California Grizzly Reintroduction Socio-ecology
June 2021 - December 2024
Large carnivore reintroductions play an increasingly large role in global conservation efforts, yet they have been at the center of social conflicts that remain poorly understand. Improving our understanding of public support and opposition for these programs, especially at the local scale, is essential to sound decision-making that supports long-term conservation successes. In this research, I employ multiple methods in a case study of brown bear ("grizzly bear") reintroductions under consideration in California. Using novel spatial methods, I reconsider notions of habitat suitability by incorporating multiple approaches for understanding human tolerance for reintroduction. Simultaneously, using social science methods, I am conducting a longitudinal study of local attitudes and values around reintroduction at sites throughout the state. The findings of this research will support a well informed public conversation and first-of-its-kind data on how attitudes evolve in time and space before - and potentially during and after - a reintroduction.