Agency News

Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards

This past September, FWRI’s Beth Stys was honored with an Honorable Mention from the 2019 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources. Beth is being recognized in the “Individual Achievement” category for demonstrating exemplary leadership in reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation of the nation’s natural resources.

Through personal passion and leadership Beth has been the most significant contributor to FWC’s climate adaptation program in the agency’s history. Beth became lead of FWC’s adaptation working group around 2011. In that capacity, Beth led development of the Florida Adaptation Guide, a comprehensive resource for natural resource managers. Beth also took on the role of Science Coordinator for the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) in 2015, and she leveraged this role to build partnerships and cultivate a forward-thinking approach to implementing adaptation at a landscape-scale. Beth’s commitment to excellence and drive is apparent in how her body of work has evolved over time, regardless of setbacks. When she saw the need for the Adaptation Guide to function as a living resource accessible to a wider audience, she expanded the content into the newly released Climate Adaptation Explorer, an interactive digital guide. (Visit the site here) When funding for the PFLCC dissipated, she forged a collaborative partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue her mission of implementing adaptation on a landscape-scale. Beyond the accomplishments listed above, Beth has led numerous planning and training workshops and has secured funding and support for a full-time agency adaptation coordinator. Beth has been a behind-the-scenes presence throughout much of her work. However, from research and vulnerability assessments to policy to capacity-building, it is not an understatement to say that FWC would not have an adaptation program today without the efforts of this remarkable person who made the choice to step up and get involved.

The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources was established in 2016 to bring to light many of the outstanding projects or activities that are advancing the resilience of our nation’s valuable fish, wildlife, and plant resources in a changing climate. This award acknowledges the leadership of those individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies that are making it happen and promote their work as examples of successful climate adaptation.

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