Shaun Grassel

Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Shaun Grassel, Ph.D., joined First Nations in 2022 as Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands. In this position, Dr. Grassel leads the organization’s work in supporting Native ecological stewardship and improving Native control of ancestral lands and resources.

Before joining First Nations, Dr. Grassel served as a wildlife biologist for the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, where he created and led projects for grasslands restoration and rotational grazing, as well as for the reintroduction of wild turkey, black-footed ferrets, and swift fox.

Dr. Grassel has also held positions of project leader and biologist with the production and watershed divisions of the Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management.

Dr. Grassel is the co-author of several peer-reviewed publications on environmental issues especially surrounding the health and restoration of American badgers and black-footed ferrets. He is also the recipient of multiple awards, including a 2022 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, and an award for Distinguished Native American Alumni from South Dakota State University, American Indian Student Center.

Dr. Grassel has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, and Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University.