Liz Meils '03, a UW-Eau Claire biology and geography graduate, is the plant, pest and disease specialist, as well as the state apiarist, for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Meils runs the nursery, apiary, sod and biotech programs and serves as the principal statewide technical expert on nursery pests, diseases and nursery regulations. The main goal of the programs is to prevent and control pests and diseases that could cause economic harm.
Meils also manages the statewide apiary program to regulate beekeeping to monitor honey bee health and detect newly introduced pests. The program also deals with compliance and certification activities for interstate shipment of migratory hives.
Meils said the plant ecology and botany courses offered at UW-Eau Claire are what got her interested in plants and led her to choose environmental science as her minor.
"While fulfilling the course requirements for my minor, I took an environmental geography class that I absolutely loved," Meils said. "Because of that class, I stayed on an extra year and pursued a second major in geography."