I’m Brad Smith, and I’m the program manager for the new Southwest Indiana Program office, based out of Evansville. The Program’s focus is to improve water quality and protect and enhance habitat for many species in the area.
I am from originally from southwest Indiana and started my career in conservation working on the Hoosier National Forest on migratory songbirds as an undergraduate at Indiana University. After moving away following college, I worked throughout parts of the United States and Canada before landing in Southwest Florida. There I worked for a land trust on Sanibel Island, doing wetland restoration and land management. I began working for The Nature Conservancy as the Director of Land Management for the New Jersey chapter before transferring to Indiana.
Southwestern Indiana contains not only the lower Wabash but also a broad diversity of species and habitats, making it one of the most dynamic regions of the state. This area is important for migratory birds entering and leaving Indiana each year, and it is where our state’s major rivers—the Wabash, White, and Ohio—meet. It is our last chance to affect water quality before it heads to the Mississippi, and it is our first chance to positively impact the species who use these river corridors. Using a science-based approach and working with partners, we will be identifying the various conservation needs of the region and figuring out how we will address them.