Megan Davis Reed (Outstanding Recent Alumna)

B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Science, 2012

Megan Davis Reed completed the bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in December 2012. She began working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as a high school student, and continued in a student position while attending Penn State. Upon graduation, her position was converted to a permanent one, her position was made permanent, and she began full-time employment with the USFWS as Wildlife Refuge Specialist at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Basom, NY.

At the refuge, Megan was an active member on the outreach committee, serving as coordinator of an annual spring event that welcomed 1,200 visitors to the station and provided interactive opportunities to educate children and parents about the natural world. Megan also organized the annual youth fishing derby in which children in various age categories competed for the largest fish caught. While at Iroquois NWR, Megan was trained to teach archery, and participated in running archery stations at the Iroquois and Erie NWRs. Megan also operated the tractor to maintain habitat for wildlife on the refuge, participated in biology projects including great blue heron nest counts, and assisted in operating the waterfowl hunt. She also received a Special Thanks for Achieving Results award for assisting in planning the Grand Opening of the new Visitor Center.

While working at Iroquois NWR, Megan was able to participate in temporary assignments with other stations including the Rappahannock River Valley NWR in Virginia where she aided in the daily operations of the refuge; the Refuge System Headquarters Office in Arlington, VA, where she worked as a member of a team on several assignments in the Division of Budget, Performance, and Workforce Planning; and a week-long assignment with the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office to assist in surveying aquatic invasive species in Lake Erie. 

In February 2015, Megan accepted a position in the USFWS Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C., where she is was employed until January 2017. Here Megan was Special Assistant to both the Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System and to the Assistant Director for External Affairs.  She managed scheduling for both leaders, coordinated correspondence requests, and participated in meetings about policy, communications, management, and budget. She communicated with the public regarding refuge recreation activities. Megan was also a member of the U.S. delegation to the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna at the Convention of the Parties 17th meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, from September 24 through October 5, 2016. There she introduced a resolution regarding youth engagement to the 3,000 attendees and 180 countries; the resolution was later accepted.

While working in the Headquarters Office, Megan was able to participate in temporary assignments with other divisions/stations including a detail with the National Wildlife Refuge System’s Division of Natural Resource Conservation Program’s Branch of Policy and Planning where she assisted with policy review, and a short assignment with the Potomac Rivers NWR Complex where she assisted with trail maintenance and other visitor services assignments. 

Megan has received recognition for her assistance regarding the Service’s Ivory Crush in Times Square, NY. Additionally, she was presented with a challenge coin and certificate of appreciation by the Secretary of the Interior and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

In January, Megan accepted her current position as the Assistant Refuge Supervisor in the Service’s Southeast Regional Office. She helps lead 53 National Wildlife Refuges based in Florida, the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast.

Megan is a graduate of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders two-year program where she worked with five other individuals and project partner Society for the Preservation of Endangered Carnivores and their International Ecological Study to develop Cameras 4 Conservation (C4C). C4C is a grant program providing camera traps to biologists in Southeast Asia focused on small felid research to gather more information on some of the least-studied cats in the world. 

Megan was also selected as one of 34 delegates from 25 countries to participate in the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Youth Forum for People and Wildlife. All participants were 18 to 25 years old, and they gathered for a forum meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 17-23, 2016, to discuss wildlife conservation issues. 

Megan has continued to engage with the Penn State community. In February 2015 she was a member of a College of Agricultural Sciences panel with two other Penn State graduates who shared their work experiences and answered various questions from current students. She discussed with current educators in the College what could better prepare the already strong graduates to be even better candidates for the work force. The panel members also participated in a Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences student meeting where they interacted with current students.

Recently the Youth Coordinator at Mulberry Baptist Church, Megan accompanied the church youth on a field trip each month. She focused several of her monthly activities on the natural world by providing opportunities for fishing and even for a single night of camping, which most of the youth have not experienced before. During one excursion, Megan led a quick archery lesson, had the children put up their own tents, and asked them to gather food out of a garden. Although it was not the typical backwoods camping trip, this educational experience taught these youth many skills and allowed them to get out of their comfort zone. 

Megan coached basketball for 10- and 11-year-olds at the local YMCA, and recently finished her fifth season of coaching. In addition to instructing the youth about the fundamentals of the sport, she teaches them about the importance of positive attitudes and good sportsmanship. 

Megan and her husband Ed have recently relocated to Atlanta, Georgia with their two dogs, Remy and Nittany. They enjoy camping fishing, and traveling.