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Kate Kendall

Emeritus Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Kate Kendall has spent her career as a research ecologist studying grizzly and black bear demography and ecology for the National Park Service and US Geological Survey in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  She has helped pioneer the development of genetic detection methods to study forest carnivore populations. As Leader of the Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project she directed an ecosystem-scale research program that used noninvasive genetic methods to assess the status of a threatened, but recovering population. In this capacity she coordinated the involvement of 12 federal state, tribal, and provincial agencies and numerous private corporations and organizations. Kate was also the Principal Investigator of the Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear DNA Project, another study using noninvasive genetic methods to acquire baseline data on the size, distribution, and genetic structure of an endangered population. For this, she forged a partnership between county, city, federal, state, and tribal agencies and numerous private corporations and organizations to support the project’s goal of providing credible science to the debate about the status of this population. In recent years, she secured more than $12 M in competitive grants and agency, congressional, and NGO funding to support her ecological research.  She was an invited participant in the NCEAS and NESCent Working Group Genetic Monitoring for Managers, an effort supported by the National Science Foundation. She served the International Association for Bear Research and Management as Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Council Member and as Associate Editor of its peer-reviewed journal, Ursus. As a founding member of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation and long-time board member, she has promoted the conservation of this keystone species throughout North America.


Kate has received numerous awards for her contributions to wildlife research and conservation and has published dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles.  In 2010, one of her papers received The Wildlife Society’s Outstanding Wildlife Article Award and in 2012 another publication received the Alberta Chapter of TWS Wildlife Paper of the Year Award.  She was the 2014 recipient of the Northwest Section of The Wildlife Society’s Arthur S. Einarsen Award for outstanding service to the wildlife profession.  She has been recognized multiple times by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for her long-term leadership and commitment to grizzly bear research. During her career, she has received numerous USGS performance awards for research initiative and productivity and for outstanding science communication to Congress and the public. Her research in support of National Park Service science-based management was recognized by the Director’s Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Research.  Her long term contributions to the mission of the Department of the Interior were recognized by Superior and Meritorious Service Awards.  She is continuing her innovative work on developing more effective and efficient approaches to monitoring forest carnivore populations as an emeritus scientist with USGS.