Full Schedule Is Posted Below
Click here to download a draft copy of the schedule. The schedule is subject to change. Last updated 9/27/22.
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The Symposium kicks off with the Student/Mentor Session on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with the Welcome Reception to follow at 6 p.m. If you are attending the Wolves and Wilderness Bus Tour on Thursday, the bus departs at 6 a.m. The symposium wraps up Sunday at 1: 30 p.m.
Moderator: Brent Patterson – Senior Research Scientist Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Robert Serrouya – Director, Caribou Monitoring Unit, British Columbia, Canada
- Barbara Zimmerman – Research Associate, Scandinavian Wolf Research Project SKANDULV
- Rod Boertje – Research Biologist, State of Alaska, retired
Controlling wolf numbers to benefit ungulates has been an element of wildlife management for over a century in many areas of the world. This panel explores motivations, management tactics, costs, outcome and social ramifications from several present-day jurisdictions. The selected panelists will describe their experiences including methods used, costs/effort, outcomes, and relative levels of social acceptance. Rob Serrouya will discuss wolf control experiments associated with conservation of woodland caribou in British Columbia. Rodney Boertje will provide details on intensive Alaskan wolf management policies as they pertain to both wolves and their ungulate prey. Barbara Zimmerman will discuss Scandinavia’s motivation for controlling wolf populations to reduce livestock conflicts, loss of hunting dogs, and competition for game species.
- Jorge Servin – Professor, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Mexico City, Mexico
- John Oakleaf – Mexican Wolf Field Projects Coordinator
- Kim Wheeler – Director, Red Wolf Coalition
- Kevin Crooks – Director, Colorado State University Center for Human-Carnivore Coexistence
- Eric Odell – Species Conservation Program Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife
In some regions of North America, wolf recovery has been a “work in progress” for some time. Mexican Wolf recovery projects are active both south and north of the border. Jorge Servin will discuss progress being made in Mexico, while John Oakleaf will provide details on activities on the U.S. side.
Kim Wheeler will provide updates on the faltering status of the red wolf and what work is being done to protect and restore this species.
The State of Colorado is responding to a referendum to restore wolves in that state. Meanwhile, wolves dispersing from the Northern Rockies in recent years have founded several packs and have produced pups. Eric Odell and Kevin Crooks will provide information on reintroduction planning, the status of naturally recolonizing wolves, details on the referendum, conflict with livestock and more.
- Ken Laudon – Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Ben Maletzke – Statewide Wolf Specialist, Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife
- Roblyn Brown – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Program Coordinator
The gray wolf has made a strong comeback in the Pacific Northwest and California. As population numbers trend upward, so do public interest and engagement. Management of wolves is a contentious issue throughout the region.Three panelists will provide status updates as well as information about efforts to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. Kent Laudon, Roblyn Brown and Ben Maletzke will discuss: (a) wolf population distribution and numbers, (b) depredation issues and coexistence initiatives, (c) habitat needs for sustaining wolves, and (d) current research.
- Bob Landis – Independent Producer/Cameraman
- Doug Smith – Senior Wildlife Biologist, Yellowstone National Park
- Dan Stahler – Wildlife Biologist, Yellowstone National Park
- Jeremey SunderRaj – Biological Science Technician, Yellowstone Wolf Project
THREE WOLVES tells the story of three, white alpha females over 17 years of recording them in the interior of Yellowstone National Park. Through the three packs, much of Yellowstone’s research may be traced. The video presentation personalizes the much-studied wolves and gives life to the animals that provide the data for the groundbreaking research. THREE WOLVES is both entertaining and informative. National Geographic Television has crafted a documentary based on the video story of these wolves and the scientists who have studied them.
THREE WOLVES will show in vivid detail the work of the scientist panel that follows. The panelists will discuss: 1) wolf habituation, 2) the history of the Wapiti Lake Pack, and 3) pack family dynamics that include mating strategies, genetic approaches to studying wolves, pup production, and maternal lineage legacies over multiple generations using the examples of the white colored females at the helm of the Hayden, Canyon, and Wapiti packs.
