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COBE Alum Krista Lyons Volunteering in Community while Pursuing PhD

Elephants in Amboseli National Park Kenya.

Elephants in Amboseli National Park Kenya.

Semi-retired Professor Dusty Bodie caught up with Boise State University MBA graduate, Krista Lyons. She told Bodie that while she did not end up going into the business sector, the skills she acquired while earning her MBA have proven invaluable in her pursuit of a PhD and while presenting at international conferences.

Lyons is a PhD candidate in public policy and administration, and a graduate assistant in the School of Public Service at Boise State. Lyons’ doctoral dissertation is on the rule-making process under Endangered Species Act. “I am also interested in human-wildlife conflict mitigation policy and conservation policy,” said Lyons. “I am presenting in Sweden later this month on human-elephant mitigation strategies being used in Gorongosa National Park.

Last year at President Krustra’s invitation, Krista presented to the Boise State Administrative Council on her Pathways Kenya experiences. Lyons attend the Pathways Kenya conference in January of that year. Pathways is a conference and training program designed to address the myriad issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable and healthy manner.

Recently, Lyons traveled to Gorongosa National Park and was able to work on her policy analysis, talking in person with researchers who are working on strategies to address human-elephant conflict/interactions such as elephants that leave the boundaries of the park and raid crops in local villages.

Krista Lyons with Special Olympics athletes

Krista with speed skaters from Taipei and Hungary at the Special Olympics World Winter Games.

In July Lyons will present at the International Congress for Conservation Biology held in Cartegna, Columbia. “The Congress is only held every two years and is highly competitive,” said Lyons. “I feel honored to have had my abstract accepted for an oral presentation.”

Lyons  is also busy volunteering. She has held several volunteer positions with Special Olympics including director of volunteers for Idaho State Summer Games, and she is in her second year of volunteering at Zoo Boise, as an animal care assistant for the penguin section and as a Conservation Cruise Captain. And, when she can, Lyons volunteers at Ride For Joy in Emmett, a therapeutic riding program which serves individuals with physical and cognitive special needs.

Krista Lyons with two Samburu warriors

At the Wildlife Conservation Network offices in San Francisco, Krista stands with two Samburu (Kenya) warriors, who are members of the Ewaso Lions Warriors Watch. They raise awareness about conservation and advocating for peaceful co-existence with lions and wildlife.

Krista Lyon at sign in Kenya on the equator

Krista at the equator in Nanyuki, Kenya. “The conference site straddled the equator, so I slept in the Northern Hemisphere, but ate in the Southern Hemisphere… way cool.”

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