Veronica Yovovich, PhD

Wildlife Conflict Specialist

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About

Trained as a wildlife biologist and quantitative ecologist, I work toward preventing conflicts between humans and wildlife, particularly livestock and carnivores. I am currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley in Luke Macaulay's Lab and wildlife conflict consultant.  My research and extension work blend modeling tools and experimental methods with practical applications to improve conflict management. I collaborate with livestock producers and land managers to ensure that the outcomes generated from my research are relevant, appropriate, and accessible for real world applications.

My ongoing goal is to help livestock producers manage their operations using tools and methods that keep livestock safe, simultaneously protecting carnivores that share the same landscape. 

Research

From competing with humans for wild game to eating livestock or companion animals, carnivores can be detrimental to rural livelihoods. This conflict often results in economic loss for the livestock producer and lethal removal for the carnivore, a situation that doesn’t benefit anyone involved. Thin profit margins and logistic challenges make testing various livestock protection methods nearly impossible for most livestock operations. My research seeks to alleviate some of these pressures by experimentally testing on-the-ground tools and reviewing policy instruments. Helping producers evaluate and implement the livestock protection tools and methods that fit their site-specific needs allows livestock and local carnivores to share valuable rangeland habitat.

Extension & Outreach

I work with livestock producers (large and small), residents, land managers, educators, conservation organizations, and other stakeholder groups operating in and near open space to help bring suitable management practices that keep livestock, people, pets, companion animals, and wildlife safe. Whether working with a land management agency, a ranch, an undergrad animal husbandry class, etc., each project is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of the particular context.

I am available to speak at public and private events to help raise awareness about widlfie conflict prevention. Contact me using the link at the bottom of the page if you have questions I can help answer. Visit these sites for information from previous workshops on livestock-carnivore conflict prevention:

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Teaching

Students learn best when they can synthesize complex concepts from smaller, more digestible components. Traditional university courses rely on lecture-based classes and readings from textbooks. My teaching uses discussion- and inquiry-based learning paired with readings from primary sources and discussions with a variety of stakeholders to scaffold students while they learn. Using natural resource management as a lens, I teach critical thinking skills by challenging students to answer their own questions and explain their logic. In fact, one of the most common remarks I receive on my student evaluations is, “I wish the instructor had just given us the answers instead of making us figure everything out,” which I take as a sign of success.

Visit this site for information on upcoming classes.

Contact

I am available for speaking events, consultations, contract work, and more. Please contact me if there’s anything I can do to help you keep  your animals safe.

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© 2018 Veronica Yovovich