Featured Speakers


Karen GarlandKaren Garland is a classroom teacher, environmental educator, Georgia Master Gardener, beekeeper, and backyard chicken farmer. She received her B.S. degree in Biology from Kennesaw State University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Reinhardt University. For the past seventeen years, she has taught numerous workshops for teachers, informal educators, youth groups, and the general public on a variety of environmental topics. Currently, she is teaching science for K - 5 students. She has also authored two curricula for classroom use and serves on numerous state and national boards. Karen is the recipient of multiple awards for educational innovations and leadership and is passionate about sharing her love of the environment. Karen is currently working with Teaching Conservation.

Karen has this to say about her presentation: Want to have butterflies in your garden? Want to learn about the plants that will attract them? Create a paradise for butterflies, while encouraging habitat restoration, no matter how large or small an area you have. From nectar and host plants to puddling sites and shelter, discover the secrets in making your yard an attractive habitat for monarchs, tiger swallowtails, and many other butterflies.

Jim CoxJim Cox heads up the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers Research Station near Tallahassee. The Lab is an independent research facility that is supported by members, and most of his time is spent studying Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Bachman’s Sparrows, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and other declining species associated with southern pine forests. Birds are one of the most visible components of these fire-maintained forests, which harbor a rich diversity of plants and animals and once stretched from Virginia to south Florida to Texas.

Jim is also engaged in land conservation efforts that make use of special programs designed to conserve habitat for rare species on private lands. The programs typically reduce regulatory requirements by providing incentives that help landowners improve conditions for rare species.

Jim received his M.Sc. from Florida State University and worked as a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for many years before moving to out Tall Timbers. He also taught a popular bird-watching class at Florida State University for several years and continues to try to lure new bodies into the birding community. You can learn more by visiting the lab’s web page. Jim can be contacted by email, by phone: (850) 893-4153 ext. 223 or by regular mail:
Stoddard Bird Lab
Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
13093 Henry Beadel Dr.
Tallahassee, FL 32312

Karan RawlinsKaran Rawlins has a Master of Science Degree from University of Texas. Previously, Rawlins worked at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as a naturalist developing many programs including invasive species awareness. She also worked with the Texas Invaders Program as a Regional Coordinator, collecting data, training volunteers and validating data submitted by volunteers. Her duties at UGA include; development and delivery of outreach materials and presentations, expanding the development and operation of the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force, developing Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas in Georgia, classification of images and information into the Bugwood Image Database System, development and training associated with the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS), and field work including installation and management of research plot and collection of field survey data. Her goal is to help preserve and restore our native habitats and landscapes by working in the field of invasive species.

Bill Wright has a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Florida. He has been with the Georgia Department of Transportation for 15 years and worked in the private sector for 8 years prior. He is a native of Thomasville, Georgia. Mr. Wright oversees a team who reviews landscape architecture plans, policies, and specifications for adherence to Federal and Department standards on the state right of way. He administers the Wildflower, Sponsor-A-Highway, Adopt-A-Highway, and Herbicide Programs. He also oversees the GDOT Outdoor Advertising Program including vegetation removal in front of billboards.

Vickie GarrickVickie Garrick earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Management from Valdosta State University. She joined NESPAL’s Precision Agriculture team in 1997, researching the benefits of wireless networking and information management in on-farm operations. As a researcher, she has set up monitoring and control systems on farms across South Georgia, collecting data and comparing results and economic benefits. The research included web access, voice communications, video surveillance, asset tracking, real-time data collection, real-time monitoring / control of farm equipment, and sensor monitoring. Currently, Garrick maintains and manages equipment, systems and software for research, and designs research based systems for the Future Farmstead project on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.

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