Forestry Graduate Student Spotlight – Antoinette Shirley
Graduate Student Antoinette Shirley shares her experience working with wildlife and habitat in the Navajo Nation and her interests in Indigenous forestry.
Hometown: Fairfield, California
Degree: Ph.D. Forestry
Advisor: David Rothstein and Emily Huff
Expected Graduation: Spring 2023
Forestry kind of chose me. I come from a background in Zoology and when I began looking into forestry, I realized that a lot of the work that I had been doing relates to forestry in one way or another. During my undergraduate studies I worked on butterfly habitat and golden eagle populations on the Navajo Nation, as well as elk habitat on the Yurok Reservation. Since coming to MSU and focusing on Forestry, I have been able to use my past experiences to build more connections and form similar research projects such as forest interactions in a rural Alaskan Indigenous community, and visiting the Menominee Nation for an Indigenous Planning Summer Institute program.
Graduate research focus:
My graduate research focus is Indigenous involvement in forest management practices. My goal is to analyze the relationships between Indigenous and governmental agencies and understand how they differ in management across forest landscapes.
Immediately after graduation I hope do a post doc in relation to Indigenous forestry, and then working as either an academic promoting Indigenous perspectives and narratives in forestry, or as a tribal relations specialist.
Advice for new forestry students?
Forestry is a diverse subject that allows students to branch out into infinite directions, don’t be afraid to voice your interests or where you want your research to go.
Poitra, C., Baier, A., & Shirley, A. (2019). Community Engaged Research: Reflecting on the Work of the Michigan State University Native American Institute. American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Poster)
Kolonich, A., Poitra, C., Smythe, W., Shirley, A. (2019). Overcoming Barriers to Providing Quality STEM Experiences to Rural Alaskan Native Youth in K-5 Classrooms. American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Talk)
Shirley, A.+, & Poitra, C. (2019). Understanding Forest Interaction in a Rural Alaskan Village: A Glimpse into Environmental Impact and Change. American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Poster)
Shirley, A. (2016). Poaching Impact on Golden Eagle Abundance. American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Poster)
Shirley, A. (2016). Poaching Impact on Golden Eagle Abundance. Native American Fish and Wildlife Society Southwest Region Conference, Flagstaff, Arizona. (Talk)