Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Michigan DNR Natural Resources Deputy Director Shannon Lott has more than 20 years of experience with the department, working in the field and in administration. She was named acting director by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and served in that role from January-August 2023. In September, she reassumed her role as natural resources deputy, a position she has held since April 2019. Starting out as a seasonal employee, Lott worked with the DNR for five years in that capacity before hiring on full-time in 2003. She spent 10 total years in the field (five seasonal and five as a wildlife technician) before taking a biologist position in Lansing, working in the department’s privately owned cervidae (deer, elk and moose) program, a designation that includes game ranches and hunting ranches. Lott credits her early field work with giving her the broad experience and perspective needed to effectively oversee Michigan’s natural and cultural resources. Throughout her career, Lott worked at different field offices in southeast, south-central and southwest Michigan, as well as the Upper Peninsula. She participated in aerial moose count surveys, helped raise osprey, installed water control structures at DNR-managed waterfowl areas, and worked with groups like Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey Federation on habitat projects. Later in her career, Lott moved into policy and regulations for the DNR Wildlife Division, tackling some of the DNR’s more complex initiatives including the first management regulations for chronic wasting disease in Michigan’s free-ranging deer herd, the restructuring of Michigan’s hunting licenses and challenges surrounding invasive swine. Lott earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Grand Valley State University and a master’s in forestry from Michigan State University. She studied forest health issues, including special emphasis on beech bark disease research in the Upper Peninsula. Lott gets outdoors as often as possible. She enjoys hunting – especially turkey hunting – fishing, trapping and hiking, as well as spending time in Michigan state parks and national parks throughout the country.