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2023 Candidate Audrey Mayer

Audrey Mayer
Field Office Supervisor
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Candidate for: Member of the Board of Professional Certification

I received my BA in Biology and Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College in 1994 and my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 2000. After completing a postdoc at the University of Cincinnati, I served as an ecologist at the US Environmental Protection Agency for over 5 years. I then shifted to a 3-year research position at the University of Helsinki, Finland, then moved back to the US and served as a faculty member at Michigan Technological University for 13 years. Two years ago, I transitioned back to Federal service with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, where I oversee regulatory and field programs including consultations for Federally listed species, renewable energy projects, oil and hazardous spill response and remediation, coastal resiliency efforts, and habitat restoration partnerships with state and private landowners. While I have not yet had the opportunity to serve in ESA leadership or governing bodies, I have served in several leadership positions in the North American chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology as a Councillor-at-large, policy committee chair, and program committee chair.

What interests, experience or skills would you bring to this position?

I have been a continuous member of ESA since 2002 and a certified senior ecologist since 2010. My career path has been unconventional (with time spent in US academia, European academia, and government service) and I therefore bring a unique perspective to the certification system and the conditions that face professional ecologists in a variety of workplaces. My decades of experience as an ecologist in academia and government agencies include serving on dozens of hiring and promotion committees, and recommending many of my undergraduate and graduate students for positions in governmental and non-governmental agencies and in higher education. I understand the foundational knowledge and skills that ecologists need in multiple sectors, from research to teaching to regulatory work, as well as an appreciation for the need for all of us to continue to maintain our expertise and keep apprised of emerging topics and technologies.

How would you support ESA’s mission? How would you plan to promote DEIJ in ESA membership and activities if elected?

I have endeavored to place DEIJ work as a top priority in my professional career. Through my DEIJ work, I prioritize and support the voices and perspectives of others and strive to listen far more than I speak. I continue to educate myself in DEIJ issues and search for opportunities to improve conditions for all. During my faculty career at Michigan Tech, I worked for the Provosts’ Office to advance faculty diversity and inclusion initiatives, and then was asked to serve as the university’s first Vice President for Diversity (in an interim capacity). While at Michigan Tech, I also worked on an NSF-ADVANCE-funded research team conducting research on the effectiveness of DEI training programs. I have brought many of these best practices to my current position as a supervisor at the US Fish & Wildlife Service, where we strive to diversify our workforce and ensure that our work equitably serves all of our communities.