Indiana Invasives Initiative hires new regional specialist

Indiana Invasives Initiative has hired Kaila Knies as the new regional specialist for southeastern Indiana.

The counties covered include Clark, Harrison, Floyd, Crawford, Perry, Orange, Washington, Lawrence, Jackson, Spencer, Martin, Daviess, Dubois, Warrick, Gibson, Posey, Pike and Vanderburgh.

Knies has a degree in biology from the University of Evansville and a strong passion for conservation.

During college, she worked for the Department of Natural Resources as a resource management technician at Spring Mill State Park, where she was responsible for removing invasive species, surveying invasive species populations and planting native species.

She also has volunteered on several projects, including the University of Evansville’s native plant garden, Vectren Conservation Park restoration project and Wesselman Woods herbivory research project.

“I am eager to get started with the Indiana Invasives Initiative and get to know all the wonderful people in my counties who are passionate about conservation," Knies said. "I want our communities to come together and discover the momentous impact they can have on our treasured natural areas and how to protect those areas from invasive species."

Ray Chattin, chairman of the Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management, said it’s very exciting to see the Indiana Invasives Initiative continue to build capacity and attract this kind of talent and expertise.

"The significance of this program and its impact on sustaining the diversity and productivity of our native ecosystems can’t be overstated," he said. "I think it’s historic."

Information: Call 812-631-7913 or email [email protected]