Wuestefeld replaces Mark Reiter, who retired in July.
She is the first woman to hold the position for Indiana DNR Fish & Wildlife.
For the past five years, Wuestefeld (pronounced WEE-sta-feld) has served as the assistant division director. Before that, she served as the Hoosier Outdoor Heritage coordinator for eight years. In that capacity, she led the launch of the division’s first hunting recruitment program to introduce young adults to the sport.
Wuestefeld, who holds a B.S. in Wildlife Science from Purdue University, also served as the DFW’s Go FishIN coordinator for eight years. In that role, she led a program responsible for teaching thousands of participants the sport of fishing and oversaw the development and 2005 opening of the Fishin’ Pond at the Indiana State Fair.
She started her DNR career in 1991 while still a college student as an intermittent employee at Hardy Lake, bringing her combined part-time and full-time service at DNR to 28 years.
“It has been an honor to work beside some of Indiana’s most dedicated staff at DNR and I look forward to this next chapter in my career to continue working to ensure great public access to our fish and wildlife resources,” Wuestefeld said.
Wuestefeld grew up in the town of Commiskey in Jennings County, spending her leisure time fishing, hunting, camping and boating. A lifelong Hoosier, she has dedicated her life to conservation both personally and professionally through her love of the outdoors and enjoys sharing her passion for conservation with others. One of the ways she has done so is by mentoring young outdoor enthusiasts, including those new to hunting, fishing and even mushroom hunting.