Plenary Session

The following information is from the 2020 Summer Meeting which has passed.

The Fifth R: Resiliency in Uncertain Times 
Wednesday, July 8 
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

We all know about recruitment, retention, reactivation and relevancy, as it relates to our fish and wildlife resources. However, given climate change, the COVID pandemic, and other factors currently impacting our lives and our work, we need to turn our focus to resiliency, the Fifth R. The organizations you work for, are members of, or who you partner with, are all facing issues exacerbated by current conditions or issues that they have never had to deal with before. One key to effectively managing the impact of those issues may be our resiliency.   

The draft plenary schedule is as follows: 

Welcome Remarks: Mike Fowlks, Director, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and President, Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Dr. Mamie Parker, former Assistant Director of the US Fish & Wildlife Service and current Board chair of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will start the session with an inspirational keynote address on resiliency as it relates to her personal life and professional career. 
After a short break, we’ll return with a panel discussion. The panelists will share how personal and organizational resiliency resulted in positive change in their organizations. This might be adapting to climate change, managing through severe financial crisis or changes in leadership, developing the next generation of conservationists, or leading through a pandemic. They will also reflect on how WAFWA can improve its resiliency as an organization moving forward. 

Success Coach, Transformational Speaker and Facilitator, 
Ma Parker and Associates  
An executive coach, facilitator, and inspirational public speaker, Mamie Parker is a retired fish and wildlife biologist who rose to the rank of Assistant Director for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Washington, DC. She made history when appointed the first African American USFWS Northeast Regional Director in the Senior Executive Service. She also served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Fisheries. Mamie has vast experience in water resources planning, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, wetland protection, and restoration. 


Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife

Tony Wasley is the Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, assuming that role in 2013. He started at the agency in 1997 as a Wildlife Staff Specialist and has held various roles in his 23 years with the state. He has two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of California in Wildlife Management and Biological Science, and a Masters of Science from Idaho State University. He is a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. He has held numerous positions on non-profit boards, most recently as chair of the Executive Committee for the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and Immediate past chair of the Intermountain West Joint Venture. 


Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Amy Lueders graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. She began her federal career with the Bureau of Land Management in 1984 holding numerous high-level positions including Mineral Economist, Field Manager, and State Director for Nevada and then New Mexico.  In 2017 Amy was appointed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director where she leads 800 Service employees based on national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries, and offices across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Throughout her Federal career with the she has worked hard to develop mutually beneficial solutions to issues of concern to local communities and the nation. 


President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation 

Collin O’Mara serves as President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. O’Mara serves on the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the Blue Ribbon Panel for Sustaining America's Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. He also represents the National Wildlife Federation as a member of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Policy Council, and the BlueGreen Alliance. In 2015, O’Mara was named Bass Pro Shop’s Conservation Partner of the Year. He is regularly called before Congress to testify about wildlife, water, and sportsmen issues.


Department of Fish & Wildlife Sciences, University of Idaho and President, National Association of University Fish & Wildlife Programs 

Lisette Waits is President of the National Association of University Fish and Wildlife Programs. She has been a faculty member at the University of Idaho for 23 years and is currently a Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences. She has a BS in Genetics from University of Georgia and PhD in Genetics from University of Utah where she studied the phylogenetics and population genetics of grizzly bears. She has been a leader in the fields of conservation genetics and molecular ecology with particular focus on developing methods for noninvasive genetic monitoring of wildlife and landscape genetics. Her research has focused on using genetic methods to study over 30 different wildlife species in North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Asia. She is an elected fellow of The Wildlife Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She currently serves on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Conservation Genetics North American Working Group and the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Genetics Working Group.


Summer Meeting Links: