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UDWR-USU Brown Bag Luncheon Series

The goal of these sessions is to share ideas with UDWR about regional research that can aid in the management of Utah's Natural Resources.  The seminars are generally held on the first or second Tuesday of each month at the Main UDWR Office in Salt Lake City, 1594 W North Temple, Suite 2110, Salt Lake City, UT. View map  


Sponsors
: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and USGS Utah Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit

 

Fall 2017

Soren Brothers, Assistant Professor, October 3rd, 2017

Soren Brothers

Shifting Winds:  Sourcing Food and Oxygen in a Changing World


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Terry Messmer, Professor,
November 2nd, 2017

Terry Messmer

Sage-Grouse:  The More You Know,  The More You Grow

Karen Beard, Professor,
December 7th, 2017

Karen Beard

From State 49 to 50: How Natural and Un-natural Migration is Changing Communities

 

 


 

 

Spring 2017

Julia Burton, Assistant Professor, February 7th, 2017

Julia


Can Silvicultural Practices be Leveraged to Maintain Diversity in Forest Ecosystems?

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Trisha Atwood, Assistant Professor, March 7th, 2017

Trish


A More Holistic Look at Aquatic Ecosystems: Tracking Change in Ecosystem Functioning

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Kyle Nehring, PhD Ecology Student,
April 4th, 2017

Kyle


Interactive Effects of Soils and Browsing on Sagebrush: Implications for Restoration Success

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 Fall 2016

October 2016

Jacobo

Jacopo Baggio, USU Assistant Professor
October 11th, 2016

Striving for a Successful Management of Biodiversity and Ecological Disturbances

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Ecological disturbances (pests, invasive species, floods, fires etc.) and biodiversity conservation are important challenges in natural resource governance.  Even if managers and scientists have the ability and know how to manage for disburbances and biodiversity, they often do not implement such strategies.  Scale mismatch can occur when the conservation plan does not match the conservation problem.   Baggio will be discussing the importance of  learning type (whether organizations/managers learn from their own experiences or by imitating others), the social netowrks (if created because funded, mandated or shard interest) and the quality of  relatiohsips between organizations/managers and how they can impact natural resource governance.

 

November 2016

Peter

Peter Mahoney, USU PhD Student
November 1st, 2016

Towards Improving our Understanding of Coyote Ecolgoy and the Implications for Mule Deer

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Coyotes have expanded throughout much of North America over the past century following the regional extirpation of apex predators. As a prey generalist, coyotes capitalize on a variety of food resources, including many species deemed valuable to society such as domestic livestock and wild game (e.g., mule deer). These prey tendencies often bring coyotes in direct conflict with humans, forcing managers to consider mitigation strategies with the aim of reducing impacts on harvested ungulates. However, managing these wild canids is not without controversy. Thus, we must take a science-based approach to understanding the nuances of coyote conflict. We present some of our findings from a 4-year study in Utah pertaining to the ecology of coyotes, as well as findings with regards to the efficacy of a predator control program used in mule deer management. We found no net effect of predator control on neonate survival, due in part to spatial mismatch between coyote control and our expectation of space use by parturient deer. Further, we found that coyotes select areas of high lagomorph and rodent biomass, with no apparent selection for deer fawning sites. Thus, we recommend focusing control efforts on areas with the greatest benefit to deer populations during periods of low primary prey abundance.

 

December 2016

Janice

Janice Brahney, Assistant Professor
December 1st, 2016

Biogeochemistry--a Powerful Tool for Determining the Health of our Rivers and & Lakes

Biogeochemistry is a powerful approach for understanding ecosystem dynamics and identifying environmental stressors. Specifically, these tools can be used to trace pollution sources, track nutrient utilization, describe food webs, isolate species specific impacts, and can identify the cause of habitat alteration.  Brahney will provide a brief overview on how she has used biogeochemistry to 1) improve understanding of food web alterations from changes in fish populations,   2) identify previously undocumented sources of pollution to freshwater ecosystems. And finally, discuss the potential for using biogeochemistry to address emerging issues in Utah. 

 


 


Spring 2016

February 2016

Elijah

Elijah Portugal, USU Research Associate
February 2, 2016

Partnering with Beaver to Restore Streams in Utah

Increasingly, the river restoration community recognizes the important role that North American beaver (Castor Canadensis) historically and currently play in structuring and maintaining riverine ecosystems. Because of this, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and river scientists are, “partnering with beaver” in river rehabilitation and restoration projects throughout Utah. The natural dam building activities of beaver increase instream geomorphic complexity and increase and enhance floodplain connectivity which supports productive and dynamic aquatic and riparian communities. By mimicking and supporting the dam building activities of beaver, restoration practioners seek to speed the rate of geomorphic recovery of degraded rivers, particularly rivers that are currently in an incised condition. Here we showcase case studies from UDWR/USU collaborative river restoration projects in Utah that utilize beaver.

