Troy D. Sparks
1616 N. Main, Apt A4
Rushville, IN 46173
Dr. William E. Evans, Professor
and Notre Dame
University, South Bend, IN. 574-271-2273; firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Logan Respess,
Natural Resource Extension Agent, Texas
Cooperative Extension, Aransas
County, Rockport, TX. 361-790-0103; email@example.com
James E. Miller, Research/Outreach Scientist, Wildlife & Fisheries, Mississippi
State University, Starkville,
MS. 662-325-2619; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Greg Stunz, Professor Texas A&M
University at Corpus Christi, Department of Physical & Life Sciences,
Corpus Christi, TX. 361-825-3254; email@example.com
Dr. Dale Rollins, Professor and Wildlife
Specialist, Texas Agricultural Extension
Service, Texas A&M
University, San Angelo, TX. 325-653-4576;
1997: Texas A&M
University, Masters of
Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Committee Chairs: Dr. William E.
Evans, WFSC, TAMU, Galveston, TX,
and Dr. William E. Grant, WFSC, College
May 1990: East End Educational Field Station, East End,
Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies (BWI).
Summer 1989: Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon,
University (IU), B.S. with Honors in
Biology, Bloomington, IN.
Present: Texas A&M
University, PhD student
in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Committee Chairs: Dr. Dale Rollins, TAMU/TAES, San Angelo,
TX, and Dr. William E. Evans,
WFSC, TAMU, Galveston, TX/South Bend IN. Currently, I’ve moved to my home state of Indiana due to a family
emergency. I am on a “Leave of Absence”,
and it is my hope to finish “in absentia”.
Federal Work Experience
Feb. 1999-Jan. 2000:
John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow to the Office of Habitat
Conservation at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). I worked on
Essential Fish Habitat issues as defined by the Sustainable Fisheries Act
(1996) as amended to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management
Act. I remained a PhD student at TAMU
"on loan" to the Federal Government.
My Fellowships in Washington
DC, have afforded me the
opportunity to work the political side of various wildlife management,
conservation, and habitat issues. I have
attended high level briefings with various members of Congress, NGOs, and
Federal wildlife services.
Additionally, I know the importance of properly communicating technical
information to the general public though both publication and presentation. Advisor:
Thomas Bigford, Habitat Protection Division Chief, NMFS, Silver Springs, MD. 301-713-4300 ext. 131.
1995: Public Policy Intern, Environment
and Natural Resources Division (ENR), Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Researched and wrote CRS Report for Congress: Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean
Climate: Marine Mammal Issues (95-603 ENR).
This brief focused on take and harassment issues with respect to marine
mammals outline in the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species
Act. I remained a Masters student at
TAMU "on loan" to the Federal Government. Advisor:
Eugene H. Buck, Senior Analyst in Natural Resources Policy, ENR Policy
Division, Washington DC.
Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues.: (http://www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/Marine/mar2.cfm?&CFID=10045867&CFTOKEN=25187060). Congressional Research Service (CRS) report
that I researched and wrote for Congress during my Public Policy
Internship. This report focused on
‘take’ and ‘harassment’ issues within the Marine Mammal Protection Act and
Endangered Species Act. (Note: While my
advisor's name, Gene Buck, is on the report, the first footnote explains my
role. It is CRS policy that reports be published under the senior advisor's
name, even though it is the intern's work.).
August 2004-present: Substitute teacher for Rush County School
System. Duties included the instruction
of junior high and high school students in the fields of science, math,
English, and social studies. Advisor: Ms. Martin, BRMS, Rushville, IN. 765-932-2968.
Additionally, during this time period, I was a
full time youth minister volunteer with the American Baptist Youth foundation
at the First Baptist
Church, Rushville, IN. Duties included instruction during bi-weekly
Bible study and devotionals, and advisor during youth outings and conferences. I have also been a part time youth swim coach
for Greensburg Junior High and Greensburg Area Summer Youth Swim Programs. Advisor:
Katie Baker Sparks,
Youth Minister, First Baptist Church,
August 2005-present: Strength Instructor (part-time) at Decatur County YMCA. Duties included instruction in the proper use
of strength and cardio vascular training equipment. Advisor:
Deena Hamer, YMCA Training Coordinator, YMCA, Greensburg, IN. 812-336-9622.
