Ms. Kelly Pearce was recently presented with the Outstanding Wildlife Student Award by the MD-DE Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Ms. Pearce is a PhD candidate in the Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her studies are based at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science-Appalachian Laboratory. She is advised by Dr. Ray Morgan, Appalachian Laboratory Professor Emeritus and former Interim Lab Director, and Dr. Thomas Serfass, Frostburg State University Chair of the Department of Biology and Natural Resources and the North American Coordinator for the IUCN Otter Specialist Group.
For her PhD research, Ms. Pearce is studying river otters in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as part of a human dimensions and ecological study designed to determine if the species will be useful for promoting aquatic conservation. Ms. Pearce also serves as an instructor in the Department of Biology and Natural Resources at Frostburg State University and conducting research on spotted-skunks in western Maryland through a grant awarded by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which she co-authored. Ms. Pearce earned a B.S., Wildlife Conservation with a minor in Education from Juniata College, and an M.S. in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology at FSU.
During her brief career, Ms. Pearce has given 10 scientific presentations at various conferences, including MD/DE The Wildlife Society, the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, the Human Dimensions of Wildlife, and The Wildlife Society’s national meeting. She is a co-author on a peer-reviewed, recently accepted book chapter [Status of the North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) in the United States and Canada: Management practices and public perceptions of the species], and has several other manuscripts in review. More information about her research can be found at www.umces.edu/kelly-pearce.