VOL. 132 | NO. 28 | Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Moorman Named Chief Scientist at Ducks Unlimited
By Kate Simone
Tom Moorman has been named chief scientist of Memphis-based Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to conserving North American waterfowl habitats. Moorman, who will take over from retiring chief scientist Scott Yaich on March 1, has worked for DU for more than 25 years, most recently serving as head of its 13-state Southern Region.
As chief scientist, Moorman will serve as DU’s leader on waterfowl and habitat science, provide vision and direction in addressing DU’s science needs and ensure it maintains its standing and credibility as a top-notch science-based organization.
Hometown: Madison, MS
Experience: Ph.D., State University of New York, Syracuse; M.S., Auburn University; B.S., Ohio University.
Joined DU in 1991 as a regional biologist for the Southern Region. Promoted in 1998 to director of conservation planning, and promoted in 2007 to director of conservation programs, South Mississippi Flyway. In 2009, the Southern Regional Office reorganized staff responsibilities and Moorman became director of conservation planning. He was named director of operations for the 13-state Southern Region in 2013. Prior to joining DU, he performed research and published findings on mottled ducks and wood ducks.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My father, who helped forge my work ethic, and my graduate school adviser who not only guided me through graduate school but taught me a great deal more than any graduate school curriculum ever will.
How does science and research help Ducks Unlimited improve conservation and waterfowl habitats? Funding and other resources are always limited in the natural resources conservation arena. Through science, or application of science-based information or principles, we assess landscape changes that affect habitat and waterfowl and other wildlife populations, we assess our conservation programs designed to sustain waterfowl populations and their habitats, we identify highest priority landscapes, and we gather lots of other information that helps us make the most informed decisions we can to get the best return on each dollar spent on our mission.
You’ve been with DU for more than 25 years. How has conservation changed during that time – in terms of the necessity, public perception, efforts underway, etc.? The number and complexity of factors that negatively impact important waterfowl landscapes have increased over that timeframe. However, the response from the conservation community of states and federal agencies, provinces in Canada, nongovernmental organizations like DU, and even some private landowners and corporations also is increasing, albeit presently not at a rate to fully mitigate the negative forces on most landscapes.
I also would say that joint venture partnerships among those entities mentioned above have matured a great deal in 25 years. Funding remains a challenge, and lots more funding is needed to enable DU and all of our partners to work at scales that matter to mitigate forces that drive landscapes towards unsustainable levels of use.
What are your goals as chief scientist, and are there particular areas of study you’d like to focus on? DU has always worked from a foundation of the best available science. My initial goal is to further strengthen that foundation by working to secure funding to support our base level of scientists located in Memphis and in our Western, Southern, Great Lakes/Atlantic and Great Plains regional offices. There is no particular area of focus – DU and our partners need to understand the effects of many complex, inter-related variables and how they drive landscape change and affect waterfowl, wetlands and other resources in our priority landscapes.
In addition, we will be looking to develop science-based information on the array of other benefits that our wetland conservation work provides to people – things like flood abatement and water quality and quantity benefits – outcomes that very directly affect the quality of life of people, whether they are supporters of DU or not.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Hiring and mentoring a number of staff in DU, and now some that have moved on to other employment – to ensure that there are people to come behind us who will do even more to secure landscapes that support sustainable waterfowl populations.
What do you most enjoy about your work? The people I work with every day – staff and volunteers – they are the most passionate, driven people one could ever hope to partner with on what is a really important mission.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Get a great education in something you are really passionate about – and then work hard every day. If you end up working in something you are truly passionate about, as I have been fortunate to do for the past 25 years, your job will not feel like work. It will give you great satisfaction and a real sense of accomplishment.
Vicki Walk has joined Paragon Bank as vice president, mortgage consultant. Walk has more than 25 years’ experience in the banking industry. Before joining Paragon, she served as senior vice president, relationship manager in Commercial Banking, Correspondent Banking, Business Incentives and Bank Marketing at First Tennessee Bank.
Cy Washer has been hired as general manager of Mama Gaia in advance of the restaurant’s opening in Crosstown Concourse in late February. Washer has worked in the Memphis food and hospitality industry since 2004, most recently serving as general manager of Alchemy Memphis.
Rev. Susan Carter Wiggins has joined Germantown Presbyterian Church as the associate pastor for congregational care. Wiggins is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She most recently served as transitional senior pastor/head of staff for First Presbyterian, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, since 2013.
EdR has promoted five members of its leadership team. Olan Brevard, who has nearly 40 years’ experience with EdR, has been named executive vice president of acquisitions and off-campus development. Bob Earwood, who joined the company in 2014 with more than 30 years’ construction experience, has been promoted to senior vice president of construction and engineering services. Scott Barton, who has been with EdR five years, has been promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions and development. Agnes Webb, who has been with the company since 2008, assumes the role of vice president of tax compliance. And Patrick Parsons, who came to EdR in 2013 as a financial analyst, has been promoted to vice president of development.
The Memphis Medical Society has installed its 2017 board of directors: Dr. Phillip R. Langsdon of The Langsdon Clinic, president; Dr. Autry J. Parker of Semmes-Murphey Clinic, president-elect; Dr. Andrew T. Watson of Sutherland Cardiology Clinic, vice president; Dr. Danielle H. Hassel of Memphis VA Medical Center, secretary; and Dr. Sri I. Naidu of Mid-South Ear, Nose & Throat, treasurer. Dr. Raymond R. Walker of Saint Francis Inpatient Physicians is a new board member. Returning board members are Drs. David L. Cannon, Frederick A. Fiedler, James E. Klemis, Jimmie Mancell, Justin Monroe, Christopher M. Pokabla and Lisa S. Usdan.