Tom Goettel is originally from Rochester, N.Y. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in wildlife biology, he started his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He worked at several refuges in the Northeast, and for a short time was one of the first wildlife inspectors for the Service, stationed at JFK airport. In 1984, he became the first refuge manager of what is now the Maine Coastal Islands NWR, where he initiated many of the seabird management and habitat protection and management programs that form the core of the Refuge’s mission today. After serving as refuge manager at Eastern Neck NWR in Maryland, Mr. Goettel transferred to the Regional Office in Hadley, MA. He became the first Regional Chief of the Office of Refuge Law Enforcement. He then retired from that position in 2008 when his wife, Beth, became the refuge manager of the Maine Coastal Islands NWR.
Tom and Beth now live in South Thomaston, Maine, where Tom is the treasurer of the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands.