FWCB People in the News
One Species at a Time Podcast Series: Monarch Butterflies
Every year, monarch butterflies begin a journey north from their overwintering grounds in Mexican forests. The epic migration spans generations and the better part of a continent. In this first of two episodes, we'll meet a pair of women united by their fascination with this iconic insect. Mexican geographer Isabel Ramirez and American biologist Karen Oberhauser are working to save monarch habitat on both ends of this remarkable insect's 2,500 mile journey. Encyclopedia of Life
Cormorants and the culture that wants them dead
When should nature be left to take its course? That's a question that may surface with yesterday's announcement that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is going to "control" cormorants on Lake Vermilion. Linda Wires, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota's Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology, responds. Minnesota Public Radio
Monarch butterflies navigate with compass but no map
A study that aims to answer the question of how monarch butterflies make their way to Mexico each year has generated pushback from outside researchers who question the study’s key claim: that monarch butterflies can stick only to a direction that is biologically predetermined, but are unable to change it if blown off course. Karen Oberhauser, a monarch expert at the University of Minnesota, noted that the authors did not test which navigation system was a better fit for the tagging data. Nature
Asian carp in Minnesota? If you net one, yes. But DNA won't tell.
Were the Asian carp here or weren't they? In 2011, alarms rang as researchers reported finding signs of silver carp well into Minnesota waters...."EDNA would be a bad way to tell a chimp from a human being, without sequencing," said Peter Sorensen, director of the Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota and one of the organizers of the new study. Pioneer Press
Dr. Susan M. Galatowitsch awarded the 2013 R1Edu Award
CFANS faculty member Dr. Susan M. Galatowitsch (Dept. Head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology) has won the 2013 R1Edu award for excellence and innovation in online learning for her work in developing a series of ecological restoration online training courses.
The groundbreaking five-course series, based on Dr. Galatowitsch's work, is the foundation for the Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative, and is sponsored by the College of Continuing Education and CFANS.
Although ecological restoration has been pursued for more than 50 years in the U.S., very little is known about how to restore most ecosystems so they resemble natural (i.e., not previously converted) ones. In addition, up to this point, this type of restoration has been guided primarily by minimizing time and costs, rather than by an understanding of ecological processes.
Professor Galatowitsch's address those issues by bringing scientific knowledge and a longer-term perspective to the important task of ecological restoration carried out by restoration professionals throughout the state and the region, and potentially across the nation.
Hometown Hero: Trout center is continuation of career.
George Spangler had his retirement all planned out — a lot of trout fishing around Preston, some gardening, some relaxing and a bit of foraging the local woods for food. He retired from teaching fisheries biology and other courses at the University of Minnesota in 2009. Then he heard that the Preston Economic Development Authority was looking for ways to attract people to the area and also teach them about the local streams and geology. Rochester Post Bulletin
Few, if any, Asian carp in St. Croix, Mississippi rivers
The long-feared Minnesota invasion of two species of invasive carp apparently has not hit yet. No DNA of silver and bighead carp, often referred to as Asian carp, was detected in the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers in Minnesota, according to a fresh analysis by federal, state and academic researchers, officials announced Thursday. The new study was led by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and its director, Peter Sorensen. MPR News
Global warming proves helpful for penguins
A recent study found that over the last 60 years, a colony of the birds on Beaufort Island in the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, increased by 84 percent, from 35,000 breeding pairs to 64,000 breeding pairs. This increase has come as glaciers have retreated from the island, leaving more bare, snow-free ground, where the penguins make their nests. Michelle LaRue, study co-author, graduate student and researcher at the U of M, comments. UPI
BTN LIVEBIG: Minnesota's Research and Medical Discoveries
BTN's new series "BTN LiveBIG" continues Friday following the Denver at Minnesota men's hockey game, with stories about Karen Hsiao Ashe and her team's findings that have broad implications for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and a team of researchers led by Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology professor Peter Sorensen who are tracking the carp populations in local lakes to help native ecosystems survive. The episode will air at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday. Big Ten Network
Chill turns Monarchs North
Scientists have pinned down the answer to a long-standing butterfly mystery: what flips monarchs’ migratory compasses. A little cold weather may be all that’s needed.... “It’s astounding,” says ecologist Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota, who supplied captured butterflies to Reppert’s team. Science News
Long cloaked in mystery, Owls start coming into their own
Owls are a staple of children's books and cultural kitsch, and only lately scientists have begun to understand the birds in any detail, and to puzzle out the subtleties of behavior, biology and sensory prowess that set them apart from all other avian tribes. Other researchers are tracking the lives of some of the rarer and more outlandishly proportioned owls, like the endangered Blakiston’s fish owl of Eurasia. Nearly a yard high, weighing up to 10 pounds and with a wingspan of six feet, Blakiston’s is the world’s largest owl, a bird so hulking it’s often mistaken for other things, according to Jonathan Slaght (former grad student advised by Francie Cuthbert (M.S.) and Rocky Gutierrez (Ph.D.) of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia program. It could easily look like a bear in a tree or a man on a bridge. The New York Times
Photo of Jonathan Slaght with a Blakiston's fish owl by S. Avdeyuk/Amur-Ussuri Centre for Avian Biodiversity.
