The U.S. Fish Wildlife Service has named a California field supervisor with extensive experience in coastal communities as the next Florida Keys refuge manager.
Nancy Finley will replace former Keys Refuges Manager Anne Morkill, who left the Keys to oversee the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Finley will oversee the National Key Deer, Crocodile Lake, Great Heron and Key West national wildlife refuges.
Finley is expected to begin her duties in the Keys on Feb. 24.
She is leaving her job as the field supervisor at the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office in Northern California. Her resume reflects an extensive background in marine and environmental sciences.
She said she grew up on the island of Cape Cod, Mass., and is familiar with fisheries issues.
Finley received a bachelor's degree in biology, followed by a master's degree in environmental health and a doctorate in environmental science and toxicology from Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
"She certainly exceeds the necessary education for the position," said Sylvia Pelizza, an area Fish & Wildlife administrator who was responsible for selecting Finley. "It's her experience as a manager and supervisor and her strengths with partnerships that clearly made her the top applicant."
Finley began her career with the Fish & Wildlife Service in 1992, and spent more than seven years at various positions dealing with endangered species issues before moving to the National Park Service. She served as the chief of the Division of Natural Resources, where she supervised a team of individuals and worked in every aspect of resource management. Her second position with the National Park Service was as chief of the Division of Resource Management and Science, where she managed the science, natural resources, cultural resources, and fire management programs.
She then served as the National Environmental Policy Act coordinator for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Finley returned to the Fish & Wildlife Service in 2010 to head the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office.
In her position as the head of the Arcata office, she worked on marine fisheries issues dealing with salmon and other coastal species.
Finley comes to the Keys as refuge managers are updating their Backcountry Management Plan.
"I enjoy working with the community and listening to people's concerns," Finley said. "Managing resources is a balancing act."