National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) - January 14 - January 18, 2019

Audience
natural resource professionals

National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)

Logo of the National Conservation Training Center

The National Conservation Training Center supports the mission of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service in five critical ways:

  1. Home and Heritage: NCTC serves as the physical and virtual “home” of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where the history and heritage of the Service are preserved and shared; 
  2. Training for the Mission: NCTC provides exemplary training and professional development tailored to support Service employees and conservation partners in accomplishing the agency’s mission; 
  3. Partnerships: NCTC helps solve the urgent conservation challenges facing our natural resources by bringing together diverse partners to increase our relevance to the American people.
  4. Sustainability: NCTC is a national leader in the conservation community for its state-of-the art facility and green practices.

Campus Setting

NCTC is a walking campus on a 533 acre property. The instructional classrooms, commons, and housing are situated within the rural setting of both forest and grasslands. The architectural design demonstrates the buildings and walkways are blended with the landscape to entice guests to shed their metropolis pressures. Outdoor patios, walkways, and break areas are situated to easily view the Mid-Atlantic area wildlife throughout the four seasons. Birds, white-tailed deer, fox, and other critters are frequently seen skittering up nearby trees or moving along a grassland culvert.

 

 

Travel instructions

The National Conservation Training Center, or frequently referred to as NCTC, is located just 60 miles or just over 1 hour outside the Washington DC metropolitan beltway. We are part of the Shepherdstown, West Virginia community also known for the nearby state university just down the road from us. Our location is closest to the Washington Dulles International Airport, but many customers also use Baltimore/Washington International and Reagan National (DC) Airport.

Executive Secretary
Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Gordon retired as Chief Wildlife Biologist for the State of New York in 2015 following a 35 year career as a wildlife biologist with New York, and now serves with the Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies as Executive Secretary. Gordon is also very active on various committees of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. An enthusiastic deer and turkey hunter, Gordon especially enjoys taking novice hunters afield, and teaching about our trapping and hunting heritage during the CLfT workshops.
Hunter Education Coordinator
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Tim is a 20-year employee of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division. Tim’s duties are the coordination of the department’s hunter education program. This program has expanded over the years to include many new and engaging educational programs such as Indiana’s - National Archery in the Schools Program. Tim was appointed the State Coordinator for this program in December of 2005. He is also the National Range Manager for the national archery tournaments hosted the National Archery in the Schools Program across the country. During Tim’s career, his involvement in the shooting sports and hunting has strengthened his abilities to lead the department’s outdoor education programs to a new level. With over 39 years of volunteering and working to promote outdoor activities. In 2018 Tim was awarded the International Hunter Education Association – USA, Professional Hall of Fame Award. Tim holds numerous training certifications from various organizations that promote and encourage the use of our great natural resources.
Past Chairman, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board
Rob has been involved with CLfT since 2008 and continues to find it motivating, challenging and extremely satisfying. He has served on both the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board (Chairman) and the F&W Advisory Committee. A "student" of public regulation, he believes in the regulatory process works when all of the "players" understand and fulfill their obligations. Also, a current Trustee and past President of the Barre Fish and Game Club, the largest private shooting and hunting club in Vermont. Other relevant credentials include Hunter Education Instructor (20 years), Range Safety Officer, NRA certified Shotgun Instructor and have conducted many education shooting programs for kids and women. Rob grew up in a hunting and fishing culture in Minnesota.
After graduating from college in Biology, he took a position as the Minnesota "Research Co-coordinator for Scientific and Natural Areas" . After 3 years, he when back to school and became a Chiropractic Physician, moved to Vermont and has been in private practice since 1983. He owns and manages a 50 acre wood lot and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
President
Bob Byrne Consulting
Currently, Bob is owner of Bob Byrne Consulting, a conservation consulting firm specializing in finding innovative solutions to conservation issues through strategic planning, programmatic reviews, evaluations, group facilitation and literature reviews.

Prior to forming his own company, Bob spent 30+ years in conservation where he worked for three state wildlife agencies, two conservation NGOs and a conservation-communications consulting firm.

Being an avid hunter and angler, Bob has a deep concern about passing on our hunting and fishing heritage on to future generations, and has focused much of his recent efforts on this task.

Some of his most recent projects include:

➢ Assisted The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CHASS) and the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) develop the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan that is being used as the framework to improve recruitment, retention and re-activation (R3) programs for hunting and the shooting sports.

