Meet the Researchers

James A. Rodgers Jr.

Jim is a native Floridian. He received his M.S. from Louisiana State University (1974) and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida (1979). Before coming to work with the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission in 1980, which the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was previously known as, Jim worked as a warden-naturalist for the National Audubon Society from 1978-1980.

Jim has previously worked on snail kites, double-crested cormorants, several species of wading birds, and development of buffer distances for waterbirds, pesticides, and population genetics of birds. In addition to his wood stork study, Jim currently monitors upland birds in sandhill pine habitats.

Stephen T. Schwikert

Steve is originally from Washington, D.C. He received a B.S. from Embry-Riddle University (1971). Before joining the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission in 1974, Steve was a pilot with Commuter Airlines based in New York. Steve is now retired from the FWC and works as a volunteer on the project.

Because of Steve's experience as a pilot, he flew most of the eagle, pelican, waterbird, sandhill crane, and wood stork surveys for the FWC during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. As a game manager specialist/fish and wildlife technician, Steve has worked on many FWC projects over the years including panthers, hogs, sandhill cranes, whooping cranes, wood storks, snail kites, brown pelicans, alligators, and black bears.

Other participants

Numerous individuals participate in ongoing research. Gabrielle Griffin (Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne), Kristin Ebersole (Pumpkin Hill State Preserve in Jacksonville), Donna Bear-Hull (Jacksonville Zoological Gardens), William Brooks (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jacksonville) and Paul Elliott (Southwest Florida Water Management District located in Bartow) monitor stork colonies. In addition, many private landowners contribute by allowing researchers onto their properties.



FWC Facts:
The life expectancy for Gulf sturgeon is 20-42 years. The oldest age documented for a tagged and recaptured Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon is about 27-28 years.

Learn More at AskFWC