May 2004-July 2004: Sea Turtle/Dolphin Oil Platform Observer,
NMFS, Galveston, TX.
Duties included overseeing Incidental Take Statements as well as
enforcing provisions in both the Endangered Species Act (Section 7(b)(4)) and
the Marine Mammal Protection Act (Section 216). I acted as a liaison to salvage, oil, helicopter,
and diving companies to ensure provisions of the aforementioned Acts were
implemented. I was responsible for
implementing visual observations from vessels, platforms and helicopters prior
to decommissioned oil platform detonation and removal. Additional duties were to ensure appropriate
dive, vessel, and helicopter surveys were conducted prior to and after
detonation. Additionally, I was
responsible for completing and filing the appropriate paperwork as well as
ensuring the appropriate explosives and levels were
used. Advisor: Dr. William E. Evans, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston, TX/South Bend, IN. 574-271-2273.
Sept. 2003- April 2004:
Graduate Research Assistant, Texas
Agricultural Extension Service, Galveston,
TX. Duties included research, data analyses, and
writing. Additionally, I assisted in
various outreach conservation and education programs for private landowners and
NGOs (Quail Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and Eli Lilly Corp.) with respect to
‘in-the-field’ and slide presentations on habitat management and aspects of the
Farm Bill. I have become acquainted with
various members of the waterfowl and upland bird community (e.g. IDNR, TPWD,
NRCS, TAES, Kleberg Institute, etc…) through conferences, outreach programs
(e.g. Bobwhite Brigade),
and land owner workshops (e.g. Quail Appreciation Days). These contacts and management templates
serve as a solid foundation for game bird management and outreach programs. I am familiar with GIS and Micro Soft Office
programs. Advisor: Dr. Dale Rollins, TAES, San
Angelo, TX. 325-653-4576
Sept. 2003: Quail Biologist, Armendaris
Ranch, Truth Or Consequences, NM. Duties included trapping and banding of over
600 scaled quail. I used various
research techniques to assess winter survival and nesting success for scaled
quail in areas with and without grazing pressure; and areas with and without
supplemental feed. These techniques
included radio collaring and daily tracking of hen quail movements to assess
home range, habitat use, covey dynamics, mortality, and nesting success. Other duties included abundance and ecosystem
methods used as part of the Texas Quail Index (an
outreach project to private land owners); such as call count surveys,
artificial nest depredation monitoring, predator scent station monitoring, and
raptor count surveys. Also, remote video
cameras were used to assess the use of supplemental feeders (e.g. whole-grain
milo and food blocks) and drinkers (e.g. guzzlers). Advisor:
Dr. Dale Rollins, TAES, San Angelo, TX. 325-653-4576
2001: Research Assistant. Bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus,
biologist, Chaparrosa Ranch, La Pryor, TX.
Duties included habitat/ecosystem management techniques to determine
grazing effects on bobwhite quail habitat.
These techniques included call count surveys, ‘dummy nest’ transects and
monitoring, and predator scent station monitoring on the Chaparrosa Ranch, La
Pryor, TX, and the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, Hunt TX. My research on the Kerr Wildlife Management Area
was directed toward an integrated management approach for bobwhite quail with
respect to important bird species such as the Rio Grande turkey, and endangered species
such as the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo. Duties
also included the initial development of the “Team Quail” web site: http://teamquail.tamu.edu/ Advisor: Dr. Dale Rollins,
TAES, San Angelo, TX. 325-653-4576
Jan.-May 2001: Teaching
Assistant. Marine Fisheries Management. Department
of Marine Biology (MARB), Texas A&M University
(TAMUG). Duties included
instruction in the basic knowledge of marine ichthyology, biology of fishes and
biological oceanography related to applied aspects of marine fisheries
sciences. Emphasis placed on management techniques applicable to population
models with respect to tidal-influenced inland water, estuaries, and
oceans. Advisor: Dr. Greg Stunz, Texas
at Corpus Christi,
Department of Physical & Life Sciences.