The effect of outdoor cats on bird and mammal mortality
(Washington, D.C., January 29, 2013) A new peer-reviewed study published today and authored by scientists from two of the world’s leading science and wildlife organizations – the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) – has found that bird and mammal mortality caused by outdoor cats is much higher than has been widely reported, with annual bird mortality now estimated to be 1.4 to 3.7 billion and mammal mortality likely 6.9 – 20.7 billion individuals.The study, which offers the most comprehensive analysis of information on the issue of outdoor cat predation, was published in the online research journal Nature Communications and is based on a review of 90 previous studies. The study was authored by Dr. Peter Marra and Scott Loss, research scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and by Tom Will from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds. Scott earned his PhD in Conservation Biology, advised by Rob Blair.
Something's fishy at the U of M, Crookston...and that's a good thing.
A donation of some 590 fish specimens was recently added to the Wildlife Museum in the Natural Resources program at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The specimens, donated by the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History curated by Andrew Simons, cover 79 species of fish in Minnesota. Crookston Times
A new tool targeting Asian Carp?
By most measures, Eden Prairie’s Staring Lake is a dead lake – native game fish have been crowded out by an overabundance of common carp. Now, those fish have become the guinea pigs in a research project aimed at controlling their leaping cousins.“The big issue with Asian carp is that we don’t know how many there are, or where they are,” explains University of Minnesota fisheries researcher Peter Sorensen. WCCO-TV
DNR announces closing of wolf season
The state’s first ever wolf hunting and trapping season is history.... University of Minnesota Professor and U.S. Geological Survey biologist Dave Mech, who testified before legislative committees last year, indicated little can be extracted from the early harvest numbers. There’s so much chance involved in wolf-hunter success, Mech said in an email, “nothing much” can be concluded. Forest Lake Times
'Judas' fish could help wipe out Asian carp
Methods used to eradicate feral pigs and goats in Hawaii, Australia, the Galapagos Islands and southern United States could be employed in Minnesota to fight the Asian carp invasion. "It should work," said Peter Sorensen, director of the new Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune
New U center fighting water invaders with science
If you're a non-native life form hoping to wreak havoc on Minnesota's waters, the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, helmed by Peter Sorensen, is a shop of horrors, place where scientists poke, prod and study you, revealing your vulnerabilities in hopes of someday eradicating your kind. Pioneer Press
Expectations and issues ahead for hunters and fishers in '13
Minnesota's battle to stop the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussels and Asian carp will be ramped up in 2013 -- and that fight will affect the state's estimated 2.3 million boaters. For the first time, the DNR launched random roadside checks of boaters in 2012. But just nine check stations were conducted involving 140 boaters. (The violation rate: 31 percent.) This year, DNR officials plan to boost the number of roadside checks, and will try some in busier areas they avoided last year. Meanwhile, the new Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota will be up and running in 2013 -- but don't expect any silver bullets soon. Star Tribune
Wolf population thinned
The state’s first-ever wolf hunting and trapping season is history. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday (Jan. 2) the wolf season will close in the last open zone at the end of shooting and trapping hours Thursday (Jan. 3). University of Minnesota professor and U.S. Geological Survey biologist Dave Mech, who testified before legislative committees last year, indicated little can be extracted from the early harvest numbers. Star News
The Secret Lives of Bears
Dave Garshelis relies on technology and a lifetime of experience to learn all he can about the world's bears, including black bears in Minnesota, but the bruins still retain some of their mystery. The University of Minnesota Alumni Magazine featured a story on Dave Garshelis for the Fall 2012 issue. Photograph by Eric Baccega/Minden Pictures
Black bear: Medical Marvel
Bears can go four to six months without eating or activity and wake up ready to run. How do they do it, and what if their secret could be translated to hospital patients? Such questions have led Paul Iaizzo, U of M Professor of Surgery, from his lab in Minneapolis to bear dens in Colorado, Wyoming, and northern Minnesota.The project has since expanded into an annual collaboration that includes work in northern Minnesota with University adjunct professor Dave Garshelis, Ph.D., a world-renowned bear researcher with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Minnesota Medical Foundation
Minnesota research effort aims to better understand aquatic invasive species.
