LMVJV Office Staff:
Keith McKnight – Coordinator
Prior to coming to working for the Joint Venture, Keith worked with Ducks Unlimited where he served as a Regional Biologist responsible for coordinating conservation delivery projects in Texas and New Mexico. Prior to this he held several positions with DU at their National Headquarters to include serving as a Conservation Program Specialist, Manager of Conservation Programs, and ultimately as the Director of Conservation Programs. In those positions, Keith led DU’s Ducks and More Program, supervised the National HQ GIS staff, served as DU’s staff support to the NAWCA Council, developed multi-scale international conservation strategies for shorebird conservation, and served in the capacity as DU’s liaison to national and international bird conservation plans to include PIF, NAWCP, and NABCI. In his early years, he spent some time teaching Ecology and Ornithology at Auburn University.
Keith has a Ph.D. from Auburn University where he studied the ecology of wintering Gadwall and American Coot, and a B.S. and M.S. from Texas A&M where he studied wetland regeneration ecology on reclaimed mines. Keith works out of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department office located in Tyler, Tx.
Steve Brock – Mississippi Alluvial Valley Partnership Coordinator
Steve’s primary role with the LMVJV is to represent the partnership by advancing and supporting migratory bird related conservation delivery activities within the MAV. Prior to accepting the partnership coordinator role, Steve worked within the USFWS, Refuge Program as a Deputy Area Supervisor in the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, GA where he supported the oversight and administration of National Wildlife Refuges in the states of AR, LA, TN and KY. Prior to working in Atlanta, he worked in several other Refuge program roles including Deputy Refuge Manager at St Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Southwest MS and as a Partner for Fish and Wildlife Program biologist in the Northeast LA Delta where his responsibilities included delivering technical and financial assistance programs to private landowners, and working closely with state private lands biologists, other Federal agencies, and NGOs to deliver conservation programs.
Prior to his roles with the FWS, Steve spent seven years as a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Forest Service on the Homochitto National Forest in South Mississippi. Within the mix of federal jobs, Steve spent a few years venturing in the world of self employment as a Consulting Wildlife Biologist and Business Owner. Early in his career, Steve also worked four years with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as a Wildlife Biologist Supervisor overseeing their biological programs in an 18 county management district.
Steve received a B.S. in Forestry and M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Mississippi State University. His Master’s project evaluated seed production of several moist-soil plant species in managed wetlands on Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. He currently works out of Ducks Unlimited’s Southern Regional office in Ridgeland, MS.
Doyle Shook - West Gulf Coastal Plain & Ouachitas Partnership Coordinator
Doyle retired from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission after a 30+ year career which he culminated as Wildlife Division Chief. Doyle served as a member of the LMVJV Management Board for five years and was instrumental in the LMVJV decision to promote the development of Conservation Delivery Networks within the Joint Venture boundary. Doyle joined the LMVJV staff in August, 2012 where he continues his passion for supporting on-the-ground conservation delivery with the best available science.
Blaine Elliott – GIS Applications Biologist
As a GIS applications biologist, Blaine serves a unique role within the JV partnership. His experience and education in both avian ecology and geospatial technology enables him to provide key functions in both the biological and technological aspects of conservation for the LMV region. Blaine studied ecological ornithology at the University of Arkansas where his research included avian depredation of citrus, measures to limit and reduce crop damage, education of local landowners, and the interactions of neotropical migrants with resident birds in orchards of the Stann Creek Valley region of Belize, Central America. He’s also participated in extended avian-related field research in the mountains of Arizona and Arkansas. Following completion of his M.S. degree, Blaine began a stint with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi Field Station where he assisted in research regarding forestry management effects on breeding and wintering birds of the bottomland hardwood forests and cottonwood plantations of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. This led to a relationship with the JV Office and he eventually came on board as an intern GIS technician. After 15 plus years of GIS related education and experience, he now serves as the lead GIS analyst, cartographer, database manager, and technical liaison to numerous Working Groups for the JV. In addition to his M.S. degree from Arkansas, Blaine also holds a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Huntingdon College in Alabama. Blaine’s office is located in Vicksburg, MS.
Anne Mini – Science Coordinator
Prior to coming to work for the Joint Venture, Anne was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Oregon State University where she led a project to refine estimates of energetic carrying capacity for Cackling Geese in the Willamette Valley and determine distribution of geese on the landscape to inform winter conservation planning. Previously, she worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) as a graduate and undergraduate student. At the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Anne coordinated the Aleutian Goose Working Group to address crop depredation concerns regarding spring staging Aleutian Cackling Geese, and additionally worked as a contract biologist to develop a scientific foundation for a regional agricultural depredation management plan. Through USFWS, Anne worked at a variety of other National Wildlife Refuges, including the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex where she became drawn to waterfowl and wetland management. She has taught courses in Ornithology, Endangered Species and Society, and Wetlands and Riparian Ecology. Anne is a member of The Wildlife Society, American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society and the Ecological Society of America. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, birding, fly fishing, and agility with her border collie Scruff.
Anne has a Ph.D. from Oregon State University where she studied the comparative foraging ecology and habitat selection of wintering Dusky Canada Geese and Cackling Geese, a M.S. from Humboldt State University where she studied the energetics and foraging behavior of Aleutian Cackling Geese, and a B.S. from University of California, Davis. Anne works for the American Bird Conservancy out of the Ducks Unlimited office located in Ridgeland, MS.
Dale Yocum – IT Specialist
Located in the Joint Venture office in Vicksburg, MS, Dale’s primary role with the LMVJV is to maintain the network and computer systems of the JV office staff and those partners co-located in the Joint Venture office. He also maintains the LMVJV website. Dale provides computer technical support and GIS support for various field office staff. Prior to working for the USFWS, Dale worked 13 years with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and provided computer and GIS support. During the last 5 years of his service with ERDC, Dale worked with a team of scientists from the Environmental Lab to delineate wetlands, primarily on military bases, across the U.S. His experience and expertise with GPS, GIS, and computer systems helped him obtain a position with the LMVJV.
Dale has a Master’s degree from Louisiana Tech University. In his spare time, he helps coach youth football, baseball, and girl’s fastpitch softball. In whatever spare time is left, Dale likes to hunt and fish.
Michael Mitchell - GIS/Remote Sensing Analyst
Mike has a unique position in that he is employed by Ducks Unlimited and is cost shared with the LMVJV partnership. Prior to his current position, he was an intern for two summers at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri, where he developed a passion for wetlands. Following Mingo he received a Master of Science degree at Texas A&M University - Kingsville where he evaluated waterfowl foraging values of freshwater wetlands in South Texas and delineated coastal marsh types along the Texas coast. With his background in GIS, wetlands, and waterfowl he is able to provide assistance with both biological and spatial project needs. His primary duties largely relate to waterfowl issues; however his work will also aid conservation planning for other migratory and land birds. His office is located in Ridgeland, MS at Ducks Unlimited’s Southern Regional Office.
Linda McHan – Office Administrator
Linda came to the US Fish and Wildlife Service after working the medical field as insurance clerk for 15 years. In 1995 Linda started work in the Vicksburg ES office as clerk. In 1998 the ES office was relocated to their present location in Jackson, MS, at which time Linda went to work for U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement as office assistant. Shortly before moving back to the LMVJV office in Vicksburg in 2003, Linda transferred to the Jackson ES office as a computer support/office assistant. Her present position is Office Administrator for the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture and Mississippi Migratory Field Office (Jackson MS).
Ledora Saints - Office Administrator