National Military Fish & Wildlife Association

NMFWA Board of Directors Candidates

The 2014 candidates for the open positions on the 2014-2015 National Military Fish and Wildlife Association Board of Directors (BOD) are listed below. Voting is open until February 28, 2014.

Once you read through the candidate statements, you will have the opportunity to vote. A summary of your selections will be provided for review before submitting your vote. Each member is allowed to vote once.

Thank you for your involvement!

Kirsten Christopherson
NMFWA Immediate Past President/Elections Committee Chair

Candidates for NMFWA President Elect

Elizabeth Neipert

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Elizabeth (Liz) Neipert’s career in DoD natural resources started in 2008.  She currently works for Colorado State University’s (CSU) Center for Management of Military Lands (CEMML) as a Wildlife Research Associate assigned to the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS.  Her duties include planning and implementing wildlife monitoring and habitat management projects on DoD lands nationwide that assist in supporting the military mission, as well as collaborating with ERDC scientists in carrying out R&D investigations to solve problems for the military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Liz’s 5+ years of experience as a Wildlife Biologist/Natural Resources Specialist at USAG Fort Wainwright’s Donnelly Training Area (DTA), Alaska provided her with extensive insight on the management and monitoring requirements of DoD training and testing land.  Her duties allowed her to work with diverse and varied fauna including game, song, and shorebirds, anadramous fish, Dall sheep, bison, and bats.  She gained a deep understanding of how to balance the DoD mission with stakeholders from federal, state, and local agencies, special interest groups, tribal groups, and the public, while maintaining focus on the environment.  She understands the importance of agency coordination when dealing with federal initiatives, working side-by-side with range managers and unit leadership.

Since joining NMFWA she has been heavily involved, serving as Vice-President, the NMFWA Working Group Coordinator, and previously serving as a Western Regional Director.  She currently is assisting in the formation of a NMFWA Bird Conservation Working Group, which will liaison with the DoD Partners in Flight Steering Committee, to ensure all avian conservation and mission-relevant issues are being addressed at installations.  She believes that DoD has the opportunity to be a leader in natural resource conservation and stewardship and that NMFWA offers the perfect platform for such initiatives. She is excited about the opportunity to serve this group of professionals and raise awareness about NMFWA and the exceptional work its members do.

Candidates for NMFWA Vice President

Eric Britzke

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Eric Britzke has been a Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, MS since 2008.  Eric received his Bachelor of Science (1994) and Master of Science (1998) degrees in Biology from Missouri State University.  He then received his PhD in Environmental Science from Tennessee Technological University in 2003.  While his previous research has broadly centered on the ecology and conservation of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, the recent emphasis has been on the ecology of bats.  Since arriving at the environmental Lab, Eric has conducted bat surveys on numerous installations as well as providing technical support to numerous others.  He is currently involved as a DoD representative on the White-nose Syndrome National Plan Steering Committee. Additionally, Eric served as co-chair of the NMFWA Bat Working group and a Central Director through the end of his last term in 2013.

Candidates for NMFWA Treasurer

Candidates for NMFWA Newsletter Editor

Candidates for NMFWA At-Large Director

Janet Johnson

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Janet has been a Natural Resource Manager and Wildlife Biologist for the Arizona Army National Guard since 2009. She has managed a wide variety of wildlife and range of habitats on Arizona Guard installations for bear, elk, and Mexican-spotted owl within mixed-conifer / pine forests at Camp Navajo near Flagstaff to desert tortoise, snake, and saguaro cactus within the Sonoran desert at Florence Military Reservation near Phoenix.   Janet also serves as the lead for the AZARNG Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program, and is a member of the NGB ACUB Core Working Group and Natural Resource Conservation Committee, DoD and Southwest PARC, the Desert Tortoise Council, The Wildlife Society, and has been a member of NMFWA since 2010. 

Janet received her B.S. (1995) in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Botany from Colorado State University. Before completing her M.S. (2005) in Forestry from Northern Arizona University (NAU), she conducted research on avian ecology and habitat use in California, New Mexico, Colorado, El Salvador, Panama, and Mexico.  Janet also worked as a research program coordinator for NAU where she developed and facilitated educational and research partnerships and collaborative projects between the University and public and private landowners. Janet’s interests include wildlife habitat connectivity and climate change, conservation planning, and bridging the gap between research and land management. In her free time, Janet can be found somewhere recreating outdoors, searching out live music, or laughing loudly and often with family and friends.

