Cristina Eisenberg – Chief Scientist, Earthwatch Institute, Author

I am an ecologist and the Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute, USA. My responsibilities include developing strategic initiatives to explore key environmental sustainability issues and establishing partnerships with principal investigators. In my ecological research I focus on wolves and fire in Rocky Mountain ecosystems. I have a master’s degree in conservation biology from Prescott College, a PhD in Forestry and Wildlife from Oregon State University. I am a Smithsonian Research Associate, a Boone and Crockett Club professional member, and a Black Earth Institute Scholar/Advisor. My first book, The Wolf’s Tooth, was published in 2010 by Island Press. My second book, The Carnivore Way, was published by Island Press in May 2014. I am currently writing a book about climate change, Taking the Heat: Wildlife, Food Webs and Extinction in a Warming World. I serve on the editorial board of the Ecological Society of America and Oregon State University Press, and am the book review editor for Ecology and the nonfiction editor for Whitefish Review. For two decades I lived with my family in a remote, wild corner of northwest Montana. I currently live in Concord, Massachusetts, near Walden Pond.


Interview: WTIP, Community Radio Grand Marais, Minnesota


Earthwatch Expedition:
Restoring Fire, Wolves, and Aspen to the Canadian Rockies

img_3207-smHow do three forces of nature: fire, wolves, and bison—shape the landscape?
Explore this burning question in Canada’s wilderness.

(Click here to read more and sign up to join me in 2017!)

Earthwatch Scientist Bio: Cristina Eisenberg





Aspen_SchottBig Sky Journal

Local Knowledge: Stories in the Landscape

Written by Brian Schott
September 2014

A recent article published in the September 2014 Issue of Big Sky Journal.

(Click Here to Read Article)


EisenbergCover1The Carnivore Way: Coexisting with and Conserving America’s Predators

What would it be like to live in a world with no predators roaming our landscapes? Would their elimination, which humans have sought with ever greater urgency in recent times, bring about a pastoral, peaceful human civilization? Or in fact is their existence critical to our own, and do we need to be doing more to assure their health and the health of the landscapes they need to thrive?


In The Carnivore Way, Cristina Eisenberg argues compellingly for the necessity of top predators in large, undisturbed landscapes, and how a continental-long corridor—a “carnivore way”—provides the room they need to roam and connected landscapes that allow them to disperse. Eisenberg follows the footsteps of six large carnivores—wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, jaguars, wolverines, and cougars—on a 7,500-mile wildlife corridor from Alaska to Mexico along the Rocky Mountains. Backed by robust science, she shows how their well-being is a critical factor in sustaining healthy landscapes and how it is possible for humans and large carnivores to coexist peacefully and even to thrive.


University students in natural resource science programs, resource managers, conservation organizations, and anyone curious about carnivore ecology and management in a changing world will find a thoughtful guide to large carnivore conservation that dispels long-held myths about their ecology and contributions to healthy, resilient landscapes.




Wolfs_ToothThe Wolf’s Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity


Animals such as wolves, sea otters, and sharks exert a disproportionate influence on their environment; dramatic ecological consequences can result when they are removed from—or returned to—an ecosystem.


In The Wolf’s Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of “trophic cascades” and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinating and wide-ranging work provides clear explanations of the science surrounding keystone predators and considers how this notion can help provide practical solutions for restoring ecosystem health and functioning.


Eisenberg examines both general concepts and specific issues, sharing accounts from her own fieldwork to illustrate and bring to life the ideas she presents. She considers how resource managers can use knowledge about trophic cascades to guide recovery efforts, including how this science can be applied to move forward the bold vision of rewilding the North American continent. In the end, the author provides her own recommendations for local and landscape-scale applications of what has been learned about interactive food webs.


At their most fundamental level, trophic cascades are powerful stories about ecosystem processes—of predators and their prey, of what it takes to survive in a landscape, of the flow of nutrients. The Wolf’s Tooth is the first book to focus on the vital connection between trophic cascades and restoring biodiversity and habitats, and to do so in a way that is accessible to a diverse readership.




Whitefish Review is a nationally-acclaimed, non-profit journal publishing the distinctive literature, art, and photography of mountain culture. Author Doug Peacock has called it, “One of the most refreshing journals to hit the literary scene in years.”


Featuring established and emerging authors and artists, Whitefish Review weaves a diverse mix of stories, interviews and conversations along with a 16-page color art section. It is published twice a year, in December and June. As a recognized 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation created for the public good, it is supported by generous donations, grants, and subscriptions.


The journal has featured interviews with Tom Brokaw, Russell Chatham, David James Duncan, John Irving, Tom McGuane, and Terry Tempest Williams, and published the original work of Rick Bass, Douglas H. Chadwick, Pete Fromm, Pam Houston, Doug Peacock, Rick DeMarinis, Annick Smith, Jack Turner, William Kittredge and many other distinguished authors. Learn More




Corridor Ecology: Carnivore Migration Patterns

In the Age of Man many large-carnivore migration patterns have been disrupted. Corridor Ecology allows us to research humankind’s impact on these innate animal behaviors.

Eisenberg, C. 2014. “Corridor Ecology: Carnivore Migration Patterns,” UTNE Reader, July 2014.