Ashley Gramza

National Bird Conservation Social Science Coordinator

Ashley Gramza was the National Bird Conservation Social Science Coordinator and Research Associate in the Dayer Lab from 2017-2018. She is now the Human Dimensions Specialist in the Research, Evaluation, and Compliance Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Little Rock. She is responsible for helping managers understand how Arkansans connect to fish & wildlife and how to integrate social science into fish & wildlife management decisions.

    Seth Lutter

    M.S. Student

    Seth Lutter was a Masters student in the Dayer Lab from 2016-2018. While at Virginia Tech he studied the human dimensions of early successional habitat conservation on private lands. He published research on landowner participation in conservation incentive programs, and the effects of outreach on landowners. Seth now works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he provides expertise on the human dimensions of private lands conservation. His social science research experience is instrumental to his current work.

      Lara Mengak

      M.S. Student

      Lara Mengak was a Master’s student in the Dayer Lab from 2016-2018. While at Virginia Tech, she studied human disturbance and shorebird conservation with a focus on drafting management solutions for mitigating or reducing disturbance. After completing her M.S., she worked for The Ohio State University for a year as a research associate where she studied the human dimensions of public lands and protected areas management. Now employed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in their Division of Subsistence, she works with subsistence and Alaska Native communities on bird harvest management and emerging bird conservation issues. 

        Mary Sketch

        M.S. Student

        Mary Sketch was a Masters student in the Dayer Lab from 2017 to 2019. While at Virginia Tech she studied the human dimensions of habitat conservation on western agricultural lands. Mary now works with the Center for Rural Strategies where she works as a program associate, collaborating with rural leaders across the country on rural development and outreach. 

          Julianna Duran

          Undergraduate Research Assistant

          In Spring 2020 Julianna was an undergraduate research assistant in the Dayer Lab. She conducted a Twitter Social Media Analysis of killer whale calf death that occurred a few years ago off of the Pacific Coast. The purpose of this project was to explore the connection between wildlife value orientations, anthropomorphism, and sad emotions in the public’s response to the event. Currently, Juliana is searching for graduate programs to continue studying conservation social science – specifically to benefit and support minorities in natural resources. Her career aspiration is to become a human dimensions professor to teach students the importance of this field and continue her own research.

            Seth Finkel

            Seth Finkel completed an independent study with the Dayer Lab in 2019 on the human dimensions of no net loss conservation policy and their implications for grasslands conservation in the U.S. He is now a Master’s student at Michigan Technological University, where he researches using drones for wild turkey and ruffed grouse surveys. Seth’s time with the Dayer Lab was instrumental in developing his academic writing skills in preparation for graduate school.

              Sami Livingston

              Undergraduate Research Assistant

              In Spring 2020, Sami Livingston was a human dimensions research assistant in the Dayer Lab. She conducted a qualitative analysis of wildlife value orientations and anthropomorphism in Tweets pertaining to an event in the Southern Resident Orca population. She is currently pursuing her interest in youth and environmental education.

                Ali McClung

                Undergraduate Research Assistant

                Ali McClung was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Dayer Lab in 2017-2018. While at Virginia Tech she double-majored in Wildlife Conservation and Forest Resource Management. Ali is now the state’s Nuisance Bear Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Her human dimensions skills come in handy when talking to landowners about nuisance bears.

                  Connor Rosenblatt

                  Human Dimensions Technician

                  Connor Rosenblatt was a Human Dimensions Technician in the Dayer Lab in 2018.  He worked on a research project examining the coupled human-natural system of birdfeeding. He is now a Masters student in Environmental Science at The Ohio State University.

                    Elizabeth Tsang

                    Human Dimensions Technician

                    In summer 2019 Elizabeth Tsang was a human dimensions technician in the Dayer Lab through a Dept of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Undergraduate Diversity Fellowship. She conducted a stakeholder assessment of wildlife viewing stakeholders in Virginia using their websites. Currently, she is working as a Natural Resource Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alamosa, Colorado. The writing skills and deeper understanding of the importance of social sciences in conservation she learned from her time in the Dayer Lab have been integral in her work with partners, the public, and policy related projects. 

                      Caitlin Watford

                      Undergraduate Research Assistant

                      In Spring 2020, Caitlin Watford was a human dimension undergrad research assistant in the Dayer Lab. She conducted a social media analysis on Southern Resident Killer Whales where she studied the relationship between anthropomorphism and wildlife value orientations. Currently, she is working as an undergrad research assistant in the Hopkins lab where she is performing video analysis of hellbender reproductive behavior. Caitlin hopes to use her research experience from the Dayer Lab to continue to pursue her passion for conservation by understanding how people’s knowledge, values, and behaviors influence wildlife management and policy-making.