Marcia Pradines is the Division Chief of Visitor Services and Communications for the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She oversees the “human element” side of refuges in order to engage the American public in conservation and enjoying nature. Her passion is helping people care about wildlife conservation. She oversees public recreation, communications, environmental education and interpretation at the National scale, as well as develops national strategies for creating a connected conservation constituency. She facilitates implementation of Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation, the strategic vision for the National Wildlife Refuge System. She has led the Service’s development of a new Urban Wildlife Conservation Program aimed at engaging new communities to foster stewardship and a conservation ethic. She has presented at the World Parks Congress in Sydney in 2014 as well as led a delegation last fall to China to work with the government on this topic of engaging new audiences.
Prior to joining the NWRS, she was Deputy Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Division is responsible for setting the migratory bird hunting regulations, planning and conducting surveys, developing policy and regulations affecting migratory birds. She worked with agencies, states, nonprofits and other organizations in order to reduce impacts to and conserve migratory birds, and led a multi-Program/Region team to address incidental take of migratory birds.
Before joining the government, she worked as a wildlife biologist and Vice President of the Wildlife Habitat Council for ten years, working with industry on voluntary land conservation and developing environmental education programs at the local level. This included teacher training, partnerships across North America, and capacity building for local communities so that place-based outdoor learning labs were linked to curricula, sustainable, and easily accessible.
Marcia earned a B.S. in Biology from University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University. Marcia’s passion for the outdoors began by playing in the woods as a youngster, always enthralled with the little things that jumped and flew. Later, she was introduced to the shooting sports and hunting through sporting clays competition. She is most often found near water, whitewater kayaking or fly fishing, baking (and eating) cookies, or chasing her springer spaniels. No matter which sport, however, Marcia has a strong desire to break down both the stereotypes and barriers for women and other minorities to get involved in the liberating and diverse world of outdoor sports.