Green Palmetto Award for Kathy Burks

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on: April 01, 2010, 10:17:21 PM
Nominee: Kathy Burks – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by Fritz Wettstein, Gil Nelson, Gary Knight and Greg Jubinsky

Kathy Burks gave much to Florida’s conservation efforts in years of scientific research and public service, much of which was focused on the management of invasive plants. Florida lost a great native plant person when she died in 2006 after a brief illness. Everyone remembers Kathy for her joyful personality, her passion for botany, her personal integrity, her dedication to excellence, and her many contributions to botany and conservation in Florida and the Florida Native Plant Society.
Kathy Burks received a Master of Science degree in Biological Science from Florida State University in 1992 under the direction of Dr. Loran Anderson. Her master’s project was a critical floristic study of Lake Miccosukee and environs in the Florida panhandle, where she developed an early expertise and interest in aquatic species, and endangered species such as the federally listed Miccosukee gooseberry (Ribes echinellum).

Kathy’s first major project after graduating from FSU was a four-year study of plant diversity in wet savannas in the Apalachicola National Forest, which involved botanical inventory and monitoring of groundcover diversity in response to prescribed fire. She worked as a botanist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Invasive Species Management for ten years and then the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. Kathy researched and wrote for numerous publications, including Florida Wetland Plants: An Identification Manual (UF, 1998), and Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas (UF, 1998). Her characteristic wit and humor wink from many of her writings.

Kathy served the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) as Chair of the Invasive Species List Committee for many years, and was active in FLEPPC outreach activities. During her career, she also served as Chair of the Science Committee for the Florida Wildflower Advisory Council, and as a member of the Florida Endangered Plants Advisory Council. Kathy had also been appointed to be Plants Editor for the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals (FCREPA). She was known as one of the state’s foremost experts on invasive plant species and provided expert plant identification services for biologists and public land managers throughout the state. She was a keynote speaker at the 2004 Florida Native Plant Society conference. Whether it was invasive plants, rare plants, or roadside wildflowers, Kathy brought good science and a human touch to all of these important conservation issues.

Kathy Burks devoted herself as an advocate for the R. K. Godfrey Herbarium at FSU. She brought positive attention and critically needed financial resources to this important educational and research resource. On Friday, June 13, 2008, a memorial to Kathy Craddock Burks was placed on the campus of Florida State University, close to the herbarium. FLEPPC’s Kathy Craddock Burks Education Grant was named for her, commemorating her achievements in non-native invasive plant education and outreach projects in Florida.

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Note:  A printable copy is in the attached file -- it contains ALL Green Palmetto nominees
« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 10:46:37 PM by fnpsorg »
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