Scott Hygnstrom

Director, Wisconsin Center for Wildlife
Endowed Chair in Wildlife
Professor and Extension Specialist
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point

Areas of Interest

Wildlife damage management, wildlife diseases, wildlife/agricultural interactions, human dimensions in wildlife. Ecology of ungulates, rodents, and predators.


Ph.D.  Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1988)
M.S.    Natural Resources-Wildlife, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1983)
B.S.     Biology, Conservation, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (1980)

Professional Experience

– 2016-present  Professor and Director, Wisconsin Center for Wildlife
College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
– 2014-2015  Associate Professor and Director, Wisconsin Center for Wildlife
College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
– 2000-2014  Professor, School of Natural Resources
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
– 2011  Visiting Lecturer, International Cheetah Foundation
Otjejuarango, Namibia
– 1994-2000  Associate Professor, School of Natural Resource Sciences
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
– 1999  Visiting Scientist, USDA-APHIS-WS-National Wildlife Research Center
Ft Collins, Colorado
– 1988-1994  Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
– 1985-1988  Research Assistant, Department of Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
– 1987   Staff Lecturer, Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
– 1983-1986  Wildlife Damage Program Coordinator,     Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
and Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin Extension

Honors and Awards

Distinguished Service Award, TWS Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, 2022
, TWS, 2021
Graduate Faculty, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2014
Emeritus Faculty, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014
25-year Service Award, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014
Career Award, Nebraska Chapter of The Wildlife Society, 2014
Award of Appreciation, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services-Nebraska, 2014
Educator of the Year, National Wildlife Control Operator Association, 2012
Holling Family Award for Excellence in Teaching, UNL Institute of Ag and Nat Resources, 2011
Conservation Education Award, The Wildlife Society, 2010
Award of Excellence, Northeast Extension Directors Association, 2007
Excellence in Team Programming Award, UNL-Extension, 2005, 1996(2), 1994, 1991
Professional Development Certificate, The Wildlife Society, 2003, 1992
Professor of the Month, UNL Mortar Board, The Black Masque Chapter, 2003
Charles E. Bessey Award, UNL Center for Great Plains Studies, 2002
Educational Publication Award, Soil and Water Conservation Society, 2001
Team Programming Awards, Nebraska Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, 2000, 1999, 1996
Distinguished Service Award, Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association-Specialists Section, 1999
Early Career Award, Epsilon Sigma Phi, 1997
Certificates of Excellence, American Society of Agronomy, 1997, 1995
Communication Award, Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management, 1996
Educational Aids Award, American Society of Horticultural Science, 1995
Outstanding New Specialist Award, Nebraska Cooperative Extension Assoc-Specialists Section, 1994
Award of Merit, Council for the Advancement of Science Education, 1993
Team Effort Award, UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1991
Certified Wildlife Biologist, The Wildlife Society, 1990


WLDL 334/534        Ungulate Ecology
WLDL 305/505        Special Topics in Wildlife Management-Wildlife Damage Management
WLDL 305/505        Special Topics in Wildlife Management-Chemical Immobilization
WLDL 150                 Living with Wildlife
WLDL 140                 Wildlife Lab
Wildlife 100             Wildlife Profession and Preparation

NRES 348                 Wildlife Damage Management
NRES 448/848        Advanced Topics in Wildlife Damage Management
NRES 496/896        Special Topics – Wildlife Diseases
NRES 315                  Wilderness Study Tours
NRES 496                 Independent Study
NRES 497                 Career Experiences in Natural Resources Management
NRES 499                 Seminar – Communication in Natural Resources Management
NRES 842                 Landscape Ecology
BIO 100        Introductory Biology and Biology Lab
BIO 210        Botany Lab
BIO 230        Zoology and Zoology Lab
BIO 315        Wildlife Lab


Masters and Doctoral Students Advised

-Scott Groepper, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 2011
Avian Influenza in Migratory Birds in the United States, 2007-2009
-Travis Kinsell, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 2010
Scrapes as Vectors of Chronic Wasting Disease in White-tailed Deer
-Gregory Clements, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 2009
Home Range, Habitat Use, Movements, and Mortality of Male White-tailed Deer in the
Missouri River Valley
-David Baasch, PhD, Natural Resource Sciences, 2008
Habitat Selection and Risk Assessment in Cervids and Bovids
-Charles Frost, PhD, Natural Resource Sciences, 2006
Epidemiological Models to Predict the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Nebraska
-Jason Gilsdorf, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 2002
Effectiveness of Frightening Devices for Reducing Deer Damage in Cornfields
-Michael Cover, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 2000
Ecology of Elk in Northwestern Nebraska: Seasonal Distribution, Characteristics of
Wintering Sites, and Herd Health
-Bruce Stillings, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 1999
Ecology of Elk in Northwestern Nebraska: Demographics, Effects of Human Disturbance, and Characteristics of Calving Habitat
-Daniel Crank, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 1998
Landowner and Tourist Attitudes Toward Elk Management in the Pine Ridge Region of Northwestern Nebraska
-Kurt VerCauteren, PhD, Natural Resource Sciences, 1998
Dispersal, Home Range, Fidelity, and Vulnerability of White-tailed Deer in the Missouri River Valley
-Jeff Mach, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 1998
Warfarin: Primary and Secondary Effects of a Warfarin Bait for Black-tailed Prairie Dogs
-Kurt VerCauteren, MS, Natural Resources Sciences, 1993
Home Range and Movement Characteristics of Female White-tailed Deer at DeSoto NWR
-Nancy Foster, MS, Natural Resource Sciences, 1990
Black-tailed prairie dogs in Nebraska: Their biology, behavior, ecology, management, and response to a visual barrier fence


Goal–Provide current, cost-effective, research-based information to people dealing with wildlife conflicts; promote interest and knowledge of wildlife and habitat.

Specific past and current activities include:

  • Wisconsin Center for Wildlife
  • Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
  • eXtension Wildlife Damage Management
  • Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage
  • National Wildlife Control Training Program
  • Nebraska Master Naturalist Program
  • Nebraska Outdoor U! Program

Extension Grants and Contracts … Secured $2,693,228 through 23 grants and contracts


Goal–Conduct research/demonstration projects to examine the environmental factors associated with human-wildlife conflicts and their potential solutions, research distribution and spread of wildlife diseases. Published 66 peer-reviewed papers and presented research results at  conferences.  Secured $3,024,9390 through 22 research grants.

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