can be used to investigate and communicate the benefits of managing natural coastal areas.

Sara Mason

Duke University
Sara Mason | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Sara Mason is a policy associate at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and holds a Masters of Environmental Management in ecosystem science and conservation. She is also a coordinator of the National Ecosystem Services Partnership. Sara has worked with federal and state entities, including the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, in various capacities for the past 3 years developing methods for integrating ecosystem services into coastal decision-making.

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