National Military Fish & Wildlife Association

Board of Directors 

Elizabeth Neipert, President

Neipert

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 Biologist.  She possesses expertise in planning and implementing wildlife monitoring and habitat management projects on DoD lands nationwide that assist in supporting the military mission.

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.

Coralie Cobb, Past President

Cobb

Coralie is a Senior Natural Resources Specialist working for Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest. Her father was in the Navy and she was born at the Naval Hospital on Port Hueneme. Being a Navy child she lived a little bit of everywhere but only for two to three years before going to college in San Diego at the University of California, San Diego. Her first professional job was at Naval Air Station Miramar as a Biological Aide, Natural Resources Specialist, and Botanist. During those seven years, the installation won the Secretary of the Navy Installation award for Natural Resources Conservation Award in recognition of outstanding achievements (1991, 1994 and 1996) and Coralie was the recipient of the 1994 Secretary of the Navy, Natural Resources Conservation Individual Award. She moved to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest in 1996 to work as the biologist overseeing the avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures related to the $350 million dollar realignment of NAS Miramar to MCAS Miramar. Most recently she worked on a 10 month detail to NAVFAC Pacific and was the lead biologist for the Section 7 consultation for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and Tinian. When not working, Coralie enjoys spending time with her husband (Jess) and two boys (Ethan and Bennett) enjoying the great outdoors in Colorado.

Eric Britzke, Vice President

Britzke

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.

Nicole Olmsted, Secretary

Olmsted

Nicole is currently a Natural Resources Specialist for Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas focusing on the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego and worked for NAVFAC SW for seven years before moving to Guam.  She became a NMFWA member in 2008, has served in secretary position for the Board of Directors since 2013, plans the Show and Tell, and participates in the working groups.  At work, her interests include invasive species control and management.  Guam provides a unique opportunity to deal with biosecurity in an island ecosystem.  Other experience includes working on INRMPs, Section 7 consultations, endangered species surveys, NEPA documents, and GIS projects.  Nicole loves to travel, dive, and spend time outside in her free time.

Lauren Wilson, Treasurer

Wilson

Lauren is currently a Regional Natural Resource Specialist for the U.S. Air Force Environmental Center of Excellence, working to support seven Air Force Bases in California.  She started as an ORISE Intern at U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground and then moved into civil service at Dugway, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and now Travis Air Force Base.  She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and University of California Berkeley with a Masters in Range Management in 2016.  She served as Secretary for the Utah Chapter of The Wildlife Society for almost four years (2009-2012) and Treasurer for NMFWA since 2014.  Lauren was a part of the Vandenberg Natural Resource Team when it won the 2011 Department of the Air Force Thomas D. White Award for Outstanding Natural Resources Management and the 2015 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Military Conservation Partner Award.  As a military wildlife biologist she has implemented state-wide bat monitoring protocols in Utah, created a base-specific bat monitoring program at Vandenberg, managed complex listed species issues, worked to further white-nose syndrome awareness, built experimental bat condos, wrangled permitting issues from Section 7 to 404, and strategic planning and implementation of invasive species management at four California bases.  Lauren’s field work experience with threatened California red-legged frogs, bats, herps, raptors, and endangered California least tern and unarmored threespine stickleback have kept her grounded and mindful of the value of conservation.  Lauren has wonderful parents, a twin sister, and a ginger fiancé; she enjoys acroyoga, hiking, volleyball, skiing, art, a good book, the quiet beauty of the desert, the striking power of the coast, and (since finishing her new degree) the tremendous biodiversity and ecological complexity of California grasslands.

Janet Johnson, Director At-Large

Johnson

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.

Rick Lance, Director At-Large

Lance

I have been a member of the National Military Fish & Wildlife Association since the 2002 meeting in Dallas, TX. Over that time I have come to greatly appreciate the organization and its mission to serve the warfighter, and am very grateful for the friends I have made as a result of my membership in NMFWA. I am looking forward to an opportunity to serve the membership of our great organization, and as a result of that service, providing support to our critical national defense mission.


I grew up in Las Vegas, NV and graduated with a degree in Zoology from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT in 1994. Having spent plenty of time in deserts, both low and high, I next headed to the swamplands for a PhD in Evolutionary & Environmental Biology from the then University of Southwestern Louisiana. After graduating I spent a year at The University of Memphis as a post-doc and then started in 2000 as a contract scientist with the US Army Engineer Research & Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, MS. Since signing on as a federal employee for the Environmental Lab in 2001, I have worked as a research biologist, with a 3-year stint as branch chief somewhere in there. My work tends to focus around developing and using genetic tools for studying plant and animal ecology, though I have become interested in pollinator issues in recent years, as well. At one point, I was the editor of our newsletter, The FAWN, which I greatly enjoyed, and served as the Bat Working Group Chair for a year, as well. I live in Vicksburg with my wonderful wife of 23 years, Christina, 5 kids (Sam, Anna Leigh, Ewan, Jonathan, and Matthias in descending, chronological order), 4 cats, 3 fish, and 3 parakeets. I enjoy birding and other outdoor fun, playing games with the family, and hopelessly rooting for several sad-sack sports teams. I really love spending time with DoD natural resource managers on their incredible lands.

Greg Fleming, Director, East

Fleming

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.

Ian Trefry, Director, East

Trefry

Mr. Ian Trefry is a Natural Resources Specialist serving as the Natural Resources Manager and Integrated Pest Management Coordinator (IPMC) for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic Region (MIDLANT) Public Works Department-Maine (PWD-ME) Environmental Division located at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, Maine.  Mr. Trefry manages the natural resources program for PWD-ME which has an Area of Responsibility that includes 19 Navy installations and reserve centers occupying more than 16,200 acres of land within six states across the Northeast. Mr. Trefry is directly responsible for the management and implementation of three Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans and a Consolidated Integrated Pest Management Plan for Navy installations in Maine.

Michele Richards, Director, Central

Richards

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 two lovely daughters, Rowan and Sage, with her husband Peter on their 1877 homestead (which includes a flock of chickens and a sprouting orchard).

Shawn Stratton, Director, Central

Stratton

I look forward to having the opportunity to serve as one of the Central Regional Directors for NMFWA.  I am currently the Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist at Fort Riley, KS, where I work with a team of environmental management professionals who execute a wide range of activities to protect and otherwise manage natural resources in accordance with Department of Army policy and program objectives.  Hobbies include: Hunting, Fishing, and being outdoors.  Married to a wonderful wife and we have three amazing kids.  Community involvement includes coaching youth recreational sports, actively serving on boards with Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation & National Wild Turkey Federation and serving on the Men's Ministry team at my church.

Jason Gibbons, Director, West

Gibbons

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.

Charlie Baun, Director, West

Baun

Mr. Charlie Baun has been the Conservation Branch Manager for the Idaho Army National Guard's (IDARNG) Environmental Management Office (EMO) located at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho for the last six years.  Mr. Baun manages the natural and cultural resource programs as well as state-wide NEPA and land use planning.  The Idaho Military Division (IMD) manages 28 armories, readiness centers, and training areas state-wide, including the Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC).  At 143,300 acres, the OCTC is the second largest National Guard (NG) training center in the United States, and is the only military training facility wholly within a National Conservation Area.  In 2014 Mr. Baun's Conservation Program was awarded the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Military Conservation Partnership Award.  This was the first NG program to ever win this prestigious award.  The IDARNG was also presented with Environmental Security Awards in 2012 and 2013.  This is Charlie's 5th year as a member of NMFWA and is currently Co-chair of the Climate Change committee.