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Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-261-0751
February 1, 2016

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Wildlife Management welcomes two new employees within the big game section as they serve in key statewide roles.

Assistant Deer and Elk Ecologist

Derek Johnson
Derek Johnson
Photo Credit: WDNR

Derek Johnson has been named assistant deer and elk ecologist. Johnson has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in Conservation and Field Biology. He previously worked for the Beaver Creek Reserve, Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and the department's sharp-tailed grouse research project, Sandhill/Meadow Valley Work Unit, and was the manager of the chronic wasting disease processing center in Black Earth.

"I am looking forward to working with the people of Wisconsin, especially by helping them enjoy our deer resource now and into the future," said Johnson. "I am excited to become engaged in deer and wildlife management with landowners, whether it is through the Deer Management Assistance Program, County Deer Advisory Councils, or other management programs."

Assistant Deer and Large Carnivore Ecologist

Mary Annala
Mary Annala
Photo Credit: WDNR

Mary Annala has been named assistant deer and large carnivore ecologist. Annala has a bachelor's degree from Michigan Tech and recently received her master's degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she completed aerial surveys for wildlife on south Texas ranches. She previously worked in Alaska as a naturalist in Denali State Park, an environmental program specialist for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, as a Fish and Wildlife Services field technician, and as an intern with the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Florida.

"Working with wildlife species like deer, bears and wolves will be an exciting challenge," said Annala. "I look forward to working with the department, the many stakeholder groups, and others throughout Wisconsin."

For more information regarding wildlife management in Wisconsin, visit and search keyword "wildlife."

Last Revised: Monday, February 01, 2016

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