Information Office Personnel

Information Office Personnel - Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Karen Brown, M.A.

Coordinator, Educational Media/Communications

Karen oversees the APIRS office and manages the online Aquatic Plant Information Retrieval System database. She also serves as editor of AQUAPHYTE, and Wildland Weeds magazine for the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC), of which she is a board member. Karen has worked at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants since 1983. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and has played a key role in most of the educational ventures of the Information Office. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.
(352) 273-3667

Mary Langeland, M.A.


Mary Langeland identifies and catalogs research publications for the APIRS database, and contributes material for AQUAPHYTE.

Anne Taylor

Senior Clerk

Anne Taylor works as a library assistant. She enters and maintains bibliographic records in the APIRS database, assists the cataloger, and cares for our small satellite library. Anne is a language artist.

Katie Walters

Education Initiative Coordinator

Katie Walters coordinates the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative and assists with other outreach efforts at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants including the organization and preparation for an annual 5-day teacher workshop; the preparation and dissemination of Education Initiative curricula about invasive plants for grades 4-12 and assisting with the alignment of all CAIP curricula to the newly developed (federally supported) Common Core State Standards. Katie also assists with the production of other print and web-based outreach materials for the Center. Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in History and Political Science.
(352) 273-3665

Lynda Dillon

Program Assistant

Lynda is a program assistant for the APIRS database and the CAIP Education Initiative. She assists in expanding the database and develops and maintains systems to track production and distribution of CAIP's educational materials. When not in the office, Lynda enjoys riding her bicycle, making crafts, and outdoor activities with her grandchildren.
(352) 392-1799

Gary Kreitzer

Project Assistant

Gary is responsible for on-site demonstrations of the Education Initiative's curriculum, as well as preparing materials and lessons for PLANT CAMP. He provides general support to the program utilizing his background in treating and removing invasive plants and providing public outreach programs for San Felasco and Devil's Millhopper State Parks.

Phil Chiocchio, M.F.A.


Since 1988 Philip Chiocchio has been collaborating with the Center translating the science into videos for a variety of audiences at workshops and as programs on DVD and the web. Phil formally taught New Media at Ringling College of Art and Design and is currently an Artist in Residence for the Sarasota County School Board's EdExploreSRQ program. In his spare time he breeds weimaraners, studies the history of airships and researches the humor of humor. He maintains contacts with skydiving and skateboarding buddies of yesteryear and today conceptualizes on ways to save the planet.

Charlie Bogatescu

Web Developer/IT Specialist

Charlie is the Center's web and IT specialist. He maintains and updates CAIP's websites, oversees content management, assists with the design of web and print assets, and handles IT support. He has a B.A. in Digital Media specializing in web and game development and has an interest in using new media for educational purposes. Outside of the office, Charlie's biggest interests are games, geeky gadgets, world history, and ferrets.

Victor Ramey, M.S. (1948-2005)

Mr. Ramey established the APIRS office in 1981. He authored our initial websites and produced many educational materials during his 25 year tenure with this office. He passed away on November 24, 2005.

Read more about Vic.