Wildlands Conservation evolved from another non-profit organization by the name of PEER, Inc. (Preserving the Environment through Ecological Research); PEER, Inc. was founded in 2003. PEER’s mission was focused on land management planning, research and restoration. In 2007 we expanded our focal areas and changed our name to Wildlands Conservation. We are a non-profit organization that focuses on conservation planning, land management, land protection, research, banking, education and outreach. We work on conservation projects throughout the state. The organization is under the leadership of its Executive Director and the Board of Directors.
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Senior Staff

David Sumpter, Executive Director – M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Biology

Dave is a wildlife biologist that has professionally specialized in land management and applied wildlife research related to land management for most of the past two decades. He has personally authored over 30 land management plans and implemented these management plans on over 25 properties. He was previously responsible for managing all of Pinellas County’s preserves.

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Lance Arvidson, Senior Ecologist – M.S. Biology

Lance Arvidson is a Master’s educated ecologist with a broad, 10-year professional background concentrated in wildlife ecology, land management, technical writing, biometrics, and environmental education. His primary focus is in the development and implementation of large-scale listed wildlife conservation and permitting projects.

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Neal Halstead, Senior Ecologist – M.S., Ph.D. Integrative Biology

Neal is a community ecologist with 13 years of conservation experience in Florida. His academic areas of expertise are in experimental design and statistical analysis, with a focus on the interaction between agriculture and species conservation.

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Eric Sievers, Ecologist – M.S. Biology

Eric is an ecologist with expertise in wildlife ecology, reintroduction biology, herpetology, listed species permitting, conservation biology, and geographic information systems (GIS). Previously a Gopher Tortoise Conservation Biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Eric managed all gopher tortoise issues for 12 southwest Florida counties.

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Kevin Love, Land Manager

A wildland manager in Florida since 1976, Kevin is accomplished in all aspects of ecological management including management planning, prescribed fire, exotics control, natural systems restoration, wildlife and habitat management, timber management, public recreation management and facilities maintenance. A certified prescribed burn manager with over 100,000 acres of prescribed burns completed. Adept at site triage, understanding management history effects on site condition and strategic management planning and implementation to achieve quality ecological results.


Sue Mullins, Policy Advisor – M.S. Anthropology

Sue provides more than 15 years’ experience advocating before local, state and federal government on land and water conservation issues and campaigns. Sue drafted the Florida Forever Act in 2008 and helped draft its predecessor in 1999, as well as the Rural and Family Lands Protection Act. Sue has won voters’ approval for local conservation ballot initiatives in 17 Florida counties and is a 6th generation Floridian from Pasco County.

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Tom Hoctor, Associate Landscape Ecologist – Ph.D. Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology

Tom Hoctor is currently working with Wildlands on the Polk County Habitat Conservation Plan and other large scale. Tom completed a B.A. in History and Science at Harvard University, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Conservation Biology and Landscape Ecology at the University of Florida.

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Robert Heath, Associate Senior Ecologist – M.S. Environmental Biology

Rob Heath has worked as a wildlife biologist in the Tampa Bay area since 1978, starting as a park ranger at Hillsborough River State Park, then moving to the Hillsborough County Parks Department in 1981 to assist with the development of new regional parks.

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Brian G. Ormiston, Adjunct Research Ecologist – Ph.D. Ecology

Dr. Brian Ormiston has over 34 years of experience in ecology, including 22 years of field and remote sensing experience throughout Florida. Dr. Ormiston is a recognized expert in wetland ecology and wetland hydrology, environmental monitoring, statistical modeling, environmental impacts of water withdrawals from groundwater and surface water systems, and environmental management.

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Clark Hull, Associate Wetlands Ecologist – M.S.

Clark Hull is the principal of Clark Hull and Associates, a multi-disciplinary professional association of scientists and engineers serving private and public-sector clients in various aspects of environmental management and permitting. Mr. Hull has more than 30 years experience in the field of environmental permitting.

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Patricia Ashton, Associate Senior Ecologist

Patricia Ashton works with us on a variety of projects. She specializes in gopher tortoise research, plant surveys, habitat management planning and educational training.

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