Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is dedicated to wildlife ecology research, but it wasn’t until life brought her to Kenya at age 20 that she had ever taken a hike, pitched a tent to camp or seen a wild animal. While there, she studied East African lions – top carnivores that live in close quarters with local communities – and observed that problematic interactions between the two groups threatened conservation efforts. Now, Dr. Wynn-Grant is finding similar patterns for North American black and grizzly bears.
As a scientist with the National Geographic Society’s Last Wild Places Initiative, Wynn-Grant works to protect and restore iconic wildlife populations – grizzly bears, bison, pronghorn, cougars and more. But there’s an obstacle: roads, fences and cattle ranches crisscross the habitat of these wide-ranging animals. Wynn-Grant studies the movements and behaviors of the bears in an effort to find ways to improve the relationship between local communities and the powerful wildlife that surround them.
Individual tickets for the 2022 National Geographic speaker series are $49 for members and $54 for non-members. (Museum general admission is not required – or included – with ticket purchase.) COVID-19 protocols will be in place.