A new research effort in Minnesota could help Wisconsin experts better understand aquatic invasive species – including zebra mussels and the Asian carp. University of Minnesota carp biologist Peter Sorensen says researchers are trying to develop technology that will more accurately and precisely measure the presence of invasive water species.WHBL News Radio
Panel debates ethics of Minnesota wolf hunt
A panel discussion on the looming Minnesota wolf hunt filled an auditorium Friday night at the University of Minnesota Duluth. ... L. David Mech has worked on wolf populations through the U.S. Geology Survey and the University of Minnesota. He said fears about the population of wolves need to be cleared up, much like arguments on both sides of the hunting issue. Duluth News Tribune
Researchers use robotic boats to track invasive fish
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, working closely with Peter Sorensen and his research, is using robotic boats to track invasive fish in metro lakes. The main target: the common carp... a notorious bottom feeder that makes the water dirty and uproots plants.KSTP TV
Changes brewing in woods won't help grouse
What does the Great Recession and the housing market crash have to do with ruffed grouse hunting in Minnesota? Everything....Rocky Gutiérrez, professor at the University of Minnesota's Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, is more optimistic. "If you believe the economy will never recover, then that's true [grouse numbers will decline]. But if the economy does recover and there's a greater demand for pulp and forest products, then this is a short-term trend.'' Star Tribune
Drought diminishing Monarch butterflies
Nearly 63 percent of Minnesota is now rated as abnormally dry or in a drought, according to the U.S. Drought monitor... The drought conditions have affected the Monarch butterfly population. "The milkweed is of lower quality, and that's what the caterpillars eat," Karen Oberhauser is quoted as saying. "The flowering plants never produced enough nectar for the adults to eat." CBS Minnesota
Cougar population regenerates after 100 years of decline
Cougars (Puma concolor) have not lived in Oklahoma, Missouri and other states around the Midwest since the beginning of the 20th century. Now the cats are returning to and repopulating some of their former Midwestern habitats, according to research published in June by the Journal of Wildlife Management. The research was led by Clayton Nielsen and Michelle Larue, a PhD student in Conservation Biology. Scientific American
Volkan Isler and his team use robotic boats to track radio-tagged common carp in area lakes. Isler and his team work closely with Peter Sorensen, a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and his research team, who perform the tagging and test the system by planting tags in lakes. Sorensen's group studies carp movement in and between lakes to get an idea of the scope of the problems Isler's group will have to address. They also study this species' effects on water quality, its physiology and ecology, and how it can be controlled with environmentally friendly techniques. UMNews
A Tale of Two Scientific Fields: Ecology and Phylogenetics
Scientists are taking a new look at Earth patterns, studying the biodiversity of yard plants in the United States and that of desert mammals in Israel, studying where flowers and bees live on the Tibetan plateau and how willow trees in America’s Midwest make use of water. In the face of rapid changes in Earth’s biota, understanding the processes that drive patterns of species diversity and coexistence in ecosystems has never been more pressing, write co-editors Jeannine Cavender-Bares of the University of Minnesota, David Ackerly of the University of California at Berkeley and Kenneth Kozak of the University of Minnesota. The Epoch Times
Beware of otter: Two more take bites out of St. Michael swimmer
Forget pesky mosquitoes or black bears. It's angry otters that are chasing visitors out of the woods in northern Minnesota. In less than a month, unusually aggressive otters have attacked two Twin Cities women swimming in lakes about 60 miles apart. They're two of the three attacks reported to the state in the past three months, puzzling experts who say otters are generally meek, playful creatures. ...They usually eat fish and clams and breed in the spring, which is why University of Minnesota Prof. James David Smith surmises the otters were protecting nearby pups. "I think it's just a rare event," he said, adding that people are more likely to run into a black bear or mountain lion. Star Tribune
U research center could help make it a fairer fight
No one can accuse Peter Sorensen of being timid. He proposed a world-class invasive species research center at the University of Minnesota to fight zebra mussels, Asian carp and other critters that have invaded and threaten Minnesota waters. Sorensen's goals for the center are equally ambitious -- some might say audacious: Figure out how to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species, reduce their abundance and ultimately develop ways to eradicate them. Star Tribune
Minnesota should care more about its own ducks