2000: Teaching Assistant. Marine
Ecology, MARB, TAMUG. Duties included laboratory instruction and review of the
research techniques for marine systems.
Examination of the relationship between various marine environments and
their inhabitants; intra- and inter-specific relationships between organisms;
structure and function among marine communities. Laboratory emphasized study of
living material and natural habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Advisor: Dr. Jay Rooker, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston, TX. 409-740-4744.
2000: East Texas
Bobwhite Brigade Counselor. Lead a group
of 13 - 17 year old students in an intensive training on quail biology and
management. Areas of focus included
instruction in quail anatomy, biology, habitat management, population dynamics,
conservation, and hunting techniques.
Students were also instructed in general wildlife ecology, photography,
entomology, botany, firearm safety, and leadership skills. Piney Woods Conservation Camp, Lufkin, TX. Advisor:
Scotty Parsons, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Nacogdoches, TX. 936- 569-1632.
2000: Seacamp Instructor. Instructed students
ages from 10 – 16 in general marine ecology and research techniques. Field trips investigated the “hands-on”
ecology of salt-water marshes, sand dunes, and the Galveston Bay
estuary system as well as elements of physical, and
chemical oceanography. Students were
instructed in the function and morphology of marine fishes and birds. Advisor:
Dr. Judy Wern, Executive Director Educational Outreach, TAMUG, Galveston, TX. 409-740-4730.
1992-Dec. 1995; Sept. 1997-Aug. 1998:
Bioacoustic Research Assistant for GULFCET I and II. Duties included
operation and maintenance of a towed linear array and associated recording
equipment to record underwater vocalizations of Cetaceans in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Data analysis included the
distribution, habitat preference, and ecology of sperm whales via acoustic,
oceanographic, and satellite altimetric data collection. I was also responsible
for implementation and determining harassment and ‘takes’ of various species of
marine mammals and sea turtles as outlined in the Endangered Species Act and
the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This
project consisted of two week cruises in April, August, October and November
1992, February, June, August, and December 1993, August 1994, October 1996, and
August 1997. All cruises were aboard the University-National Oceanographic
Laboratory Systems' (UNOLS) R/V Pelican, Louisiana Universities Marine
Consortium (LUMCON), Cocodrie, LA,
and the R/V Gyre, TAMU, Galveston,
Dr. William E. Evans, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston,
Bend, IN. 574-271-2273.
1998: Teaching Assistant. Biology of Marine Mammals, MARB, TAMUG. Duties
included laboratory instruction and review of the research techniques, and the
morphology and function of various Families of threatened and endangered marine
mammals. Advisor: Dr. Bernd Wursig, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston, TX. 409-740-4413.
Aug. 97: Bioacoustic Research Assistant
and Chief Scientist. ONR project to determine the effects of tomographic,
low-frequency signals on sperm whale (an endangered species protected by both
the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act) behavior.
Duties included the organization of field research, data collection, and staff.
Additional duties included the development and testing of passive sonobuoys
(radio and GPS) for tracking sperm whales in the Mississippi
River Canyon, Gulf of Mexico. I was also responsible for implementation
and determining harassment and ‘takes’ of various species of marine mammals and
sea turtles as outlined in the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal
Protection Act. Project consisted of a
three week deployment (Aug.-Sept. 1996) to British Petroleum's MC109-A where
daily small boat deployments and visual observations were made, and three weeks
(Aug. 1997) aboard the UNOLS R/V Acadiana, LUMCON, Cocodrie, LA.
in the Mississippi River
Canyon, Gulf of
Mexico. Advisor: Dr.
