November 2017
 Class XVII and the NRLI Project Team at the dock of American Spirit fishing charter in Destin, Florida.
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  Class XVII Session 2
Fisheries Management: Red Snapper
 After two months apart due to the cancellation of the
September session because of Hurricane Irma, the NRLI Project Team and Class XVII Fellows were eager to get back together. Session 2 was held in Destin, Florida and focused on red snapper fishery management. In addition to learning about different perspectives and issues surrounding the red snapper fishery and associated regulations, Fellows went on an offshore fishing trip with American Spirit charter. Although the red snapper season was closed, Fellows caught many species, including amberjack, vermillion snapper, and red snapper (catch and release). In addition, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine fisheries biologists Chris Barry and Rich Netro joined the group and shared their knowledge of the red snapper fishery, regulations, and the tagging program. The informative tour was followed by an afternoon discussion with a panel of local stakeholders, each representing a specific perspective on the red snapper fishery. At each monthly session, the Project Team invites 4-6 people who represent a range of viewpoints and have first-hand knowledge of the topic to share their experiences and perspectives with the group. In Destin, stakeholders who joined us were:
  • Commissioner Kelly Windes, Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 5 
  • Alan Peirce, Marine Biologist, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • David Krebs, Jr., President and Owner, Ariel Seafoods
  • Pam Anderson, Owner, Captain Anderson's Marina, Panama City Beach
Each month, we ask a pair of Fellows to review the session in their own words. This article describes reflections from the point of view of Fellows Nia Morales & Ed Camp.
Fellows' Article:
Up close and personal with the Florida red snapper fishery
By Nia Morales and Ed Camp
After Hurricane Irma rearranged Class XVII's curriculum, the group reconvened in Destin to learn about the red snapper fishery and practice conflict/ communication methods. The beach-front resort digs and emphases on proximate dining helped fellows unwind after a trying month while providing an environment conducive to post-session socialization. Our field trip gave us first hand experiences on the resource itself- a fishing trip on the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the fellows were not experienced anglers and several were surprised by the trip. Tara mentioned being shocked at the amount of fish that had to be thrown back, but ended up dying anyways. Paloma was initially skeptical about her willingness to hook a fish, but eventually got wrapped up in the excitement. Although, she too felt bad about the fates of several of the fish. At the end of the trip, we'd glimpsed the species we came to learn about and had plenty of table fare for lunch! We also got the chance to hear from our captain about his perspectives on the conflict and that prepared us for the stakeholder panel that was to follow. The session's overall focus was on learning about conflict in natural resources, developing effective listening skills, and being introduced to the triangle of needs to separate positions from interests- skills that are, theoretically, transferable to various conflicts in our professional lives.
Integration of these new skills is not easy for everyone. For example, Ed recently organized a stakeholder meeting to better understand issues surrounding artificial reef deployment (artificial reefs are physical structures such as concrete or rocks that are dumped in the ocean to create better areas for fish and fishers). This provided a chance to practice active listening; both to better understand the stakeholders' positions, and to help the stakeholder think Ed understood their position. The experience provided more questions than answers. How are scientists perceived when they focus on stakeholders' feelings? Do some stakeholders expect the scientists to focus more on the science/task, and then become frustrated or confused if instead more attention is directed towards the user? Is this response rare enough to be negligible, or is it easy to detect and rectify mid-communication? More generally, how ought NRLI fellows to gauge the best approach with which to address specific stakeholders (e.g., more person oriented or more task oriented)? There seems to be a trade-off in a time-limited meeting between gathering information about the task building trust and social capital by listening about personal perspectives/feelings.
Another less comfortable example of trying out these skills was afforded by a burgeoning conflict over institutional organization at the University of Florida. In this context, Ed tried to practice separating positions from interests to hopefully reduce adversity among colleagues who ostensibly have compatible interests but conflicting positions (e.g., Ed and Lisa and Destin orange conflict). There seems the very real possibility of stakeholder pushback against approaches that are perceived as "canned"-it seems possible that stakeholder won't like to think formulas are being applied to them, even if the end is for better processes and outcomes. This raises other questions. Without doubt, conflict tactics learned at the Destin sessions are aimed to influence the conversation and environment towards one more conducive for meaningful dialog. How can these approaches be applied without the intended audience feeling manipulated?
At the end of the day, in Destin we learned that natural resource conflicts are very complex. Easy solutions are hard to come by, and that effective communication and listening to find out the interests of each party is an important, but often overlooked step in addressing conflict. We wrapped up the session by taking a look at some of the conflict cases that were part of the previous homework. With fresh understanding about positions versus interests, we were able to dissect some of these issues further and take the first steps to really understanding the heart of these different issues. Hopefully the tools we learn in upcoming sessions will help us develop more robust methods for addressing conflict in our careers. 
NRLI Toolbox:

No matter how riveting discussions or lectures might be, participants' minds tend to tire during certain portions of a meeting or training program. Successful facilitators pay attention to the energy level of the group participants and keep a few "energizers" handy for when things seem to be slowing down. The best energizers get people moving, laughing, and tapping into creativity. These activities also can be used effectively when transitioning between information-heavy sessions. Sustaining group energy helps participants stay focused, alert and learning. 

