As a child, Mike loved being surrounded by nature and he spent countless summers exploring the creek and woods behind the house in which he grew up. His mom loved watching Jacques Cousteau documentaries and encouraged him to read books about nature. His grandmother passed along his grandfather’s love for fishing by taking him to her house on Lily Lake where he spent a lot of time throughout his childhood.
Later in life, Mike decided to pursue biology in college and became aware of conservation issues related to fisheries genetics. The realization that there are actually careers in conservation led to a Mike’s Master’s degree in fisheries ecology.
Mike’s career with The Nature Conservancy began in 1998 as a land protection specialist with the Arkansas Chapter. His optimism enables him to continue moving forward even amidst bad news which is critical in the industry of conservation.
As the State Director, Mike does a little bit of everything. He builds partnerships, raises money for the chapter’s funding, and share’s The Nature Conservancy’s story with interested individuals. He leads the chapter in conserving the amazing landscapes, watersheds, plants, and animals found here in Oklahoma.
His favorite part of the job? Working with an incredible team of people who inspire him through their hard work and creativity.
“I hope that the amazing places we protect will not only give people a place to connect with nature, but also inspire them to think in terms of nature for everything they do.”
Mike is also well known for his talent in nature photography. He capture photos that he hopes will inspire others to get out in nature and experience its amazing splendor first hand.
“If my photos inspire even just a few more people to take an interest in nature and ultimately in conservation, then we are all better off.
Mike’s leadership, positivity, and experience make him an inspirational and valuable member of our team.