The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Division is home to many talented, dedicated and enthusiastic female professionals. In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a small sample of the wonderful women who work to preserve and protect Texas wildlife.
From top left in the photo collage, row by row:
Shannon Grubbs is a district wildlife biologist covering Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties. She enjoys helping landowners manage their land for wildlife. In this photo, she is banding a mourning dove.
Heidi Bailey is a district biologist for Kaufman, Van Zandt, Henderson and Anderson counties in East Texas. She provides technical assistance and public outreach programs to the general public, private landowners/land managers and recreational enthusiasts. Her favorite part of the job is getting her hands dirty when demonstrating on-the-ground wildlife and habitat management. Her former supervisor describes her as “one of the most highly qualified burn practitioners we have in this region, if not the state.”
Arlene Kalmbach (pictured with the all-female project team of Gaby Tamez, Krysta Demere and Megan Bean) is coordinator for the Landowner Incentive program and Pastures for Upland Birds program.
Jessica Schmerler is a habitat assessment biologist for Central and West Texas. She reviews environmental documents for development (including energy) projects and provides recommendations to minimize adverse impacts to wildlife resources. In this photo, she’s visiting a wind farm in far West Texas, where several smaller wind turbines were proposed to be replaced with larger ones.
Gaby Tamez is a district biologist for Pecos County in far West Texas. She provides technical assistance and public outreach programs to the general public, private landowners/land managers and recreational enthusiasts. In this photo, she is teaching youth volunteers how to band a dove.
Caroline Ellison is as a wildlife biologist and assistant area manager on the Matador Wildlife Management area in Paducah. She facilitates public hunts and conducts wildlife research and habitat management on the WMA. In this photo, she is banding a vermillion flycatcher.
Courtney McInnerney is a district biologist for Tyler, Hardin and Liberty counties in East Texas. She loves to educate the public (especially youth) on nature and native Texas wildlife. She finds ways for them to get hands-on experience with alligators, snakes, pelts, skulls, plants and other fascinating things. This is a picture of her fixing a water leak.
Kelly Simon is an urban wildlife biologist in Central Texas. In addition to being a published author, Kelly works to retain natural resource conservation as a priority in municipalities and communities. She is committed to improving the diversity of our profession, too: she managed an urban coyote research contract/project with Huston-Tillotson University that facilitates field research experiences to study how coyotes and their prey use habitat within the urban environment.
Olivia Kost is a district biologist for Eastland, Brown and Mills counties in North Central Texas. She provides technical assistance and public outreach programs to the general public, private landowners/land managers and recreational enthusiasts. In this photo, she is banding a white-winged dove.
Andrea Webb is a district biologist for Panola, Shelby and San Augustine counties in East Texas. She provides technical assistance and public outreach programs to the general public, private landowners/land managers and recreational enthusiasts. In this photo, she is banding woodcock.
Anna Strong, one of two state botanists, administers federal pass-through and state funding for rare plants, works in conjunction with USFWS to review Species Status Assessments for federally listed (and petitioned) plants and reviews the state conservation status ranks of Species of Greatest Conservation Need plants. Additionally, Anna conducts in situ status surveys of SGCN plants and then creates and catalogs field reports and maps populations in the Texas Natural Diversity Database.
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