It’s a time of transition for the GCPO. Dr. Kristine Evans left her position as Geomatics Coordinator in December to pursue her dreams as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University. The LCC made great strides under her leadership and we are very grateful that she will continue to serve the LCC as a liaison to MSU.
There was strong competition among the applicants for the Geomatics Coordinator. In the final analysis, Dr. Toby Gray rose to the top. He brings a deep passion for conservation and strong geospatial skills to the team. Since 2014, Toby has been working as a researcher for the LCC, primarily focused on completing the Ecological Assessments for Grasslands and Open Pine.
We are happy to announce that Dr. Gray has verbally accepted the Geomatics Coordinator Position. Barring any delays, Toby will officially take the mantle by March 1st. Given his familiarity with the LCC, we know that Toby will hit the ground running. In fact, he is already working to host a Grasslands Conservation Workshop for the end of February. You can contact Toby at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Toby is very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead. In his own words:
“I have been very fortunate to have spent the past two-and-a-half years as a Research Associate for the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Getting to know so many of our partners across the region and developing a greater understanding of the challenges to science-based landscape conservation design, not to mention walking through and observing so many representative landscapes up close, has been a great experience. I have also benefitted greatly by having an excellent geomatics coordinator, project leader, wildlife biologist, and collaborator in Dr. Kristine Evans in the office right next door to mine. When it comes to using geospatial data to answer questions and develop tools to serve the cause of landscape conservation, the challenges loom large. Raw data are ubiquitous, housed in many different locations, in many different formats, and developed under varying protocols to serve many different purposes. Conservation is applied across the region by a diverse constellation of partners working at different scales in different ecological systems for different agencies, universities, and organizations. To meet these challenges, we have an excellent staff here at the GCPO LCC, with strong connections to a network of skilled scientists, universities, and research institutes. We have very sophisticated geospatial tools, with more tools coming online almost monthly. This is a very exciting time to be working in geospatial science, and, for me, there is no other field in which I would like to apply my expertise more than that of large landscape conservation.”
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