I am a wildlife professional with more than 18 years of experience in wildlife research, management, and policy. I worked as the Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for the past 8 years and have worked closely with the leaders of many state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, as well as non-profit conservation organizations, grassroots coalitions, and private citizens. I am also an avid hunter, angler, trapper, and outdoorsman with a rabid passion for cutting through the political noise and getting to the heart of the real conservation issues.
I am originally from East Tennessee and have always loved the outdoors. Professionally, I am Associate Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky. I received my Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati and have been conducting research and teaching in the discipline for more than 10 years. My research interests include environmental and wildlife crimes, as well as the occupational responsibilities and reactions of law enforcement agents who work to prevent and detect these types of offenses. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking with my bloodhound, fishing, geocaching, and target shooting with virtually any type of weapon.