Candidates for NMFWA Regional Director East

Greg Fleming

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Greg is a Wildlife Biologist and currently works at US Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, Virginia
as a Natural Resources Specialist. He has spent most of his professional career working at
Fort Belvoir as a Wildlife Biologist but has also performed bird surveys—including breeding,
wintering and migratory investigations—on eight DoD Installations in Eastern and Central
U.S. Throughout his career, he has had a primary interest in habitat management for species of
concern as well as other wildlife-related issues.

Greg’s education consists of degrees in Wildlife Technology and Recreation and Park
Management from Penn State University. During his time at Penn State he volunteered at bear
check stations and completed internships conducting wildlife surveys and habitat improvements.

Greg has been involved with Partners In Flight for 15 years and since 2002 has served as a
Southeast Representative for DoD Partners in Flight, and as a member of the Research and
Monitoring Working Group for DoD PIF. Greg has been a member of NMFWA for over ten
years and has served as a member of the Awards Committee.

Candidates for NMFWA Regional Director Central

Michele Richards

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For almost a decade Michele has worked at Ft. Custer Training Center as a natural resources specialist for Michigan Army National Guard. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Earth Science and Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University earned in 1998. Natural resources management at Ft. Custer includes prescribed fire, invasive plant management, ecological restoration, endangered species management, avian studies and the occasional foray into wetland ecology and issues.

Michele has served broadly in organizations relevant to the maintaining the military mission through responsible environmental stewardship. She has served/is serving as chair, secretary and outreach coordinator for the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council, as natural resources team lead on the Army National Guard Environmental Advisory Council’s Conservation Committee, and participates in the Michigan Climate Coalition, The Joint Fire Sciences Program’s  Lake States and Tallgrass Prairie Consortiums and Michigan Invasive Species Coalition. From very local concerns, to national issues, Michele stays connected and provides valuable interconnectedness between the groups and people who depend on them for information, decision support, and research.

In her life outside work she’s raising three lovely daughters, Rowan,Sage, and Hazel, with her husband Peter on their 1877 homestead (which includes a flock of chickens and a sprouting orchard).

Candidates for NMFWA Regional Director West

Jason Gibbons

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If I can inspire future military biologists, where better to lead then from within NMFWA?  I joined NMFWA my first year as a DoD wildlife biologist at Yuma Proving Ground, after years of service within the Department of Agriculture, and since that time I’ve observed varying degrees of expertise and interest in natural resources management on our military lands, leaving me both excited and a little concerned for the future.

My interests are both local and far-reaching, and include focusing on the education/training of our natural resources managers, our ability to apply proven/science-based management techniques, manpower and the future of our natural resources managers, and last but not least, funding and the importance of inter-agency relationships.

I believe NMFWA has had a positive effect and will continue to shape the way we meet some of these challenges in today’s environment, and I’d be honored to play a larger role in that effort.  Like you, as I collaborate with our inter-agency brethren, I am very cognizant of our role as military natural resources managers and the fine line we walk between conservation and mission, and where the future seems to be leading.  Thank you very much for your consideration.

Jason C. Gibbons is assigned to the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Environmental Center of Excellence, West Region, Travis Installation Support Team, California.  He was raised in Washington, and attended Washington State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management in 1999.  With a major in wildlife management and a minor in range management, his first position after graduation was with the U.S. Department of Interior working as a wildlife technician on a national wildlife refuge.  After overseeing their waterfowl hunting program for a short period of time, Gibbons moved to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wildlife Services (USDA), where he worked in various wildlife damage and invasive species positions for 8 ½ years. Jason left the USDA to work for the Department of Defense as a wildlife biologist in 2007 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, managing their natural resources within the 835,000 acre hot weather test facility.

In February of 2009, Mr. Gibbons began his employment with the U.S. Air Force, working at Malmstrom AFB in Montana, as the Conservation Program Chief.  Jason currently resides in Fairfield, California and is married with three young children.  He is active in church and school board activities, and has assisted for years with the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic.  He enjoys spending time with his family, his German-wire hair pointer, and hunting and fishing when possible.

About the Election Cycle

Some positions on the BOD are elected in the prior year and/or are two-year terms and therefore do not require candidates at this time. Those positions and the individuals that are filling those positions are listed below:

  • President –Todd Wills
  • Immediate Past-President –David McNaughton
  • Secretary–Nicole Olmsted
  • At-Large Director–Laura Muhs
  • Regional Director East –Gregory Fleming
  • Regional Director Central – Michele Richards
  • Regional Director West –none*

*In 2014 one Western Regional Director vacated her slot early to run for Vice President, so we have 2 positions to fill for 2014. One position will be a 1-year term, and the other will be a 2-year term. There are two slots for each Director position, and they are elected in alternating years for two-year terms. You will be voting for one individual for each Director position for 2014-2015. The Secretary and Treasurer positions are also two-year terms that are elected in alternate years