Dr. Ellis-Felege Named to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Susan Ellis-Felege to its National Board of Directors. A longtime bird hunter and associate professor of wildlife ecology and management at the University of North Dakota (UND), now joins the 16-member board which meets quarterly and oversees the operations of Pheasants Forever, Inc. & Quail Forever.
“Not only is Dr. Ellis-Felege a lifelong upland hunter who will instantly connect with our membership, but she also brings an extensive background in wildlife biology and an overarching commitment to the mission that Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have worked to deliver since 1982,” stated Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “We look forward to her contributions as an important figure within The Habitat Organization.”
Ellis-Felege grew up in an outdoor-oriented household in western Pennsylvania. Her dad worked parttime as a Pennsylvania game warden and her mom was a teacher.
“So ultimately in my career, I turned out to be a perfect blend of my mom and my dad,” she said.

She and her sister were inundated with the natural world from an early age thanks to a father who pursued the outdoor lifestyle. They were avid waterfowl hunters, but also hunted deer and small game. When Ellis-Felege was 13, she took part in a waterfowl banding operation put on by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and this spurred her to pursue a career in biology.
“After that experience, I wrote in my hunting journal that I wanted to be a waterfowl biologist or any kind of wildlife professional,” she said. “I saw people getting paid to do these incredible things for the environment and I was set on that; since 13 years old, my path has never wavered.”
Ellis-Felege earned her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and later received her PhD at the University of Georgia, where her work focused on bobwhite quail predation. She knew she eventually wanted to end up in one of the Dakotas or Montana, and shortly after completing her doctorate work, Ellis-Felege was offered her current position at UND. In addition to teaching many of the courses required for a degree in fish and wildlife, Ellis-Felege has also conducted research on sharp-tailed grouse, waterfowl, and the effects of wind energy on grassland birds.
“I never thought I wanted to teach until late in my PhD program,” she said. “But I realized as an educator I could impact the next generation of young people who’ll someday help accomplish the many conservation goals we have in front of us.”
Ellis-Felege is excited to serve on the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National Board of Directors and said she hopes her role will be mutually beneficial.
“I think there’s an opportunity for me to learn things from Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever that I can then bring back to my students,” she said. “And hopefully I can provide some insights into what the next generation of wildlife professionals looks like and give some insights from the education side.”
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 120,000 members and 780 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $950 million on 560,000 habitat projects benefiting 20 million acres nationwide. In fact, more than 212,000 of those acres are now permanently protected as public lands.