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Kassandra Townsend is an Ecology and Conservation Biology major at the

Detailed Description

Kassandra Townsend, a member of the Acoma Pueblo tribe, is an Ecology and Conservation Biology major at the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources at the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (ICFWRU).  She is projected to graduate this Fall of 2020 and has several accomplishments and awards to her name already. 

Kassandra continues to gain real-world employment experience in natural resources while balancing rigorous coursework at school and contributions to her community.  She works extensively with the University of Idaho Experimental Forest as Administrative Assistant and Wildlife Program Lead.  This summer, Kassandra was a crew member assisting ICFWRU graduate student Matt Nelson in conducting black bear research in northern Idaho.  In partnership with Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the crew trapped and collared black bears, utilized trail cameras, and collected genetic samples.  Currently, she is in the process of applying for the “Bridge to Doctorate” graduate program/fellowship at the University of Idaho to continue her exciting journey as a wildlife professional and conservation leader.

Kassandra is an All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar and a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar Program (DDCSP) alumni.  Kassandra earned the 2019 American Indian Services Scholarship Award and the 2019 Udall Foundation Scholarship Honorable Mention.  For her DDCSP internship with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Maui, Hawai’I, she re-established a refuge nest monitoring program for endangered Hawaiian Coots and Hawaiian Stilts to determine occupancy, nest success, and conduct predator removal.  Her presentation on this research earned her the Best Student Presentation award at The Wildlife Society – Idaho Chapter annual conference. 


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