Dr. Joseph C. Joyce received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in biology and both from the University of Alabama, in 1971 and 1972, respectively. During that period, he attained a full scholarship in track and cross country and gained leadership experience through the Army ROTC. His degrees and ROTC training assisted Joe in his first job as a limnologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. As Chief of the Corps’ Natural Resources Division, Joe Joyce implemented comprehensive water hyacinth management programs, to become known as maintenance control, on the St. Johns River and Lake Okeechobee. Joe was instrumental in unifying federal, state and local governments, applying the maintenance control strategy for managing invasive aquatic plants in public lakes and rivers throughout Florida. Joe became active in the Aquatic Plant Management Society, playing a significant role in co-founding the Florida Chapter of APMS in 1976 to provide training and outreach for aquatic plant applicators. Joe is a Charter and Honorary Lifetime Member of FAPMS, serving on the Board for several years and as FAPMS President in 1981. Joe was also instrumental in founding and serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the FAPMS Research and Education Foundation for 30 years.
Joe utilized a Corps of Engineers’ program to take a leave of absence and earn a PhD from the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation in 1982. Soon after, he was appointed Director of the UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, a position he retained for 10 years. While directing the Center, Joe and staff developed training aids for aquatic plant managers, including a research database used worldwide, a photograph and line drawing collection, educational video tapes, written documents and one of the first websites in the UF/IFAS community. Joe joined the Aquatic Plant Management Society in 1981; serving on the Board for seven years as Director, and as President 1991. Joe’s career diversified to the UF Interim Dean for Research, and ultimately the Executive Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida. Joe applied the same vision and dedication that advanced aquatic plant management strategies during his tenure in Florida agriculture, and was inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2015. Along with his many academic, program, and administrative achievements, Dr. Joyce also fit in a 33-year career in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Brigadier General in 2004.