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9:00-9:05Welcome: Cory Hoar, Vice President of Virginia Chapter SWCS
9:05-9:20Meet NRCS’s new State Conservationist for Virginia: Dr. Edwin Martinez-Martinez
9:20-9:40Meet the Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts: Kendall Tyree
9:40-10:40Conservation Chat with SWCS Leadership: Dale Threatt-Taylor, SWCS Board of Directors Chair, SWCS SE Region Representative; and Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy South Carolina Clare Lindahl, Chief Executive Officer, SWCS Career journeys and SWCS’s role in them Value of professional society engagementCurrent member benefits and specific opportunities through the SWCS International Conference, speakers, Journal. Etc.Changing dynamics of profession and societies Ways to engage members, potential members, events, purpose, revitalization in terms of SWCS.
10:40-10:50Break
10:50-11:50Two Truths and a Lie: Virginia Conservation Edition, Joe Otto, SWCS Historian and Project Manager. History of SWCS and conservation in Virginia. Attendees will be able to use polling to weigh-in on the accuracy of stories and other items presented. See just how much you and your colleagues know about national and state conservation history!
11:50-12:00Closing remarks: Kathy Holm, President of Virginia Chapter SWCS

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qf-6urzkoE9HL-YSoQgfldc6Y3chPJQGK.

Registration is free but you must register to receive links to participate.

Speaker Bios

Cory Hoar is the Vice President of Virginia Chapter SWCS and a Conservation Specialist with the Virginia Dare Soil and Water Conservation District, which serves the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Cory is involved in the Agriculture, Technical, Virginia Agriculture Cost-Share Program and Virginia Cost-Assistance Program. He also serves as the President for the Virginia Association of Conservation District Employees.

Dr. Edwin Martínez-Martínez was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he also earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Puerto Rico. He received his Ph.D. in Soil Sciences from Michigan State University where he conducted water quality and wetland restoration research. Dr. Martínez began his career with NRCS in 2005 as a Soil Conservationist student trainee in Nebraska and Puerto Rico. Afterwards he was hired as a Soil Conservationist in Northern California and later become a District Conservationist in Michigan where he served as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations and supervised 20 field offices. He has completed several special assignments including Caribbean Area Emergency Watershed Protection Program Coordinator assisting with hurricane recovery efforts and Acting State Conservationist in Maine. In 2018 he received an Honor Award from the USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation and in 2019 he received the USDA Secretary’s Award for Hurricane Response Assistance in the Caribbean. Most recently, Dr. Martínez served as Natural Resource Specialist managing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in Washington, D.C. Dr. Martínez’s role as State Conservationist is to provide leadership and management direction of all NRCS administrative, programmatic and technical functions involved in planning, organizing, and implementing conservation in the State of Virginia. He believes strongly in the promotion and adoption of locally led conservation and therefore he has dedicated his energy to developing strong conservation partnership efforts and leadership skills in the natural resource’s conservation. He also believes that NRCS team members, partners, and customers are our greatest asset and will support them to ensure Virginia has a solid foundation for great conservation planning and implementation. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors by hiking, backpacking, and kayaking.

Kendall Elaine Tyree, Ph.D., has served as Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts since December 2008. In this position, she serves as the representing voice of Virginia’s 47 Soil & Water Conservation Districts. Her role as chief administrative officer is to provide and promote leadership in the conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs and to coordinate conservation efforts statewide to focus effectively on issues identified by local member districts. Through her continued developing relationships with federal and state legislators as well as partner organizations, including federal and state agencies and private businesses, the Association and SWCDs continue to grow and address conservation at the most grassroots local level.

Dale Threatt-Taylor is the Chair of the SWCS Board of Directors and the Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy South Carolina Chapter (TNC SC). She received a Bachelor of Science in conservation from North Carolina State University and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University in 2011. In 2012, she was selected as one of 30 agriculturalists in North Carolina identified to participate in the Agricultural Leadership Development Program at North Carolina State University. Her career began as a soil conservationist with the USDA NRCS. She later joined the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) as a conservation technician and progressively moved into one of the natural resource conservationist positions. In 2008 she was selected as district director of Wake SWCD and Wake County Soil and Water Conservation Department. Her new role as Executive Director for TNC SC has provided the opportunity to build new relationships between soil conservationists and environmentalists across the nation. Dale’s vision for a successful Society includes active communication, professional board service, and productive membership. She wants everyone to understand that locally led conservation begins with an individual, and that all conservation work matters in protecting the land and water on which all life depends.

Clare Lindahl became the CEO of the Soil and Water Conservation Society in August of 2017. The Society’s mission is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. The Society and its membership have been advancing conservation through advocacy, special projects, a scientific journal, education, and events since 1943. Lindahl previously served as the Executive Director for Conservation Districts of Iowa and as Natural Resources Program Manager with River Action, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its riverfront in the Quad Cities. Lindahl has worked with communities and farmers through the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District and Partners of Scott County Watersheds in Davenport to improve water quality in Duck Creek and other local streams that flow into the Mississippi River. She holds a degree in landscape architecture from Iowa State and received her post-baccalaureate certificate in environmental geographic systems from Western Illinois University. A native of Moline, Illinois, Lindahl currently works and resides in Des Moines, Iowa.

Joe Otto is the Historian and Project Manager for the Soil and Water Conservation Society. As Historian, he cares for the Society’s archival materials, identifies important historical resources, and develops them into meaningful educational programing. As Project Manager, he administers grant-funded projects in cooperation with public agencies and partners in the private sector.

Prior to joining the Society in 2019, Otto previously served as Executive Director of the Jasper County Historical Museum, as an Instructor of U.S. History at the University of Oklahoma, and as Manager of a Civil War Historic Site and Visitors’ Center in North Carolina. He has researched, presented, and written on topics relating to soil and water conservation, public history, environmental history, and agricultural history. Joe holds degrees in History from Iowa State University and Appalachian State University. He is in the final stages of a PhD in History from the University of Oklahoma. An avid canoe paddler and hobbyist beer brewer, Joe is a native of Colfax, Iowa, where he currently lives with his growing family.

Kathy Holm is the President of the Virginia Chapter SWCS and the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Area 1 of Virginia. She manages seven field offices from northern Virginia through the Shenandoah Valley for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Prior to that, she was an NRCS Resource Conservationist for three years and RC&D Coordinator with NRCS for almost eight years. She was Director of Public Policy for the Valley Conservation Council, a local land trust, for five years.

SWCS Membership (join online at: https://www.swcs.org/get-involved/join/)

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation. We believe sustainable land and water management is essential to the continued security of the earth and its people. Our goal is to cultivate an organization of informed, dynamic individuals whose contributions create a bright future for agriculture, the environment, and society.

SWCS MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

  • Opportunities to network with and learn from professionals from many disciplines through local, regional, and international meetings.
  • Interaction and education through local chapter membership in the United States and Canada.
  • Subscription to the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, a multidisciplinary journal of natural resources conservation research, practice, policy, and perspectives.
  • Effective representation in policy circles on environmental, agricultural, and conservation issues.
  • Subscription to a monthly newsletter of Society and chapter news and networking opportunities.
  • Subscription to Conservation NewsBriefs, a weekly compilation of the latest media coverage of soil and water conservation research and policy.
  • Member-only savings on books and conference or workshop registration fees.
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