Moderator: Dick Thiel – Program Committee Chair-International Wolf Symposium, retired wildlife biologist
- Tom Gable –Project Lead, Voyageurs Wolf Project (Research/Academia)
- Regina Mossotti – Wildlife Biologist and Director of Animal Care and Conservation, Endangered Wolf Center (Captive Wildlife Management/Advocacy)
- Diane Boyd – Wildlife Biologist, Retired (Wildlife Agencies Management)
- Greg Breining – Writer, Co-Author of Wolf Island (Science Writing)
The International Wolf Center will be kicking off their International Wolf Symposium with a special panel, So, You Want to Work with Wolves…! This special session is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students who express an interest in career paths working with wolves. Featured panelists will share their perspectives as employees in wildlife agencies, research and academic fields, NGOs such as wolf advocacy and zoological enterprises, and in science writing. What are the individual panelist’s motivations, how have these motivations been accommodated in employment settings? What are various occupations and working opportunities? What is the job like? The International Wolf Center hopes this will help students make informed decisions that will aid them in landing satisfying careers that may involve wolves.
Human-Caused Mortality Triggers Wolf Pack Instability: A Study from Five U.S. National Parks
Moderator: Doug Smith
- Kira Cassidy – Research Associate, Yellowstone Wolf Project (Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks)
- Steve Windels – Wildlife Biologist, Voyageur National Park (Voyageurs National Park)
- Bridget Borg – Wildlife Biologist, Denali National Park and Preserve; Principal Investigator for Denali wolf and caribou research and monitoring projects (Denali and Yukon Charlie National Parks)
National Parks are tasked with protecting wildlife and natural processes. Given that many park wolves’ travels are transboundary, where they are subjected to – in some locations – dramatically different management regimes when they cross jurisdictional boundaries, how well does the Park Service do in achieving its mission to protect wolves and the natural processes they are a part of? Panelists will explore park differences, similarities, and impacts of differing jurisdictional management styles affecting wolves at each park.
- Bridget Borg – Wildlife Biologist, Denali National Park and Preserve, PI for Denali wolf and caribou research and monitoring projects
Bridget will discuss the history of wolf studies in Denali National Park, beginning with Adolf Murie’s ground-breaking work some 80 years ago. Concerns over dwindling Dall sheep populations led to his investigations which relied primarily on leg-work. Poaching inside Denali in 1985 motivated a comprehensive study, using more modern techniques, including telemetry, to learn more about the population dynamics and ecology of wolves. This study continues to this day, and Dr. Borg will provide an update of wolves and wolf studies in this iconic National Park.
- Mark Romanski – Biologist/Natural Resource Program Manager, Isle Royale National Park
Mark Romanski will briefly describe the motivations and objectives of recent wolf reintroductions on Isle Royale. He will then provide an overview of the reintroductions themselves, and an update on wolf status, including numbers and survival of wolves, their movements, and the creation of wolf packs and productivity. Mark will also discuss monitoring efforts, and current scientific inquiries on wolves and their ecology being conducted by the National Park Service and collaborators on Isle Royale.
- John Vucetich – Distinguished Professor, Michigan Technological University
John will reflect on his more than two decades of Isle Royale wolf research focusing on how those experiences shaped his understanding of broader relationships between humans and wolves. He’ll share a series of readings from his new book, Restoring the Balance, that situate discoveries from Isle Royale over the years in broader contexts of history, science, and Vucetich’s personal path on the road to better understanding nature.
- Blaire Van Valkenburgh – Distinguished Research Professor, UCLA
North America was a very different place when gray wolves first arrived in the Pleistocene, packed with large carnivores, including lions, dire wolves, short-faced bears, and sabertooth cats. Noted paleo-ecologist, Dr. Van Valkenburgh, will describe the diversity and competitive dynamics of the late Pleistocene North American predator guild, and the likely position of the gray wolf within it. She will discuss the origin of the gray wolf, its evolution, and relationship to other canids, as well as an explanation of its success in surviving the Pleistocene extinctions that exterminated its competitors.
- Kira Cassidy – Research Associate, Yellowstone Wolf Project
The Yellowstone wolf studies have greatly expanded our understanding of wolves and wolf ecology since their reintroduction in 1995. Kira Cassidy reports on the importance of elderly wolves in maintaining pack cohesion and stability. She notes that elderly wolves serve as important reservoirs of knowledge, contributing to pack culture, successful reproduction, and they assist in territorial encounters with neighboring packs. And, she will compare attributes of elderly members as observed in other social creatures.
Closing Co-Keynote Address
- L. David Mech – Senior Research Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey
- Luigi Boitani – Chair, IUCN/SSC Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe
The 2022 International Wolf Symposium, which commences with a panel focusing on students who are interested in career paths involving wolves, will come full circle to feature two world-renowned wolf biologists – Dave Mech and Luigi Boitani – who will provide the keynote address at the conclusion of the three-day event. Each will provide a review of their life’s work on two continents. The audience will learn of the status of wolves and the research priorities then and how that changed and grew, and perspectives on what we have learned and what we still need to learn about gray wolf ecology.