National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

About the South Florida/Caribbean Network

A multi-level organization structure has been implemented to ensure that the SFCN operates an effective inventory and monitoring program. This organizational structure comprises a Board of Directors, Science and Technical Committee, and SFCN staff. The SFCN operates with guidance and oversight of the Inventory and Monitoring Division of the Washington Office.

Many opportunities exist to volunteer at SFCN!

SFCN Staff & Associates Contact and Biographical Information

Name Title/Position Phone Number Email Address
Andrea Atkinson Program Manager 786-249-0070 andrea_atkinson@nps.gov
Vacant Quantitative Ecologist 786-249-0052  
Craig Booker Administrative Assistant 786-249-0016 craig_booker@nps.gov
Andy Davis Fisheries Biologist 786-249-0176 andy_davis@nps.gov
Mike Feeley Marine Ecologist 786-249-0036 michael_feeley@nps.gov
Chris Fernandez FIU Research Intern 305-252-0347 christian_fernandez@partner.nps.gov
Michael Foguer Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician 786-249-0010 michael_foguer@.nps.gov
Vacant Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician 305-252-0347  
Mario Londoño Assistant Data Manager 786-249-0173 mario_londono@nps.gov
Brian Mitchell Southeast Regional I&M Coordinator 404-507-5820 brian_mitchell@nps.gov
Ingrid Moncada FIU Research Intern 786-249-0042 ingrid_moncada@nps.gov
Jeff Miller Fisheries Biologist 340-693-8950
Ext 227
william_j_miller@nps.gov

Robert Muxo

Biological Technician 786-249-0021 rob_muxo@nps.gov
Kelly O'Connell UM Marine & Data Management Intern 786-249-3008 kelly_oconnell@partner.nps.gov
Judd Patterson Data Manager 786-249-0044 judd_patterson@nps.gov
Craig Perry Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician 786-249-3006 craig_perry@nps.gov
Michelle Prats Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician 786-249-3015 michelle_prats@nps.gov
Lee Richter Marine Biological Technician 340-693-8950
Ext 228
lee_richter@nps.gov
Pablo Ruiz Vegetation Mapping Project Manager 786-249-0002 pablo_ruiz@nps.gov
Brooke Shamblin Botanist 786-249-0062 brooke_shamblin@nps.gov
Vacant Wildlife Biologist 786-249-0042  
Rob Waara Marine Biologist 786-249-0121 rob_waara@nps.gov
Kevin Whelan Community Ecologist 786-249-0210 kevin_r_whelan@nps.gov

Alumni

Over the past years some of the most wonderful people have helped bring the SFCN Inventory and Monitoring network to its current level of success. We appreciate all their hard work and wish them the best in their future adventures. Visit our Alumni section

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Volunteer at SFCN

Why - Because you are interested in performing serious research in South Florida ecosystems, gaining hands on experience working with National Park scientists, or in starting a project focusing on resource management issues.

How - Email Dr. Andrea Atkinson at andrea_atkinson@nps.gov or call her at (305)-252-0347.

What you can do - In the office - data input, GIS manipulation, webpage updates, create brochures and resource briefs, data analysis, and/or cataloging files, data, and reprints. In the field - assisting with data collection, and maintenance/care of field equipment and sample collections.

Qualifications - To work with our community ecology group: basic knowledge of biology, ecology, and computers. To work with our marine ecology group: SCUBA certification required, BA/BS in biology, ecology, or wildlife management, species identification of fishes and corals, To work with our data management group: basic knowledge of any of the following: GIS (geographic information systems), databases, webpages, or publishing.

For Florida International University Environmental Studies Students who are interested in independent studies (EVR 4905), Dr. Kevin Whelan is affilliated faculty. For more information, please see our brochure (pdf 174 KB). It is a tri-fold brochure, so print double-sided and fold to view properly.


Board of Directors

  • Tammy Whittington, Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Margaret Goodro, Superintendent, Biscayne National Park
  • Joel Tutien, Superintendent, Buck Island Reef National Monument
  • Pedro Ramos, Superintendent, Everglades / Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Jayne Schaeffer, Acting Superintendent, Virgin Islands National Park
  • Brian Mitchell, Southeast Regional I&M Coordinator

Science and Technical Committee

  • Ron Clark, Resource Management Chief, Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Elsa Alvear, Resource Management Chief, Biscayne National Park
  • Zandy Hillis-Star, Resource Management Chief, Buck Island Reef National Monument
  • Carol Mitchell, Deputy Director for Science, South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Robert Johnson, South Florida Natural Resource Center Director, Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Dave Worthington, Resource Management Chief, Virgin Islands National Park
  • Glenn Simpson, Site Manager, Dry Tortugas National Park

