Mark attended LSU where he earned BS in Forestry and Wildlife in 1977 and an MS Degree in Wildlife Management in 1979. From 1979 until 1984 he worked as a research biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish. While there, he participated in projects related to alligators, waterfowl, furbearer ecology and marsh management.
In 1984, Mark became a Marine Extension Agent with LSU AgCenter and Sea Grant in Vermilion Parish. Over the years his area of service has increased, currently he is the aquaculture specialist for southwest Louisiana. He has expertise in crawfish, alligator and fish pond aquaculture as well as coastal natural resource management.
Some of the notable activities Mark has accomplished are: initiating and continuing the Marsh Maneuvers 4H Coastal Ecology Camp, conducting forums on crawfish production and fish pond management, conducting annual hunter education classes, speaking to students and civic groups about natural resources and taking students and teachers on field trips in the coastal marsh. He has developed an educational program on the sustainable use of Louisiana’s alligator resource and presented it to numerous audiences.
Mark traveled to Malaysia and Singapore on a Rotary GSE Team in 1988. In 2014, he was the team leader for the District 6200 Vocational Training Team that visited New South Wales, Australia.
The Shirleys reside in Abbeville, La. Mark’s wife Rebecca is the business development coordinator.