Mentor Award Vote

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on: April 01, 2010, 09:59:17 PM
Nominee: Loran Anderson – FNPS Mentor Award

Dr. Loran Anderson has been influencing botany and conservation in Florida for almost four decades. He was a professor of biology at the Florida State University for 29 years, from 1974-2003, influencing countless students in the fields of biology and botany. His unique and inspiring teaching style inspired many young minds into the fields of conservation and botanical exploration in Florida. Many of his former students play an important role in the conservation of our state as working botanists such as Gary Knight, the late Kathy Burks, and Mark Garland. Dr. Anderson has also contributed greatly to the Board of Directors of the Magnolia Chapter of FNPS where he has organized the Chapters’ field trips and programs, served as a botanical ID expert, lead many field trips, and given lectures on various plant groups.

During his tenure at FSU, Dr. Anderson was extremely influential to the botanical heritage of Florida, making countless collections, describing new species, and producing publications of his findings. In his retirement Dr. Anderson is ever influential, serving on the Endangered Plant Advisory Council and dedicating himself to documenting a comprehensive flora of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where he has documented over 100 new county records and recently described a new species, Xyris panacea.

Nominee: Anne Cox – FNPS Mentor Award

Anne Cox is nominated for the FNPS Mentor award for her long term leadership role in FNPS with regard to the Land Management Plan Reviews. First, the Florida Land Management Reviews are important process established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to review the land management plans for all conservation lands held in state title once every five years. The land management review panels consists of five state employees form various organizations, such as the Division of Forestry and Florida Natural Area Inventory, plus a private land manager (often The Nature Conservancy) and a representative of an environmental organization. Anne has provided the leadership to establish the FNPS as the best organization to provide representatives to fill the environmental organization positions.

Numerous benefits result from FNPS participation in these reviews. The state representatives on these panels become increasingly familiar with FNPS and respect our ability to contribute to the reviews. Our members have opportunities to make meaningful suggestions regarding the land management that get included in the review documents. As one example, my suggestions for increased monitoring of a listed plant species (hand fern) was included in the final report for one Central Florida property. Our members have opportunities to get acquainted with land managers and biologists and to learn more about conservation land management, while also providing useful suggestions during the plan reviews. The field trip opportunities to see the conservation lands on trips led by the biologists and land managers is a great experience. I also feel that Florida DEP benefits
from having FNPS members who understand this review process and are willing to share their positive views about state conservation land management.

This is an extremely important activity for FNPS, and we commend Anne’s leadership to build the FNPS involvement in these reviews.

Anne has also been a long time leader in both the state level Board of Directors and her chapter. She has been responsible for many of the chapters achievements and successes over the years. Anne has mentored many individuals and leaders within the organization, always with zest and a smile. She has been at the forefront of decision making and always lends her professional opinion. She is very deserving of this award.

Nominee: Cheryl Peterson – FNPS Mentor Award

I would like to formally nominate Ms. Cheryl Peterson for the FNPS Mentor Award. Few people in our Society have positively impacted imperiled, endangered, or threatened plant species in Florida as greatly as Cheryl. Through her conservation work at Bok Tower Gardens, Cheryl has not only raised a great deal of public awareness about endangered plants, but she has also been instrumental in preserving genotypes and entire populations of Florida’s fragile flora. As a fellow scientist, I have rarely seen the combination of passion and knowledge that Cheryl possesses for our native plants. Her work, which has been published numerous times in our own Palmetto, has proven that plants like Florida ziziphus and various rare scrub mints now have a fighting chance to survive in our ever-developing state. She is always pushing the envelope for more and better scientific methods to speciate and catalog the genetics of our most endangered plants, in order to better understand population dynamics and different genotypes still present in our environment.

I have had the pleasure of working with Cheryl on a number of plant species and an endangered species garden. She has been one of the most helpful, positive, and caring people I know, and her dedication to the job at hand is outstanding. Cheryl also spends a good deal of time educating school and community groups about her role as the Conservation Manager at Bok Tower Gardens, and her slide show depicting the conservation work she conducts on endangered species was one of the most interesting displays of positive environmental impacts our chapter has ever seen. Please consider Ms. Cheryl Peterson for this award – she is wholly deserving of this top FNPS honor.

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« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 10:47:57 PM by fnpsorg »
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