Excellence in undergraduate and graduate education in wildlife ecology since 1935.The University of Maine’s close proximity to a diverse array of ecosystems and wildlife provides an outstanding setting for our wildlife ecology program, and the many other programs in ecology, biology, and natural resources in the College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences provide a diverse array of courses for wildlife ecology majors, and opportunities to engage with faculty-lead research.

What’s New

New Scholarships starting 2024

Two scholarships have recently been established in memory of Erin Peterson and Joan Trial.

Erin petersonThe Erin Peterson Memorial Award was established in memory of Dr. Erin Peterson, a graduate of the University of Maine and a fisheries biologist with the State of Washington.  Erin lost her life at the age of 31 doing what she loved.

The award is a collaboration with the Penobscot County Conservation Association (PCCA) and Erin’s family and friends. Beginning in 2024, the award will be made annually to an individual who is pursuing an advanced degree focused on conservation and management.

joan trialThe Joan Trial Graduate Travel Award was established at the University of Maine Foundation with gifts from family, colleagues, and friends.

Of particular interest to Joan were the students she taught and mentored.  Establishment of this award will continue to support  student’s professional development in her memory.

To learn more about these two new awards or to make a donation to either of them, please visit – https://umaine.edu/wle/alums/give-back-department/

Wildlife In the News

See what faculty, students, staff, and alums are up to

Heat waves are not good for cold-water fish species (Whittum ’22)

June 20, 2024 – The Pitscataquis Observer

June 18 was National Go Fishing Day, but Maine biologists encouraged people to leave the cold-water species in their safe zone during the heatwave and seek warm water fish such as bass, perch, or pickerel.

Small mammals create big changes in the forest (Humphreys)

May 31, 2024 by The Wildlife Society

Some small forest dwellers are bigger pilferers than others, and these differences can mean big changes on the landscape.

Researchers in Maine are looking at how the personalities of small mammals affect forest regeneration by impacting seed dispersal. The team, led by University of Maine graduate student Brigit Humphreys, set traps for small mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles and shrews to collected data about their personality traits and tag them.

Small mammals play a vital role in maintaining forest health (Humphreys/Mortelliti)

May 23, 2024 – Rodielon Putol, Earth.com

Deep within the Penobscot Experimental Forest in Maine, a team of researchers has uncovered a fascinating phenomenon involving small mammals.

These woods, located about 10 miles north of Bangor, are scattered with hidden treasures — not gold or jewels, but eastern white pine seeds.

These seed caches were strategically placed by researchers to study the behavior of the forest’s small mammal inhabitants.

To See the Past and Predict the Future, Try ‘Reading’ a Landscape (Charney)

May 22, 2024 – NY Times
How well do you know your own backyard? Noah Charney thinks you should take another look.

Early spring means an early end to black bear hibernation (Seward)

March 18, 2024 – News Center Maine
Bear researchers are asking residents to secure trash and bird feeders while they study long-term climate impacts on the species.

Bucky Owen to Receive 2024 Common Good Award

February 21, 2024 – Bowdoin News
A lifelong advocate and champion of conservation, Ray “Bucky” Owen, a member of the Class of 1959, has worked to ensure productive management of Maine’s inland fisheries and the preservation of the state’s natural resources.For his efforts to support ecological preservation across the state, Owen has been selected by the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees to receive the 2024 Common Good Award. After majoring in biology at Bowdoin, Owen earned a PhD in ecology at the University of Illinois and spent more than thirty years as a professor at the University of Maine’s flagship campus in Orono, during which he was chair of the wildlife department for a decade.

Tribal Nations Play a Growing Role in Addressing the Biodiversity Crisis (Merriam/Zydlewski)

December 13, 2023 – Sierra – Indigenous communities work to protect salmon, wolves, and condors
FOR MOST WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS, monitoring the health of animals consists of tracking wild creatures’ whereabouts, radio-collaring them when necessary, and taking blood samples and weight measurements.

Roth discusses wildlife with Windham Eagle

November 22, 2023 – UMaine News
The Windham Eagle interviewed Amber Roth, University of Maine associate professor of forest wildlife management, about humans cohabitating with various animals, including bears and opossums. “There is not much to worry about with an opossum,” she said.

‘Our Maine’ explores human impact on state’s wild places (Calhoun/Hunter ’74)

October 23, 2023 – Ellsworth American
SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Editors and a photographer teamed up to create “Our Maine: Exploring Its Rich Natural Heritage,” a book of essays by 33 contributors that paints a vivid portrait of Maine’s wild places and wild creatures, as well as of human impacts and the way the state’s heritage has changed.


Check out other news articles about research being conducted by students and faculty – here!

Check out news about alums – here!