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2023 Candidate Dale Strickland

Dale Strickland
Principal Ecologist, Director, Co-founder
Western EcoSystems Technology Inc. (WEST, Inc.)

Candidate for: ESA President-Elect

I have a BS in Biology and MS in Wildlife Management, University of Tennessee, and a PhD in Ecology, the University of Wyoming. I am Principal Ecologist, Director, and Co-Founder and former President and CEO of WEST, Inc, a company employing more than 500 ecologists, statisticians, and support staff with offices in 10 states in the U.S. and a wholly owned subsidiary in Canada. I am author of more than 170 papers, book chapters, and technical reports in the scientific literature. Prior to WEST, Inc., I worked for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, advancing to the Assistant Chief of the Wildlife Division. I worked closely with other states, industry, federal wildlife and land management agencies on a national scale and occupied several leadership positions on regional and national committees, including the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for 10 years, the Central and National Flyway Councils, and the Black-Footed Ferret Advisory Committee. In the interim between the Department and WEST, Inc. I was a member of the faculty of the University of Wyoming, Department of Statistics for 18 months. My career at WEST, Inc., leading the company and project work, combined my experience with the application of science to problem solving, my leadership skills, and my experience with managing people and finance. For example, I served as the Executive Director of the Platte River Endangered Species Partnership and Platte River Recovery Implementation Program from 1998 through 2007. I have been active with the Ecological Society of America, where I am a Certified Senior Ecologist, currently Chair of the Ethics Committee and past Chair of the Board of Professional Certification. I am also active in the Wildlife Society, and the National Research Council, the Academy of Sciences, where I served on two expert committees.

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

My professional career has been committed to using science to solve natural resource problems and to mentoring of young professionals. I understand the need for basic and applied research; the importance of communicating technical information to managers, developers, regulators, politicians, non-governmental organizations and the general public; and, the value of a diversity of backgrounds, interests, experience, and culture in the identification and solution of natural resource problems. During my career I have developed a collaborative and facilitative leadership style. While my professional training is in terrestrial ecology in North America, I have worked extensively in the Arctic, participated in African lion and water conservation projects in Tanzania, and pursued my passion as a scuba diver throughout the world, instilling an appreciation of the marine environment, all of which exposed me to the dramatic changes occurring as a result of climate change. I believe my background and professional experience will allow me to help the Ecological Society of America relate to and represent all professional ecologists, including in academia, agencies, non-governmental organizations, consulting, and industry, both nationally and internationally.

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

The ESA Strategic Plan and Future Visioning Project create a roadmap for accomplishing ESA’s mission. It is the role of ESA leadership to constantly review this roadmap to ensure its flexibility to accommodate change that will occur as the society and environment evolve. I believe my background will be a major asset in attaining one of the recommendations of the FVP, to be the professional home of all ecologists. Making smart and strategic investments that support ESA membership and enhances programs will also benefit from my experience in planning, management, and budgeting. Broad engagement as an organization is essential and ESA has made major strides through its Code of Ethics, the DEIJ Task Force and establishing a permanent Diversity Committee with the vision of creating a culture and climate of inclusion at the ESA. Continued success in meeting this vision will require my commitment as a part of ESA leadership to provide organizational and financial support. My personal experience with my company’s DEIJ program should prove valuable to the ESA leadership team and my personal commitment to DEIJ principles will ensure my support for the attainment of the objectives in the ESA DEIJ Action Plan.