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Katie Epstein

Education: PhD ’20, Montana State University
Cornell Adviser: Bruce Lauber (CALS/Natural Resources & the Environment)
External Partner: Wildlife Conservation Society
Theme: Advancing One Health

Emotional Dimensions of Biosecurity: Towards Improved Collaborative Management of Wildlife Disease

Kathleen (Katie) Epstein is a human geographer invested in interdisciplinary research that generates new theory and practice for the betterment of rural peoples, wildlife populations, and the agricultural landscapes they so often share. Epstein’s dissertation examines social-ecological change and wildlife management issues related to patterns of ranchland ownership in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Epstein will use a central finding from this work – that wildlife management is inherently emotional – as the starting point for a project focused on the nexus of wildlife health, conservation, and rural sustainability. Epstein will collaborate with CALS professor Bruce Lauber and collaborate with project partners at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Big Goose Creek Resolutions, and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research to analyze the role of emotions in biosecurity projects to control infectious wildlife diseases. This information is essential to improving communities’ capacity for managing wildlife disease to address conflict and creatively self-determine more sustainable, healthful, and equitable futures.

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