Amy H. Meese; MPH
General Manager, Natural Resources
Sarasota County Florida
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Amy H. Meese is the mother of two young children, who were the motivation for her project topic. Her enthusiasm for the environment and health developed when she was a very young child reading science magazines, visiting aquariums, zoos and natural history museums and learning about biological systems. Her grown-up area of interest is functional ecology, an organismâ€™s interaction and adaptation to its environment. To a great extent Environmental Health examines that relationship within humans. Amy is currently the General Manager of Sarasota County Natural Resources. She is responsible for the oversight and direction of all divisions within the Natural Resources department, which consists of Resource Management, Air Quality/Storage Tank Management, Resource Protection, Coastal Resource Management, Sustainability, Urban Forestry, and Natural Resources Administration. This includes responsibility for developing and implementing environmental policy and practice for the preservation and conservation of the natural environment and human welfare.
The community and resources we love are faced with the challenges of growth, economic instabilities, and of balancing our way of life with our quality of life. Elements of the divisions include environmental land acquisition and management, beach nourishment, land use impact analyses; environmental permitting, coastal habitat restoration, sea turtle ordinance administration, wildlife protection programs, waterway navigation and artificial reef program, water quality sampling, pollution response and remediation, underground storage tank compliance and remediation, air emission permitting and air quality monitoring; climate and energy conservation planning and policy development; canopy planting, planning and maintenance, public outreach and education; and special event planning.
Prior to joining Sarasota County, Ms. Meese worked at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in various positions from 1992-2000 in the Division of Drinking Water Quality Control. She holds a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University and an MPH in Environmental Health from Columbia University.
Leadership Development Opportunities
Prior to being accepted into EPHLI I worked as an ecology-geek with public health tendencies. As such I had a unique opportunity to work across boundaries and inform certain conversations that traditionally, natural systems professionals otherwise would not. My public health knowledge served me well and brought me to interact with Chuck Henry, Environmental Health Director. Chuck was a strong advocate for me to apply to EPHLI. Through my professional interactions with Sarasota Countyâ€™s Health Department, Chuck in particular, and the EPHLI program, I have garnered a renewed and enhanced appreciation for the discipline of Environmental Public Health. In addition, the opportunity to interact with my cohort and immerse myself for brief periods in the breadth of work and the range of impact this profession has was inspirational. EPHLI fostered in me a more comprehensive connection to my public health training I had not cultivated as a graduate student or intermittent public health professional.
As a professional, my personal development was enhanced by the qualities of leadership discussion and what it means to truly lead versus manage. While I had completed an MBTI before, I had not owned my breakdowns on the human-side of leadership based on my preferred MBTI styles. In delving deeper into that aspect of my personality and management I was motivated to focus on this aspect of my development and accomplished substantial improvements with important counterparts at work. I also examined communication tendencies and elements of conflict that were triggers for me. This introspection positions me to better navigate difficult interactions or those which trip my sensitivities. The IDP I developed as a fellow will be one I continue to pursue and revisit to maintain and enhance the insights I achieved.