Changes at the Top

A new presidential term is driving some of the changes at the head of agencies and institutions important to wildlife research, but for others, it was just time.

Chief among those changes at the top is the news that Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar will step down.
Read about his term on the CNN website here.
A look at his legacy is on a New York Times blog here. (Wildlife is not mentioned.)

The Salazar announcement was preceded by the news that Jane Lubchenco would leave her post as the head of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. At the time of her appointment there was excitement that a research scientist of her caliber was taking such a high-level government post.
A Washington Post article on her departure, including the reprint of an email signed “Dr. Jane.”

Lost in the hubbub has been the news that the head of the U.S. Geological Survey, Marcia McNutt, is also leaving. The USGS is, after all, the federal agency that conducts wildlife research (a role that was stripped from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the Clinton administration). Life is good when your agency doesn’t have any regulatory or management responsibilities, she says in an interview with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science Insider.
Read it here.

But all the changes have not been at the federal level. The Wildlife Society recently announced that Dr. Byron Kenneth (Ken) Williams will become its executive director. Williams has completed stints with the USGS and the USFWS.
Read the Wildlife Society announcement here.

Bat Conservation International is a significant partner in bat research in addition to bat advocacy, so it is worth noting that it recently named Andrew B. Walker as its executive director. (Also worth noting is the Walker will work out of Washington, DC, not Austin, TX.)
Read the BCI press release here.

Finally, not all changes go smoothly. In Idaho, the daughter of a California game warden is facing a confirmation fight in the state Senate over her appointment to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. At issue seems to be the fact that she has not held a hunting license every year since she her first in the state in 2002. Opponents to her appointment would prefer a more avid hunter and angler.
Read the whole story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review here.


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