Tom Hardisky currently is the aquatic furbearer specialist in the Game Mammals Section of the Game Management Division. In this capacity Tom is responsible for coordinating and conducting monitoring, research and management of aquatic furbearers with special emphasis on beaver, otter, mink and muskrat.
Tom received his education at Penn State University and Mississippi State University. In 1981 and 1982, Tom earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Wildlife Science, respectively, from Penn State. He later earned a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology (1986) at Mississippi State University. Tom's thesis topics were bobcat population monitoring and Mississippi trapper characteristics.
Tom began his professional career in 1986 as a black bear biologist for the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission at their Wildlife Research Laboratory in Gainesville, Florida. In 1989, he worked as a beaver damage specialist with USDA, Animal Damage Control, in Paris, Tennessee. Tom became part of the PGC team in 1989 as the PA Fish and Wildlife Database Manager for the Bureau of Land Management. In 1993, he joined the Bureau of Wildlife Management as Farmland Wildlife Section Supervisor, where he headed pheasant restoration research comparing Sichuan and ring-necked pheasants. In 1995, Tom supervised the Furbearer and Farmland Wildlife Section where he oversaw research and monitoring of all furbearer and farmland wildlife species. Projects included beaver harvest management, trap testing, furbearer population monitoring, and pheasant research. In 2005 (until February 2008) Tom was the Wildlife Management Supervisor for the northeast region of the PGC. In this capacity he directed all wildlife management programs within the region including population monitoring of birds and mammals, habitat evaluation, wildlife health, harvest management, and public/private landowner technical assistance.
Tom has been a Certified Wildlife Biologist since 1992 and member of The Wildlife Society. The PA Trappers Association named him Conservationist of the Year in 2000.
Also known as “Tommy” to his family and close friends, he partakes in a wide variety of outdoor activities including videography, photography, trapping, hunting, fishing, gardening, and helping family and friends with outdoor projects. He also enjoys preparing smoked chicken, wild blueberry muffins, and other experimental dishes.