Image Credit: USFWS



2019 annual meeting

The Human Dimensions Working Group annual meeting will take place Monday, September 30, 2019 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. in Room Treasures B of the Atlantis Hotel during TWS’ 26th Annual Conference in Reno, NV.

Working Group election opens June 14

The working group will be electing new board members for the positions of Chair-elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and Board Member at Large. The term of office is 2 years and those elected will take office at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Reno Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2019. Elections for these position will open on June 14 and will be open for 30 days.

Please review the nominee bios below. Descriptions of the responsibilities of these positions are available here.


Ashley Gramza, AWB, is a conservation social scientist with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission who has been a member of The Wildlife Society since 2005. Since joining TWS, she has been very involved with the society at all levels. This includes serving as the Student Liaison to Council in 2012, a Leadership Institute participant in 2015, and an Associate Editor for the Wildlife Society Bulletin since 2018. Before coming to Arkansas, Ashley worked with the human dimensions program in the National Park Service’s Biological Resources Division and served as the National Bird Conservation Social Science Coordinator housed at Virginia Tech University. More broadly, Ashley studies the social aspects of conservation and enjoys helping biologists integrate social science information to learn about topics such as conservation on private lands, hunter and angler preferences, urban wildlife, and outdoor cats.

Ashley holds degrees in both wildlife ecology (B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison) and human dimensions of natural resources (M.S., Ph.D. (in progress), Colorado State University). If elected, she hopes to encourage more social scientists to get involved with TWS and increase social science awareness and capacity across the membership through trainings, webinars, symposia and other opportunities.


Haley Netherton: I am currently in the final semester of my M.S. in Natural Resources (Human Dimensions Emphasis) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and will be beginning a Ph.D. program in the human dimensions field in the fall. My thesis research is focused on assessing attitudes towards bears and their management at the local and global scales. I first got involved with TWS as an undergraduate at the University of Maine, where I double majored in Zoology and Wildlife Ecology with a concentration in Conservation Biology and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, my interest in and passion for the “human side” of wildlife grew, culminating in the development of my undergraduate thesis on the nexus of environmental enrichment, public education, and public attitudes at a grizzly bear sanctuary in Montana. I have long been involved in environmental outreach and education, working at organizations including the Indianapolis Zoo, Maine Audubon, and Montana Grizzly Encounter. As a graduate student, I act as the TA for an introductory undergraduate human dimensions course at UW-SP. I have been fortunate to attend and present my research findings at both international and domestic conferences and professional meetings. Currently, I am a member of TWS at the national, state, and working group levels, and hope to become more involved in the HD Working Group by serving as the Secretary/Treasurer. Thank you for your consideration in electing me!


Gino Giumarro: I am a Certified Wildlife Biologist with more than 25 years of experience conducting natural resources investigations and permitting in the energy, government, transportation, and commercial markets. I have led multidisciplinary teams for linear project routing, siting, assessment, and associated permitting. I was in the early development stage of developing bird and bat survey protocols for wind power assessments and in conducting wind siting assessments across the country. In addition, I has led the environmental services efforts for some of the largest pipelines and natural gas gathering systems in the country. I have specialized expertise with bird and bat surveys, with a focus on rare species surveys and consultations under the Endangered Species Act.

I have specialized in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license applications, ecological community characterizations, biological assessments, Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations, Clean Water Act permitting, and document preparation in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). I have also provided emergency ecological response services at several significant oil spills across North America advising on cleanup operations as they relate to the further ecological impacts and impacts in the community.  I have chosen to pursue these fields specifically because they are the applied interface between society and the environment.

I received a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Massachusetts and a MS in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont.  Understanding that I wanted to work understanding how people made decisions about wildlife management, I chose graduate research that looked at the user perceptions of non-consumptive wildlife users. As an ecologist working on the Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessments for cleanup of the Housatonic River, I realized that my interests were not just in evaluating wildlife, but also in the complex social constructs in which such a cleanup was occurring.  I have continued working as a consulting ecologist with a continued interest in helping stakeholders understand the importance of public perception and opinion in wildlife management.  I have explored through lectures and presentations a variety of topics, including,  ecopsychology of the Department of Defense; motivations for encroachment around airfields; commodification of wildlife watching; and the public participation process of NEPA.  I am currently working with a variety of energy companies to help them understand the important contributions that social science can have in meeting the needs of stakeholders, while at the same time meeting their project purpose.

Colleen Hartel: I am currently the Human Dimensions Specialist for the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife. I have a multidisciplinary educational background in both natural and social sciences. I hold a B.S. in Wildlife from Purdue as well as a M.S. in Environmental Social Science and a Masters of Public Administration from Ohio State. I have been involved with The Wildlife Society for more than eight years. During this time I have served in multiple leadership roles across units including Chair of the Conservation Affairs Committee for the North Central Section, Chair of the Student Development Working Group, Student Liaison to TWS’s governing Council, and Policy Intern for TWS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

If elected as a board member, I hope to support the working group and efforts to promote human dimensions as an integral part of the wildlife field. I believe my deep involvement with TWS can aide the board in navigating the organization, connecting with other working groups, and continue establishing ourselves as a critical part of wildlife management. I hope to be able to serve my fellow human dimensions professionals in this role!