State biologist

Jake Spears has joined The Southeast regional office of Ducks Unlimited as its state wildlife biologist.

JONESBORO — The Southeast regional office of Ducks Unlimited has hired Jakeb Spears, a UAM Wildlife graduate student, as its new state waterfowl biologist.

Spears started his new job in Jonesboro, on Sept. 21. He will assist private landowners and state partners in improving waterfowl habitat on their properties. He will help them enroll eligible lands in federal conservation programs such as the Wetland Reserve Easement Program.

Spears graduated from the College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural resources in August 2020 with a master’s degree in wildlife ecology and management. Spears worked in the lab of Dr. Douglas Osborne. His research examined the perceptions of Arkansas duck hunters on the change in water management plans on green-tree reservoirs managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Spears’ supervisor Tim Willis said in a staff e-mail, “Jake will be working closely with our state and federal partners to coordinate technical aspects of private lands habitat conservation projects in Arkansas. He will also serve as the primary contact for our NRCS project delivery and assist with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Green-Tree Reservoir Enhancement Initiative.”

The program works to improve forest health on numerous Wildlife Management Areas across the state to help improve future hunting opportunities.

“As you can see, Jake’s background will complement our conservation efforts in the Natural State and help grow our overall conservation programs throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Valley,” Willis said. “I am very excited to welcome him to the conservation team and the Ducks Unlimited family.”