WSU Professor Receives Fulbright to Teach Wildlife Conservation in Austria

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University zoology professor Sam Zeveloff will take his extensive knowledge of mammalian
WSU zoology professor Sam Zeveloff poses for a photo in the Galapagos Islands next to a red-footed booby. Source: Sam Zeveloff
conservation issues in North America abroad this fall. Zeveloff was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will teach as a visiting professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna in Austria.

“I love foreign experiences,” Zeveloff said. “I’ve been to many parts of the world and want to go to many others. This looked like a very intriguing opportunity because the university is the premiere place in Austria to study wildlife ecology. The more I looked into it, the more impressed I was by the institution and the people that were there.”

In addition to lecturing, Zeveloff will study mammals native to Austria and learn of wildlife conservation efforts in the country.

“I want to learn more about Austrian wildlife management and bring back information to Weber State,” Zeveloff said, “so I can talk to my students about wildlife conservation and the management of hunting that occurs in Austria. It is very different from that which occurs in the United States.”

Zeveloff also will consult with wildlife experts on the recent infestation of raccoons into Austria. One of Zeveloff’s many publications is his book, Raccoons: A Natural History.

“Raccoons are non-native to Europe,” Zeveloff said. “Raccoons have been established in a few European countries for years now and recently have made their way into Austria. They are a nuisance species in Germany and the concern is that they will become a nuisance species in Austria.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Under the Fulbright Program, U.S. citizens, who are selected competitively, become eligible for scholarships to study, conduct research or exercise their talents abroad.

To prepare to teach a graduate course to his Austrian students, Zeveloff has spent the summer scouring current wildlife
 WSU zoology professor Sam Zeveloff and his wife Linda pose for a photo in South Africa. Source: Sam Zeveloff
management literature. He also has been reviewing past research that he and his students have conducted, to bring personal experiences to his class.

“I have research experience with and have taught about many different species,” Zeveloff said. “It’s been fun for me to go back and use some of this material from my own studies. I have been very lucky to live in northern Utah, where it is not terribly difficult to be involved in field studies with many different types of mammals.”

Reviewing current research, Zeveloff said that there are a few messages that he wishes to pass on to his students in Austria.

“We are still extremely fortunate on this continent to have many successful stories involving mammalian conservation,” he said. “It hasn’t always been that way. You can pick a number of different species. There are obvious ones such as the bison and the wolf. Both of these animals have faced catastrophic declines. We were fortunate to be able to save some populations and help them grow again. It is nice to be able to share with them what the factors are in the successes of wildlife conservation in North America while still pointing out that there are still tremendous challenges in guaranteeing these successes.”

Zeveloff will begin teaching Oct. 1 and will continue his course until Jan. 31, 2015. Zeveloff is the first Fulbright Scholar recipient from WSU in four years and the 10th since 1999.

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Sam Zeveloff, WSU zoology professor
801-626-6655 • szeveloff@weber.ed
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801-626-7295 •