Pelton, Michael

Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Ecology

Michael Pelton is Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Science, Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, The University of Tennessee. For 32 years he conducted research on black bears and various other mammals (raccoon, deer, cottontail rabbits, European wild hogs, red wolves, river otter) in the southern Appalachians.

He and his graduate students have delved into numerous aspects of the ecology and life history of black bears and assisted private and public organizations and agencies on management issues regarding this species. Michael is currently technical advisor to a variety of bear projects and wildlife organizations and agencies regarding bear issues. The black bear research project he initiated in 1968 is Great Smoky Mountains National Park just completed its 40th consecutive field season and is the longest continuous research project of any bear species in the world.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Valley Conservation Council and is an Associate Director of Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District. Michael has 4 grown sons and 3 grandchildren. His wife Tamra is on the faculty of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. They reside on their mountain farm in Augusta County, VA.