Board of Directors

Current as of December 2014

The NAISN Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from NAISN's member organizations and agencies (hubs and nodes). The Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer are elected at NAISN's annual Board of Directors meetings and serve two-year terms.



Chuck Bargeron, Chair

Associate Director of Invasive Species and Information Technology
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (Bugwood), University of Georgia
Tifton, Georgia, USA



Chuck is the Associate Director of Bugwood and has a Public Service Faculty appointment in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia (UGA). A native of Tifton, Georgia, he received an A.S. from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Computer Science, a B.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Southern University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Southwestern State University. In his time at UGA, Chuck has developed numerous web applications, smartphone applications, interactive CD-ROMs, databases, and outreach publications. Websites that Chuck has designed have been featured twice in Science magazine, received regional awards for content and design, and have received over one billion hits in the past 10 years.

Chuck designed and developed the infrastructure behind Bugwood Images, which runs the,,,, and websites. Recently, he has focused on mapping invasive species and tools for early detection and rapid response using the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) and its many smartphone applications. Chuck has developed and released 16 iPhone applications, including: IveGot1, Invasive Plants of Southern Forests, Landscape Alternative to Invasive Plants in the Midwest, Outsmart Invasives, and Forest Pest Insects in North America. Chuck developed the first smartphone applications released by the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.



Dr. Jerry L. Cook, Chair-Elect

Professor of Biology
Associate Vice President - Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341-2448

Dr. Cook has a B.S. in Geology and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Southern Colorado. For his doctoral work, Jerry conducted a study on the invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and its interaction with a natural enemy, the parasitic strepsipteran Caenocholax fenyesi. This work resulted in a Ph.D. in Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1996.

Jerry is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species, Professor of Biology at Sam Houston State University and Associate Vice President for Research at Sam Houston State University. He has served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, interim Dean of Graduate Studies, and interim Dean of the College of Sciences at Sam Houston State University.

Throughout his professional career, Dr. Cook has maintained an active research program, focused primarily on invasive species and their biological controls. A sample of his projects include working with an endangered ant species that is being impacted by an invasive ant; working on the newly introduced Rasberry crazy ant; partnering with the pesticide industry to develop and test new products to control pest species; working on the taxonomy and systematics of ants and their parasites; and developing a network in Texas for early detection and rapid response of invasive species in Texas.

In addition to Dr. Cook's personal research program, he has become active in the administration of invasive species management. Specifically, Dr. Cook serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species (ISIS), the first collaborative institute of the Texas State University System. This effort brings together over 40 Ph.D. level researchers from six campuses throughout the System to study invasive species. In 2013, Jerry was appointed by the Secretary of Interior to serve on the Invasive Species Advisory Committee.



Dr. Greg Newman, Secretary

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory 
Colorado State University 
Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA


Dr. Newman is a research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU). Greg holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Health and an M.S. in restoration ecology. He received a Ph.D. from CSU in citizen science, community-based monitoring, and ecological informatics. His current research focuses on designing and evaluating the effectiveness of cyber-infrastructure support systems for citizen science programs. His research interests include: evaluating various citizen science program models; understanding the socio-ecological benefits of engaging the public in scientific research; designing and evaluating data management systems for socio-ecological research; assessing the value of local and traditional ecological knowledge for conservation and education outcomes; developing spatial-temporal decision support systems; managing invasive species databases; and coordinating invasive species data exchange for decision support.

Greg's research team manages the International Biological Information System (IBIS) cyber-infrastructure at NREL, a system that supports the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN), the web application, and more than 20 other web-based ecological data management applications. In addition to serving on the NAISN Board of Directors, Greg is an active member of the DataONE citizen science working group. His many research projects at NREL have included conducting vegetation surveys for national parks; evaluating the health and integrity of national park ecological and cultural resources; developing web-based ecological tools for natural resource managers; conducting restoration ecology experiments; and developing web mapping applications for use in invasive species science.


