TMeet The UCI Team

We are a collection of skilled people with experience in photojournalism, filmmaking, audio recording, science communications, project management, biology, zoology and more. Our shared passion is crafting stories of urban coyotes that encourage people to think, question, and connect with the urban wilderness all around them.

JJaymi Heimbuch

Initiative Director, Contributing Photographer

If there is a single species on this planet who will test our own mettle as humans, who pushes us to understand instead of judge, to study instead of kill, to coexist instead of dominate, to become more thoughtful and less fearful, it is the coyote. I appreciate any animal with the audacity to thrive in the face of human persecution, and through that very persistence give us opportunity after opportunity to improve ourselves as people and as neighbors.

Read About Jaymi >

MMorgan Heim

Contributing Photographer, Filmmaker

Coyotes symbolize parallels experienced by marginalized society, and have revealed biases of what's considered acceptable nature in our cities. I hope that by spending time immersed in the coyote's world, we can solve the mysteries of how they're so good at what they do, and learn a lot about ourselves in the process. After all, if we want others to learn to live with animals in their midst, like lions, elephants or leopards, shouldn't we do the same right here at home?

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JJenny Nichols

Contributing Filmmaker

Coyotes have a mysterious appeal. They look at you as if they know something you don't. They are romanticized and demonized and I'm looking forward to learning more about their habits and telling their stories. I'm often drawn to human-wildlife conflict stories when making films. There is much to be learned from the relationships between creatures and I believe through storytelling we can make progress in mitigating these conflicts.

Read About Jenny >

MMelanie Hill

Contributing Photographer

The coyote is an incredibly smart and resilient creature that problem solves its way through life. For some, however, this animal can strike a great deal of controversy- especially in our urban areas. We're working to shift this mindset and empower individuals to take action on behalf of this misunderstood species. It's time to get to know the real coyote!

Read About Melanie >

IIvan Kuraev

Contributing Photographer

Coyotes are expanding their native range and settling new habitats, and it's happening very quickly. If we pay attention, we can observe an apex predator colonize new territory and see the effect that coyotes have on native ecosystems, and the animals and people who inhabit them. I think this is a unique opportunity, and I intend to bear witness and document this story as it unfolds.

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SSebastian Kennerknecht

Contributing Photographer

Coyotes are the definition of survivors. Persecuted since the times of Lewis and Clark, they still persist. Today, about 500,000 coyotes are killed each year — that’s about one coyote every minute. For no good reason. I am honored to voice a positive view about coyotes that they truly deserve, especially as they make a living amongst us.

Read About Sebastian >

JJohanna Madjedi

Project Administrator

Living on the urban fringe of a small town I hear coyotes almost every night and in the daylight see their tracks cross my yard along the same path as the mule deer, California quail and raccoons; all of this is evidence that we have brought our domesticated world into their long established ecosystem. Helping the Urban Coyote Initiative is one way I can give back to my wild neighbors and learn more about positive ways to co-exist.

Read About Jo >

AOur Advisors

Our team of advisors ensures we keep heading in the right direction. Providing expertise and insights from the nonprofit sector, the research sector, and the publishing sector, our amazing advisors are an invaluable asset to our project.

Beth Pratt-Bergstrom

California Director, National Wildlife Federation

Beth Pratt-Bergstrom

California Director, National Wildlife Federation

Sophie Stafford

Wildlife Editor, Writer and Photography Expert

Sophie Stafford

Wildlife Editor, Writer and Photography Expert

Dr. David Drake

Professor & Wildlife Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. David Drake

Professor & Wildlife Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

SOur Supporters

We can't do what we do without help. We're grateful for the dedicated support of the following foundations and businesses whose efforts keep us out in the field. If you are a business interested in partnering with us to assist with supplies, gear, travel, marketing or other resources, please contact us.

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