Staff Resumes

Lee Walton, CWB, Senior Ecologist/Principal 

Lee has extensive experience in ornithology, wildlife ecology and management, environmental permitting, and community ecology. Specific areas of expertise include the design of holistic management plans for lands with listed species, design and implementation of wildlife monitoring and management plans, and biological resource inventories. His primary responsibilities include preparation and implementation of Avian Protection Conservation Plans, listed species permitting, listed species surveys, wildlife relocations, avian risk assessments, and wildlife monitoring. 

Shannon Gonzalez, PWS, Senior Ecologist/Principal

Shannon has a diverse educational and professional background with interests in wildlife ecology and wetland function. His experience includes wetland delineation, evaluation, and permitting, wildlife ecology, and water use permitting support. Projects have involved the use of numerous ecological evaluation techniques, field identification of plants and animals, and agency interactions. His extensive field experience has enabled him to evaluate environmental resources and make effective strategic recommendations based on sound science and regulatory knowledge. He has also built an excellent working relationship with many biologists, regulators, and academicians that increase the potential for collaboration across different levels. 

Carrie Kelly, Senior Ecologist 

Carrie has a depth of experience in water quality monitoring, aquatic systems, wetland assessments, and wildlife ecology throughout Florida’s ecosystems. She has been trained by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in water quality evaluations and ambient water sampling. She is also a Gopher Tortoise Agent as authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Other areas of expertise include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). She has performed GIS mapping and data collection for all types of projects throughout Florida. Her GIS experience includes mapping of wildlife, wetlands, land uses, vegetation, soils, and floodplains. 

Jeff Rupe, GIS Manager

Jeff has a substantial background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) and has participated in a wide variety of cartographic map production and spatial analysis. Jeff has extensive experience in aerial wetland determinations, raster analysis using ET Geowizards, Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, statistical analysis, geodatabase creation and management, metadata creation, database creation and management, mobile GIS, as well as verification of GPS data and differential correction. In addition to ArcInfo and its extensions, Jeff uses AutoCAD for CAD to GIS conversions, as well as Trimble Pathfinder Office for GPS data correction and analysis. Jeff incorporates his field experience, including GPS data collection for wetland determinations, listed species locations, as well as Gopher Tortoise transects surveys, to make the end GIS product a more meaningful and useful resource.

Mike Pshar, PWS, Senior Ecologist

Mike is knowledgeable of a diverse array of Florida ecosystems. He is experienced in wetland mitigation design, monitoring and compliance, habitat survey and mapping, and performs a variety of land management tasks for private and public sector clients throughout Florida. Additional skills and job duties include environmental assessments, listed species surveys, permitting, and relocation, water quality monitoring, seagrass and oyster bed surveys, and prescribed burning. Michael also assists the Flatwoods team in the State and Federal wetland permit application process, UMAM analysis, and wetland jurisdictional determinations in accordance with State and Federal guidelines. He has been trained by the Southwest Florida Water Management District in the Wetland Assessment Procedure (WAP) and by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as a Qualified Stormwater Management Inspector. Mike is a Gopher Tortoise Agent as authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)He also has completed US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training.

Bill Hentges, CWB, Senior Ecologist

Bill's education and professional experience have provided him with a broad background, enabling him to perform a wide variety of professional tasks as a wildlife ecologist. He has previously been involved in environmental assessments/due diligence studies, state and federally listed wildlife species surveys, permitting, relocations, jurisdictional wetland delineations, hydroperiod determinations, and construction site/environmental monitoring as both a team member and Project Manager. Bill’s emphasis has focused on all aspects of permitting projects involving listed wildlife species throughout Florida. He has also assisted with a multidisciplinary study through the University of Florida’s (UF’s) College of Veterinary Medicine investigating factors contributing to the onset and spread of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) in North and Central Florida’s gopher tortoise populations. He has worked on a statewide Florida black bear project conducted through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Bill also served eight years in the US Army and the Florida Army National Guard, where he became proficient in the operation and maintenance of a wide variety of heavy construction equipment, tractor trailer operations, personnel carrier vehicles, and a variety of other equipment.

Lauren Deaner, Senior Ecologist

Lauren is knowledgeable of a diverse array of Florida ecosystems. She has specialized experience in listed species recovery and avian studies. Additional skills and job duties include environmental assessments, listed species surveys, permitting, and relocation. Lauren also assists the Flatwoods team in the State and Federal wetland permit application process, Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) analysis, and wetland jurisdictional determinations in accordance with State and Federal guidelines. Lauren holds a master banding permit from the USGS Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory. In addition, she has been trained by the Southwest Florida Water Management District in the Wetland Assessment Procedure (WAP) and by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as a Qualified Stormwater Management Inspector.

Brittany Banko, Senior Ecologist

Brittany has in depth experience in permitting projects that require environmental resource permits, mangrove trimming and alteration, as well as sovereignty submerged land authorizations. She has also developed experience in wetland delineation, scientific diving, and GIS. Her primary responsibilities include conducting wetland delineations/evaluations and permitting, wildlife surveys, and participating in client and agency interactions.

Wes Dillon, Senior Ecologist

Wes has an in depth knowledge and professional background in upland and wetland ecology. He is experienced in wetland monitoring and compliance, Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) analysis, wetland jurisdictional determinations, environmental assessments, and listed species surveys, permitting, and relocation. Wes has conducted a variety of land management tasks including nuisance species control, supplemental wetland mitigation planting, and has assisted Flatwoods staff in completing a variety of environmental assessments. Wes is a Gopher Tortoise Agent as authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). He has also completed the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training

Eesa Ali, Senior Water Resource Analyst

Eesa has extensive experience performing audits on surface water discharges throughout Florida. He has been trained by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in ambient water sampling and water quality evaluations, including being certified in Habitat Assessments (HA), Stream Condition Index (SCI) & Lake Vegetative Index (LVI). Other areas of expertise include, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Compliance Enforcement Inspections (NPDES CEI), Planning and Monitoring associated with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) and wetland delineations. Eesa also instructs on water quality sampling technique, instrument calibration and data verification and quality assurance & control (QA/QC).