Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a large carnivore ecologist with the American Museum of Natural History. She is a pioneer among black women who have attained a Ph.D in her field, where she studies the American black bear, African lions in rural Kenya and Tanzania, and grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Dr. Wynn-Grant has attained 3 degrees, including a Masters degree from Yale University and a Ph.D from Columbia University. Don’t miss this inspiring story from this extraordinary trailblazer.
Rae’s Episode Outline:
- [02:00] What are you most grateful for?
- [03:12] Growing up in California
- [03:36] Was becoming a scientist a passion of yours as a kid?
- [05:00] Why did you decide on becoming a wildlife biologist?
- [08:21] Are you in danger with your work?
- [11:34] How much of your time is spent doing actual field work?
- [15:43] What’s been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
- [17:42] Tell us about an amazing discovery within your research?
- [20:45] What are some of the biggest hurdles preventing POC from pursuing careers in science?
- [25:10] What would you suggest to young men, women and parents of youth, with an interest in science?
- [35:30] What’s one action we can all take this week to help us blaze our trail?
Ecology is the study of organisms and their interaction with the environment
It is important for parents to encourage their kids to explore whatever type of science speaks to them the most
I didn’t get outstanding grades when I was younger … as it turned out, I continued exploring science and my passion for it. Lesson is that just because I wasn’t at the top of my class didn’t mean that this career path wasn’t for me.
Find the individual at the very top of where you are and get on their schedule!
Rae’s Favorite Book:
Connect with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant:
Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant’s Bio
Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a large carnivore ecologist with an expertise in using statistical modeling to investigate how anthropogenic factors can influence the spatial patterns of carnivore behavior and ecology. In particular, she is currently studying the ecological and social drivers of human-carnivore conflict, and the influence of fine-scale human activity on connectivity of suitable carnivore habitat. Her current field system is the Western Great Basin where she studies a small population of American black bear (Ursus americanus). She has worked on similar research questions with African lions in rural Kenya and Tanzania, as well as grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
An active member of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Dr. Wynn-Grant is the Deputy Chair of the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity committee, which focuses on providing the tools and strategies needed for SCB to become a model organization for embracing and advancing issues related to equitable opportunity and representation in conservation biology.
A native Californian, Dr. Wynn-Grant attributes her interest in wildlife and conservation from the television shows she watched as a child. She was introduced to the field of conservation biology as an undergraduate and is unapologetic about her passion for studying charismatic megafauna.
Dr. Wynn-Grant received her B.S. in Environmental Studies from Emory University, her M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Columbia University. Her doctoral research focused on the ecological and social drivers of carnivore behavioral patterns in a human-modified landscape. She is currently a Conservation Science Research and Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Tracking Bears With Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant
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