Our team

Staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Panel

ROBERT KNIGHT, PH.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Knight is an environmental scientist/systems ecologist. He has over 38 years of experience as an aquatic and wetland ecologist in Florida. His doctoral work included an ecological assessment of Silver Springs and Silver River under the direction of Howard T. Odum. He completed assessments of the quantitative basis for establishing a minimum flow regime for protection of water and human-use resource values (WRVs) in Volusia County Blue Spring, a 50-year retrospective study of the ecological health of Silver Springs, the basis for establishing pollutant load reduction goals and WRVs for the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run, and a comparison of the ecology of twelve of Florida’s artesian springs.

Under Dr. Knight’s leadership, the Florida Springs Institute has developed restoration action plans for Glen Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, Kings Bay Springs, Lower and Middle Suwannee River Springs, Rainbow Springs, Santa Fe River Springs, Silver Springs, Wakulla Springs, Volusia Blue Springs, Wekiva River, Wekiva Springs, and recently published a comprehensive report on the ecological health and restoration needs for all of Florida’s 1,000+ artesian springs. Dr. Knight is the author of Silenced Springs – Moving from Tragedy to Hope.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Florida Springs Institute, Dr. Knight is also a Board and/or Advisory Panel member for the Ichetucknee Alliance, Our Santa Fe River, Wakulla Springs Alliance, Florida Defenders of the Environment, and Florida Springs Council.

ZOË HAMMIS

Environmental scientist & office manager

Zoë has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Marquette University and over 5 years of experience as a biologist and non-profit director. Since moving to Florida, Zoë has been lucky enough to work in many ecosystems, including the salt marsh, the everglades, and several of Florida’s natural springs. She is passionate about Florida’s spring ecosystems and the many animals that depend on them, and is excited to be part of a team working to protect them through sound science and education. 

Haley Moody

OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Haley’s passion for the springs began on her first visit to the Ichetucknee River. Her love of Geographic Information Systems was born during her time at the University of Florida, where she graduated in 2018 with honors in Landscape Architecture. After a GIS Internship at the Florida Springs Institute, she transitioned into managing FSI’s Outreach efforts. Her dedication to the springs continues to grow as she focuses on communicating the challenges that face the Floridan Aquifer.

Hailey Hall

Environmental Scientist

Hailey is from Suwannee County, where she grew up in a multigenerational farming family and spent countless days swimming in the famous springs of her home region. She studied environmental geosciences and sustainability at UF, which further honed her interests in hydrogeology, land use, and conservation. She previously researched environmental processes related to glacial retreat in western Greenland and water quality in the karst terrain of the Buffalo River in Arkansas. She is eager to aid the efforts to conserve Florida’s singular hydrogeological and ecological wonders.

Jill Lingard

SPRINGSWATCH COORDINATOR

Jill Lingard joins the FSI team with five years of volunteer experience with the SpringsWatch program.  A former resident of Gainesville, Jill enjoyed a 25-year student services career at the University of Florida.  She assisted with Ichetucknee SpringsWatch for a couple years before moving to the Tampa Bay region, where she then started a SpringsWatch program on the Weeki Wachee River.  Jill is a certified coastal kayak instructor, a Florida Master Naturalist, and past president of the Florida Paddling Trails Association.  She enjoys the intersection of paddling and waterway stewardship, which SpringsWatch certainly provides. Jill is excited to have the opportunity to work with springs lovers across Florida as SpringsWatch volunteer coordinator.

HOWARD T. ODUM FLORIDA SPRINGS INSTITUTE

board of directors

ROBERT L. KNIGHT, PH.D.

PRESIDENT OF BOARD

Dr. Knight is an environmental scientist/systems ecologist. He has over 38 years of experience as an aquatic and wetland ecologist in Florida. His doctoral work included an ecological assessment of Silver Springs and Silver River under the direction of Howard T. Odum. He completed assessments of the quantitative basis for establishing a minimum flow regime for protection of water and human-use resource values (WRVs) in Volusia County Blue Spring, a 50-year retrospective study of the ecological health of Silver Springs, the basis for establishing pollutant load reduction goals and WRVs for the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run, and a comparison of the ecology of twelve of Florida’s artesian springs.