View Video - Part #1

View Video - Part #2

March 2016

Lise Aubrey

Lisa Aubry, USU Assistant Professor
March 1, 2016

Demographic Approaches to Wildlife Conservation and Management Dilemmas

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Aubry’s lab combines field and theoretical investigations to address vertebrate responses to environmental change. The three primary themes of her research include:  Quantifying the impacts of anthropogenic factors on the demography, ecology, and micro-evolution of wild populations; isolating the demographic and physiological processes that mediate variation in individual responses to environmental change and how those scale up to affect populations and communities; and understanding how wild populations respond to management actions and conservation practices.  Aubry applies this research to a wealth of ecosystems (costal, temperate, alpine, polar) and taxa (birds and mammals).  During this seminar she will provide examples of this research, and how it is relevant to wildlife management in Utah.

 

April 2016

Eric T

Eric Thacker,  USU Assistant Professor, Rangeland Extension Specialist
April 5, 2016

Long-Term Impacts of Habitat Treatments on Parker Mountain

Long-term evaluations of habitat treatments are important in understanding impacts on vegetation and wildlife species. On Parker Mountain we have been monitoring sagebrush treatments since 2000 to the present. We have monitored vegetation, forage production and sage-grouse use in mechanical and chemical treatments. Results suggest that chemical treatments using “spike” have more forbs, more forage and greater grouse use.

May 2016

David Koons


Making the Most of Monitoring Data

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Koons discussed new approaches that allow agencies to use common monitoring schemes to attain detailed information about fish & wildlife population dynamics, conduct research using this information, and guide adaptive management over appropriate space and time scales.

 

Fall 2015

October 2015

Tom

Tom Monaco,  USDA Ecologist
October 13, 2015

Assessing Vegetation Change and Seeding Success on Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative Project Sites:  a Cooperative, Team Effort

View Video - Part #1

View Video - Part #2

 

 

November 2015

Maureen

Maureen Frank, USU PhD Candidate
November 3, 2015

Staging Ecology of Migratory Waterbirds at Great Salt Lake

Three species of migratory waterbirds--Wilson's phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, and eared grebes--rely on Great Salt Lake's open-water resources during their staging period each year.  These birds represent a significant proportion of each of their continental populations, yet many aspects of the time they spend at Great Salt Lake are understudied.  This seminar shared new data on phalarope habitat use, prey, and behavior, as well as how weather and prey availability influence the timing of eared grebe migration at the conclusion of their staging period.

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December 2015

Hammill

Edd Hammill,  USU Assistant Professor
December 1, 2015

Warfare & Transportation — Two Struggles of Landscape Planning

This seminar described two recent projects that use technological advances to guide landscape-level decisions. The first describes how the risk of armed conflict can be incorporated into decisions regarding the identification of new nature reserves. The results highlight how uncertainty can be incorporated into conservation projects during the planning stages, increasing the return on investment and the chances of overall success. The second project describes a novel software tool that incorporates costs of construction and environmental offsetting into the identification of transportation corridors, leading to a simultaneous decrease in environmental impacts and costs. In the final part of Hammill’s seminar, he’ll describe how the principles utilized in these projects can be applied to Utah, especially the incorporation of landscape-level uncertainty into wildlife management. 
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View Video - Part #1

View Video - Part #2

Spring 2015

January 2015

Mock

Karen Mock, USU Professor
January 20, 2015

Environmental DNA (eDNA) Introduction and Applications 

Dr. Karen Mock, a professor in Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology and Associate Dean in the Quinney College of Natural Resources at USU was the first presenter at the 2015 UDWR Brown Bag Seminar Series. She discussed the applications of eDNA. The goal of these sessions is to share ideas with UDWR about regional research that can aid in the management of Utah’s Natural Resources.

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February 2015

David

David Dahlgren,  USU Extension Associate
February 10, 2015

 The Future of Forest Grouse in Utah

In 1986 a dusky grouse study ranked as the highest priority for upland game research for the UDWR; however, to date no such study has taken place and there remains precious little information on dusky grouse, not only in Utah, but across the Intermountain West.   In many ways dusky grouse are in a similar situation to sage-grouse 30-40 years ago when nobody considered sage-grouse a conservation concern.
Dr. Dahlgren discussed the proposal Utah State University Extension has created to start an applied research study to better understand how to manage dusky and ruffed grouse in Utah.

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March 2015

Cranney

Chad Cranney, USU Masters Student
March 10, 2015

The Invasive Phragmites in Great Salt Lake Wetlands

 Invasive plants can impact native plant community structure and function. One of the more problematic invasive wetland plant species in North America, and more recently in Great Salt Lake wetlands, is Phragmites australis. Despite extensive research and experiments to control invasive Phragmites, restoration efforts have highly variable results. Major limitations in the research include experiments that are limited both spatially and temporally compared to actual management efforts, and most experiments focus on the response of the target species and not the response of native vegetation.
Cranney’s research applies a large-scale approach to researching Phragmites herbicide treatments and how these treatments affect re-establishment of native plant communities. Research results will allow managers to implement effective control techniques that simultaneously reduce invasive plant cover, promote beneficial native plant communities, and improve habitat.

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April 2015

Twitchell

Keelin Schaffrath, USU PhD Candidate
Colton Finch, USU PhD Candidate
April 21, 2015

Wildfire Effects on Stream Geomorphology and Fish Populations