Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Todd Wyatt

Second Committee Member

Clayton Kelling

Third Committee Member

Chris Wichman


This capstone project serves as an important piece of greater project studying bison handling. Bison production is both a growing and dangerous industry. As a new enterprise in many parts of the country and on tribal lands, significant numbers of untrained employees may be hired. This project undertakes methods to better understand the risks associated with bison handling and to thereby improve handling procedures and increase safety. Herd managers (from tribal and non-tribal sites), researchers, safety experts, and stakeholders were brought together for a roundtable meeting in Omaha. This meeting was designed to provide stakeholders a forum to discuss common safety concerns, present data collected from the research, and discuss best practices for protecting bison herd workers. The data collected at the meeting showed that experiential training through in-person interaction and videos were the most preferred tools for implementing worker orientations. Rather than focusing on purchasing proper equipment, workers preferred education on low-cost methods such as walkthroughs, training on low-stress handling, and the establishment of a safety culture