The Defender

When Mike Adams ‘79 was a biology student, little did he know that he would go on to a career as a powerful defender in some of America’s most delicate ecosystems.

Adams is a conservation biologist with Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit advocacy organization focused on protecting imperiled wildlife, their habitats and biodiversity.

At Defenders of Wildlife, Adams is responsible for promoting and expanding the field conservation program and operations for the northeast Florida region. He develops conservation strategies and works with partners to protect and restore Florida’s imperiled wildlife and their habitat, and to establish a state ecological network.

Adams’ focus is on the animal species of the southeast, ranging from beach mice to whales, including manatee, sea turtles, Florida panthers, black bears and the gopher tortoise.

He came to the organization following a distinguished 36-year environmental career in natural resource conservation and environmental management in state government, consulting and other areas.

Adams lives on a 94-acre, award-winning private conservation area that he calls Saturiwa, after the powerful chief of the now-vanished Timucua Tribe. Saturiwa promotes wildlife protection, habitat restoration, water quality and community outreach and education, principles that have guided his work.

That future was not hard to foresee for the member of the Tri-Beta Honor Society for Biology and the Lambda-Alpha Honor Society for Anthropology.

 “You don’t have to be the model student,” Adams said, addressing current Gannon students. “Just have an interest in what you do. Listen more than you speak, and think before saying anything. Work on your self-confidence and develop a sense of adventure.”

It’s a philosophy that has served Mike Adams–and the Florida environment–well.