Jennifer Vashon has been in charge of both Maine’s Black Bear and lynx programs since 2002, but her involvement with bears extends far beyond that. In the early 1990s, Vashon joined Cross’ volunteer Bear Crew, and the native of Appleton, Maine, recently served as the chairperson on the Northeast Black Bear Technical Committee and presented “Maine Black Bear Management” at the Eastern Black Bear Workshop.
“This process is extremely rewarding,” Vashon said of being a wildlife biologist. “In the process of learning about wildlife, we get the unique opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of the animals we study. I feel extremely fortunate.”
With thousands of Black Bears in Maine comprising the largest population of Black Bears of any state in the continental United States, Vashon has made understanding Black Bears a top priority of her time at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
“I enjoy the outdoors, photographing and viewing wildlife, hunting birds, canoeing and kayaking, and visiting and exploring new places,” Vashon said. “One of my favorite places is the North Maine Woods – my second home.”
Vashon earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Maine and her master’s degree in Wildlife science at Virginia Tech.