➢ Assisted the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the Aquatic resources Education Association (AREA) develop a strategic plan for angler recruitment, retention and re-activation programs.
➢ Developed Environmental Stewardship Plans for 17 outdoor shooting ranges operated by the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Bob can be reached at bobbyrne@skycasters.net or 540-937-2139.
Wildlife Biologist
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Tom Decker is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and works for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Region 5 (Northeast Region). Previously Tom worked for 15 years for Vermont Fish and Wildlife and 9 years for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife holding several positions including Furbearer Biologist, Director of Wildlife, and Director of Operations. Tom is a life member of the American Society of Mammalogists. He has been a member of The Wildlife Society since 1988 and is a TWS Fellow and National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellow. Tom is a certified hunter education and trapper education instructor in Massachusetts and a hunting instructor in the Vermont 4-H Shooting Sports program. Tom has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Worcester State University. He lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and spends much of his time gathering wild edibles and fishing, trapping and hunting moose, waterfowl, deer, grouse, pheasant, squirrels and turkeys.
General Manager
Wing & Barrel Ranch
Philip H Dietrich II, currently the general manager of Wing & Barrel Ranch located in Sonoma, California catering to the heart of wine country and those that frequently visit it. Prior at Five Star Plantation, the South’s Premier quail facility. And Before that he was the General Manager of Prospect Hall Shooting Club, a private hunting and shooting facility serving world class wing shooters of the Washington D.C. area. He is NSCA level II certified shooting instructor. Between coaching shooting and Dog handling, he loves being a slave to an age-old trade. He has a diversified professional background in land management, habitat & herd management along with shooting sports course layout and design. In addition, he was the Area Chairman of Eastern Panhandle of Ducks Unlimited when hosting the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Vote. A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with a BS in Sports Management with a Business Minor. He was born and raised in the northeast corner of Ohio where he was mentored by family and friends at an early age in the world of conservation through hunting and shooting sports. Phil enjoys hunting waterfowl, upland birds and anything with feathers using great dogs, the best shotguns with the finest of companions. He loves to collect all shotgun shell boxes from old, new, used, full or even empty depending on its rarity. He is committed to introducing educating and passing along the heritage of hunting and shooting sports.
Southwest Region Manager
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Patt Dorsey is a native Coloradoan and a graduate of “the” Colorado State University. She began her career with CPW in 1991 as the Boulder district wildlife manager (just as mountain lions were beginning to have an increasing presence on the Front Range). In 1999 she became Colorado’s Hunter Education Administrator and in 2003, she became an area wildlife manager in Durango. In 2013 she stepped up into her current position as the Southwest Region Manager. She has been recognized as Colorado's Shikar Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year in 2012, was presented with the International Hunter Education Association Past President’s Award in 2004, the Jim Jones Outstanding Employee Award in 2000, Most Creative Idea Award in 2008, Teamwork Award and Most Positive Employee awards in 1995.

Patt is an avid outdoors person and naturalist. She enjoys hunting, fishing, writing, photography, gardening and beadwork (using roadkill porcupine quills).
Regional Chief, Hunting & Fishing, Northeast Region
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Chris Dwyer is currently the Regional Chief of Hunting & Fishing for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Previously, he served as the Migratory Game Bird Biologist for the USFWS, Northeast Region from 2006-2017, working with State and Federal partners in the U.S. & Canada to support science-based conservation and harvest management of migratory game birds. From 1996-2006, Chris served as a Wetland Wildlife and Furbearer Biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW), where he developed research, monitoring and public communication programs to improve furbearer management within the State. He also served as the State Coordinator in the testing and development of Best Management Practices for Furbearer Traps and Trapping in the U.S. His efforts also led to the first regulated trapping season for river otters in Ohio following their successful reintroduction in the early 1980’s, built around strong science and communication efforts within the agency, and more importantly, with the public. Prior to working with ODOW, he was employed as a Wildlife Research Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services and as a Wildlife Technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Station. Chris is a volunteer instructor with CLfT, and a volunteer Trapper Education instructor with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Hunter Education Program.
Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist
Iowa State University
Adam Janke is an Assistant Professor and the statewide wildlife extension specialist for Iowa State University based in Ames, Iowa. He does research and extension programming on wildlife habitat and wildlife conservation issues in Iowa and throughout the agricultural landscapes of the Midwest, working primarily with gamebirds. He earned a B.S. from Purdue University, a M.S. from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from South Dakota State University, all in wildlife. He is also certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. He is a life-long hunter and enjoys spending time afield with his black lab Abby or time alone in the deer stand or turkey woods during the hunting seasons. Between seasons, he bides his time with golf, woodworking, and hockey among other hobbies in anticipation of the return of fall.
CLfT Director
Conservation Leaders For Tomorrow
Zachary E. Lowe is the Director of the Conservation Leaders Tomorrow Program, which is housed within the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in Dundee, Il. He has a diverse professional background working within the disciplines of restoration ecology, research/extension, and conservation education. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Science, a second in Fisheries and Aquatic Science, and a Ph.D. in Restoration Ecology from Purdue University where he maintains an Adjunct Faculty position within the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. A native to the Midwest, Zach grew up as an avid outdoorsman and is passionate about hunting. He engages in trapping and fishing as the time and the seasons allow. Zach enjoys the culinary rewards of hunting and gardening and finds the preparation of game and local foods to be a year-round connection to the family’s seasonal harvest. Zach severs on The Wildlife Societies Editorial Advisory Board and assist with several national working groups dedicated to how hunting angling and trapping can ensuring the future of conservation for the collective benefit of all things wild.
Chief, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
U.S. Geological Survey
I am Chief of the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, a network of 40 research units in 38 states at major universities. I was Chief of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service previously. I am also Adjunct Associate Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Michigan State University, and Andres Bello University in Santiago, Chile. I am a Certified Wildlife Biologist and Past President and Fellow of The Wildlife Society. I am a Professional Member of the Boone and Crockett Club, Life Member of International Hunter Education Association and Senior Specialist in the Fulbright Scholar Program. I am a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist and Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Groups, serve on the Board of Directors of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, and represent USGS on the Wilderness Policy Council. I advise MS and PhD students studying carnivores, ungulates, and human dimensions, and have worked in Africa, Canada, Chile, Peru, and the US. I'm Associate Editor of Human Dimensions of Wildlife journal, Science and Education Editor for Fair Chase, and teach graduate courses in Wildlife Conservation and Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation. I teach Hunter and Trapper Education in Massachusetts, and have hunted most of my life, feeling most alive and connected to nature when doing so. My trophies are wild game meals I serve to friends and family.
Project Leader
Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex
I work for the U.S. FWS as Project Leader/Refuge Manager of the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where I manage the following refuges: Blackwater, Eastern Neck, Martin and Susquehanna. I'm also co-chair for our Regional R3 Team. Previously I was Division Chief of Visitor Services and Communications for the National Wildlife Refuge System in HQ in DC, and led national initiatives and policy that impacted the “human element” side of refuges in order to engage the American public in conservation and enjoying nature. Prior to Refuges, I worked for the Migratory Bird Program, FWS. Before joining the FWS, I worked in non-profit as a wildlife biologist and Vice President of the Wildlife Habitat Council for over ten years. My Master’s in Wildlife Management is from West Virginia University, B.S. in Biology from University of Pittsburgh.