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Andrea Atkinson

Andrea Atkinson

Dr. Andrea J. Atkinson is the program manager for the South Florida/Caribbean Network. She started working at SFCN in January 2005 as a quantitative ecologist to develop the network's Vital Signs Monitoring Plan. Her professional interests include statistical ecology, monitoring and experimental design, weed ecology, ecological modeling, and agricultural ecology. Before joining the park service she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for over 6 years, first on a team developing monitoring and research recommendations for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program and more recently in San Diego developing recommendations for monitoring the large scale, multiple-species Habitat Conservation Plans being developed in southern California. She led a team in writing a technical report "Designing Monitoring Programs in an Adaptive Management Context for Regional Multiple Species Conservation Plans." Other projects she's worked on include sampling design optimization projects (live coral cover in SFCN parks; herpetofauna monitoring in San Diego); applying PAO monitoring to arroyo toads at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton; and developing a consistent vegetation mapping classification for south Florida parks. She also consulted on other monitoring and research projects including Stephens kangaroo rat, unarmoured threespine stickleback, mountain yellow-legged frogs, California red-legged frogs, least Bell's vireo, western pond turtles inventories, and rapid multi-species inventories. Her doctorate involved evaluating how different fertilizer regimes affected rice-weed competitive interactions. Education: PhD University of California-Davis (Ecology), B.S. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Biology).

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Craig Booker

Craig Booker

Craig Booker is a native of New Hampshire and a recent transplant to Florida, having relocated from the Seattle area, where he spent several years in the private sector following his career as a Personnelman in the US Navy. He Graduated from Florida International University in 2010 with a degree in Psychology. In his spare time, Craig enjoys spending time with his young family, traveling, camping, hiking, and especially river kayaking.

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Andy Davis

Andy Davis

Andy Davis started on February 18, 2007 as the Biological Technician to be duty stationed in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Andy has worked in South Florida with Florida International University as the lab manager for Dr. James W. Fourqurean's Seagrass Ecosystem Research Lab (SERL). Andy has also worked with USGS in South Florida. He is a scientific diver, dive master, MOCC certified, and is married, with two children.

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Mike Feeley

Mike Feeley

Dr. Michael Feeley is a fish biologist/ecologist with previous experience with the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish & Wildlife Research Institute South Regional Laboratory's Marine Fisheries Research Division. He has extensive experience working in the South Florida ecosystem and the Dry Tortugas region and has also worked on fishery related issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands. His present research addresses the efficacy of the network of marine protected areas in the Dry Tortugas, focusing on the adult movements and spawning migrations of reef fish within the Research Natural Area of Dry Tortugas National Park and surrounding waters. He is a 2006 doctoral graduate of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and holds a MS in Biological Oceanography from the University of Connecticut and a BS degree in Fish & Wildlife from Michigan State University.

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Christian Fernandez

Christian Fernandez

Chris Fernandez is a community ecology group intern through the Florida International University Research Monitoring Intern (ReMI) program. He previously completed a biodiversity Conservation Internship with FIU working on monitoring near shore, shallow, marine environments at the Deering Estate during newly implemented water management practices nearby. Before that, he spent almost two years as a volunteer lab assistant with the Marine Macroalgae Research Lab at FIU. He obtained his B.A. in Sustainability and the Environment with a Minor in Biology from FIU in May 2017. Chris hopes to continue his education by attending graduate school doing research in South Florida. His primary research interests are tropical wetland and marine ecology but he is also passionate about restoration ecology, resource management, and conservation. In his free time Chris enjoys hiking, kayaking, skateboarding, photography, and spending time with his dogs.

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Michael Foguer

Michael Foguer

Michael Foguer is a Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician with the NPS-SFCN. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry in the spring of 2013 from Florida International University. At SFCN he began working as a volunteer in 2013 for the Schaus Swallowtail Habitat Enhancement Project and then as a Resource Monitoring Intern (ReMI) through Florida International University. Michael primarily works on the EVER Vegetation Mapping Project and the BICY Macro-Invertebrates vital sign. Michael is interested in the role insects play in the living world, and how humans and insects interact in both beneficial and harmful ways. He aspires to become an Entomologist, and plans to study Lepidoptera Systematics and Conservation Genetics in graduate school.

