Natural Resources Leadership Institute

Who We Are

The NRLI Project Team

Jonathan Dain, NRLI Director and Senior Lecturer
School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, UF/IFAS
Center for Latin American Studies

Jonathan Dain is a University of Florida faculty member in the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences and the Center for Latin American Studies. An applied anthropologist by training, Jon focuses on conflict management, facilitation, and communication/leadership skills for those working with natural resource management (and managers) in the Unites States and abroad. He is also the professional skills coordinator for UF’s Tropical Conservation and Development program and teaches graduate classes in his areas of interest. Dain is a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and a NRLI alumni (Class IV). He began his career over 25 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Extension Agent working with beekeepers in Paraguay. He spends a portion of most summers working with students and natural resource managers in Latin America.

Wendy-Lin Bartels, Research Scientist
School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, UF/IFAS

Growing up on a farm in South Africa during apartheid shaped Wendy-Lin’s life path and career trajectory. Academically, she transitioned the disciplines of genetics and plant breeding, science communication, and cultural anthropology. Her work in NRLI and her social science research with UF’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation are driven by her motivation to understand how and why people cross boundaries, build relationships, and collaborate. For the past 14 years, she has conducted research and training on community engagement, scientist-stakeholder networks, and inter-agency partnerships. She is especially interested in rural development, family farming, and the convening role universities can play to facilitate knowledge exchange among diverse stakeholder groups. She has worked on several domestic and international climate-and-adaptation projects with multi-disciplinary teams of climate, crop, forestry, and hydrological modelers in their efforts to make research products more relevant to society. Within this context, she examines the participatory methods and institutional arrangements that can help scientists to link more effectively with practitioners, bridge society-academia divides, and expand understandings.

Joy Hazell, State Specialized Agent

School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, UF/IFAS

Joy Hazell is a UF/IFAS Extension faculty member and is currently the State Specialized Agent in Facilitation and Conflict Management. Joy plans, develops, facilitates and evaluates comprehensive needs-based collaborative decision-making processes around natural resources in the state of Florida and beyond. She holds an undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire and a graduate degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami. Joy started her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic teaching high school biology. Joy is currently pursuing her PhD in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences where she received a Fulbright Student Scholarship to conduct her research on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica

Jocelyn Peskin, NRLI Program Coordinator
School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, UF/IFAS

Jocelyn joined the NRLI team in May 2019. After earning her BA in Philosophy from Rutgers University, she lived in Central America for five years – first as a field assistant for a sea turtle conservation project, then as an animal tracker for a wildlife documentary, a Peace Corps volunteer with a community-based sea turtle conservation program, and as a science teacher in bilingual schools. She went on to earn her MS in Geography with a concentration in Natural Resource Conservation at UF and has since worked in the wildlife conservation, domestic violence, and affordable housing fields in the nonprofit sector. She also served as Assistant Director for Administration at UF’s Center for Latin American Studies. She is excited to return to her roots in the natural resources field.