2021 Virtual Dates:
Week 1: April 19-22, 2021
Week 2: April 26-29, 2021

Plenary Presentations

All Tuesday & Thursday Morning Plenary Sessions are from 10:00am to 11:30am. The DIG Plenary Session will take place on Thursday, April 29 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.


Speaker Biographies

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
10:00am–11:30am
J. Scott Angle
J. Scott Angle

Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

In July 2020, Dr. J. Scott Angle became the University of Florida’s Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of UF/IFAS. He provides management and strategic leadership for the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He shares administration of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine as well as UF’s Water Institute, Emerging Pathogens Institute, and Genetics Institute.

On November 1, 2018, Dr. Angle was sworn in by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as the third permanent Director of NIFA. NIFA supports research, educational, and Extension efforts in a wide range of scientific fields related to agricultural and behavioral sciences.

Angle worked for 24 years as a Professor of Soil Science and administrator (Associate Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station and Maryland Cooperative Extension) at the University of Maryland. His early work focused on the study of losses of nutrients from agro-ecosystems and their impact on the Chesapeake Bay. He also studied the impact of heavy metals on the food chain with the goal of protecting our food supply from these harmful elements. Later, he concentrated his research on phytoremediation, the use of plants for extraction of heavy metals from soil. In 2005, he moved to Athens, Georgia, where he served as Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia for 10 years.

A frequently published author, Angle is a fellow in the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. He is also a Fulbright Fellow, having worked at Rothamsted Research in the UK.

Angle served as President and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), from 2015 to 2018, where he oversaw a staff of more than 800 and coordinated development projects in diverse regions of the world. IFDC provides solutions to alleviate global hunger and poverty through the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency.

Angle earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Maryland in Agronomy and Soil Science, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri with an emphasis on Soil Microbiology.

Thomas K. Frazer
Thomas K. Frazer

Dean and Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
St.Petersburg, Florida

Thomas K. Frazer is a Professor and Dean of the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. Prior to his arrival at USF, Dr. Frazer was Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida and served also as Chief Science Officer for the State of Florida. Dr. Frazer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master’s Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research addresses contemporary and emerging environmental issues, and is, by nature, interdisciplinary. His work involves collaborators from disparate disciplines, and it includes sampling and experiments conducted across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.

Dr. Frazer has received more than $14 million in research funding to address topics pertaining to water quantity and quality, nutrient dynamics, biogeochemical processes, fish population dynamics, food web interactions, and ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems. He has conducted field research in both freshwater and marine systems around the globe, and he is intimately familiar with a broad suite of environmental and natural resource issues (e.g., eutrophication of fresh, estuarine, and coastal waters; invasive species; and the ecological impacts of contemporary environmental change, including coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and sea level rise). Dr. Frazer has authored and/or co-authored more than 175 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters.

Dr. Frazer currently serves as Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. He is also a member of APLU’s Board on Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate, and he previously served as member of the US EPA’s Oil Spill Research Strategy Review Panel.


Thursday, April 22, 2021
10:00am–11:30am
Holly Greening
Holly Greening

Co-Founder
CoastWise Partners
Tampa, Florida

Holly Greening earned a MS from Florida State University following extensive estuarine food web studies. Her professional career has focused on managing watershed and estuarine projects and programs. As Senior Scientist (1990-2007) and then Executive Director (2008-2018) of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Holly was responsible for maintaining the strong partnerships forged through TBEP, continuing the bay’s science-based restoration and recovery strategies.

Holly has served on the Estuarine Research Federation Governing Board, the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board, and five National Research Council committees. She was Co-Chair of the 2011 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference, Chair of the Association of National Estuary Programs, and is currently serving as Associate Editor for the scientific journal Estuaries and Coasts. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications with a focus on estuarine ecology and collaborative watershed management and is the recipient of regional and national awards for coastal stewardship. Holly is currently chairing a panel on long-term trends in the Gulf of Mexico for the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program.

After retiring from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program in 2018, Holly co-founded CoastWise Partners with Rich Batiuk (retired from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program) to offer pro-bono assistance to coastal and watershed programs worldwide. With more than 70 years of combined experience, CoastWise Partners offer help with goal-setting, organizational assessment, establishing criteria, technical advice, monitoring design, workshop planning and peer review.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021
10:00am–11:30am
Eve Samples
Juan Hernandez

State Conservationist for Florida
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Gainesville, Florida

As the NRCS State Conservationist for Florida, Juan Hernandez oversees programs, operations and staff in 33 field offices, four area offices, a plant material center and the state office in Gainesville. Juan grew up on a small coffee plantation in the mountains of Puerto Rico where he learned the importance of caring for the land and the natural resources in a way he says only farming can teach. Mr. Hernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico. After graduation he started his career with NRCS in Pennsylvania. Subsequently he served in positions of increasing responsibility within the agency: Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Arkansas, Utah, Nebraska, and Maine, where he has been state conservationist since March 2009. Juan is accompanied by his wife Carmen and their three children: Alejandra, Miguel, and Diego.


Thursday, April 29, 2021
10:00am–11:30am
J. Checo Colón Gaud
Dr. Checo Colón Gaud

Biology Professor and Associate Dean
Georgia Southern University
Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies
Statesboro, Georgia

J. Checo Colón Gaud is a Professor of Biology and the Associate Dean of the Jack N. Averitt Colleges of Graduate Studies at Georgia Southern University. Checo also serves as the Vice President for the Society for Freshwater Science. Checo earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas – El Paso and a master’s degree in Fisheries from Louisiana State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Southern Illinois University.

His research addresses the role of aquatic consumers in organic matter processing and their influence stream ecosystem functioning and is directed towards understanding the ecology of freshwater systems, particularly focusing on food web structure and organic matter dynamics. Most of his recent and ongoing work has focused on tropical headwater streams and coastal plain rivers and wetlands in the Southeastern U.S.

Checo and his colleagues were recently awarded a $2 million+ grant from the National Science Foundation to broaden participation and leadership in freshwater science. This work stems from over ten years of work by Checo and colleagues at the Society for Freshwater Science as part of their Instars Mentoring Program. Through Instars, Checo and his team of collaborators have extended mentoring opportunities to over 120 undergraduates and over 50 graduate students. Checo has also mentored 15 graduate students and more than 50 undergraduates in research and co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications with students and colleagues. Outside of his academic work, Checo also serves on the advisory boards for the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Program and for the Ogeechee Riverkeeper.


Thursday, April 29, 2021
1:30pm–2:30pm
DIG Plenary Session

This year’s DIG session will feature four conservation leaders, presenting on one theme: “What Conservation-related Issue Keeps You Up at Night?”

View Speakers »