Stephen M. Vantassel, Ph.D., CWCP, ACP

Program Coordinator--Wildlife Damage Management

Stephen M.Vantassel webmaster for the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
414 Hardin Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0974
402-472-8961      svantassel2@unl.edu


Stephen Vantassel is Program Coordinator of Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources. Stephen fills the position vacated by Dallas Virchow, who moved to Wildlife Services in November of 2003. Stephen brings to the position a unique set of experiences. He achieved a B.A., Class of '87, in Biblical Studies from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and a M.A.T.S., Class of '89,  in Old Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts. He worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for several summers and eventually became a Lab Instructor for the Emergency Medical Technician Class at Springfield College.

All the while, Stephen maintained his interest in the field of animal damage control. He became one of the first Problem Animal Controllers in the state of Massachusetts and one of the first nationally Certified Wildlife Control Operators. He founded Wildlife Removal Service, Inc., headquartered in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts which he eventually sold it in 1998.  He also founded the Massachusetts Association of Problem Animal Controllers.

Stephen M. Vantassel inspecting an attic area

Stephen in an attic

Stephen has discussed topics related to wildlife damage control on television, radio and in public settings. But his greatest impact is to be found in the area of publishing. He has articles published in a variety of magazines and newsletters including, but not limited to, The Probe, Fur-Fish & Game, Trapper & Predator Caller, Animal Damage Control, etc.  He is a former Assistant Editor and staff writer for Wildlife Control Technology Magazine and continues to write for them. He has also published two books, both of which underwent expansions, The Wildlife Removal Handbook, rev. ed. And the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook rev. ed. Stephen's publishing also extends beyond the printed page to the web, where he had a column on "Living with Wildlife" on Suite101.com.

Stephen has a Doctorate in Theology. His dissertation was entitled, A Theological, Ethical, and Scientific Evaluation of the Christian Animal Rights Movement's Opposition to Wildlife Trapping. He believes that his academic training coupled with 'real-world' animal damage control experience provides him with a unique perspective on this controversial topic.

Stephen enjoys working at the University of Nebraska. He sees it as a chance to provide appropriate animal damage control advice to an even wider audience.

Stephen is happily married to Donna Vantassel who works as a Critical Care Nurse for St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. They live in Lincoln.

Publications with University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Visit University Publications


Wildlife Damage Management CV


  • Certified Wildlife Control Professional (CWCP) 2001.
  • Academy Certified Professional (ACP) 2007.
  • Nebraska Certified Pesticide Applicator, Categories 00 & 14. Since 2004.
  • Fur Takers of America Trapper's College 2010.
  • Master NWCOA Instructor (MNI) 2012.

Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations by Stephen M. Vantassel
  • Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel's book dealing with the animal rights movement. Published April, 2009 by Wipf and Stock.


NWCOA Educator of the Year 2008, 2012

NWCOA Trainer of the Year 2012.



Massachusetts Lic. Problem Animal Controller 1982-2004.

Connecticut lic.NWCO 1994-6.

Preliminary Investigation of Pocket Gopher Trap Efficiency. 2005-2009.

Founder of Wildlife Removal Service Inc. 1994-98.

Animal Control Officer for the City of Springfield, MA Oct, 93-Dec 95 & Chicopee 95-1998.

Involved in the Mid-Atlantic Rabies Epidemic.

Animals controlled/trapped: Bat, Beaver, Bull Frog, Canada Goose, Chipmunk, Crow, Eastern Mole, Feral Cat, Feral Pigeon, Flying Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Hairy-tailed Mole, House Mouse, Deer Mouse,  House Sparrow, Muskrat, Opossum, Pocket Gopher, Raccoon, Red Squirrel, Shrew, Snapping Turtle, Starling, Striped Skunk, Star-nosed Mole, Vole, Woodchuck, and Woodpecker.


Webmaster of www.icwdm.org 2004-present.

Webmaster of www.wildlifecontrolconsultant.com 2010-present

Wildlife Damage Management Community of Practice with eXtension.org 2006-present.

Webmaster of www.wildlifedamagecontrol.com 1998-2004.

Wildlife Damage Expert for Allexperts.com since Pest Control 10/22/2000 Pests 10/22/2000 Animal Rights 1/3/2001 Wildlife DC 10/11/2006


Stephen has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops including,

  • Wildlife Control Technology Annual Meeting
  • Wildlife Damage Management Conference
  • Vertebrate Pest Conference
  • Connecticut Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators Association Annual Meeting
  • Colorado Wildlife Control Operators Assocaition Annual Meeting
  • Kansas-Missouri State Pesticide Association Joint Meeting
  • Nebraska Urban Pest Management Conference
  • New York State Wildlife Management Association Annual Meeting
  • National Wildlife Control Operators Association Annual Meeting

Topics included:

  • Marketing for Wildlife Control Operators
  • Raccoons and Recent Research
  • Cage and Box Trapping Techniques
  • Advanced Cage and Box Trapping Techniques
  • Wildlife Damage Inspection
  • Wildlife Diseases
  • Control of Turf Damaging Animals
  • Control of Birds
  • State of the Wildlife Control Industry
  • Responding to the Animal Rights Movement




Vantassel, S. 2013. The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. Lincoln, NE: Wildlife Control Consultant.

Vantassel, S. 2012. Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd Edition. Lincoln, NE: Wildlife Control Consultant.

Vantassel, S., P. Curtis, and S. Hygnstrom. 2012. National Wildlife Control Training Program: Core Principles and Information. University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Cornell University.

Vantassel, S. 2009. Dominion over Wildlife? AnWildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition by Stephen M. Vantassel Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.


Pennisi, L. and S. Vantassel. 2012. Selective Bird Feeding: Deterring Nuisance Wildlife From Bird Feeders. EC1783. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Moon, R., G. Clausen, and S. Vantassel. 2012. The 411 on Raccoon Scat: A Rising Raccoon Population Means Increased Risk for Dangerous Disease and Infection--And Increased Claims.  Claims Management. May: 28-31.

Vantassel, S. 2012. A Draft Proposal for an Industry Protocol for the Cleanup of Raccoon Latrines. Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference. 33-39.

Reger, J., H. D. Herman, A. DeNicola, and S. Vantassel. 2012. National Wildlife Control Operators Association's New Certification Policy. Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference. 3-4.

Huot, A. and S. Vantassel. 2012. Advances in the Tools Used in the Effective Control of Urban Coyotes. Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference. 138-139.

Murray, R. and S. Vantassel. 2012. Urban Coyote Problems and Efficient Control Methods. Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference. 140-142.

Vantassel, S. 2012. A Jungle of Information. Pest Control Technology. September. 106, 108-109.

Articles published in Fur Taker Magazine, The Trapper-Predator Caller, Animal Damage Control, Probe, Wildlife Control Technology, Fur-Fish-Game, Condo Media, Pest Control Technology, American Society of Home Inspectors, NACA NEWS.


Tutor of Theology at King's Evangelical Divinity School (http://kingsdivinity.org), 2001-present



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