January 24, 2024 @1:30PM at the PB Community Center. Brittany Piersma, Audubon Western Everglades
Brittany Piersma has a BS in Environmental Science and a wide range of experience with Southwest Florida’s wildlife from positions at the Naples Zoo,Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Rookery Bay, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and Audubon.
Brittany worked as FWC’s Critical Wildlife Area Shorebird Biologist on Marco Island, where she monitored nesting shorebirds on Sand Dollar Island. She worked for three annual cycles as a Shorebird Steward for Audubon Western Everglades (AWE) surveying the migratory flocks, training volunteers, and doing outreach with the public. Now as AWE's Field Biologist, Brittany manages the shorebird stewardship, burrowing owl, and gopher tortoise programs.
The shorebird talk will focus on the nesting and migratory birds within Collier County including Clam Pass, struggles they face, and conservation efforts aimed at protecting them. ____________________________________________ February 28th, 2024 @1:30PM at the PB Community Center. Katie Laakkonen
Katie Laakkonen is the Environmental Specialist for the City of Naples and has been with the Natural Resources Division for 18 years. Her work involves addressing a wide range of environmental issues within the City whether it be upland or aquatic related. Some key responsibilities focus on monitoring and improving the health of Naples Bay through implementation of programs such as water quality sampling, monitoring of seagrass beds, oyster restoration, and public education. Data generated from these programs help guide management decisions and project development and are also used by local, state, and federal agencies for rulemaking and management strategies. One of the most challenging and rewarding projects Katie helped implement was the creation of over 40 artificial reefs offshore of Collier County, as seen in the documentary “Paradise Reef.” ____________________________________________ March 20th, 2024 @1:30PM at the PB Community Center. Jeremy Sterk Jeremy Sterk is a Partner and Principal Environmental Consultant for Earth Tech Environmental. He has been an environmental consultant in Southwest Florida since 1994 and has worked on environmental projects throughout the State of Florida. His varied experience spans marine, upland, and estuarine habitats and includes extensive work with a wide variety of listed species. In addition to authoring dozens of habitat and species management plans, in 2007, Jeremy co-authored the first habitat conservation plan (HCP) in the nation to address incidental take issues for both red cockaded woodpeckers (RCW) and Florida panther on the same property. Recently, Mr. Sterk has been a principal member of Earth Tech's biological monitoring of Clam Bay, including mangrove assessments & restoration, benthic surveys and habitat evaluations.
____________________________________________ April 3rd, 2024 @1:30PM at the PB Community Center. TBD