About South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Board of Directors
|Bill Steele, President|
Bill Steele is the Facility and Resource Manager of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, SC. Bill is a native of Lancaster, SC. He earned a Bachelor's degree and Masters of Science in Forest Management from Clemson University. He has held positions with Clemson University as Research Specialist, and with the NC Forest Service and SC Forestry Commission as Land Owner Assistance Forester and Water Quality Forester. Bill is the President of the SC Horsemen's Council and Chair of the Old Hickory Chapter of the Society of American Foresters. He is a Registered Forester in North and South Carolina, Certified Prescribed Fire Manager, Fort Mill Rotarian, and serves on the technical advisor committee of the Nation Ford Land Trust. Bill is married with a son and daughter and enjoys fly fishing, hunting, and spending time with his family. He is an active member of the Grace Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill.
|David Jenkins, Vice President|
David Jenkins is a "returning native" of South Carolina. He earned B.S. degrees in entomology and plant pathology from Clemson University, an M.S. in entomology from Montana State University in Bozeman, and a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Georgia. He has 12 years’ experience working to manage pests and pollinators that impact tree fruit production. For ten years he was a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS Tropical Agricultural Research Station in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where he studied pests, diseases and pollinators of tropical tree fruit. Currently he is the Entomologist/Forest Health Specialist with the South Carolina Forestry Commission in Columbia, SC. In this position he works with private and public landowners to maintain healthy forests and trees for the state of South Carolina.
|Ben Powell, Treasurer|
FNR agent for the upper coast and lower Pee Dee region
B.S. Biology – Wofford College
M.S. Entomology (Arthropod Biodiversity) - Clemson University
Ben is an experienced entomologist who can identify most invertebrate specimens and provide insight to their biology and control, if needed. Ben has a thorough knowledge of methods for controlling pests in human environments but also is involved with invertebrate conservation initiatives such as beekeeping and protecting arthropod biodiversity. Ben also is well trained in benthic macroinvertebrate bioassessment and stream ecology. His masters thesis dealt with invertebrate communities that colonize invasive aquatic weeds. Ben is happy to respond to calls about:
Ben is a solid contact for wildlife management information, working with landowners and property managers to improve wildlife resources on private and public lands. Ben is head of the outreach and mentoring committee of the South Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society and is the current chairman of the SC Wild Hog Task Force. Ben's wildlife programs cover:
|Dan Hill, Membership|
Dan graduated FMU with a Biology major and minor in Chemistry. After graduating, Dan spent 10 years as a contract biologist. He has worked on a variety of projects including a 3 year reptile and amphibian study at the Woodbury Tract, bird studies including Swallow-tailed kite, Henslow's sparrow, Painted Bunting, and chemical residue studies on potatoes and strawberries. Dan has also worked on a fungicide study on rice, as well as worker exposure studies throughout the US. While with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Walkill River NWR in NJ he worked on Bog Turtle monitoring, nonnative invasive plant species, and managed shallow water impoundments for migratory shore birds and water fowl. This is his 8th year as Assistant Director at Kalmia Gardens of Coker College. He is active with: Carolina Clear, Clemson Extension, 4-H, Union of Concerned Scientists member, and a board member of the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council. He is an avid kayaker/canoeist, and wilderness backpacker.
Jeanne Briggs is a life long public horticulturist and native South Carolinian. She began her career as a grounds manager at a golf course in Myrtle Beach. For many years, Briggs was the City Horticulturist for North Myrtle Beach. She returned to graduate school and worked under Dr. Ted Whitwell on weed science issues and pesticide runoff at ornamental container nurseries. Currently she is the Nursery and Greenhouse Manager at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, propagating and growing many native species (some unique to the trade). The nursery supplies plants to the South Carolina Botanical Garden and sells to the public (two large public sales in spring and fall). Briggs is passionate about minimizing environmental impacts and sustainability in plant production and in life. She enjoys trekking through natural habitats, beach combing, being on and near water of any kind, and great books. Her first advanced degree was in English Lierature.
Herrick received his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing his doctorate also at USC. Since 2007 he has served as an Assistant Botanist with the Heritage Trust Program in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He also serves as Assistant Curator with the A. C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, where he facilitates the segue between field survey efforts and processing of associated voucher specimens. As the General Secretary for the Consortium of South Carolina Herbaria, he has aided other herbaria in South Carolina (and elsewhere) by improving specimen digitization efforts and publishing collections information online. His most recent activities include consultation on an NEH funded project to digitize the journals and specimens of the 19th-century botanist Henry William Ravenel, and serving as the Data Manager for an NSF funded project to digitize the collections in over 100 herbaria across 12 southeastern states. His research interests include the use of biodiversity collections data to answer questions regarding plant species' (both native and invasive) responses to environmental change.