Whether waterfowl manager is a scientific occupation or one devoted instead largely to cheerleading is a fair question now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reported "record" numbers of ducks on the continent. Perhaps the service's estimated increase to 48.6 million ducks from last year's 45.6 million is accurate, perhaps not. Either way, it shouldn't affect duck-starved Minnesota, where wildlife managers in recent years have been busy trying to help hunters shoot their way back to waterfowling prosperity.... Helpful here might be reference to a recently completed study by Todd Arnold and Cristina de Sobrino of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the U. Star Tribune
Study links BPA to changes in fish appearance, behavior.
A hormone-mimicking chemical often found in rivers can affect the mating choices of fish, leading to changes in their appearance and behavior and to more interspecies breeding, a new study led by University of Minnesota scientist Jessica Ward has found. Pioneer Press
University of Minnesota Crookston professor wins in the hot seat
John Loegering, a college professor in Crookston, earned $13,550 on an episode of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" that aired Thursday...A wildlife ecologist at Minnesota-Crookston and in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Loegering was sworn to secrecy about how he fared since the taping in New York City on Nov. 2. Detroit Lakes Online
Piping plover chicks banded at Ludington State Park
University of Minnesota researchers banded piping plover chicks at the Ludington State Park Monday. The six have been banding both adult birds and chicks in Michigan this summer. The group planned to band two nests of chicks, one located just north of the beach house, the other north of Big Sable Point Lighthouse. The four chicks at the beach house are five days old, according to Sarah Saunders, a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota. Ludington Daily News
Invasive species: Lockdown on the lakes
Minnesota's long tradition of carefree boating is coming to an end. As zebra mussels, Asian carp and other invasive species invade our waters, the state is ramping up its defenses, posting more inspectors at lake accesses, stopping drivers at first-ever mandatory roadside checks, doubling fines and increasing a fleet of boat decontamination units....Yet, Peter Sorensen, a University of Minnesota professor and director of its new state-funded invasive species center, said the fight isn't futile. Star Tribune
Lake Waconia island is empty without its cormorants
Double-crested cormorants -- large, migratory, fish-eating birds that nest in colonies at this time of year -- have returned to the same island on Lake Waconia for years. Not in 2012. University of Minnesota researcher Linda Wires spotted only two of the protected birds when she flew over Coney Island late last month. Star Tribune
Tackling environmental education creatively
Some Great Lakes educators expose kids to environmental issues they may never learn about in the classroom. Kristen Nelson, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, specializes in environmental change and its relationship with human systems. Great Lakes Echo
Critics of war on invasive carp decry cost, environmental impact
For about two decades, several species of fish commonly known as Asian carp have been creeping up the Mississippi River and its tributaries, gobbling up food native fish need to survive…"To me, it's surprising we haven't seen more," says fisheries biologist Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota. MPR News
Northwest Minnesota bear study digs into details
A high-tech study of black bears in northwest Minnesota eventually could shed light on how far the species can expand from its traditional northern forest range…“I think it’s going to be quite surprising how far they can go,” said Dave Garshelis, bear research biologist for the Department of Natural Resources and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota. As part of a study with collaborators from the University of Minnesota and Medtronic, the DNR since 2007 has been fitting bears in northwest Minnesota with GPS collars to learn more about their movements and habitat use in a part of the state that’s on the fringe of bear range. Northland Outdoors
Penguins from Space: A new satellite census doubles the known population of Emperors
Using high-resolution satellite images, scientists have discovered that emperor penguins, whose Antarctic hardships were documented in the film "March of the Penguins," are twice as populous as previously thought…"Now we know how many there are," said Michelle LaRue, a research fellow at the U's Polar Geospatial Center and a graduate student in conservation biology. Scientific American
Squawk over hungry cormorants heard in Washington
To hear the fishermen around Lake Waconia tell it, the ancient black cormorants that congregate on the lake's Coney Island in the summer are the scourge of the fishes and trees. To naturalists who see the native Minnesota birds as unloved relations of the revered loon, it's all a big fish tale. "There isn't any problem with the fish population," said University of Minnesota fish and wildlife researcher Linda Wires. Star Tribune.
