Dr. Robert "Bob" Holsman

Senior Social Scientist

Bob Holsman’s natural resource career started when he was a radio reporter where he often observed the disconnect between citizens and agency scientists in public meetings. That recognition sparked in him a desire to work at the social and ecological interface of resource management helping decision makers understand and incorporate stakeholder values and opinions into conservation policy.  Bob is a skilled meeting facilitator having led dozens of planning and stakeholder engagement efforts, as well as focus groups throughout his 25-year career.

Dr. Holsman was a wildlife professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he taught classes on conservation policy and law, human dimensions, and wildlife natural history. He also oversaw the Conservation Warden Training Program there. More recently, Bob served as a social scientist in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. His university and state agency social science research contribute to our understanding of issues ranging from hunter R3 (recruitment, retention, and reactivation), hunter response to chronic wasting disease, conservation funding and public input on management of wolves, black bears, ruffed grouse, waterfowl, trout, panfish, walleyes and lake sturgeon.



Skills & Expertise
Focus Groups

317 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Mishawaka, IN 46545
United States

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Photo of Dr. Robert "Bob" Holsman
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Human Dimensions Research

Bob worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a social scientist where he completed dozens of studies on hunting and fishing. Recent examples include a statewide survey of fishing license holders' opinions on walleye regulations and a contributed chapter on hunter lapse as part of comprehensive evaluation on the impacts of crossbows to deer hunting.

Cover photo of WDNR Trout Management Plan


Wisconsin Trout Plan

Bob facilitated six day-long planning meetings with thirty stakeholder groups for the Wisconsin DNR's Trout Management Team. The planning sessions resulted in a 10-year plan that was approved with strong support from anglers, landowners, business leaders and others.

Cover Photo of National R3 Plan


National R3 Plan for Hunting and Shooting Sports

Dr. Holsman served on the plan writing committee for the first ever National R3 Plan at the request of the Council to Advance Shooting Sports and the Wildlife Management Institute. His contributions included the need to "move beyond the choir" when marketing mentor programs and an emphasis on standardized evaluations to track effectiveness of strategies.



University Professor

Dr. Holsman was a member of the wildlife faculty in the College of Natural Resources.  He received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2012.

He also holds dual bachelor's degrees in communication and political science, and a master's degree in environmental education from UW-Stevens Point.

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Ph.D. - Michigan State University

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Dissertation: Stakeholder Values and Public Land Management in Southern Michigan