Ann F. Paul grew up in Gainesville, Florida. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University in 1972, Paul worked for several years as a proofreader for Princeton University Press and Biological Abstracts. In 1985, Paul earned her master’s degree in biology from Trinity University in San Antonio and worked with the Texas Nature Conservancy as an Assistant Land Steward. Paul moved with her family to Tampa in the early 1990s to work as a field biologist with Hillsborough County, then was hired as the Assistant Sanctuary Manager with the National Audubon Society's Tampa Bay Sanctuaries in 1991. Paul is currently Regional Coordinator for the Audubon Florida Coastal Island Sanctuaries Program. In this position, Paul is responsible for managing colonial nesting waterbirds and coastal habitat islands and resources, and guiding regional conservation initiatives.
In this interview, Paul recounts her interests as a young naturalist and the circumstances that lead to her involvement in the Audubon program. She highlights the formation and mission of the National Audubon Society, important members in the program's history, the development of specific programs to protect Florida's waterbird colonies, and her experiences and personal observations in the field. Paul concludes by discussing current projects and goals for the future of wildlife preservation in Florida.