Forum Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mamie Parker, Principal with Ecologix Group and Chair of the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Commission

“Better Together with a Change in Climate”

Friday, November 15, 2019 1:00 PM, Front Auditorium

As we face together the ramifications of a rapidly changing climate, it is more important than ever that we forge ahead in the spirit of teamwork. Dr. Mamie Parker presents a call to action to the Chesapeake Bay restoration community to elevate new collaborations, stretch the roles of existing participants, and strengthen non-traditional partnerships. Our success in adapting to climate change will depend on us fostering a diverse and inclusive movement.


Portrait of Dr. Mamie ParkerDr. Mamie A. Parker, a principal consultant at EcoLogix Group and transformational speaker was recently elected as the first African American chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Dr. Parker has worked as a fish and wildlife biologist and senior executive in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Attending the University of Arkansas and the University of Wisconsin, Parker worked for almost 30 years for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) rising to the Head of Fisheries in this country.  She started her career at a Wisconsin fish lab and hatchery and gained extensive experience in field work related to the Clean Water Act permits, ESA, NEPA compliance, contaminants clean-up projects, invasive species, fish passage, and Farm Bill wetland restoration activities.   The Governor of Arkansas enshrined her into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame honoring her as the first Arkansan and African American to rise to the Head of Fisheries in this country.  As a Senior Executive Service career employee, the President of the United States awarded her the Presidential Rank Award, given to the top 3% of millions of federal government employees for her work on building powerful partnerships for the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, the National Fish Passage Program, Invasive Species and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.  Parker made history as the first women Regional Director of the 13 Northeast states, including the states within the Chesapeake watershed after serving as the Special Assistant to the Director during the Clinton Administration.  After retirement from the Service, she found a passion working with students in urban schools and communities throughout the country.  She served on the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership and received the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Champion of the Chesapeake Award for her work with urban youth throughout the region, in addition to the Baltimore Public Schools where she was featured on the NPR’s Morning Edition Show for this work.  The American Fisheries Society’s Emmaline Moore Award, named for the first female President, was presented to Parker at their annual meeting for her stellar career in conservation and personally mentoring over 50 women and people of color in her profession.  She is a co-author in the AFS’s book entitled “The Future of Fisheries.” Former Secretary Madeleine Albright and the Council of World Women Leaders awarded her with an Aspen Institute Fellowship where she collaborated on conservation issues in the Kingdom of Lesotho and Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.   Parker has given plenary session speeches at the Clinton Presidential Library, the National Wildlife Federation, the American Fisheries Society, The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, and commencements at Northland College, Ben Franklin High School and Duke University, among others. Parker recently returned from China where she spoke at the World Fisheries Congress on climate change impacts and coastal communities.  Dr. Parker serves on the Board of Directors of Brown Advisory Sustainable Investment, the Chesapeake Conservancy and is a trustee for the Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.  She is also on the Board of Directors for the Potomac Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, and Marstel-Day Consulting.  She was recently appointed to the Board of Visitors for Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, American University School of Public Administration and Ducks Unlimited Conservation Policy Advisory Council.