I love archery, deer and turkey hunting (especially turkey!!), sporting clays, kayaking, and learning agility with my crazy cattle dog Elsie. No matter which sport, however, I LOVE to break down both the stereotypes and barriers for women and other minorities to get involved in the liberating and diverse world of outdoor sports. That's why I joined the CLfT Team as an instructor.
Assistant Professor and Program Director Wildlife and Forestry Conservation
Green Mountain College
Val grew up in a small town in Upstate NY and was an outdoors enthusiast at an early age. From the time she could say "zoologist", she knew she wanted to work with wildlife and conservation. She spent much of her time hunting and fishing with her family, who instilled an appreciation for wilderness in her and encouraged her love for wildlife. She completed her undergraduate at Cazenovia College, majoring in Environmental Studies. She then ventured to Murray State University for a Master's in Biology where she studied the impacts of roads on a population of copperheads in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. She returned to the Northeast to Binghamton University for her PhD where she studied movement patterns and population structure of the eastern tiger salamander on Long Island. She then worked for 2 years at the Bronx Zoo as a Curatorial Fellow in the Herpetology Department and then spent a year working for the Wildlife Conservation Society studying bison in Montana. She is currently Assistant Professor and Program Director of Natural Resources Management at Green Mountain College. Her current research focuses on human influences on wildlife health. She is a certified Hunter's Safety Instructor for both archery and firearms in Vermont. She also teaches courses on Hunting History, Ethics, and Management, and Wild Game Preparation at GMC. In her spare time, she does all things outdoors with her husband, baby daughter, and 5 dogs.
Professor and Director of the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center
Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut
Jason Vokoun is the Head of the Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut and Director of the interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences major. He is also the Director of the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center. His research team focuses of applied fisheries conservation issues with themes centered on fragmentation in stream networks, and the potential implications of fisheries induced evolution in recreational fisheries. Jason is a lifetime hunter and angler, and enjoys broad participation in many different outdoors pursuits (perhaps because he isn't particularly good at any single one of them.)
Conservation Officer, Sergeant
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Bureau
Joli began her career in conservation by volunteering and working seasonal positions in Colorado with the Student Conservation Association, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in Iowa with the Conservation Commission while attending and after graduation from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In 1989, Joli left Colorado to return home to the Midwest to start her (now 28 year) career as an Iowa Conservation Officer. In 1999, she expanded her role as a law enforcement trainer with the IDNR, accepting the new position of Training Coordinator and eventually becoming Supervisor of Licensing and Training for fifteen years. She is now coming full circle, back in the field.
Joli’s passions have evolved from law enforcement training and “education through enforcement” to introducing new audiences to conservation and natural resources recreation and appreciation through programs including Outdoor Journey for Girls and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. She also enjoys working with Iowa State University in outdoor skills programming, Hunter Education, class presentations, and presenting for over two decades with ISU’s Program for Women in Science and Engineering (STEM).
Joli enjoys trailrunning, bicycling, and paddling with her partner and dogs. She finds great joy and deep value in bird hunting (especially behind her late, beloved springer, Abbey), firearm and bow hunting deer from a treestand, and sitting in the spring woods calling turkeys.