Under Dr. Knight’s leadership, the Florida Springs Institute has developed restoration action plans for Glen Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, Kings Bay Springs, Lower and Middle Suwannee River Springs, Rainbow Springs, Santa Fe River Springs, Silver Springs, Wakulla Springs, Volusia Blue Springs, Wekiva River, and Wekiva Springs. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Florida Springs Institute, Dr. Knight is also a Board and/or Advisory Panel member for the Silver Springs Alliance, Ichetucknee Alliance, Our Santa Fe River, Wakulla Springs Alliance, Florida Defenders of the Environment, and Florida Springs Council.

BOARD TED

CAPT. TEDD GREENWALD

Vice President of Board

Captain Tedd Greenwald is a 500 Ton USCG Master who has spent the better part of 40 years working worldwide on private yachts and his own dive charter boat. He is from Miami where he worked aboard commercial fishing boats and completed his Physics degree at University of Miami. He was a researcher at the Papanicalou Cancer Research Institute in Miami prior to teaching Marine Science at Dade Marine Institute on Virginia Key.  He is a volunteer at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Florida Springs Institute and lives in High Springs with his wife of 38 years.

DAVE WILSON, PH.D.

TREASURER OF BOARD

Dr. Wilson earned his PhD in mathematics from Rutgers in 1969. In September 1972, he joined the Mathematics Department at the University of Florida, where he taught for 35 years before retiring in 2007. During his career, he taught both theoretical and applied mathematics to engineers, computer scientists, and mathematics students. In addition to dozens of publications, he organized a number of mathematics conferences and symposia including the first Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (or SIAM) conference on imaging science in Boston in 2002, where 239 researchers attended (http://www.siam.org/meetings/is02/). He also collaborated with Dr. Edward A. Geiser, MD in the UF Medical School for 15 years on an echocardiography research project focused on the development of computer based algorithms designed to make measurements of heart function. Dave is an avid canoeist, hiker, and biker. He has led, organized, and/or participated in hundreds of outings. He has also served several times as treasurer and twice as chair of the local Sierra Club.

BOARD Mary

MARY ODUM, PH.D.

SECRETARY OF BOARD

Dr. Odum has worked in healthcare as a nurse for 35 years, including 20 years as a nursing professor. Before relocating to Gainesville Florida, she taught Nursing and Honors at University of Alaska Anchorage, and was involved with their Complex Systems Group. She administers a 2-year old blog called ProsperousWayDown.com, and she is a featured author at Resilience.org. She is also a Trustee and Secretary for the Emergy Society (International Society for the Advancement of Emergy Research). She learned most of what she knows about systems thinking from her ecologist father and uncle, the Odum brothers.

BOARD Christine A. Klein

Christine A. Klein

Board Member

Christine A. Klein is the Cone, Wagner, Nugent, Hazouri & Roth Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she has taught since 2003. Klein began her career as a water rights litigator in the Colorado Office of the Attorney General. Her legal experience includes positions as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; as a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Office of Staff Attorneys (San Francisco summer position); and as a clerk at Goodwin Proctor (formerly Shea & Gardner) in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the UF Law faculty, Klein served on the faculty of Michigan State University College of Law and directed its environmental law certificate program. She received a B.A. from Middlebury College (Vermont), a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, and an LL.M. from Columbia University Law School.

Klein teaches and writes in the areas of water law, natural resources law, and property. Her work includes more than thirty academic articles, and it has been cited in judicial and administrative opinions at both the federal and state levels. She is also the author of several books: Property Law: Cases, Problems, and Skills (Aspen Publishers 2d ed. 2020); Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases (4th ed. 2018, Aspen Publishers, lead author with Cheever, Birdsong, Biber, and Klass); and Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster (NYU Press 2014, with Zellmer).

