Every 10 years, State natural resource agencies review the health (or decline) of their fish, wildlife, and associated habitats. They take a proactive approach, thinking carefully about the priorities, challenges, and actions they would like to accomplish during the coming decade.
Science & research
Before doctoral students can embark on their research journey they have to pass a general exam, a one-week torture chamber to prove they know all about the methods and fields of science they will touch upon in their upcoming research. My research at the South Central Climate Science Center covers agriculture, climate modeling, statistics, GIS, and social science, so there’s lots to learn, and some of these fields don’t overlap a lot in their methods or language, to say the least.
Do you live in a city or its suburbs? Probably. If not, you’re one of the few. I have either lived in the suburbs or near the heart of a city for my entire life.
Do you ever think about how plants and animals are enjoying the city life? I certainly didn’t until the past few years.
Conservation organizations working to conserve species and their habitats are faced with many challenges at present: shrinking financial resources, a burgeoning human population, and highly unpredictable threats such as climate change. The nationwide network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, or LCCs, emerged in response to this uniquely challenging moment in the history of conservation. There are 22 LCCs in the US, and together they encompass its entire geography.
When you do fieldwork far from where you are based during the year, particularly experimental field work, you find out just how much stuff can fit in a mini van. I go to school at the University of Wisconsin Madison but I do my research in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. This summer I jammed as much equipment as possible, two field techs, and my cat into a car and rolled out across Dakota prairies toward an adventure of bears, mountains, thunderstorms, and Big Skies of Yellowstone.
Wildlife habitats and wildlife migration are big issues when it comes to effects of climate change. While the planet continues to warm - 2014 was the warmest year on record according to NOAA – warm seasons become longer and cold seasons become shorter in many parts of the US. This allows some species to expand their geographic ranges while other species may experience unsuitable climatic conditions or have to cope with new predators and competitors for food.
The Ecological Society of America is having its 100th Anniversary Conference August 9-14 in Baltimore. The organizers of this year’s centennial meeting have challenged us to put together talks and symposia that celebrate 100 years of advancements in ecological research and peer into the future of 21st Century challenges. This has undoubtedly stimulated substantial interest in climate change as a hot topic.
Climate change threatens our lands and seas, our wildlife, and our natural and cultural resources. To conserve our natural environment, managers rely on climate model projections to determine where to take action, what type of action to take, and how much action to apply. Ecologists and biologists depend on these projections to better understand how natural ecosystems will respond to the changing climate.
This morning I’m sitting on my porch with my computer in my lap, sipping coffee from my Star Trek mug and enjoying the beautiful morning sky. I’m staring out over a temperate deciduous forest surrounding a beautiful lake, all beneath patches of clouds, the blue sky, and a faint moon descending over the horizon. What makes this even better is that I am near the middle of downtown Raleigh, NC surrounded by urban habitat and you can’t tell (at least not from this view).
A decade ago, I would have NEVER have believed that I would write the following words, but here they are: I love working with 7th graders! My twenty-something self would have further cringed at the idea of leading dozens of boisterous middle schoolers through quiet mountain landscapes. And yet, here I am, traipsing across alpine boulder fields with 60 of my closest 7th grade friends.