Directors Message


A message from our Chair

My connection to Archbold began as a small child, loving the scrub in that part of Florida that is now Wellington but once was wild. 

With Richard Archbold’s family members, I played in the scrub with horses and dogs, amid snakes and sugar sand and palmettos.  Lucky for me, Archbold gives me a way to help save wild Florida.


As Chair, I want to protect the land, create safe corridors for the animals, take care of the scientists who provide data to promote conservation, expand our footprint, nurture the staff, and help put out all the fires that a complicated organization can light.  

This is an era of division, of polarized discussions and fights.  Much of what we value most is in great danger, including the environment.  Here in Florida where 1,100 new people enter each day, where housing developments proliferate in an ugly and unforgiving sprawl, the danger to the natural world is frighteningly visible.  At the same time, the Florida Wildlife Corridor, bolstered by Archbold’s science, has gained universal support, from legislators, conservationists, and citizens alike.  Perhaps it will be nature that leads us back to better relations with one another and with the Earth.

I am so honored to be part of this organization.  I thank our Board members, who serve so capably, our donors, who make new projects possible and old ones stronger, our brilliant scientists, who do groundbreaking research, our staff, who hold together and lift every effort, and our executive director without peer, Hilary Swain.

The visionary scientist and explorer, Richard Archbold, who founded Archbold Expeditions in 1937, started an organization which provides hope and light. The hope is to protect the land and waters of Florida and beyond.  The light is to guide the way with science.  Thanks to the Archbold team—board, director, scientists, staff, donors, and you who are reading this—together we can keep that effort growing.

-Lela Love, Chair of the Board

bir horsesPhoto by: Haoyu Li
burrowing owl bir hlPhoto by: Haoyu Li

A message from our Executive Director

As Director it is my pleasure to meet so many people like you who love Archbold. And it is my privilege to learn what draws you in.

To those of you who are driven by curiosity, thanks for your interest in the value of our science. Over the past eighty years a compelling array of Archbold studies have helped reveal just how nature works. Thank you to our scientists and collaborators for their never-ending exploration, and to the agencies, organizations, and individuals who report our findings and understand their relevance.

To those of you who look to us for solutions, thank you for implementing the conservation practices and approaches we recommend. We are humbled by your trust in what we report, and the regard in which we are held, across a broad network of supportive conservation organizations and agencies. The longer our science can look back, the further we can look ahead for ways to save species and ecosystems, to manage them, to connect them, and to provide resilience for a changing world. Thank you to our staff who expertly steward Archbold’s pristine scrub and working ranchlands, and to all the conservationists who buoy and support our continued quest to save the lands and waters that all Floridians depend upon.

To those of you who appreciate the beauty of Florida ecosystems and what they can teach us, thank you for learning from us and taking our message to heart. The knowledge that against all odds these ecosystems continue to exist, that they survive droughts and floods, fires, and unforgiving soils. The beauty of a sunrise over the Florida scrub, storms building over the grassland prairies, and the silver reflections of waters and wetlands. To appreciate this landscape fully is to understand it, and to be compelled to join the urgent mission of saving it. Thank you to the brilliant educators and interpreters, plus the writers, photographers, filmmakers, and artists who work together with us to convey appreciation for all this mystery.

A place with people has meaning, and people with a place have purpose. The habitats, species and ecosystems that are woven into our work throughout the Everglades watershed, and along the Florida Wildlife Corridor, provide inspiration and encouragement for us to continue moving forward. I am grateful for the dedicated people I work with from the Board, staff, and interns, to all our visitors and volunteers. I extend this gratitude to all of you for your interest, advice, trust, and support.

-Hilary Swain, Executive Director

eagle haven staff photo 2021 bill parkenArchbold Staff at Eagle Haven Ranch, 2021. Photo by: Bill Parken

Archbold Staff at Eagle Haven Ranch, 2021

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Archbold’s science, conservation, and education efforts are made possible through the generosity of donors investing in a greener and more resilient future.

Thanks to this support, Archbold can continue doing its urgent work to understand, protect, and manage Florida’s wild places—which are home to threatened and endangered species found nowhere else on Earth.

Will you help us carry on this urgent mission?