Klein has served on two committees of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, that studied sustainable water and environmental management in the California Bay-Delta, and she is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, based in Washington, D.C.

JIM STEVENSON

BOARD MEMBER

Jim is a retired senior biologist with the Department of Environmental Protection. Jim began his 38 year career with the Department as a park ranger while attending the University of South Florida.  He served as Chief Biologist for the Florida State Park System for 20 years during which he guided the restoration and protection of state park springs. 
 
Jim organized and coordinated spring basin interagency working groups for Wakulla Spring and Ichetucknee Springs for 18 years. He was Chairman of the Florida Springs Task Force that developed a protection strategy for Florida’s springs and he was Director of the Governor’s Florida Springs Initiative that funded springs protection. He conducted Florida Springs Conferences in 2000 and 2003 and coordinated the Florida Springs Rally at the Capital in 2010. In recognition of his dedication to the protection of Florida’s springs, the State of Florida named a large spring on the Suwannee River “Stevenson Spring” in his honor.
 
For his longstanding stewardship of Florida’s public lands, the Governor and Cabinet dedicated the “Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award” that is given annually by the Governor and Cabinet to the most deserving state lands manager in the Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Forestry and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

SENATOR DENNIS L. JONES

BOARD MEMBER

Senator Jones is a retired chiropractic physician, who has served in the Florida House of Representatives (1978-2000) and the Florida Senate (2002-2008). From 2002-2004, he also served as the Senate Majority Leader. During his legislative career, Senator Jones focused his efforts on improvements to health care, education, the criminal justice system, and the environment. His crowning legislative achievement came in 2000, with the passage of legislation to establish Florida’s first permanent funding source for a comprehensive beach nourishment program.

In recognition of his dedication to Florida, Senator Jones has received numerous awards, including the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association Legislative Award, Legislative Conservation Award, Legislator of the Year Award, Theodore Roosevelt Society, Inc. “Teddy Award”, and the Florida Audubon Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award to name a few.

Senator Jones lives in Dunnellon, FL, with his wife Susan, on the Rainbow River. He has witnessed the degradation of our rivers and springs first-hand and has focused his efforts on springs and river restoration by regularly providing public comment on issues he has experienced on the Rainbow River and working with local conservation groups. Dennis and Susan have five grandchildren.

ROBERT PALMER, PH.D.

BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Palmer holds a Ph.D. in marine biology and worked on the staff of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U. S. House of Representatives for 26 years, including 12 years as the Committee’s Staff Director. He serves on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Bob formerly chaired the Alachua County Environmental Protection Advisory Committee.

BOARD Bob u

ROBERT E. ULANOWICZ, PH.D.

BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Ulanowicz is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Science from the The Johns Hopkins University, and is currently Professor Emeritus with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dr. Ulanowicz pursued research on the analysis of ecological networks at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD for 38 years, before moving to Gainesville, FL, where he is now a Courtesy Professor with the UF Department of Biology. 

In 1987, Dr. Ulanowicz was a featured speaker at the Royal Swedish Academy Symposium honoring H.T. Odum with the Crafoord Prize. In 2007, Robert was awarded the Ilya A. Prigogine Medal from the University of Siena for outstanding research in ecosystems dynamics. Dr. Ulanowicz has written three books, Growth and Development: Ecosystems Phenomenology (1986), Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective (1997) and A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin (2009) and authored over 190 refereed publications. He has maintained an almost lifelong attachment to the springs of Florida, visiting them from Maryland at least yearly since 1962.

