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Dear FWCB Alumni, Friends, Students and Staff--
 

At our Kolshorn Lecture in September we will honor this year’s Distinguished Alumnus award winner. FWCB established this award four years ago to highlight the accomplishments of our alumni and to increase awareness of the contributions our graduates make to natural resources and to society more broadly. The nomination phase of the award selection process is an important part of recognizing alumni accomplishments.  This is an opportunity for all of us to take time to think about and share the career accomplishments of our FWCB friends and colleagues.  A committee of faculty and students first reviews the nominations received, followed by a selection process that is mostly a celebration of how impressive, inspiring and impactful the alumni nominees are.  A graduate student recently remarked that becoming familiar with our distinguished alumni nominees and award winners gave him a much greater sense of what he might accomplish as a graduate of FWCB.  To all of our nominators – know that your “behind the scenes” efforts are central to achieving the goals of this award.
 
Of course, honoring one of our alumni each year and celebrating his or her extraordinary accomplishments culminates in the annual award ceremony. I am pleased to announce that Dr. John J. Magnuson is FWCB’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus.  For more than a half century, Dr. Magnuson has been a pioneer and field-shaping aquatic ecologist whose work has had significant policy implications. He is an international authority on the ecology of freshwater lakes and their role in landscape level ecosystems.
 
John received a B.S. in 1956 and a MS in 1958 in Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Following his PhD from the University of British Columbia, he joined the University of Wisconsin Zoology faculty in 1968, where he served for 32 years.  John and his research team— including an astounding 108 MS and PhD students – were highly productive and influential, publishing more than 350 scientific papers. John’s research advanced our knowledge of climate change and variability, community ecology and invasions and extinctions, crayfish ecology, fish behavior and ecology, fisheries science and management, lake ice, landscapes and oceanscapes, limnology and pollution ecology, long-term ecological research, thermal ecology of fishes, tuna biology and ecology, and winter ecology of fishes. Dr. Magnuson spearheaded long-term research on lakes for twenty years. He served in many key leadership positions including founding director of the UW’s Center of Limnology, director of the ecology program at the National Science Foundation, president of the American Fisheries Society, and Chair of the National Academy of Science Committees addressing marine fisheries and biodiversity. His pioneering leadership as the first co-chair of the “Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts” and as a lead for aquatic assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been central to linking aquatic science to policy-making over the past decade. 
 
Dr. Magnuson’s visionary leadership and science have earned him many accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We are honored to present him with our alumni award this year and welcome him back to campus.
 
Please join us in September—we look forward to seeing many FWCB alumni, friends, students, staff and faculty at the lecture and reception. It’s a great time to renew friendships and reconnect with the FWCB community.
 
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Dr. Marie-Josee FortinThe  2017 Kolshorn Lecture and Awards Ceremony will be held on September 18,  Saint Paul Campus (33 McNeal Hall), 4:30 pm-6:00pm. This year’s lecture, “How global change affects species persistence”, will be presented by Dr. Marie-Josée Fortin of the University of Toronto.
 
Dr. Fortin will also give a research seminar on September 19 at 11:00 am in 335 Borlaug Hall, “Connectivity for conservation in fragmented landscapes.“  Both lectures, the awards ceremony, and the reception are open to the public. More information about the Kolshorn events can be found on the FWCB website.
 
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s (MAISRC) Fourth Annual Research and Management Showcase is Wednesday, September 13, 8:30-5:00 pm, Saint Paul Campus.  The showcase will include talks about the latest MAISRC research on starry stonewort, zebra mussels, spiny waterflea, invasive carp, harmful fish diseases, and much more. Participants can also tour the newly renovated AIS Lab and Holding Facility to see research projects in action, and enjoy a poster session reception. Space is limited and registration is required.
 
Mentor an FWCB Student! Professional networking is important for preparing future conservation leaders. Fortunately, our CFANS Mentor Program connects students with mentors who help them with career exploration and provides students with an opportunity to network and enhance their professional skills.  Last year twenty FWCB undergraduate and graduate students were matched with alumni and professionals. Both students and mentors find this to be a rewarding and valuable opportunity – and it doesn’t require much time! Register now to be a mentor for the 2017-18 academic year.  If you have any questions about mentoring a FWCB student, contact Sue Galatowitsch (galat001@umn.edu612-624-3242). Please sign up by September 25
 
