Nancy Gibson is best known for her effort to build the International Wolf Center in Ely beginning in 1987. She poured her energy into raising the necessary funds to build the Center from the Minnesota State Legislature and private sources. It was at this juncture that she learned it was difficult to separate the fate of wolves and wildlife with the politics of humans.
In 1998, she was one of the leaders who helped pass the State Constitutional Amendment dedicating 40% of net proceeds of State Lottery dollars to the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund. Governor Pawlenty added citizen experts to the Commission that oversees these expenditures and Nancy was one of his first appointments in 2006. Governor Mark Dayton has re-appointed her twice. She co-chaired the Commission until this year. Currently she is a co vice-chair. The Trust Fund is instrumental in supporting monies for innovative research with water resources, energy, invasive species, toxic pollutants, environmental education, critical natural resources, parks and trails across Minnesota.
She works and consults as the naturalist for several media outlets in Minnesota. Her biology background, education skills and talent were the catalyst for two Emmys on the award-winning PBS show, Newton’s Apple. Nancy won the Willard Munger Stewardship Award, conservation awards from Ducks Unlimited, Friends of the Boundary Waters and was honored as one of the 50 top women in Minnesota by First Lady Mary Pawlenty.
Her first book WOLVES was published in 1996 and she is a regular contributor to various natural resource publications.
Nancy was part of the team that introduced wolves into Yellowstone National park and Idaho in 1995 and 1996. In addition, Nancy has traveled to many parts of the world to observe wolves including Ethiopia, Mongolia, Poland, Sweden, India, 13 summers in the Northwest Territory and three summers in Ellesmere Island working with the eminent biologist Dr. David Mech.