Minnesota vs. Asian carp
Now that a leaping silver carp and its kissin' cousin, a bighead carp, turned up in a commercial fisherman's net near Winona, Minn., sportsmen, environmentalists, scientists and politicians of all ideological stripes are boarding the Stop Aquatic Invasives bandwagon…There is also a proposal to tap the fund for $1.8 million (with more money coming from bonding and the lottery) to start up an aquatic invasive species research center at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.
Thailand field course student writes about his experience
"I went to Thailand as part of a University of Minnesota course, Tiger Research Methods and Field Survey Techniques, that earned me credit for my wildlife minor. Essentially, the course could have been called How to be a Thai Jungle Ranger." Jake Gau, a University of Minnesota-Twin Cities student, writes about his experiences in Thailand. Wausau Daily Herald
David Garshelis awarded the Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership
David Garshelis was the recent recipient of the Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership in recognition of his work in global bear conservation. The award was presented by Simon Stuart, chair of the Species Survival Commission, at the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 27, 2012. This award, established in 2004, acknowledges individuals who have made a significant contribution to species conservation through their leadership within an IUCN Specialist Group. Dave co-chairs the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, which oversees the conservation of all seven terrestrial bears in the world (all but the polar bear). The Harry Messel Award is given to up to four international species conservationists at four-year intervals.
A new study by monarch expert Karen Oberhauser and her Iowa State colleague, John Pleasants, ties a decade-long decline in monarch populations to the loss of milkweed from the corn and soybean fields that blanket the Midwest.
New University of Minnesota research center could give the state a fighting chance in the war against invasive species.
Peter Sorensen is spear-heading an effort to establish a new research center that will study aquatic invasive species. The center will be used to come up with new and more permanent methods of eradication of invasive species like Asian carp and zebra mussels. Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and Star Tribune (Editorial).
Black bears have a surprising capacity to heal as they hibernate, say US researchers.
Medical researcher and zoologists worked together to find that black bears' wounds healed with almost no scarring, and were infection-free. The healing occurred while the bears were hibernating and scientists hope to use their findings to aid studies of wound-healing in elderly, malnourished, or diabetic patients. The study was part of a tracking project by scientists, including, David Garshelis, from the universities of Minnesota, Wyoming, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. BBC Nature News.
Written by K. William Easter and James Perry, H.T. Morse Distinguished Professor of Water Quality and Environmental Management, and Professor, University of Minnesota, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.
Minnesota has a unique role in U.S. water policy. Hydrologically, it is a state with more than 12,000 lakes, an inland sea, and the headwaters of three major river systems: the St Lawrence, the Red River of the North, and the Mississippi.
This book is an excellent guide for policymakers and decision makers who are interested in learning about alternative approaches to water management. Non-governmental organizations interested in stimulating effective water quality policy will also find this a helpful resource. Read the first chapter.
