Conserving the Nature of America
Report
New National Wildlife Refuges and Marine National Monuments Supervisor hired for the Pacific Islands

October 11, 2019

Contact(s):

Megan Nagel, megan_nagel@fws.gov, 808-792-9530



HONOLULU, Hawaii – The US Fish and Wildlife Service has hired longtime natural resource professional Ric Lopez as the new Refuge and Monuments Supervisor for the Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office.

 

“Ric has a demonstrated work history of conservation and science leadership in Hawai?i and the Pacific Islands,” said Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service. “He will lead a team that is responsible for protecting over ¾ of a billion acres of public land and waters, including 22 national wildlife refuges and four marine national monuments.”­

 

Since 2017, Lopez has served as Regional Director for Research Partnerships and Collaboration for the USDA-Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station. The station is responsible for work in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii, as well as working with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. From 2013-2017, he served as Director of the USDA-Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry in Hilo, Hawaii. There he led ecosystem research, management, conservation and restoration efforts across the Pacific. Lopez previously served as the USDA-Forest Service National Vegetation Ecologist in Washington DC and was a research scientist and branch chief for US EPA’s Office of Research & Development.

 

Lopez earned his BS in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution at the University of California, San Diego, and then his MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Science at The Ohio State University, with emphases in Landscape Ecology and Wetland Ecology.

 

Lopez’s tenure as Refuge and Monuments Supervisor will begin on November 24.

 

National wildlife refuges and marine national monuments in the Pacific Islands are located across a geographic area larger than the continental United States. They include a diverse set of ecosystems ranging from the Mariana Trench to Mauna Kea, and from coral reefs to streams, rainforests and alpine deserts. The Service works with partners and communities to conserve lands and waters for the future, across the Pacific, including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii and the remote Pacific Islands.

 

There are over one million annual visitors to the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Pacific Islands and millions more virtually visit these amazing places through environmental education programs and outreach such as virtual reality dives at coral reefs and web-based tours of remote islands.

 

“I am grateful for this new opportunity to contribute to the important goals of conservation among the wonderfully diverse ecosystems, communities, and partners of the Pacific Islands,” said Lopez. “I am so pleased to join in those ongoing efforts by way of my new position with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.”

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov/pacific, or connect with us through any of these social media channels at www.facebook.com/USFWSPacificwww.flickr.com/photos/usfwspacific/www.tumblr.com/blog/usfwspacific or www.twitter.com/USFWSPacific.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.