Example: Hurricane - Evacuate
  • Form groups of three.
  • Two of the three individuals in each mini-group form a "house" by facing each other and extending arms upwards and forwards until their hands touch, forming a roof.
  • The third person stands "inside" house.
  • Round one:  Facilitator yells "Hurricane" or "Evacuate."
  • Evacuate -- people inside houses must find a new house. Since there is one more person than there are houses, whoever remains homeless leads the next round and gets to yell hurricane or evacuate.
  • Hurricane - houses are all destroyed and must rebuild somewhere else; everyone is evicted and must find a new house.
  • Continue for a few rounds until the energy of the group is high.
Spotlight on Class XVII Fellows
Katie Britt
Katie is a 6th generation Floridian from Winter Haven Florida, where she grew up fishing and paddling on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes and Peace River. She received an undergraduate degree from The Florida State University in Environmental Science in 2014 and recently a Master's of Science in Forestry and Natural Resource Conservation from UF. She will be starting another Master's Program in Public Administration and Planning in the Spring of 2018 at Florida Gulf Coast University.
She has worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee for 3.5 years and has just moved from the Nonpoint Source Management Section where she coordinated the 319 Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Load Grant Programs. She is now an Environmental Consultant in the Basin Management Action Plan Program where she is helping manage the Indian River Lagoon and Western Everglades watersheds. She is a certified Florida Master Naturalist and a member of the Leon County Canopy Roads Committee. One of her favorite pastimes is coordinating Junior League of Tallahassee events and trainings to improve the Tallahassee Community. She loves having lunch with her grandma, hiking the state parks of Northwest Florida, and playing flag football for a local nonprofit fundraiser.

John Dooner
John is a Professional Forester with Southern Forestry Consultants, Inc. (SFC) headquartered in Bainbridge, Georgia. He specializes in timber market analysis, timber sale administration, and forest management planning, as well as the implementation of silvicultural practices including prescribed burning, reforestation, herbicide applications, and invasive species control. By combining expertise in forest economics, forest management, and wildlife management, John and his colleagues at SFC achieve land use objectives for both non-industrial and industrial clients.  Additionally, he serves as a supervisor for the Gadsden County, Florida Soil and Water Conservation District, Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Group Chairman for Gadsden County, and a member of the Florida Forestry Association's environmental committee. 
John earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Forest Resources and Conservation from University of Florida.

Dr. Mary Lusk
Mary works to develop research-based and stakeholder relevant programs that help Floridians enhance and protect water quality in our state's urban and urbanizing areas. She seeks to develop partnerships with municipalities, agencies, planners, city residents, and other stakeholders to develop and deliver educational programs on water quality sustainability in cities. As part of this goal, Mary works largely on programs that target nutrient and pathogen fate and transport in surface water bodies. In her personal life, Mary and her husband Craig are parents to 3 teenage boys, take care of a very co-dependent cat named Ringo,and look after an elderly parent. They live in the Tampa area and enjoy travelling to geeky places like science museums and history centers. As much as possible, they make an annual trip to hike in the mountains of North Carolina and southwest Virginia because that's what feels like home.
 Educational Background
  • PhD, Soil and Water Science, University of Florida
  • MS, Soil Chemistry, Virginia Tech
  • BS, Agronomy and Horticulture, Brigham Young University
Class XVII Fellows
Lisa Aley Planning Technical Lead, Restoration Section, Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Charles Barrett, Water Resources Regional Specialized Agent, Northeast District, University of Florida/IFAS Extension
Brent Bachelder, Fisheries and Wildlife Biological Scientist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Katie Britt, Environmental Consultant, Water Quality Restoration Program, Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Edward Camp, Assistant Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida
Paloma Carton de Grammont, ProForest Coordinator, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida
John Dooner, Forester, Southern Forestry Consultants, Inc.
Rebecca Elliott, Environmental Manager, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Water Policy
Amy Fenwick Reaume, Conservation Manager, Brevard Zoo
Caroline Gorga, Species and Habitat Monitoring Wildlife Legacy Biologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Andrew G Gude, Refuge Manager, Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Mary Lusk, Water Resources Regional Specialized Agent, South Central District, University of Florida/IFAS Extension
Michael Lusk,   Refuge Manager, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nia Morales, Human Dimensions Specialist, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Kevin Morris, Science and Technology Officer and Manager of Engineering and Projects, Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority
Rachael Santana, Attorney, Lewis Longman & Walker, P.A.
Elizabeth Ramirez, Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Forest Service
Rachael Smith, Communications Manager, Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Tara Wade, Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Natural Resources Economics, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS
Barton Wilder, Environmental Specialist III, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Water Policy
Graham Williams, Land Manager, St. Johns River Water Management District 
August 16-18, 2017
Water Quality & Estuary Health
Ft. Myers
September 13-15, 2017

October 18-20, 2017
Fisheries Management: Red Snapper
(Note: the October session was originally in Miami; we have cancelled the Miami session and will hold the Destin/Fort Walton session during these dates.)
Fort Walton Beach

November 15-17, 2017
Wildlife Management: The Florida Black Bear
January 17-19, 2018
Cattle Ranches & Land Easements
February 14-16, 2018
Everglades Restoration & Perspectives from Communities
March 14-16, 2018
Endangered Springs
April 18-20, 2018
Graduation & Practicum Presentations