Earthworms to blame for the decline of Ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests, study reveals
A new survey conducted in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest and Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest by a research team led by Scott Loss of the University of Minnesota and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has revealed a direct link between the presence of invasive European earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) and reduced numbers of Ovenbirds in mixed sugar maple and basswood forests. Smithsonian Science
Farmer fined $12,500 for decimating pelican nests
Craig Staloch, 59, of Minnesota Lake was fined $12,500 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service in a wildlife program for a rampage last spring in which he destroyed thousands of white pelican eggs and chicks. The fine will go into a wetland conservation fund. Linda Wires, an expert on water birds provided some insight into the changing attitudes towards growing numbers of fish-eating birds. Star Tribune
Beyond the empty nest
As anyone who’s ever sent a son or daughter off to college knows, a safe departure from the nest may warrant a sigh of relief, but the worries aren’t over. For birds it’s not nearly so simple: a spate of recent research is beginning to show just how fraught with peril the life of a juvenile bird is..... But according to Henry Streby and David Andersen of the University of Minnesota, that’s because what we know about most birds’ breeding habitat comes from just two clues: where we hear the males singing, and where we find females nesting. Ecosphere
Rep. Dill introduces parameters for wolf hunting and trapping season
A wolf hunting and trapping season in Minnesota was one the first issues to be debated in the 2012 Minnesota legislative session… “It is extremely well thought out,” Dave Mech, a wolf expert with the U.S. Geological Survey and adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, said of the DNR plan. Lake County News-Chronicle
Rep. Hackbarth proposes electronic barriers to stop Asian carp
A House natural resources committee on Wednesday, Feb. 1 heard a legislative proposal from Rep. Tom Hackbarth that could place three electronic barriers on the Mississippi River to block the spread of Asian carp… Professor Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota, a biologist who has done extensive research on controlling common carp and looking for financing to start an exotic species research facility at the university, deemed constructing the electronic lock barriers “a judicious move.” Elk River Star News
"River Song: The Thomas F. Waters Story"
Tom Waters, FWCB Emeritus Professor, and author of several books on the rivers and streams of MN, is the focus of this film by Richard Cornell. To purchase a copy of this film, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minnesota lawmakers consider wolf hunting season
A wolf hunting and trapping season in Minnesota was one the first issues to be debated in the 2012 Minnesota legislative session…“It is extremely well thought out,” Dave Mech, a wolf expert with the U.S. Geological Survey and adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, said of the DNR plan. Grand Forks Herald
Council recommends additional Heritage funds to fight invasive species
Minnesota may step up its efforts against invasive Asian carp using Outdoor Heritage Funds, one of four legacy amendment funds…Peter Sorensen of the U of M's department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology said the university is testing audio barriers to deter carp, whose sense of hearing is 50-times more acute than other fish. MPR News
Winter bug may offer climate clues
Will French, a Conservation Biology graduate research assistant, is part of a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota who are working to understand more about the relationship between Diamesa mendotae, unusual freeze-resistant insects and the fish that eat them in streams in the southeastern part of the state. Star Tribune
Editorial: Invest in research to fight invasive species
Minnesotans strongly reaffirmed their commitment to clean lakes and rivers in 2008, when they supported a statewide sales tax increase to fund environmental programs and the arts through the Legacy Amendment. It was encouraging to hear the legislative response last week to a proposal by University of Minnesota carp expert, Peter Sorensen to create a world-class invasive species research center at the U. Star Tribune
Peter Sorensen proposes an invasive species research center for the University of Minnesota
Beating back invasive species with boat inspections, dams or bubble barriers only buys time at best, a University of Minnesota professor told a legislative panel on Thursday. Instead, he said, let's outthink 'em. Star Tribune
Physical barriers won't stop Asian carp
Physical barriers will not be effective enough to stop invasive species from damaging Minnesota waters, according to a University of Minnesota researcher…Peter Sorensen has studied carp for years, and helped design an acoustic-bubble carp barrier at his lab at the U of M. MPR News
Expert provides hope for Lake Neshonoc Carp Control
Peter Sorensen, a scientist who has shed light on some of the mysteries of carp behavior may also provide some crucial insights to controlling the carp population on Lake Neshonoc and maintaining the health of the fishery. Lacrosse Tribune.
