On February 23, 2010, IPJI formed an Advisory Council consisting of individuals with expertise in areas related to its effort to preserve and protect the historical, cultural and natural resources of Jekyll Island State Park. The Council, which will be expanded in coming months, is a welcomed addition to the core group of volunteers who offer their skills, experience and time on Jekyll’s behalf.

Advisory Council Members:

Tyler E. Bagwell: History and Culture

Tyler E. Bagwell is an Instructor of Communication at the College of Coastal Georgia and is the Co-Coordinator of the institution’s International Program.  Bagwell earned a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of South Florida and has conducted over one-hundred interviews with individuals connected to the Jekyll Island Club and to the early years of the Jekyll Island State Park era. He has authored two books on Jekyll Island and has written over twenty-five magazine and newspaper articles on the history of coastal Georgia. Bagwell also maintains the history website www.jekyllislandhistory.com.

H. Ken Cordell: Public Land Use and Outdoor Recreation

Dr. H. Ken Cordell is Project Leader and Pioneering Scientist in Forest Service Research attached to the Southern Research Station and is located on the University of Georgia Campus in Athens, Georgia. His work covers trends and futures of outdoor recreation (especially nature-based), demographic and societal trends, natural amenity migration and amenity values, and public land use and values (especially Wilderness and other protected lands). He has produced five books, the latest entitled The Multiple Values of Wilderness. He is a lead scientist for the U. S. National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, a survey begun by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission in 1960. Dr Cordell has authored over 315 scientific and other technical papers dealing with Americans’ relationship with their natural lands, for both national and international audiences.

Dr. Cordell earned his PhD in Economics and Natural Resources Policy at N.C. State University. He was recipient of the Forest Service Chief’s national award as Distinguished Scientist of the Year. He is an elected fellow with the Academy of Leisure Sciences and has served on a variety of national and international committees and boards. In 2006 he was appointed Pioneering Scientist, the most distinguished appointment a Forest Service scientist can receive, one of six in the history of the Forest Service. He is a member of an elite on-going national team of scientists who are responsible for assessing the status and trends in the country’s forest and rangeland resources nationwide. He is the lead scientist for the recreation, tourism, and nature values indicators for producing the 2010 Nation’s Report as the U.S. contribution to the international Montreal Process.

Dr. Cordell is viewed by his agency as the national authority in his field. In his previous professional affiliation he was a faculty member at North Carolina State University and currently holds adjunct professor status with 5 other universities. He serves on masters and doctoral graduate committees. He is an active advocate for protecting natural ecosystems of and for responsible public access to public lands. His most recent work has been on behalf of Jekyll Island State Park.

David Kyler: Coastal Resource Preservation and Protection

David Kyler is the executive director of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, a non-profit membership organization he co-founded in 1997.  The Center works to protect, preserve, and sustain the vital natural, cultural, and economic resources of coastal Georgia. One of Mr. Kyler’s deepest convictions, and a founding principle of the Center, is that environmental research, information, and education are urgently needed to improve decisions affecting the sustainability of natural systems. 

Through his work with the Center, Mr. Kyler is helping to redefine economic self-interest by incorporating the principles of sustainability in public policies governing both economic development and environmental protection.  He is convinced that systemic analysis and life-cycle assessment, including evaluation of economic and societal externalities, are essential to achieving a sustainable future.  David is the author of numerous articles, reports, and opinion commentaries on issues related to coastal Georgia’s development, economy, and environment.

He holds degrees from Lehigh University (BS, Industrial Engineering) and Southern Illinois University (MS, Design Science), and has completed advanced studies in Resource Management and Policy at the State University of New York at Syracuse. Mr. Kyler has worked in environmental policy analysis, regional planning, and public interest advocacy for 30 years. He’s been a resident of Saint Simons Island since 1977 and lived his first 17 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

C. Brenden Martin – Public History, Museums and Tourism

Dr. Brenden Martin is a Professor of History and Director of the Public History Program at Middle Tennessee State University, where he has worked since 2001.  He earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  His extensive work with museums and public history projects includes the development of award-winning exhibits at the Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC; several community history projects in East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, and Louisiana; a term as director of the Southern Studies Institute; and the author of the Master Interpretive Plan for the Cane River National Heritage Area. His publication record includes numerous articles and books on southern tourism (including two Jekyll Island articles) and investigations of museum practices.  Currently, he is conducting research on the state era of Jekyll Island with the intent of co-authoring a book with his mother, Dr. June McCash.

Steve Newell – Salt marsh ecology and environmental advocacy

Steve Newell earned his PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences.  He received the F. G. Walton Smith Award for outstanding dissertation research.  Newell served on the faculty at the School for 7 years.  In Miami (and the nearby Bahama Islands), Newell focused his research on the microbes of the mangrove ecosystem.  In 1979, Newell moved to the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, and transferred his research focus to the microbes of the salt marsh ecosystem.  He spent the next 26 years living on Sapelo Island, developing information on the ways in which microbes (especially ascomycetous fungi) interact with marsh plants and animals and promote the cycling of carbon and nutrients in the marsh.  His work contributed to a new and stronger understanding of the production of animals by the marsh ecosystem – the marsh does not principally export marsh grass material as was once believed; rather, microbes enrich retained, dead marsh grass material WITHIN the marsh, and cause it to be able to sustain a larval-animal nursery within the marsh.  The marsh principally exports young animals (e.g., shrimp), not plant material.  Newell retired with Emeritus status from the Marine Institute in 2005, after serving 3 years as Director, having published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.  Newell moved to Jekyll Island State Park where he devotes time to advocating the protection of the natural ecosystems of the Park, especially the critical nesting habitat of loggerhead turtles (a species threatened with extinction).

Al Tate: Ecology and Jurisdictional Wetland Determination

Al Tate is an Ecologist and Naturalist at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta and has taught there for the past 25 years. For the past 22 years, he has brought classes to Jekyll Island to study fresh and saltwater wetlands, maritime forests, and the flora and fauna of Jekyll and the coastal plain. Prior to working at Fernbank, Al was the first Staff Ecologist for Georgia Department of Transportation, where he worked in natural ecosystems throughout Georgia and pioneered techniques to reduce impacts of and/or mitigate road construction activities on streams and wetlands.  One mitigation project, which became a research program for Georgia State University, was to restore Spartina marsh along the Torras Causeway by using Glen County's Mosquito Ditcher. Al received his BS from Georgia Tech in Applied Biology, and completed his graduate work at Emory University under Dr. Robert Platt. He has also taught a number of classes on Jurisdictional Wetland Delineation and Recognition of Wetland Plant Species through the University Of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Al currently lives in Atlanta with his wife Sandra. They own a house on Jekyll, where they plan to move upon Al's retirement.