Stephanne Payne

Stephanne is the epitome of perseverance and a role model for hard work when it comes to wildlife biology.

Finding herself entrenched in a career far from the outdoors, she decided to pursue her dreams and enrolled in Oregon State University’s wildlife program at a time in life when most people are thinking about settling down. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Wildlife-Human Dynamics from OSU in December of 2017 but already has an extensive list of wildlife achievements, mostly in the bear world. Though she maintains her 9 am to 5pm job (or in her case 7am to 9pm job!), she has become a stalwart in wildlife attack planning and response. She has helped coordinate and facililitate Wildlife-Human Incident Training (think bear and cougar attacks) which is also known as Wildlife-Human Attack Response Training (or WHART) for state, federal and provincial agencies and staff with an extensive outreach. The training has been featured in media ranging from local news (TV or newspaper) to national spots (Discovery/Animal Planet). She's worked with staff and/or agencies including Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon Territory, South Dakota, and more! (Here's a link if you're interested!)

Her passion for apex predators and her studies makes her an excellent resource not just for bears but for large cats and other critters that can eat you. She is also well-versed on topics such as trophic cascades and backpacking (having done countless solo hikes in the Appalachians as well as the Rockies). Her main strengths, however, are her speaking and writing skills. She is an accomplished writer and what she lacks in first-hand wildlife research is overcome by her ability to speak to the public with a passion that is infectious.

Her trusted and reliable hiking partner includes her 165-pound Anatolian shepherd, “Bandit Mackaye".