The People

John Vucetich is an ecologist from Michigan Technological University and began working with the project in the early 1990s as a field technician and now leads the project.
Rolf Peterson began leading the wolf moose project in the early 1970s. He is a world authority on wolves and moose. After retiring as a professor on 2006, he began to devote even more time to the wolf-moose project, and now spends more time on Isle Royale than on the mainland. Rolf continues to be fascinated by the scientific insights and surprises that the island provides.
Sarah Hoy has been leading research on the wolves and moose of Isle Royale since 2017 and is a research assistant professor at Michigan Technological University, where she teaches courses on conservation science and research methods. Prior to researching wolves and moose on Isle Royale, she contributed to a diverse set of research projects focused on conserving bird, insect, amphibian and mammal species in the United Kingdom and Latin America. 
Leah Vucetich has, for nearly two decades, been the glue holding the wolf-moose project together - guiding personnel, logistics, budgets, laboratory work, and countless other needs. No detail slips her attention. Leah has learned that as important as planning is, we are not in control and must embrace whatever Mother Nature has in store for us.
Candy (Carolyn) Peterson's contributions to the Isle Royale wolf-moose project span five decades. She’s been a field assistant, logistics expert, writer and educator, and she’s raised a family on Isle Royale. Candy enjoys park visitors, not only to share research findings but also to restore people’s faith in the human animal. “The best thing we can do for wolves and wilderness is to help people get along with each other.” To contact Candy, click here.
Don Glaser has been the pilot for winter study aerial surveys for more than three decades, only the second pilot to provide this critical expertise since the Winter Study began in 1959. When not at Isle Royale, Don is a bush pilot in Alaska. Imagine his background, 40,000 accident-free hours flying small aircraft, always as a keen and involved observer.
Michael P. Nelson is an environmental philosopher from Michigan State University, and has been the official philosopher and historian of the Isle Royale wolf-moose project since 2005. Michael is interested primarily in what the project, as a rare piece of long-term research, says about our relationships with nature. Michael is currently at work creating the Isle Royale Wolf/Moose Archives to be housed at MTU, and from those archives he is under contract with Island Press to write a history of the project. For more on Michael’s work please visit
George Desort is a filmmaker and visual artist. He has been sharing the wonder and beauty of the Isle Royale wolf-moose project through his imagery since 2005. He produced Fortunate Wilderness, a documentary highlighting the first 50 years of the project. For George, Isle Royale is the home of his spirit and is where he feels most grounded, confident, and secure. Over the years he has learned to work with the island, allowing it to dictate his wanderings, thoughts, and schedule. “It is a liberating state of mind, Isle Royale.” To learn more about his work, visit George's website at