Mary has a M.S. in Zoology from Clemson University (1988) and a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh (Johnstown campus). While a graduate student and teaching assistant at Clemson University she worked as a part-time technician for the SC Wildlife & Marine Resources Department (now known as the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources). Mary started working full-time at SC Department of Natural Resources in 1988 in a section no longer in existence (Nongame & Heritage Trust), that later became Wildlife Diversity Section. Now the Wildlife Diversity Section no longer exists and she works in the Wildlife Section of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. That places her in the management arm of the agency, not within the Heritage Trust Section that now falls under Land and Water Division. She is a Heritage Preserve Coordinator for Region One Natural Area Heritage Preserves, of which there are currently 18, and she is a Project Leader or PI on several nongame grants. Her research and survey experience is very eclectic. She has worked with bats, peregrine falcons, salamanders, Appalachian cottontails, swamp rabbits, small terrestrial mammals (shrews, mice, voles, woodrats, spotted skunks), and a wide range of rare plant communities (smooth coneflowers, bunched arrowhead, swamp pink, and so on), and unfortunately she has had to do some invasive plant and animal control. Her passion is conservation and management is a critical part of conservation.
Colette DeGarady is the Senior Conservation Ecologist with the SC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she has worked for the past 11 years. She graduated from Clemson University with a BS in wildlife biology and holds a master's degree from Southern Illinois University in Zoology. Much of her work with The Nature Conservancy involves restoration and management of natural habitats and collaboration with partners and the public on conservation projects across the state.
Don Hagan is an Assistant Professor in the forestry program at Clemson University, where he teaches courses in Forest Ecology, Forest Communities and Dendrology, among others. He received his BS in Environmental Studies from the University of West Florida and his MS and PhD in Forest Ecology from the University of Florida. His past work assessed the impacts of cogongrass invasion on soil nutrient cycling and community dynamics in longleaf pine sandhill ecosystems. He also researched the "legacy" effects of cogongrass invasion (e.g. modified soil chemical properties, novel mycorrihzal fungal communities) and their implications for the re-establishment of desirable native species. Currently he is working to develop landscape-level predictive models for Chinese privet and Japanese stiltgrass invasion in Piedmont forests. He is also studying fire-invasion feedbacks in the southern Appalachians.
|Carrie Miller - Non-voting|
Carrie graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors in Forestry in 2002. After graduating she was hired on by the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee as a timber marker and moved her way up to a Silviculture Technician. Carrie switched agencies and worked for BLM as a Forester in silviculture in Tillamook, Oregon in 2008. Her daughter was born in 2010 so she decided to move closer to home and applied for a job back with the Forest Service in Union SC as a Biological Science Technician. The rest is history. She loves what she does and has tried pretty hard to grow the invasive program as well as native vegetation and restoration of wetlands. It has been as awesome journey and she hopes to keep it going strong.
Bob Polomski is an award-winning horticulturist and author with extension and teaching responsibilities at Clemson University. For more than two decades Bob has educated commercial and consumer audiences on a wide range of topics in a variety of media that included radio, TV, and the internet. He has published his research in scientific journals and authored a variety of commercial-/consumer-oriented articles in print and e-magazines. For 13 years Bob was the "Questions & Answers" columnist for Horticulture magazine. He was a contributing writer for two nationally distributed gardening books and a technical editor of 12 gardening books. Bob authored four regional gardening books for Cool Springs Press; his latest book, Month By Month Gardening in the Carolinas, was published in Spring 2014. Bob's present horticultural/arboricultural pursuits include the study of urban tree growth longevity, tree risk assessment, and the evaluation identification, evaluation, and promotion of noteworthy, sustainable landscape plants.
|Sudie Daves Thomas|
Sudie provides technical support, develops guidance, and conducts training for SC NRCS staff and clients. She works with issues and projects primarily on private lands involving natural community restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and management, plant identification, rare and listed species, and wetland restoration. In addition, she collaborates with many partner groups including the SC Exotic Pest Plant Council, the SC Native Plant Society, and the SC Partners for the Restoration of Native Plant Communities on outreach and education about the importance of natural community restoration and preservation; as well as on specific research and habitat management projects. Past and present job duties include natural resource inventories, data collection and research, and formulation and implementation of habitat management plans. Sudie is also currently working with NRCS staff and clients on several specific projects aiming to prevent and reduce the spread of harmful invasive exotic plants; as well as on other projects focused on improving pollinator habitat.
SC EPPC Committees
Education and Outreach
» Chair - Jeanne Briggs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SC Non-Native Invasive Plant Species List and Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR)
» Chair - Don Hagan (email@example.com)
Meetings and Workshops
» Chair - Lauren Pile (firstname.lastname@example.org)