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Joseph G

- Research Program Mentor

MS candidate at Michigan State University


Conservation Biology, Wildlife Management, Sustainable Development, Environmental Economics, Science Journalism, Non-Profit Leadership, Community Engagement, Media Outreach


Joe is currently a Master of Science student in conservation biology with the Boone and Crockett Program in Wildlife Conservation at Michigan State University. His thesis seeks to understand the environmental and social factors driving economic benefits captured by Namibia’s communal conservancies, roles of hunting and tourism on their financial sustainability, and influence of governance performance within the country’s community-based natural resource management program. Previously, Joe worked 7 years for a conservation organization and developed a passion for understanding the local benefits, community perspectives, and livelihood impacts of conservation. In his capacity as a program manager, he worked directly with government agencies, academic institutions, and other non-profits to fund and implement wildlife research projects around the world. One of his major accomplishments was leading an annual African meeting of government directors, the professional hunting industry, and community leaders from across southern and eastern Africa, transforming this conference into a powerful network of decision makers, expert wildlife practitioners, and sustainable use supporters. He represented his organization at a leadership level at CITES, IUCN, and other international policy arenas, in addition to serving as a primary liaison for partnerships with other NGOs. He is very experienced in communications, synthesizing complex wildlife science and management issues into policy recommendations and public materials, writing popular articles, and media engagement, in addition to being a successful project fundraiser through grant proposals. Joe received a B.A. from Tulane University in Environmental Studies, with minors in Environmental Science and Spanish. He is a member of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, among several other professional wildlife groups and conservation organizations. He currently lives in Washington, DC but is an enthusiastic Green Bay Packers fan from Wisconsin. He is an aspiring hobbyist with family and friends, enjoying all kinds of hunting and fishing activates, backcountry hiking, and adventure travel.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Communications Platform for Wildlife Conservation News

Wildlife policy is a constant cause of conflict between society's differing environmental values. This conflict can lead to polar approaches in wildlife management, suboptimal results for conservation, and often publicly accepted misinformation. The student will address this issue by creating a communications platform for sharing accurate, unbiased and scientific information on high profile wildlife topics of mutual interest. Based on a target audience of students and young professionals, the appropriate medium (blog, website, social media, podcast, etc.) will be designed and specific content curated for this demographic. This content, to also be independently researched and maintained, may include materials generated by the student and credible secondary news articles. Experience in establishing such a tool will provide working knowledge in current events and authoritative sources of information, along with skills gained in strategic and effective communications in science journalism.

Policy Analysis of U.S. Endangered Species Act

Implementation of the United States' Endangered Species Act is hotly debated, with questionable outcomes for example in private land conservation or international wildlife trade. After reviewing the legislation and its related administration, along with researching grey literature and ongoing reform positions, the student will draft an impact assessment, make recommendations, and propose specific measures for the appropriate decision makers. This policy analysis will give the student experience in environmental legal mechanisms in the U.S. government and natural resource policy more broadly.

Mapping a Wildlife Migration Research Problem

Animal migration and habitat corridors is an emerging field of study for conservation biologists and wildlife managers in the American West and around the world. The student will first conduct a robust in-depth literature review on the science of wildlife migration and then create a mapping tool to illustrate a specific research problem. This map can be designed using GIS or other software applications, and from publicly available data sources identified by the student. Skills will be learned in project design, independent research, review of scientific literature, and synthesizing complex issues into concrete management tools.

Coding skills

R Studio, limited proficiency

Languages I know

Spanish, conversational

Teaching experience

While I do not have much experience teaching in the classroom, I have been communicating to a diversity of public audiences as a subject matter expert for many years. This volunteer work includes guest presentations to high school students and undergraduate seminars.


Work experience

Conservation Frontlines (2023 - Current)
Managing Editor
Safari Club International Foundation (2015 - 2022)
Conservation Manager
IUCN Sustainable Use & Livelihoods Specialist Group (2020 - Current)
The Wildlife Society, International Wildlife Management Working Group (2023 - Current)


Tulane University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Environmental Studies
Michigan State University
MS Master of Science candidate
Conservation Biology

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