Franziska Maier

Being a nature-loving soul since taking her first breath, Franziska always felt this deep connection to the natural world around her. This includes all kinds of animals and plants living in it. She took every chance to get in touch with this pure and enriching relationship. That made her feel alive, connected and herself. Life has lead her into many different countries all over the world to explore and feel nature and the wild. Whenever possible: far away from human presence.

With the love and respect for nature there also came the deep desire to protect it. Following this striving, she graduated in ecology in Graz and wildlife ecology and wildlife management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), in Vienna. Gaining knowledge about wildlife and ecology and the human dimensions in wildlife, she acquired skills and practical approaches to finding solutions in human-wildlife conflicts.

Connecting with nature

Being a very curious, free and adventurous soul, she travelled many Central-, North- and South-American, European and African countries. Exploring nature, wild landscapes and mountains, she was deeply inspired and fascinated by the incredible diversity and beauty of wildlife and nature. Experiencing the manifold colours of different cultures made her learn and grow. As a passionate photographer she loves to lose herself in the beauty of details.

Work experiences in the wild

Working in Austrian National Parks, like National Park Hohe Tauern and National Park Gesäuse, and volunteering for projects in Canada, she did a lot of environmental education work. She loves to share her passion for the wild, but most of all she loves to help people connect with nature, and – as this goes hand in hand – with their own true nature.

Living on the Canadian West Coast and the Rocky Mountain area for 8 months, she was improving her wildlife tracking skills following the tracks of the wolves and doing a wildlife tracking course. Besides working in a Nature Connection program and a Botanical Garden as a volunteer, she got precious insights into permaculture while working on organic farms.

Taking action for wilderness

Franziska joined the European Wilderness Society in August 2017.  She enjoys being part of this enthusiastic team with manifold skills, that shares the same passions and wants to open people’s minds for wilderness.

A happy coincidence let her meet Nick and Gudrun at an excursion to Austria’s first wolf pack’s territory in Allentsteig. Starting as a volunteer, she is now part of the team and enjoying the diverse fields of wilderness related topics.

European Wilderness Society does cooperations with ERASMUS+ program, the so called European Voluntary Service, and offers voluntary positions. This allows nature-loving people to get involved with nature preservation and wilderness. Franziska is looking forward to taking action herself. It’s the perfect chance to put her experience and passion into supporting and advocating for the wild side.

Connecting children with wilderness currently is her main focus, as she is part of the “Let’s get wild” team. This project is dedicated to getting children in touch with Austria’s National Parks, nature and the beautiful world outside.

As she is very passionate about wolves and large carnivores, she puts her wildlife ecology and communication skills into solution-finding-strategies for human-wolf and human-carnivore-conflicts. An enriching and very precious coexistence between humans and wildlife is something she truly believes in.

“Free yourself – connect with your wild inner self. Then you will feel a deeper understanding and love for who you are and for the natural world around you. You will feel yourself as part of nature. And it’s the most natural thing to protect what we love.”

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