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Mario Londoño

Mario Londoño

Mario Londoño is the Assistant Data Manager for the South Florida/Caribbean Network. Born and raised in Miami, he graduated from Florida International University with a B.A. in Geography and a M.S. in Environmental Studies. His thesis examined the spatial-temporal relationship between land use and water quality in the canals of southern Miami-Dade County. Mario first came to SFCN in 2011 starting out as a volunteer. He then transitioned into a SCA AmeriCorps internship with the SFCN Data Management Team, followed by a Resource Monitoring internship through Florida International University. In his spare time, Mario enjoys exploring South Florida’s natural environments, both terrestrial and marine.

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Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller has spent a large part of the last 22 years underwater. The fisheries biologist from the South Florida/Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network (SFCN) is duty stationed in Virgin Islands National Park (VIIS) recently logged his 5000th dive. Jeff has studied coral reefs since graduating from Florida Institute of Technology in 1984. Beginning in the Cayman Islands, then moving to the US Virgin Islands in 1998, Jeff worked in St. Croix at the West Indies Laboratory, and later at the VI Department of Natural Resources. In 1997, the US Geological Survey at VIIS in St. John (USVI) hired him to develop prototype-monitoring protocols for seagrass, reef fish, and coral reef systems. With the completion of those protocols, he was hired by the National Park Service in 2000 to conduct monitoring within the parks of the SFCN Prototype Monitoring Program (Buck Island Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands, Dry Tortugas and Biscayne National Parks).

Currently, Jeff oversees the 10th year of the prototype coral reef monitoring, and has expanded the monitoring to the four coral reef dominated network parks. He also coordinates the network involvement with numerous research partners including USGS, NOAA, and several universities. Believing strongly that effective monitoring involves outreach, he has conducted several monitoring workshops throughout the Caribbean, and has given presentations at numerous scientific meetings and local community venues. In response to the coral bleaching event of 2005, he expanded annual monitoring into episodic, more than tripling the amount of monitoring in order to document the extent and effects of the bleaching on the park resources. Jeff currently lives in beautiful St. John, US Virgin Islands with his wife, Jude.

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Ingrid Moncada

Ingrid Moncada

Ingrid Moncada graduated from Florida International University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies in Spring 2017 and is now an FIU Research Monitoring Intern (ReMI) focusing on community ecology. Prior to joining SFCN, Ingrid interned at Zoo Miami in the Conservation and Research Department, assisting with monitoring gopher tortoises and their burrows in the pine rocklands. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, she interned with the Orchid Micropropagation Lab, working on the Million Orchid Project. While at FIU, she also interned at the FIU Nature Preserve with the Office of University Sustainability, helping to maintain the preserve while learning about the ecology of South Florida. Ingrid enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, reading, and cooking.

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Robert Muxo

Robert Muxo

Robert Muxo joined the SFCN as a Biological Technician in July, 2011. He will be focusing on the Colonial Birds vital sign project. Robert is a Miami native and always had an interest in south Florida ecology. Robert has a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology. He is currently working toward a Graduate Certificate from FIU. Robert has field experience from the Research Education for Undergrads (R.E.U.) program at FIU. More recently he worked collecting water and soil samples from contaminated gas station sites as part of their remediation process.

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Judd Patterson

Judd Patterson

Judd Patterson is currently the Data Manager for the South Florida/Caribbean Network. He grew up on the prairies of Kansas and obtained a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate he tackled a broad range of research topics including Snowy Plover nesting success, tallgrass prairie restoration, and endocrine-disrupting compounds in drinking water. Judd started with the SFCN in 2005 as a Research Assistant creating submerged topography (LIDAR) maps before he returned to K-State for a M.A. in Geography. His thesis combined several of his interests in a study of bird migration phenology and climate change in the Great Plains. Judd once again joined the SFCN as the GIS Specialist in 2007. In his time off he enjoys adventures both near and far as he pursues his passion for nature photography and birding.

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Craig Perry

Craig Perry

Craig Perry is a Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician with the SFCN. He started with SFCN as a volunteer in February of 2012, and was hired for a resource environmental monitoring internship through Florida International University in May of 2012. His main duties with SFCN are working on the EVER Vegetation Mapping Project. Craig previously worked on other major projects such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant for habitat enhancement to promote the Schaus Swallowtail, an endangered butterfly species endemic to the barrier islands of the upper keys, and Biscayne National Park. He was also involved in multiple vital sign monitoring projects such as colonial nesting birds, electrofishing, crested goby collection, and sediment elevation tables. He currently holds an associate's degree from Miami Dade College in liberal arts, a bachelor's degree in Sports and Recreation (on the Parks Management track) from Florida International University along with an undergraduate certificate of Environmental Studies. He is a born and raised South Florida native who has always enjoyed nature and the outdoors, and is currently thrilled to be working in the environmental field towards conservation.

