“A woman's place in public is to sit beside her husband, be silent, and be sure her hat is on straight.” - Bess Truman
Don’t tell that to the women at Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Meet some of our colleagues who are working to conserve Texas’ wild things and wild places. Whether they’re wrangling bighorn sheep or wrestling with a Purchase Order, these women get stuff done -- even if their hats aren’t always straight.
What she does: As one of two very busy veterinarians at Texas Parks and Wildlife, Sara monitors Texas native wildlife for disease and develops strategies to stop sickness from spreading. She works closely with biologists, landowners and other government agencies, assisting with research, veterinary protocols and training.
Career highlights: Getting to crawl into a bat cave during monitoring for white-nose syndrome and assisting with examining bighorn sheep in west Texas as part of TPWD’s native bighorn sheep restoration program.
Pagie Reeves, Administrative Technician for the Perry R. Bass Marine Fisheries Research Center
What she does: Pagie may spend most of her work day indoors, but she serves as the heart of a team whose research impacts coastal fisheries management. Providing the administrative support to keep things running smoothly, she strives to create a helpful, positive and professional work environment.
Career highlight: Helping plan and decorate the new San Antonio Bay field office in Port O’ Connor.
Maegan Lanham, Photographer for Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine
Career highlight: Photographing the 113-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that were recently uncovered during a drought at Dinosaur Valley State Park.
What she does: Angela works to manage riparian (streamside) areas to support healthy habitat for fish and the food web of plants, insects, and other organisms that sustain them. She helps landowners learn about land management methods that improve water quality and quantity while enhancing native biodiversity.
Career highlights: Serving as the project manager for the Healthy Creeks Initiative. This project manages invasive Arundo (giant reed) in five Native Fish Conservation Areas of the Hill Country, in support of ongoing conservation projects such as restoring habitat for our state fish, the Guadalupe Bass.
What she does: As a civil engineer, Niki designs anything to be built anywhere in Texas. One day she’s designing roads at a new State Natural Area and the next she’s in the bottom of a pond at the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery. Every TPWD facility involves infrastructure such as utilities, roads and parking, bridges or dams, or buildings. And everywhere there is infrastructure, a civil engineer is involved.
Career highlight: In her previous job with a civil engineering consulting firm, Niki had the opportunity to serve as a hydraulic engineer on a project at Devils River State Natural Area. That fueled a growing passion for the state park system and inspired her to forge a career with TPWD.
What she does: Anzhi designs, builds and supports custom web application solutions to serve TPWD’s internal and external customers.
Career highlight: Being part of the core team that designs, implements and provides customer support for agency’s Online Permitting system.
What she does: Jessica manages TPWD’s Americans with Disabilities Act office, which works to ensure that people with disabilities have access to TPWD facilities and programs.
Career highlight: Making a difference in the lives of others by partnering with communities to make spaces more accessible.
Patty Cardoza, Staff Services Officer at Sea Center Texas
What she does: Patty works to ensure the efficient operation of three saltwater fish hatcheries, doing everything from providing training to ordering supplies while providing ongoing support to her colleagues.
Career highlight: Helping secure equipment for Sea Center Texas’ new Flounder Building.
Dee Halliburton, Executive Assistant
What she does: Dee supports the Executive Office team and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners. She began her TPWD career as Warehouse Clerk, and over her 35-year tenure has worked for four Executive Directors and 54 Commissioners.
Career highlight: A quote from former Executive Director Carter Smith, “’No’ is not in Dee’s vocabulary. When somebody calls, they want to talk to Dee because they know it's going to get done and they know it's going to get done promptly. She solves every problem.”
Nicole Feldman, Veteran Liaison & Internship Coordinator
What she does: Nicole works with TPWD veterans to provide resources, opportunities and a way to connect to each other. She also helps students connect with our agency through the internship program.
Career highlight: The opportunities for networking all over the state of Texas. Nicole enjoys meeting new people and learning from them. She says, “Everyone comes with a different story, and it is amazing to see how we were all brought together by one agency.”
Chelsea Bailey, Texas Game Warden
What she does: Chelsea began her career as an intern, and then became a licensed peace officer as a Texas Game Warden. After working on the coast for several years, Chelsea now serves as a game warden recruiter.
Career highlight: Chelsea started the Texas Game Warden Women’s Conference, a leadership conference for female Texas Game Wardens and State Park Police Officers, which will come to fruition in June of 2023.