Thanks again to last year’s FWCB mentors  – Elizabeth Clemmons (UM Vet Medicine),Tom Cooper (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Steven Houdek (US Geological Survey), Somer Drummond (UM Vet Medicine), Elizabeth Henley (Smith Partners), Daniel Hnilicka (Raptor Center), Jennefer Klennert (Foth Infrastructure and Environment LLC), Jessie Koehle (City of Eagan), Olivia LeDee (MN Department of Natural Resources), Melissa Lewis (MN Board of Water and Soil Resources), Brian Nerbonne (MN Department of Natural Resources), Sean O’Connor (MN Pollution Control Agency), Derric Pennington (World Wildlife Fund), Kelly Pennington (MN Department of Natural Resources), Jessica Pispanen (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Roberta Ryan (Wildlife Science Center), Robert Sip (MN Department of Agriculture), Stephanie Souter (Washington County), Sarah Thompson (USGS), and Christine Yeager (MN Department of Natural Resources).
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A team of FWCB researchers, led by PhD student Hannah Specht, (advised by Professor Todd Arnold), recently published a paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, “Occupancy surveys with conditional replicates: an alternative sampling design for rare species.”  Their research offers improvements to sampling designs used to describe the distribution of rare and other difficult-to-detect species. This short video by authors Hannah Specht and Henry Reich explains the key points of their approach.
 
PhD student John Berini recently published a paper in BMC Ecology, “Diet segregation in American bison in Yellowstone National Park.” The paper was featured on the BMC Series blog which highlights “high-impact, thought-provoking research.” In the blog post John and his co-author Catherine Badgley discuss how differences in diet can cause male and female bison to become spatially segregated during certain times of the year.
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FWCB welcomes two new faculty members, Dr. Joseph Bump and Dr. Laura Dee. Dr. Joseph Bump, Associate Professor and Gullion Chair of Forest Wildlife , comes to Minnesota from Michigan Technological University, where he was on the faculty of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Joseph received his PhD from MTU in Forest Science (wildlife ecology). His research group studies the relationship between wildlife ecology and ecosystem processes, ecophysiology, stable isotope ecology, and conservation science.
Dr. Laura Dee, Assistant Professor, earned her PhD from the University of California-Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She is currently a postdoc at the University of Minnesota-Institute on the Environment. Her research is focused on ecosystem services, conservation ecology, and decision analysis.

FWCB also welcomes five new Adjunct Assistant ProfessorsDr. Gretchen Hansen, Dr. Tara Harris, Dr. Amy Schrank, Dr. Seth Stapleton, and Dr. Dawn TannerLearn more about them on the FWCB website.

FWCB aquatic invasive species researchers, Dr. Nick Phelps (Assistant Professor and Director), Dr. Mike McCartney (Research Assistant Professor), and Dr. Sophie Mallez (Postdoc) were featured in a Minneapolis Star Tribune series exploring the search for solutions to Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species: Part 1: How the zebra mussel scourge spread across Minnesota and Part 2: Meet the scientists working to stop spread of zebra mussels. These features by Tony Kennedy highlight the “cutting edge” research of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

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Dr. John J. Magnuson (’58 Fisheries) will receive the University of Minnesota - Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (FWCB) Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017 at the annual Kolshorn Lecture and Awards Ceremony.  This annual award recognizes an alumnus/alumna who has attained professional distinction in fisheries, wildlife, conservation biology or related field as evidenced by outstanding professional achievement on a state, national, or international level.
 
Michelle Vohs (’17) is an intern working with pandas in Bifengxia, Sichuan, China for PDX Wildlife. She provides support for the captive breeding program. Follow Michelle's adventures!
 
 alumna michelle vohs           
 

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Because of generous donations from FWCB alumni and friends, we were able, for the first time, to offer scholarships for the FWCB Summer Field Session to all students who requested financial assistance.  The 3-week session is essential to the professional development of FWCB students but covering the costs of attending is challenging for many.

Thanks to all of those who have supported FWCB scholarships, fellowships, and the Kolshorn Lecture. Your support truly makes a difference and provides opportunities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.  We’re looking forward to the upcoming FWCB Kolshorn Lecture and Awards Ceremony and recognizing our Distinguished Alumni Award winner. We hope you’ll consider supporting important events like this, which are key to the vitality of the FWCB community --alumni and friends, students, staff and faculty.

To contribute to FWCB, please contact Sue Galatowitsch (612-624-3242), galat001@umn.edu), FWCB Head. More information about making gifts to the department can be found on the FWCB website.

A special thanks to our supporters who annually support FWCB with contributions that support our students and our research—you are making a difference!

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In this issue:

  • Note from the Dept. Head
  • Announcements & Events
  • Student Highlights
  • Faculty & Staff Highlights
  • Alumni Highlights
  • Support FWCB!