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Michelle Prats

Michelle Prats

Michelle Prats is currently working with the SFCN as the 2012 George Melendez Wright Climate Change Intern through the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). She is completing her B.S. at Florida International University in Environmental Studies and is particularly interested in terrestrial community ecology and scientific communication. She hopes to find a way to apply her previous B.A. in English to the communication of scientific research for managers, policy makers, and the general public. The project Michelle is currently working on focuses on mangrove-marsh ecotonal movement and soil surface elevation monitoring in mangrove habitats as long term indicators of climate change. Previously, she was serving the SFCN as a FIU National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), as part of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program (FCE-LTER).

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Lee Richter

Lee Richter

Lee was initially drawn to the marine science field during his time in the School for Field Studies study abroad program in the Turks and Caicos, while earning his BS in Environmental Science at Brown University. He later worked with the South Florida/Caribbean Network in Miami as an intern for two years. Following the internship, he began working as a contractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Southeast Fisheries Science Center, studying recovering populations of the threatened Staghorn coral throughout the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. After a year and half working with the corals, he returned to the SFCN to continue inventory and monitoring research at their location in St John. While marine science is his passion, in his spare time Lee likes to spend as much time outdoors and in the water as possible, either diving, kiteboarding, hiking, biking, swimming, or chasing Frisbees whilst barking in an open field.

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Pablo Ruiz

Pablo Ruiz

Pablo Ruiz comes to us from Florida International University where he worked as a Scientific Project Manager. Pablo has a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology and a Graduate Certificate in GIS from Florida International University. Pablo has logged nearly two decades of vegetation monitoring and assessment in the wetlands, mangroves, and upland forests of: Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Keys, and the Water Conservation Areas. His expertise lies in vegetation mapping and remote sensing. In 2008, he created a vegetation map of Biscayne National Park. More recently he has been involved in mapping and assessing fire damage via remote sensing on tree islands in Everglades National Park and upland hammock forests in Big Cypress National Preserve following the Mustang Corner Fire (2008) and the Deep Fire (2009). He has made several vegetation maps of the Loxahatchee Impounded Landscape Assessment (LILA) study site and the Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) associated with years 1-3 of the Landscape Pattern-Ridge, Slough, and Tree Island Mosaic Monitoring and Assessment Plan project. Currently, Pablo is working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to map Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.

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Brooke Shamblin

Brooke Shamblin

Brooke Shamblin spent two years in the Student Conservation Association (SCA) working on Hammock composition studies in Biscayne National Park. He also worked 8 years with Dr. Joel Trexler as Field technician focusing on freshwater fish and invertebrate monitoring in the Everglades. Later Brooke served as lab manager for Joel Trexler before moving back into botanical work with Dr. Mike Ross. He also has 2 years of experience as a botanist for Mike Ross with emphasis on tree island composition within Shark Slough. Brooke officially joined the SFCN the last day of August 2008. Brooke received a B.A. degree with a minor in Botany at Florida International University.

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Rob Waara

Rob Waara

Rob Waara has been working in the marine field for the past 14 years. He attended Northern Michigan University for his BS in Biology. Upon graduation he moved to the Seattle area where he started to work for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in their Alaskan observer program on the Bearing Sea. Then after leaving the frigid cold of the Bearing Sea and Seattle he moved to St John. While there he worked for various marine divisions through out the years starting with the National Park Service, National Biological Service, National Biological Survey, and finally the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program. He recently moved to the Miami area to work in the main office of the South Florida/Caribbean Network I&M program and attend the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

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Kevin R. T. Whelan

Kevin R. T. Whelan

Kevin R. T. Whelan, Ph.D. is an Ecologist for the South Florida Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network. His general interests are in the areas of disturbance ecology, restoration management, and hydrological impacts on wetland ecosystems (both flora and fauna). Dr. Whelan has over 15 years of experience as a field biologist working mainly in South Florida, with additional research experience in Costa Rican tropical rainforest, cloud forest, dry forest, and seasonally flooded wetlands; Mexican cloud forest, and Alaskan high arctic tundra. Research topics have included population dynamics of flora and fauna, hurricane and lightning disturbance, global warming, and restoration ecology. His professional goals are to continue to study disturbance ecology with emphasis on the effects of restoration across multiple scales from individual populations, to communities, and ecosystem. The South Florida research experiences instill that everything is affected by regional dynamics crossing both political and natural boundaries.