U of M scientists waging wars on carp
Fitted with electro-fishing equipment, the boat eased into the cattails along North St. Paul's Casey Lake, two University of Minnesota technicians standing at the bow with dip nets ready to scoop up stunned common carp…Led by professor Peter Sorensen, U scientists are trying to figure out what makes these carp tick: where they go, when and why, and what attracts and repels them. Pioneer Press
Cormorant trouble at Lake Waconia
Double-crested cormorants have been shot at Lake Waconia for the past four years, part of an ongoing effort to limit damage to a private island…People hate them, according to Francesca Cuthbert, a colonial waterbird expert at the University of Minnesota.
Scientists to trail carp with robotic boats
(October 2011) Researchers at three colleges will use a $2.2 million grant to develop robotic boats to track radio-tagged common carp in an effort to help control their numbers…"It's a little bit of science fiction, but it makes sense," said Peter Sorensen, a fish biology professor in the U's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota will participate in the research.
Grand Forks Herald
Farmer 'snapped' over pelicans
(October 2011) On May 17, Craig Staloch just snapped, his lawyer says... The massive colony of 3,000 birds, one of 16 in the state, had nested on an island in Minnesota Lake since at least 1995, and probably long before, said Linda Wires, an expert on pelicans at the University of Minnesota.
Kansas City Star
United Press International
Fort Wayne Gazette-Journal
Wildlife researcher responds to cormorant complaints
(October 2011) A response to a previous discussion on problems caused by cormorants comes from Linda Wires, a Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Dept. Of Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology.
Minnesota Public Radio
Michigan winning war against Cormorants
(September 2011) The number of cormorant nests in Michigan has been decreasing since population reduction actions were implemented in 2004…Dr. Francesca Cuthbert of the University of Minnesota, who coordinates the count throughout the U.S. Great Lakes Region, has noted further decreases on breeding colonies in Michigan.
Saginaw Michigan's WNEM
People and butterflies connect at Minneapolis Monarch Festival
(September 2011) People of all ages and backgrounds came together on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at the Monarch Festival on Lake Nokomis to share their love for the monarch butterfly. That’s what Liz Young-Isebrand of the Monarch Lab at the University of Minnesota loves about this annual event.
Twin Cities Daily Planet
Early Worm Gets Bird
(September 2011) Worms are turning the tables. The early bird may get the worm, but researchers Scott Loss and Robert Blair say invasive European earthworms appear to be reducing densities of ground-dwelling songbirds in North American Forests.
Sonic bubble barrier is latest hope to control carp invasion
(August 2011) A sonic and bubble barrier may be only a partial solution to keeping the invasive Asian carp away from Minnesota waters, according to University of Minnesota experts… Peter Sorensen, Dan Zielinski and Vaughan Voller discuss the next steps in their experiments on sonic/bubble barriers for common carp.
Minnesota Public Radio
Feathered friends on Johnson Street
(August 2011) Wild turkeys are a familiar sight in Northeast’s Audubon Park. Staff at Rewind feed them peanuts. Kids in Audubon Park throw snowballs at them… Karl Tinsley, a University of Minnesota Ph.D. student who is studying urban turkeys, said the city shields them from predators and hunting season.
Thomas Waters inducted into the National Trout Center Wall of Fame
(August 2011) The National Trout Center will induct Professor Emeritus Thomas F. Waters into their Wall of Fame. He is recognized for his lifelong career in research, teaching and advocacy for trout and the special cold-water stream environments they inhabit. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 6th at the National Trout Center in Preston, Minnesota.
NTC Wall of Fame Ceremony
Minnesota research project focuses on saving tiny songbird
(June 2011) Nearly half the golden-winged warblers in the world are in northern Minnesota right now for the summer breeding season… "A golden-winged warbler is kind of the proverbial canary in the coal mine," says Henry Streby, a researcher with the University of Minnesota, which is a member of the research unit. Minnesota Public Radio
Stable temperatures boost biodiversity in tropical mountains
(June 2011) We often think of rainforests and coral reefs as hotspots for biodiversity, but mountains are treasure troves for species too —especially in the tropics, scientists say… "Whereas a lowland area like a rainforest offers the same habitat over a large distance, mountain areas can go from lowland tropical forest, to cloud forest, to pine forest to paramo over a very short distance," said co-author Ken Kozak of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Science Codex
Ken Kozak receives American Society of Naturalist's Presidents Award
(May 2011) Assistant Professor Ken Kozak received the American Society of Naturalist's President's Award for best paper published in The American Naturalist during 2010 (volumes 175 and 176). Kozak and John Wiens of Stony Brook University published "Niche conservatism drives elevational diversity patterns in Appalachian salamanders," in July 2010.
