Amy Symstad


Amy Symstad is a plant ecologist whose research seeks to advance the understanding of prairie plant communities, their natural and anthropogenic drivers, and management practices to sustain and restore them.  Most of her work serves National Park Service units in the northern Great Plains, where altered fire and grazing regimes, invasive species, and climate change present conservation and management challenges.


  • Ph.D., Ecology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1998.
  • S.B., Environmental Engineering Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992

Professional Experience

  • 2003-present: Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
  • 1998-2002: Prairie Restoration Ecologist, Lost Mound Field Station, Illinois Natural History Survey


  • National Park Service
  • North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Forest and Grassland Laboratory