Katie Walters, NAISN Treasurer

Educational Media Coordinator
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida—Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Gainesville, Florida, USA

Katie Walters coordinates the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative and assists with other outreach efforts at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants including the organization and preparation for an annual 5-day teacher workshop; the preparation and dissemination of Education Initiative curricula about invasive plants for grades 4-12 including the development of teaching materials for Lakeville (an interactive game-show style activity about natural resource management) and assisting with the alignment of all CAIP curricula to the newly developed (federally supported) Common Core State Standards within the United States. Katie also assists with the production of other print and web-based outreach materials for the Center. Prior to joining CAIP, she spent two years serving as treasurer and coordinator for a non-profit community center and library and four years organizing archival collections at Special and Area Studies at George Smathers Library East, University of Florida. Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in History and Political Science.


Dr. Pedro M. Antunes

Scientific Director
Invasive Species Research Institute, Algoma University 
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Antunes is the Scientific Director of the Invasive Species Research Institute, located on the campus of Algoma University in Ontario, Canada. He is also an Associate Professor and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) Research Chair at Algoma University. Pedro attended the University of Evora in Portugal for his undergraduate studies in Biology and received a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Ontario. Upon completing his Ph.D., Pedro began post-doctoral research in Molecular Microbial Ecology. He later moved to Berlin, Germany, where he assumed the position of Research Assistant Professor in Ecology at Freie Universität in Berlin. While there, Pedro was awarded a Marie Curie Grant to support his research, which aimed to understand why some plant species are more abundant than others. After returning to Canada, he was appointed Research Chair in Invasive Species Biology (funded by the OMNR). The position is based at Algoma University, Canada's most recently founded university. Pedro's research focuses on identifying and addressing invasive species priorities for the Province of Ontario, and his Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery program aims to understand the roles that indigenous soil microorganisms play in controlling or facilitating invasion by non-native plants. Pedro became the first Chair of NAISN's Board of Directors in 2010.



Dr. William T. Haller

Acting Director
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida—Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Gainesville, Florida, USA


Dr. Haller earned a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Weed Science and Agronomy from the University of Florida, College of Agriculture in 1974. In the time since, he has attained the rank of Full Professor at the University of Florida (UF), and has responsibilities in research, teaching, and state-wide Extension (public education) programs within UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Bill has been affiliated with the UF's Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) since its formation by the Florida Legislature in 1978, and currently serves as its Acting Center Director. CAIP funds, coordinates, and promotes invasive plant research and Extension activities of faculty and students throughout the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Along with graduate students under his direction, Bill has published over 100 scientific journal articles on many aspects of aquatic plant biology and control. His recent research includes conducting screening of herbicides for activity on fluridone-resistant hydrilla to register additional herbicide modes of action to counter further development of herbicide resistance. He has also developed zebra and mussel control efforts in Nebraska, exotic island apple snail control in Florida, and has served on the Exotic Mussel Task Force for the Idaho Department of Agriculture. Bill has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in weed science, pesticides and public health, and the physiology/ecology of aquatic plants, and has served on the Board of Directors of several state societies, the Aquatic Plant Management Society, and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.


Dr. A. Isabel González-Martinez

Subcoordinadora de Especies Invasoras, DGAP 
Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
Mexico City, Mexico

Dr. Gonzalez received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent, and a Ph.D. in Conservation from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Since 2007 she has been in charge of CONABIO's invasive species program, which developed Mexico's National Invasive Species Information System, oversees the development of research projects, and provides technical information for decision making. Isabel was part of the steering committee tasked to develop Mexico's National Invasive Species Strategy. She is a former chair of the North American Plant Protection Organization's Invasive Species Panel (2010 and 2012), and on behalf of CONABIO, is involved in many different national and international forums on invasive species issues.



