Lori Schmidt is the wolf curator at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, a position she has held since 1989.
Lori received a Natural Resource Technology AAS degree and AA degree from Vermilion Community College in Ely in 1983, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Minnesota in 1994, and a Masters in Forestry from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 2000. Since 1990, she has been an instructor at VCC initially in Vermilion’s Environmental Studies department and by 1995, full time in the Natural Resource department teaching in NRT, Fish and Wildlife and Surveying degree programs. She retired from VCC in 2020.
In 2019, VCC Foundation Board selected Lori Scmidt as the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding accomplishments and exceptional commitment to the natural resource field.
In 2014, Lori received the prestigious Dr. Janet S. Boe Memorial Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Wildlife Society. According to the Wildlife Society, she was presented the award because, “For over 30 years, Lori has worked tirelessly to coordinate between VCC and other agencies to broaden her students’ professional experience and provide hands-on labor to resource professionals throughout the state.
Under Lori’s mentorship, the VCC Wildlife Club has done a substantial amount of work for the Tower/Ely DNR. She coordinates students for semi-annual brush cuts for the MN Sharp-tailed Grouse Society and encourages student attendance at meetings of professional natural resource groups such as the Wildlife Society and Society of American Foresters on a regular basis. Many of her students have been top-notch wildlife management interns and many now work as wildlife staff, foresters, and conservation officers. She has been an excellent instructor, co-worker, and mentor for over 30 years, making a significant difference in natural resource science in Minnesota.”
In 2001 and 2002, Lori received the Minnesota Society of American Foresters (SAF) Outstanding Service award for services and support of the State SAF chapter. By October of 2002, Vermilion’s student SAF chapter was founded as an extra-curricular partner to the SAF Accredited Natural Resource Technology program. Lori became a SAF Certified Forester in December of 2002 and served several terms on the National SAF Forest Technology Accreditation Committee as well as the Minnesota State Chair for SAF in 2011. In 2015, she was selected as a SAF Fellow. The Fellow Award is a prestigious recognition of a SAF member for long-standing service to forestry at the local, state, and national level.
In addition to maintaining accreditation for the Natural Resource program in Forestry, Lori also sought accreditation for Vermilion’s NRT and Wildlife curriculum through the North American Wildlife Technology Accreditation. She served as the president of that association in 2007-2008.