On 9 June 2009, President Obama nominated Sam Hamilton to be director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Hamilton is a 30 year employee of FWS, serving as director of the FWS Southeast region since 1997. As southeast regional director, he oversaw the management of 128 national wildlife refuges totaling 4 million acres, 14 national fish hatcheries, and 54 field offices. If confirmed, Hamilton could have significant influence over the Obama administration’s policies on endangered species and climate change adaptation. While many view the nominee as fair, reasonable, and well qualified, some environmentalists fear that Hamilton will not be able to fix serious problems within the agency, such as political interference with science. Hamilton has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mississippi State University.
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