iTwixie: How have you studied prairie dogs for so long – 38 years – WOW?
Dr. Hoogland: Prairie dogs are fascinating animals. The more I learn about them, the less I know.
iTwixie: What do you like most about studying prairie dogs?
Dr. Hoogland: Prairie dogs are like little people. I always wonder what they will do next.
iTwixie: What is the hardest part about studying prairie dogs?
Dr. Hoogland: Prairie dogs emerge from their burrows at dawn, and they stay aboveground until dusk. To study them, I must follow the same schedule, everyday, 7 days per week, for 4 months of every year. Whew, that’s exhausting!
iTwixie: What are you going to do next?
Dr. Hoogland: I hope to study prairie dogs for another 38 years because I will never figure them out!
iTwixie: Thank you so much, Dr. Hoogland, for your amazing work and for sharing it with iTwixie girls from all over the world! We learned so much and we think you rock!
More About Dr. Hoogland
John Hoogland is a professor of biology at The University of Maryland, and has been studying the ecology and social behavior of prairie dogs under natural conditions for the last 38 years. He studied black-tailed prairie dogs at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota for 16 years; then studied Gunnison’s prairie dogs at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona for 7 years; and then scrutinized Utah prairie dogs at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah for 10 years. John has recently initiated long-term research with white-tailed prairie dogs at The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. His two most important publications are The Black-tailed Prairie Dog (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and Conservation of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Island Press, 2006).
More information about Dr. Hoogland’s research is available on his website
and click on “Research Interests.”