Paradigm Shifts, Diversity and Inclusion, and Feet in Several Worlds

DATE: Sept 26, 2017
TIME: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Kiva Auditorium


Nalini Nadkarni
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is a Professor of Biology at the University of Utah, and is a forest ecologist who studies rainforest canopy organisms and their interactions in tropical rainforests. She is a passionate communicator about nature and science to people in all walks of life, and had innovated science engagement and conservation programs that bring lectures, experiential learning, and conservation projects to non-traditional public audiences such as faith-based groups, urban youth, artists, modern dancers, rap singers, legislators, and incarcerated men and women. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. She has written over 110 scientific articles and three scholarly books, including “Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Nature”. Her recent awards include the National Science Foundation Public Service Award, the AAAS Award for Public Engagement, the Archie Carr Medal for Conservation, and the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice.

Jennifer Malpass
U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent, MD

Dr. Jennifer Malpass is a Bird Banding Lab Biologist at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  Originally from Chicago, she worked on wildlife research projects across the US, South Africa and Thailand before earning her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.  Jenn is passionate about connecting all people to nature to increase capacity for wildlife conservation. She is an Associate Wildlife Biologist© and has been a TWS member since 2011.

Scott Aikin
National Native American Program Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vancouver, WA

Scott Aikin is an enrolled member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation of Northeast Kansas and has more than twenty five years of experience working in the Federal Government helping carry out its trust responsibilities toward Tribes throughout the United States. He most recently served as the Deputy Regional Director of Indian Services for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Northwest Region, a position he has held since 2009.  In his new capacity as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) National Native American Liaison, Aikin works with the Department of the Interior and the Service’s leadership to ensure that the agency’s actions and authorities are implemented in ways that respect and acknowledge Tribal sovereignty and the importance of Tribal wildlife stewardship.


This plenary was organized by the Early Career Professionals Working Group, Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group, and Native Peoples Wildlife Management Working Group in collaboration with TWS President Bruce Thompson. As the U.S. population continues to gravitate toward urban areas and the baby-boomer generation retires, urban-raised millennials will play an increasingly greater role in natural resources management.  This demographic shift poses challenges and opportunities to the profession regarding disparity between generational and professional cultures, different strategies for engaging stakeholders, and increasing reliance on emerging technologies. Tribal and indigenous individuals working in natural resources and wildlife management programs, and non-tribal individuals working for tribal agencies can share unique and important perspectives on managing wildlife in an unfamiliar cultural setting and the benefits of seeing wildlife management in different cultural contexts. There is broad recognition of the need to incorporate diverse views beyond consumptive uses and the philosophy of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. This incorporation extends to native peoples perspectives, environmental organizations, animal welfare views, millennials, and others with interest in native fauna and flora while not ignoring human interests in more traditional aspects of wildlife use, conservation practices, and funding for public resource programs. This plenary highlights some of the challenges associated with shifting cultural paradigms in wildlife management and a need for diversity and inclusion of interested parties.

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