Thomas is a passionate wildlife conservation professional with more than 30 years of research, management, and leadership experience. Thomas spent his childhood playing soccer and enjoying the outdoors around the suburbs of Northern Virginia. He earned his B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife at Virginia Tech and then completed his M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee. After completing his thesis and dissertation work on black bear population dynamics in the Southeastern US, he came to Florida in 1999 as the Statewide Bear Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Since then, he advanced within the agency, ultimately serving as the Director for the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation and then as the Assistant Executive Director. Thomas and his wife, Angel, like tinkering in the yard (a certified monarch butterfly way station), hiking, camping, kayaking, and raising their amazing 6-year old child, Lakshmi, to love the outdoors. For Thomas, Live Wildly is about being able to protect what makes Florida special for not only his family, but all future generations.