(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) – Martin B. “Marty” Main, creator of the statewide Florida Master Naturalist Program, has been named assistant director of education and extension for the Florida Sea Grant College Program, and associate dean of natural resource programs for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
In his new position, Main will help guide Florida Sea Grant extension faculty as they plan and implement new and existing programs. He will also be responsible for directing University of Florida IFAS extension programs in areas such as water use and conservation, forestry, landscape management, fresh and saltwater fisheries, and wildlife management.
Main currently is interim chair of UF’s department of wildlife ecology and conservation, and is a faculty member within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. His new role becomes official Jan. 1.
“Marty brings the experience and vision that will help carry on Florida Sea Grant’s strong tradition for extension and education success,” said Karl Havens, Florida Sea Grant director. “Our program is fortunate to add an individual with his remarkable background in the coastal and ocean sciences.
“He also brings the skills and passion that will allow us to expand our existing extension programs, as well as create new ones that make lasting contributions to the lives of Florida’s citizens.”
Main created the Florida Master Naturalist Program, a conservation education and natural history program for adults which is provided by many UF/IFAS extension offices and partner organizations throughout the state. The program issues about 1,000 certificates of completion annually, and has been replicated in a number of other states across the country.
Since 1996, he has been a professor in UF’s department of wildlife ecology and conservation. He conducts an active research program on the behavioral ecology of Florida wildlife such as deer, panthers and wading birds from the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. He is considered an expert on coyotes in Florida.
Main said he looks forward to shifting his focus from research to extension. “I found that the challenges and rewards associated with extension programming are some of the most important contributions I have made during my professional career,” he said.
“Through the Master Naturalist program, I have known and worked with many Sea Grant and IFAS extension faculty, and I’m enthusiastic about working with them in this new role.”
Main holds a doctorate in wildlife science from Oregon State University, a master’s degree in biological oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in biology from Central Michigan University.
While completing his master’s degree, he was named one of Florida’s John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellows. The competitive program places highly qualified graduate students in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government for one year. Main was a legislative aide fellow, and worked with the congressional subcommittee that reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal legislation that ensures the sustainability of U.S. fisheries.
He later served for two years as a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Main has authored or co-authored nearly three dozen articles in scientific journals, more than fifty articles in extension publications, and chapters in four books.
In 2005 Main was named the Conservation Educator of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation. He has been recognized with the National Wetlands Award in Education and Outreach by the Environmental Law Institute for extraordinary effort, innovation and excellence in wetlands education and conservation.
For More Information Contact: Karl Havens, firstname.lastname@example.org