William E. Evans, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston, TX/South Bend,
1995: Consultant for National Geographic
Society (NGS). Aided NGS in the location, identification, and
radio tracking of sperm whales for "Crittercam" deployments in the Mississippi River Canyon,
Gulf of Mexico. Work included small
boat deployments and visual observations from British Petroleum's MC109-A
petroleum production platform for two weeks, and Diamond Offshore Drilling
platform (Ocean Valiant) in Texaco's MC292 lease for one week. Advisor:
Dr. Randall Davis, MARB, TAMUG, Galveston,
1992: Marine Mammal Field Observation
Training. Training with respect to endangered and threatened
species of marine mammal and bird identification, survey techniques, and data
collection. NMFS, Pascagoula
Lab., Pascagoula, MS.
Advisor: Dr. Randall Davis, MARB,
TAMUG, Galveston, TX.
1991: Teaching Assistant. Natural History of the Vertebrates, WFSC, TAMU, College Station, TX.
Duties included laboratory instruction and review of the morphology and
function for various Orders of vertebrates.
Department Head: Dr. Robert
Brown, WFSC, TAMU, College Station,
1990: Laboratory Assistant. Biology Department, Indiana University. Duties included general stock and equipment
maintenance of the marine snail, Potamopyrgus
antipodarum. Advisor: Dr. Curtis M. Lively. Biology Department, IU, Bloomington, IN. 812-855-6284.
1990: Biological survey team member. Biology Department, Indiana University. Duties included completing surveys on several
coral reef sites in the Grand
and supervision of the biological survey team. As supervisor, it was my
responsibility to instruct team members on various survey techniques, and
compile post-dive data for processing.
Advisor: Dr. William Ruff,
Biology Department, IU, Bloomington,
90: Undergraduate Research Assistant. Biology Department at Indiana
included the training and supervision of undergraduate research projects, and
the genetic analysis of meiotic drive phenomena in the parasitic wasp, N. vitripennis. Advisor:
Dr. Samuel W. Skinner, Biology Department, IU, Bloomington, IN. 812-855-6284.
Honors and Awards
1999: John A.
Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship from National-Sea
Endangered Species Research Permit Holder No. 1021, National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS), Washington DC.
American Petroleum Institute Stipend Award Recipient.
Coast Guard and State of Texas
small boat certification.
Policy Intern, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Congressional
Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington
with Departmental Honors in Biology, Indiana
Undergraduate Research Award in Biology, Indiana University.
Hughes Undergraduate Research Initiative Grant.,
1987 - 1990:
Deans List, Indiana
research focusing on the efficacy of supplemental feeding on winter survival
and nesting success of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) on Ted
Turner's Armendaris Ranch, Truth Or Consequences,
NM. Funded via Turner
1998-2000: GULFCET (Gulf of Mexico
Cetaceans) II. Joint project between NMFS, and TAMU to assess
the distribution, abundance, and habitat of marine mammals and birds along the
Northeastern continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico.
Program Manager: Dr. Randall Davis, TAMU, Galveston,
TX. Funded via the National
Biological Resource Division, U.S.
Geological Survey, Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
1995-97: The Effects of Low-frequency Tomographic
Signals on Sperm Whales (Chief Scientist). This project examined behavioral
changes when sperm whales were exposed to underwater tomographic acoustic
signals. Principle Investigators: Dr. Robert H. Benson, Center for
Bioacoustics, TAMU, Corpus Christi, TX, and Dr. William E. Evans, Biological Oceanography,
TAMU, Galveston, TX. Funded via the Office
of Naval Research (ONR), Arlington,
1992-95: GULFCET I. Joint project between NMFS, TAMU, and Oregon State
University assessed the distribution
and abundance of marine mammals and birds along the Northwestern and Central
continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico.
Program Manager: Dr. Randall Davis, TAMU, Galveston,
TX. Funded via the Minerals
Management Service (MMS, Department of the Interior, contract no. 14-35-0001-
July 1992: Matagorda Texas Live Dolphin Captures. National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS) project assessed health status of the Bottlenosed
Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, along
coast. Program Manager: Larry Hansen, NMFS, Miami, FL.