Dr. David Moorhead

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
University of Georgia
Tifton, Georgia, USA


Dr. Moorhead is a Professor of Silviculture at the University of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He received a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Kentucky, an M.S. in Silviculture/Soils at Mississippi State University, and a Ph.D. in Forest Ecophysiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dave has been with the University of Georgia (UGA) for 28 years and has provided statewide and regional service/outreach programs on silviculture, forest herbicides, invasive species and forest health, forest regeneration, prescribed fire, and forest management for county Extension agents, private landowners, foresters, and natural resource managers. As Co-Director of the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at UGA, Dave has been involved in extensive program development in the area of invasive species awareness and management, and has conducted workshops on invasive plant identification, pathways of spread in forested/natural ecosystems, and management and control techniques across the southeast US. Dave received an Award of Excellence for Public Education and Technology Transfer from the Southeastern US Society of American Foresters in 2009.


Don C. Schmitz, Executive Director

Research and Outreach Program Manager, Invasive Plant Management Section
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tallahassee, Florida, USA

In 2010, Don initiated and organized the workshops that resulted in the establishment of the NAISN. As the Research and Outreach Program Manager for the Invasive Plant Management Section at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), Don manages approximately 40 university and/or government research and outreach projects each year. He earned an M.S. in Biological Science from the University of Central Florida.

Don initiated and organized the process that led to a US Presidential Executive Order creating the country's first National Invasive Species Management Plan and National Invasive Species Council and was a member of the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment Panel on Harmful Nonindigneous Species. He is a former chair of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council and a former co-chair of the Florida Invasive Animal Task Team, and served as a staff member to Florida's Invasive Species Working Group. Don is currently a member of the Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species.

In addition to his position with FFWCC, Don has co-authored publications and book chapters concerning national invasive species policy and the ecological impact of invasive non-native plant species in Florida, and co-edited Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida with D. Simberloff and T. C. Brown.



Tracey Cooke

Executive Director
The Invasive Species Centre



Through her work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ducks Unlimited Canada and consulting in the private and not-for-profit sectors, Tracey brings expertise in partnership development and stakeholder relations. She is skilled at forging and nurturing partnerships through collaboration, and is an enthusiastic communicator, facilitator and fundraiser.

Tracey holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Environment and Resources Studies from the University of Waterloo.  A native of Thessalon, Ontario, Tracey lives on the North Channel of Lake Huron with her husband and three children.



Dr. Mark Renz

Associate Professor and Extension Weed Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison  



Dr. Renz researches and extends information about the biology and management of invasive plants.  Research goals in Dr. Renz’s lab are centered on developing information that will improve management by improving the knowledge and understanding of invasive plant biology.  Dr. Renz has over 15 years of experience with management of invasive plants throughout the United States in a wide range of habitats including riparian zones, roadsides, floodplains, prairies, wetlands, and forests. Education efforts focus on providing technical information and educational opportunities for agency staff, consultants, companies, and citizens concerned about invasive plants.  Dr. Renz also is the president of the Midwest invasive Plant Network whose mission is to reduce the impact of invasive plants in the Midwestern United States.



Doug Johnson

Executive Director
California Invasive Plant Council
Berkeley, California, USA



Doug has served as Executive Director of the nonprofit California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) since 2002. He serves on the board of the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils (NAIPC), and served as the first chair of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, created in 2009. Cal-IPC works with partners throughout California to coordinate strategic regional eradication projects. Tools developed by Cal-IPC like CalWeedMapper and WHIPPET support land managers in prioritizing their work on invasive plants. The annual Cal-IPC Symposium brings together land managers, researchers, planners and volunteers to share the latest information in invasive plant biology, management and policy. At the national level, Cal-IPC joins with other state and regional IPCs on issues like strong screening of plants imports and developing national standards for invasive plant assessment. Doug represents NAIPC in discussions through the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species.

Doug has an M.A. in Geography from San Francisco State University with an emphasis on conservation biology, GIS, and environmental perceptions, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. In 1999 Doug was selected as a Switzer Environmental Fellow. Prior to coming to Cal-IPC, Doug worked on habitat restoration for California State Parks and on energy conservation for the City & County of San Francisco.