Tom releases a captured diamondback terrapin.
For almost a decade, Tom has worked along the Mississippi Coast, including experience as a graduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi, a biologist at Gulf Islands National Seashore, and now as the Marine Program Manager for the Conservancy.
Prior to working with the Conservancy, a large part of Tom’s experience was in the form of working with plant and animal communities, both in relation to their physical environment and how they interact with one another. Now, he is more focused on work at the habitat and landscape scale, exploring the connections between bays and their surrounding watersheds.
Tom says, “Our state has a great abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities and numerous special wilderness areas – I feel very fortunate to have a role in their protection.“
The focus of the Mississippi Chapter’s Marine Program is the conservation and restoration of coastal habitats in south Mississippi. Habitats such as oyster reefs, sea grass beds, and coastal wetlands provide a wide variety benefits and services. By targeting the Conservancy’s conservation efforts in these areas, Tom’s team is working towards improving water quality, biodiversity, recreational fishing opportunities, wildlife viewing, and ecotourism opportunities.
As the program develops, Tom will look for opportunities to diversify and increase the Conservancy’s conservation footprint throughout Mississippi’s coast and watersheds.