Additionally Dr. Whelan is affiliated faculty with the Environmental Studies Department at Florida International University, and an associated researcher with The Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research.

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Alumni

Over the past years some of the most wonderful people have helped bring the SFCN Inventory and Monitoring network to its current level of success. We appreciate all their hard work and wish them the best in their future adventures.

Data Manager
- Britton Wilson-
Britton Wilson
SFCN Museum Technician
-Miriam Luchans-
Miriam Luchans
SFCN Museum Technician
-Cheri Vitez-
Cheri Vitez
SCA Research Assistant
-Sasha Wright-
Sasha Wright
SCA Research Assistant
-Chris Ringewald-
Chris Ringewald
LIDAR Specialist
-Iris Wilson-
Iris Wilson
FIU Research Intern
-Michelle Ouellette-
Michelle Ouellette
SCA Research Assistant
-Ashley Brehm-
Ashley Brehm
SCA Research Assistant
-Will Gandy-
Will Gandy
SCA Research Assistant
-Eric Sudalter-
Eric Sudalter
SCA Research Assistant
-Mike Echevarria-
Mike Echevarria
SCA Research Assistant
-Lindsay Wieland-
Lindsay Wieland
Community Ecology Post-Doc
-Steve Wathen-
Steve Wathen
Marine Ecologist
-Ben Ruttenberg-
Ben Ruttenberg
Marine Fish Community Post-Doc
-Marilyn Brandt-
Marilyn Brandt
Conservation and Land Management Intern
-Carolyn Ariori-
Carolyn Ariori
Climate Change Intern
-Carolina Cabal-
Carolina Cabal
SCA - GIS and Data Management
-Elizabeth Anzinger-
Elizabeth Anzinger
FIU Research Intern
-Jose Luciani-
Jose Luciani
SCA - Marine- Lionfish
-Lindsay Jones-
Lindsay Jones
SCA - GIS and Data Management
-Kelly Bowman-
Kelly Bowman
FIU Research Intern
-Jonathan Moser-
Jonathan Moser
Biological Science Technician
-Michiko "Momo" Squires-
Michiko Momo Squires
Administrative Assistant
-Rick Jacobson-
Rick Jacobson
FIU Research Intern
-Tiara Thanawastien-
Tiara Thanawastien
Water Quality Post-Doc
-Andy Bramburger-
Andy Bramburger
SE Regional I&M Coordinator
-Larry West-
Larry West
Community Ecology Post-Doc
-Tim Fotinos-
Tim Fotinos
Biological Technician
-Joaquin Alonso-
Joaquin Alonso
Marine Volunteer
-Liz Whitcher-
Liz Whitcher
SCA- Marine Intern
-Lee Richter-
Lee Richter
Water Quality Post-Doc
-Darrell Herbert-
Darrell Herbert
UM-RSMAS Senior Research Associate
-David Bryan-
David Bryan
Marine Biological Technician
-Andy Estep-
Andy Estep
Resource Monitoring Intern
-Hollis Bubla-
Hollis Bubla
SCA Intern- GIS and Data Management
-Mario Londoño-
Mario Londoño
Data Manager
-Brian Witcher-
Brian Witcher
Research Experience Intern
-Nicole Cortez-
Nicole Cortez
Marine Intern
-Kelly Peebles-
Kelly Peebles
USVI Marine Intern
-Julia DiLeo-
Julia DiLeo
FIU Research Associate
-Jonathan Moser-
Jonathan Moser
FIU Research Associate
-Mary-Jo Hernandez-
Mary-Jo Hernandez

Outreach Specialist
-Rachel Vargas-
Rachel Vargas-Moser

Marine and Data Management Intern
-Meagan Murdock-
Meagan Murdock

Natural Resource Condition
Assessment Ecologist
-Jed Redwine-
Jed Redwine
Program Manager
-Matt Patterson-
Jed Redwine

FIU Research Intern
-Lydia Cuni-
Lydia Cuni

UM Marine Intern
-Nicole Palma-
Nicole Palma

Vegetation Mapping Biological Technician
-Joe Ingram-
Joe Ingram

Wildlife Biologist
-Raul Urgelles-
Raul Urgelles

UM Marine Intern
-Erin Nassif-
Erin Nassif

FIU REMI Intern
-Ana Rojas-
Ana Rojas

MOSAIC Intern
-Griselda Landa-Posas-
Griselda Landa-Posas

YLCC Intern
-Brandon Araujo-
Brandon Araujo

NPS Academy - SCA Intern
-Ellen Garcia-
Ellen Garcia


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Last Updated: August 11, 2017 Contact Webmaster