Manatee News

Executive Director

Patrick Rose
is Save the Manatee Club’s (SMC) Executive Director. Pat has over 40 years’ experience working with manatees and is an Aquatic Biologist and Certified Public Manager. He is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the Florida manatee. From 1996 to 2006, Pat was SMC’s Director of Government Relations in Tallahassee, Florida. In the state’s capitol, Pat advocated on the manatee’s behalf before the Florida Legislature and Governor and Cabinet. Before joining SMC’s staff, he was the first federal Manatee Recovery Activities Coordinator and Florida’s first Manatee and Marine Mammal Coordinator. He also provided overall policy guidance and direction for statewide recovery efforts for endangered and protected marine species. Pat has served as a member of every federal Manatee Recovery Team, presently serving on the Team’s Steering Committee, and is a former member of the I.U.C.N. World Conservation Union/Sirenia Specialist Group. His many professional awards include the prestigious “National Conservation Achievement Award” from the National Wildlife Federation and the “Award of Recognition” presented to him at the First International Manatee and Dugong Research Conference. Pat was also nominated for the esteemed Indianapolis Prize, which honors the world’s leading animal conservationists. Pat has a Master’s degree in aquatic biology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is also an avid boater, pilot, and is a certified scuba instructor.


Cora Berchem is Save the Manatee Clubís Multimedia Specialist. She oversees the Clubís live webcams and is involved in all sorts of video production work for the Club. Cora also maintains the Clubís social media sites by posting content about manatees on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Cora was born and raised in Bonn, Germany, and moved to the United States in 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the College of New Jersey and a Master in Film and Media from the J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt/Germany. Cora has completed the Master Naturalist Program through the University of Florida to become more familiar with Floridaís ecosystems. She worked in film and television in New York City before becoming involved with manatees in 2013 when she made a feature-length documentary about Floridaís endangered gentle giants titled Before Itís Too Late. Cora did contract and volunteer work for Save the Manatee Club throughout 2014 before joining the staff in 2015. Outside of work, Cora enjoys traveling, photography, and scuba diving.

Wayne Hartley became a staff member in early 2010. Before joining us, he was a Park Ranger and then a Park Service Specialist with the Florida Park Service. For over three decades, he served as Principal Investigator for manatee research conducted at Blue Spring State Park. This has resulted in a very extensive body of knowledge on the manatee’s life history and one of the longest running databases in existence on manatees. Wayne’s expertise and personal knowledge of individual manatees has been the basis of Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee program. Through the adoption program, Wayne’s scientific data has been very instrumental in helping the public understand the manatee’s needs, the threats to the manatee’s long-term survival, and what actions members of the public can take to help. Through the years, Wayne has been interviewed countless times by television and print media and has received many honors from his peers. He has a degree in history from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Between school and the Park Service, Wayne spent almost six years in the United States Army Infantry earning the Ranger Tab and being awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.

Anne Harvey is Conservation Staff Member for Save the Manatee Club. Anne grew up far away from her birthplace in Tampa, Florida, but her love of manatees has always been in her blood. She convinced her 3rd grade class in Germany to adopt a manatee as their mascot and organized a bake sale to raise the necessary funds. Later, after returning to the U.S., Anne attended the University of South Carolina Honors College, where she developed her own BA/BS degree in marine science and sustainability studies, and received a JD from Georgetown Law, where she studied environmental law and externed for nonprofit organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project. After law school, Anne returned to Florida as an associate attorney with Earthjustice, where she worked on offshore oil litigation and springs protection cases. Seeking to deepen her scientific understanding of environmental issues, she then returned to school for her MS in Aquatic Environmental Sciences at Florida State University and served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow there before joining Save the Manatee Club in April of 2015. Anne is also an active conservation volunteer, and she serves as the secretary for the Sierra Club Big Bend Group and is a board member of Sustainable Tallahassee. Curriculum Vitae

Janice Nearing is SMC’s Director of Public Relations. She started volunteering for SMC in 1996 and continues to volunteer on weekends staffing education booths at events and festivals. Janice was nominated for the JC Penney Golden Rule award and received a letter of recognition from President Clinton. She worked in radio and television major market stations for twelve years. She received writing awards from the Radio Bureau of Canada Annual Soundcraft Awards, and was honored by the Canada Safety Council for excellence in broadcasting, winning first place for a public service message. She has a degree in communications and over 25 years experience in the field. As an SMC staff member since 2002, Janice is an informational source for the media, disseminating press releases, advisories, and public service announcements, assisting in areas of promotion, publicity, and education. She also coordinates the Club's volunteer department and its 2,000+ volunteers.

Sandra Rogers is an Administrative Assistant for Save the Manatee Club. Prior to that time, she was a Membership Services Representative for the Club for five years. Sandra was born and raised in Alabama, but moved to Florida immediately after graduation from Auburn University. Sandra completed graduate studies at University of Central Florida, and worked most of her career in the healthcare and education fields. Sandra’s interest in animal welfare began in 2003 when a colony of feral cats moved into her backyard and she became involved with CARE Feline TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return), where she has volunteered in many capacities and now serves as a board member. Working for Save the Manatee Club has been a natural extension of her interest in protecting our animal friends. For fun, Sandra enjoys watching college football, NBA basketball, visiting her adult son in Boston and brother in Portland, spending time with her friends (and cats!), and solving Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles.

Nancy Sadusky is SMC’s Director of Online Communications and has worked for Save the Manatee Club since 1991. She has been a communications specialist for nonprofit organizations for over 30 years and was previously SMC’s Communications and Outreach Director. She has served as education representative on the federal Manatee Recovery Team as well as on several state advisory groups. Nancy received a master’s degree in English/Technical Communication from the University of Central Florida where her focus was online communications. She created Save the Manatee Club’s first website and is currently webmaster for the Club. She edits Paddle Tales, SMC’s bi-monthly e-newsletter, and is in charge of all email communications for the Club. She also oversees SMC’s social media efforts.

Dr. Katie Tripp is SMC’s Director of Science and Conservation. She received her bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where she majored in Marine Science and received minors in both Chemistry and Environmental Policy.  Katie received her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research on manatee physiology. Dr. Tripp was a lecturer, laboratory instructor, and graduate research assistant at the university.  She has worked as a manatee consultant for one of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and also worked as a biologist with FWC’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab where she assisted with manatee necropies, carcass salvage, marine mammal rescues, and various research projects. She has co-authored multiple abstracts and research papers on manatees. Among her many honors, she was chosen as the Florida League of Conservation Voters’ Betsy Wood Fellow and was a Ford Foundation and Morris K. Udall Scholar. She was chosen by the Board of Save the Manatee Club to be its first student member and became a full member in 2005. At the 2008 Marine Mammal Health Conference organized by the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and others, Dr. Tripp received the Reep-Bonde Florida Manatee Biology and Conservation Award for her research that furthered the basic knowledge of fundamental manatee biology. Curriculum Vitae

Kelsey Wheeler started out by volunteering with Save the Manatee Club in April of 2014 and later that year was employed to start working in the Club's mailroom. In February she became the interim Merchandise Specialist for the SMC Catalog Department, and in July she assumed full-time responsibility of that role. Kelsey was born and raised in Oviedo, Florida, and she still lives there now, along with most of her family. Her love for animals and willingness to help clean up the world they live in was instilled on her at a young age. Kelsey is currently pursuing a Bachelorís Degree in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies at Seminole State College of Florida, and she will be finishing up her degree at the University of Central Florida. She loves spending time with her rather large family and going to the beach as much as possible.

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