HOWARD T. ODUM FLORIDA SPRINGS INSTITUTE

ADVISORY PANEL

Advisory Panel Responsibilities

Jennifer L. McGee, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Florida FWC

Dr. McGee is the FWC Marine Debris Coordinator managing statewide research, removal, and prevention projects and programs to reduce marine debris and aquatic litter and its impacts on wildlife and habitat.  She also Chairs the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Marine Debris Cross Team and serves as the Research and Data Lead on the Florida Marine Debris Planning Team. Dr. McGee has over two decades of experience conducting aquatic animal and ecosystem research with a focus on anthropogenic impacts, aquatic animal health, conservation management, and environmental policy and holds a doctorate in Veterinary Medical Sciences/Aquatic Animal Health from the University of Florida-College of Veterinary Medicine.  She has worked in freshwater and marine ecosystems throughout Brazil, Australia, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Polynesia, and the United States with over fourteen years’ experience working in/on Florida waters, having first moved to Florida to serve as the Volusia County Manatee Protection Program Associate and Stranding Coordinator. Dr. McGee also has extensive experience in manatee health assessment research, having worked with partner agencies and organizations throughout the Southeast US and Caribbean. In addition to her time spent in the Florida springs conducting manatee field research, Dr. McGee also spends a large portion of her free time hiking to, paddling, swimming, diving, and photographing Florida’s spring and river systems throughout the state and especially loves swimming among the cypress trees.

STEPHEN WALSH, PH.D.

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Dr. Walsh is a Research Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, in Gainesville, Florida. He has been in federal service with the Department of the Interior for over 25 years. His primary research interests are the ecology, systematics, ecophysiology, and conservation of freshwater fishes and other aquatic biodiversity. He has worked in freshwater and marine ecosystems in the central and southeastern U.S., the Caribbean, Neotropics, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Micronesia. He has a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in Biology from St. Louis University, a master’s degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University, and a doctoral degree in Zoology from the University of Florida, where he currently holds courtesy faculty and curator appointments in three departments (Biology, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and Florida Museum of Natural History). In addition to his service on the FSI advisory Panel, he has served in numerous other professional capacities. For more information about Dr. Walsh, click here.

LARS ANDERSEN

ADVENTURE OUTPOST

Lars, a life-long Floridian, is the owner of Adventure Outpost in High Springs. He is a full-time nature guide and the author of several works including, Payne’s Prairie: A History and Guide, Paddlers Guide to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and The North Florida Adventure, an audio CD. You can read about his adventures on his blog, River Guides Journal. 

Mike Roth

Our Santa Fe River

Mike capped off a 30-year career as a partner in a large local CPA firm in Hollywood Florida by opening an ice cream store in Gainesville with his wife, Cindy, which they ran for 12 years before selling it and retiring.  In retirement, he developed a strong interest in the protection of water resources, particularly in the springs watershed, which led him to the presidency of Our Santa Fe River, Inc., the “voice of the Santa Fe River”.  In that capacity, he has written numerous op-eds and articles regarding the plight of our rivers and springs and has spoken before several county commissions and water management districts as an advocate.  He is pleased to be able to bring skills from both CPA and river advocate days to the benefit of the Florida Springs Institute.

ADVISORY Todd

TODD KINCAID, PH.D.

GEOHYDROS, LLC

Dr. Kincaid is a hydrogeologist with more than 20 years of experience in aquifer characterization and hydrogeologic modeling. He has earned a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Wyoming and a MS and BS in hydrogeology and geology from the University of Florida. He is the managing member of GeoHydros LLC, a consulting company focused on advanced computer simulation and visualization of complex geologic and hydrologic environments. His work has addressed karst-conduit flow in the Floridan aquifer, extremely heterogeneous aquifers in glacial sediments in New York and Pennsylvania; fractured rock aquifers in interbedded shales and limestones of eastern Pennsylvania; and structurally complex volcanic and sedimentary rocks underlying Yucca Mountain and the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. 

Dr. Kincaid also serves as the vice-president for Global Underwater Explorers, a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring and protecting underwater environments, and on the Board of Directors for the Wakulla Springs Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and promoting strategies for protecting Florida springs.

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