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Meet the Natural Resources staff
Mike Bauer, PhD
Natural Resources Manager


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Mike's work involves the policy, planning, and management of all aspects of environmental issues facing the City -- on both land and water.  This includes such matters as Naples Bay restoration, pass maintenance, beach renourishment, coordination with federal, state, and regional agencies, and responsiveness to citizens’ advisory groups.  Mike was appointed by the Governor to the State of Florida Environmental Regulation Commission in 2011.  He was the 2009 State Recipient of the Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies (FLERA) Environmental Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership in Local Environmental Protection.  Mike has a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy, a J.D., a M.S. in Wildlife Biology, and a B.S. in Biology.  He has been a mountain man (backpacked in the Rockies, Cascades, White, Green, and Adirondack Mountains); a cowboy (owned his own horse and saddle); and surfer (9 ½ ft longboard in the garage).  Having successfully completed the Naples Triathlon in 2011, he now considers himself a triathlete.            




Katie Laakkonen
Environmental Specialist


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Katie's key responsibilities include monitoring and improving the health of Naples Bay through implementation of programs such as: monthly water quality sampling, seagrass bed monitoring using set transects, trawling, and oyster restoration.  Data generated from these programs are used by the City of Naples and numerous local and state agencies to improve the management of the watershed and estuarine system.  Katie earned a B.S. in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina and is currently obtaining her M.S. degree in Environmental Science at Florida Gulf Coast University.  In addition to estuary management, her professional experience includes wildlife management, public education emphasizing coastal systems, and program development.




Monique Barnhart
Natural Resources Administrative Coordinator


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Monique is responsible for overseeing the City's landscape certification program, the sea turtle protection lighting compliance program, public outreach and education to homeowners on City's stormwater retention ponds, and all administrative duties for the Natural Resources division.  Also known as the "Turtle Lady" to some, Monique conducts educational outreach to homeowners, property managers, and citizens regarding artificial lighting and the effects to sea turtles.  She also educates homeowners and landscape professionals regarding stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution, helping to reduce nutrients and herbicides going into the City's waterbodies.  She recently became a state certified instructor for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's training course in Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for the Protection of Water Resources.  Monique earned two bachelor's degrees in business from The Florida State University.  She is a true Floridian, a rare breed in Naples, born and raised on the Emerald Coast.