May 1990: Undergraduate Marine Research Project. EEEFS, Grand Cayman, BWI, Coral
Reef Biological Survey Team Member/Supervisor. Advisor: Dr. William Ruff,
1989-90: Genetic Methods for Analysis of the PSR
Chromosome in the Parasitic Wasp, Nasonia
vitripennis. Independent Research Project, Indiana University. Advisor: Dr. Samuel
W. Skinner, Indiana University, Bloomington,
Summer 1989: A Study of the Fecundity and Nesting Success
of the Shore Acres Pelagic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax
pelagicus, Colony. Independent Research Project, OIMB, University of Oregon. Advisor: Dr. Janet
Hodder, University of Oregon, Charleston,
Sparks, T.D. 2001.
The efficacy of
supplemental feeding of scaled quail in New Mexico.
Invited speaker. 2002 National Quail
Unlimited Convention, Dallas
Sparks, T.D., Norris, J.C., and Evans, W.E. 1998. Distributions of sperm whales in the Central and Northwestern Gulf of Mexico as determined from an
acoustic survey: Implications for habitat characterization. Sharing Our Gulf
Conference, Texas Sea Grant College Program, Texas
June, College Station, TX.
Leben, R.R., Smith, S.C., Biggs, D.C., Davis, R.W., and Sparks, T.D. 1998. A satellite altimetry toolbox for monitoring
cetacean habitat in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
American Geophysical Union
Ocean Sciences Meeting, February, San Diego, CA.
Sparks, T.D. 1997. Distributions
of sperm whales along the continental slope in the northwestern and central Gulf of Mexico as determined from an acoustic survey. Masters Thesis, Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX. 67pp.
Evans, W.E., Benson, R.H., and Sparks,
T.D. 1996. Acoustic surveys. In Distribution and
abundance of cetaceans in the north-central and western Gulf
of Mexico: Final Report. Edited by R. W. Davis,
and G. S. Fargion. OCS Study/MMS 96-0027. U.S. Dept. of
the Interior, Minerals Mgmt. Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, New Orleans,
LA. pp. 207-265.
T.D. 1995. Acoustic thermometry of ocean climate: Marine mammal issues. U.S. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service. CRS
Report No. 95-603 ENR. March, Washington DC.
Evans, W.E., and Sparks,
T.D. 1995. The use of passive towed sonar arrays for surveying marine mammals. 129th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, May, Washington DC.
Norris, J.C., Benson, R.H., Evans, W.E., Duncan,
T.D. 1993. The acoustics of odontocete cetacean
signals recorded in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
Tenth Biennial Conference of the Biology of Marine Mammals,
November, Galveston, TX.
K.M., Frohoff, T.G., Shoda, L.K.M., and Sparks,
T.D. 1991. The pine warbler song repertoire: A preliminary description and
analysis. Bull. Texas
Ornith. Soc. 24(2): 30-38.
Sparks, T.D. and Skinner, S.W. 1990. Genetic methods for analysis of the PSR
chromosome in the parasitic wasp, Nasonia
vitripennis.* Indiana University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Indiana University, Bloomington,
*Presentation at the 1990 State of Indiana Undergraduate
Butler University, Indianapolis,
Professional Organizations and Extra Curricular Activities
President, the National Llewellin Gun Dog Club.
2005 American Heart Assoc. CPR, AED, and First Aid Certified.
2005 Pheasants Forever.
2001-04 Quail Unlimited.
1998-04 National Wild Turkey Federation.
1997-04 Ducks Unlimited.
1991-99 Society for Marine Mammalogy.
1992-99 Texas Marine Mammal
Stranding Network Volunteer, Galveston,
1994-99 Acoustical Society of America, American Institute of
2003-04 Galveston Graduate Student Association,
Cetacean Society, Scientific Review Committee, Galveston TX
2001-04 Association of Graduate Students in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences,
TAMU, College Station,
1987-90 Indiana University Scuba Club, Bloomington, IN.