Meet the Scientist, Geri Vistein
As a Conservation Biologist here in Maine, my work focuses on carnivores and our relationship with them. In order for carnivores to survive and play their role effectively in the ecosystems of Maine, our communities need to be informed and knowledgeable about their ecology and value, and to understand and practice coexistence skills.
So, in addition to research and collaboration with fellow biologists here in Maine, I educate our communities throughout Maine about carnivores, and how we can coexist with them. I work toward this through creative outreach projects with artists, musicians, poets and puppeteers, and by presenting the powerpoint program, “Coyote~ America’s Songdog,” and other programs as well.
I work with Land Trusts who seek to initiate greater biodiversity on the land they have protected by incorporating carnivores into their goals. By partnering with organizations, schools, and universities I support their efforts in offering children and young people experiential learning opportunities and innovative educational initiatives.
I received my undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, and my Masters in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. My Masters work focused on conflicts regarding the use of natural resources at Cape Cod National Seashore, and the social psychology of human belief systems. Prior to pursuing my Wildlife Degree, I had earned a Masters in Education.
While living in Montana I participated in research projects concerning carnivores: The Grizzly Bear DNA Study in and around Glacier National Park, The Elk Calf Mortality Study (determining the carnivores that caused their deaths) in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana, and a Snowshoe Hare Study (in reference to an ongoing Lynx study) in Yellowstone National Park.
In addition to my field work in the West, I was employed by Redlodge Clearinghouse, a collaborative effort in the West that brings diverse groups of stakeholders together. Participants create projects that involve “thinking out of the box” in order to find solutions on behalf of land and wildlife protection, and the well being of the human community.
I continue to expand my work here in Maine by creating this Educational Network for all Maine citizens, teachers, parents, children, farmers, our legislators, and political leaders in order that Maine will stand out in the Nation as a leader in the protection of a rich biodiversity, but also as an example of the mutual respect we have for each other’s diverse perspectives as we work together “for the Way Life should be”. Geri Vistein