Steve Slater, Ph.D., joined HawkWatch International in June 2006 as the organization’s Conservation Scientist and has since become the Conservation Science Director. Much of Steve’s recent work has focused on Golden Eagles, including monitoring, transmitter deployment and tracking, and risk assessments. Steve has also served as a principal investigator in research on the impacts of invasive cheatgrass, fire, and prey declines on West Desert (Utah) Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawks, and Burrowing Owls. He has overseen research on the potential risks of proposed wind developments to local, migratory, and wintering Golden Eagles, the potential impacts of oil and gas development on nesting raptors in Utah and Wyoming, and the ability of perch-deterrent devices to exclude raptor power line perch use in Southwestern Wyoming. Steve has also been involved in HawkWatch’s long-term nesting and migration surveys. His work also focuses on identifying current and emerging threats to raptors, information needs, potential future research projects, and translating raptor science into conservation action. Currently, Steve serves on Utah’s Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council and as the facilitator for the Utah Eagle Working Group. Before joining HawkWatch, he spent six years in Wyoming, where he obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming. His master’s thesis was on greater sage-grouse use of prescribed and wild burns and was completed in 2003. Steve obtained his Ph.D. in 2006 and wrote his dissertation on issues of scale and bird community responses to riparian cottonwood declines, Russian-olive invasion, and landscape alteration.
Currently, Steve oversees various projects related to Golden Eagles, including nest monitoring, trapping, banding, and tracking, monitoring and research projects for agency partners such as the Department of Defense and Bureau of Land Management, and consulting work for industries with potential eagle and other raptor issues.
Steve has had a life-long interest in birds and wildlife of all kinds and enjoys being outdoors with his wife and sons while hiking, mountain biking, camping, and wildlife watching.