Board & Staff

Dr. Erika Nowak

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Secretary - Erika is currently an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability and the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and is the owner of Erika M. Nowak Herpetological Consulting. She earned a BS in Wildlife Biology from Cornell University (1991), and a MS in Biology (1998) and a PhD in Biology (2009) from Northern Arizona University. Erika’s current research interests are in ecology, behavior, conservation, and science-based management of herpetofauna, particularly federally threatened gartersnakes and venomous reptiles. Her internationally-recognized conservation work with rattlesnakes and gartersnakes was profiled in the 2018 book American Snakes. Erika is passionate about using the results of scientific research to teach people to live in harmony with venomous predators and other wildlife. Her rattlesnake ecology and safe handling trainings for state, federal, and local agencies and private groups encourage humane handling and management of venomous snakes.

Prairie Dog Life

Click on the burrow images to find out more.

Nursing Chamber

A mother keeps her young pups safe while the other Prairie Dogs investigate the snake.

Entering the Burrow

A prairie dog hears an emergency cry of "snake" and goes to investigate.

Listening chamber

A prairie dog sits listening just beneath the surface of the ground.

The Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake found a prairie dog burrow to sleep in but has been discovered by the prairie dogs.

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