As a regional program coordinator in the Wildlife Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Steve Bonney deals with the interactions between people and animals. For instance, he serves on the divisions Black Bear Committee, which monitors the black bears now reappearing in Eastern Kentucky after many years absence. Though many people welcome the return of the bear, others are not so sure, and the state wildlife managers must decide what to do if a particular bear becomes a problem for humans.
Though he now spends much of his work time behind a desk, managing budgets, personnel matters, and policy questions and helping to develop regulations, Steve has many years experience as a hands-on wildlife biologist. After getting his bachelors degree in natural resources conservation at the University of Connecticut, he did graduate work in wildlife ecology at the University of Kentucky. His first experience with Fish and Wildlife was as a trapperhe caught ruffed grouse for a research project. After several years of additional research work at UK, he joined Fish and Wildlife as a biologist in 1987.
Not that he stopped learning, though. According to Steve, Education doesnt end! His schedule also includes numerous conferences, workshops, and continuing education classes to help him keep up with evolving theories of wildland and wildlife management. He applies that knowledge in setting procedures and work priorities for the private-lands, public-lands, and forest-management biologists he supervises. In addition, his job requires communication, public relations, and decision-making skills as he coordinates efforts with other agencies.