Shelby is from St. Louis, Missouri and received her B.S. from Colorado State University in Wildlife Biology and her M.S. from the Environment and Natural Resources Graduate Program at Ohio State University. Her M.S. research focused on social and ecological aspects of managing wildlife in fire-dependent forested ecosystems and included work both in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Southeast Coastal Plain region of the United States.
Currently, Shelby is studying the impacts of increasing fire frequency and climate change on spatial patterns of carbon source/sink status, vegetation composition, and habitat suitability for moose in the boreal forest of interior Alaska.