Outstanding Biology AlumKnight
Alice Bard, ’86, ’89, graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology. Bard was nominated by the Department of Biology to be honored as the 2015 Outstanding Biology AlumKnight recipient at the inaugural UCF College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnight award reception held in February.
She currently serves as an environmental specialist II with the District 3 office Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation & Parks. There, she’s responsible for conducting and participating in resource management projects in state parks over a 14-county area. These projects include all aspects of planning and participation in prescribed burns, listed species monitoring, restoration, floral and fauna surveys, exotic species removal, reforestation, pest species control, and native plant and wildlife introductions.
Bard has collaborated with many faculty in the biology department over the years. Most recently, she has worked with Dr. Linda Walters on a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission funded project to stabilize the highly eroded shoreline at Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine. A project that has had tremendous success thanks to her efforts and passion.
Bard has dedicated countless volunteer hours assisting UCF undergraduate and graduate students to learn about wildlife conservation, determine projects and fund them.
“I found direction, inspiration, and confidence as a result of my experiences with students, faculty, and friends at UCF. One of the most important things I learned was a sense of and a commitment to a larger purpose. My time at UCF prepared me well to move forward and make a difference in the world around me,” said Bard.
Bard shared more on her time at UCF, her job, and advice to students and alumni.
Why did you choose to attend UCF?
I was attracted to UCF because it had a vibrant biology department with a lot of very interesting research going on. There were great opportunities to really connect with other students and faculty and be involved in a wide variety of meaningful, hands-on work.
How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?
I had so many opportunities to learn so many things in different disciplines of science. My degree has served me well on a daily basis. The exposure I received to different disciplines, philosophies, and techniques really broadened my horizons. I still fall back on the insights I learned and continue to use them to move forward.
Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?
During my undergraduate years I was a student athletic trainer with the football, basketball, and tennis teams as well as assisting with other sports as needed. In my graduate years I was too busy with my studies and research!
What is your best UCF memory?
It would have to be all the time I spent in the natural areas on campus. It didn’t matter if it was day or night, raining, hot, or buggy, it was so much fun and I learned so much! It was the catalyst which resulted in a deep and ongoing appreciation for Florida’s natural areas.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Making a difference. Whether it’s helping move a species back from the brink of extinction or interacting with other people involved with Florida’s ecology or maybe just interested in it, you never know how far the ripples from your interactions will extend.
What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?
Keep learning and challenging yourself. There is so much to learn and so many fascinating places that the learning can take you to.
Bard answered a few more questions in our 30-second ‘get-to-know-you’ round of the interview.
What do you do for fun?
I like to get outdoors every chance I can. I’m also an avid runner.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I didn’t really have any one particular favorite, but I was fortunate to have pets who filled my life with wonder and enjoyment. Over the years we had dogs, rabbits, a horse, and hamsters.
What slang word or phrase do you love to use?