John Loegering chosen president-elect of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society
(Apr. 2011) John Loegering is an associate professor in UM - Crookston’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and an FWCB adjunct faculty member. The three-year commitment includes serving as the section's president and past-president as well. Read more.
How Minnesotans Can "Fish" for More Sustainable Ocean Life
(Apr. 2011) This week marks the 35th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the federal law that is helping to rebuild America's depleted ocean fish populations and ensure their long-term sustainability… While the law has laid the groundwork, Peter Sorensen, professor of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota, believes individuals can also make a difference through their buying decisions. Public News Service
Keeping monarchs on the move
(Apr. 2011) Like many human retirees, some monarch butterflies have taken up residence in Florida, where they need not migrate to find winter warmth. Cushy as that life may seem, however, the Florida populations would probably enjoy better health if, like their northern cousins, they flew 1,500 miles south into central Mexico for the winter.In a new study, University of Minnesota monarch researcher Karen Oberhauser and three colleagues showed that long migrations tend to rid butterfly populations of parasites. This implies that disruptions to migrations, whether by habitat loss, loss of nectar plants along the migration route, climate change, or other factors, can reduce the fitness of monarchs, other migrating insects, and even vertebrates. UMN News
Minnesota is muskie mecca
(Apr. 2011) When muskie fever strikes, it doesn't discriminate. Still, 8-year-old David Jacobson might be one of the youngest Minnesotans afflicted… "We do know it's growing in popularity,'' said David Fulton, a University of Minnesota professor who conducts the angler surveys. Star Tribune
Worries grow over monarch butterflies
(Apr. 2011) North America’s beloved monarch butterfly may be sliding into a long-term decline… That trend in winter populations may be statistically significant, says monarch researcher Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, but she and other researchers are now working on a broader analysis of monarchs and the challenges the insects face throughout the year to get a better handle on whether the population is declining and, if so, why. Science News and Discovery News
Wild turkeys move in on campus
(Apr. 2011) Students walking around campus may have been greeted with a strange sight Tuesday —wild turkeys...Turkeys began spreading from southern Minnesota to farther north. But scientists never expected to see them move into urban areas like they have in the past few years. Karl Tinsley, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota who is currently researching why turkeys are moving into urban environments, said turkeys will go wherever they can find food. With a generalist diet and people feeding them, turkeys have adapted relatively well to city life. MN Daily
Ray Newman wins the University's Graduate/Professional Award
(Apr. 2011) Professor Ray Newman received a distinguished teaching award for his outstanding contributions to postbaccalaureate, graduate, and/or professional education. This honor is awarded annually to exceptional candidates nominated by their colleges in their quest to identify excellence in postbaccalaureate, graduate, and/or professional education.
FWCB Affiliated Programs
- MN Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
- Aquatic Invasive Species Center
- Minnesota Master Naturalists
- Monarchs in the Classroom
- Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative
- Minnesota Native Mussel Project
Job and internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students
The course explores aspects of biodiversity in the context of climate change and allows students to design, conduct and report the results of an independent study in the Amazon rainforest.
This course explores the ecology of local sharks and the natural history of the Caribbean while addressing aspects of local culture and development.
This course will provide students with an overview of Thailand's culture and conservation challenges and then forcus on applying a set of well-developed field survey and conservation tools.
Students will spend a semester in Sauraha, Nepal and work closely with communities to measure the value of community-managed forest ecosystems.
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Animal Control and Injured Wildlife Questions
Direct animal control questions to the MN Department of Natural Resources: 651-296-6157
Direct questions about injured wildlife to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic: 651-486-9453
General information requests about animals and fish may be directed to Francie Cuthbert, email@example.com.