NOTES FROM THE DEPARTMENT HEAD
Dear FWCB Alumni, Friends, Students and Staff-
One of the best things about fall in Minnesota are the flocks of migratory birds making their way to wintering grounds. It's a time of superb birdwatching and waterfowl hunting. And for every flock flying in formation overhead there's a moment to think about whether our stewardship of habitats and populations will sustain them. FWCB has long been a national and global leader in research and education on the ecology and management of waterfowl and the wetland habitats they rely on. At the nexus of two important breeding regions, the Prairie Potholes and Great Lakes, along with a major migratory flyway, the Mississippi River, what we learn in Minnesota matters across much of the continent.
FWCB has several research teams focused on waterfowl and wetlands ecology. Our faculty, Dan Larkin, John Fieberg and myself, are at the forefront of research on wetlands restoration, shallow lakes management, and control of invasive plant species. This research will increase and enhance wetland and grassland habitat quality in the eastern portion of the Prairie Pothole Region. Todd Arnold and David Andersen have spearheaded important student-led research projects on Canada goose productivity in the Hudson Bay lowlands, predator management in Manitoba and North Dakota, and impacts of oil development in western North Dakota. We've also been at the forefront of continental-scale analyses of waterfowl populations. Todd Arnold has advanced our understanding of harvest impacts on the survival of lesser scaup and developed integrated population models for northern pintails and American black ducks. We are one of only a few universities with faculty (David Fulton) studying human dimensions of waterfowl hunting and harvest management.
Just as important, FWCB graduates go on to provide leadership for conservation and research organizations including non-profits such as Ducks Unlimited and the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, government agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), state departments of natural Resources, and universities.
As part of a land-grant university, FWCB places a high value on research that solves real-world problems and through our outreach network we have the capacity to translate this knowledge into real-world actions that promote waterfowl and wetlands management. This will be more important than ever moving forward. Pressures from climate change and human land use are combining to create more complex challenges for sustaining waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Fall in Minnesota should always be an opportunity to appreciate the migratory rhythms of wildlife and to enjoy colorful forests and apple cider. I hope you've been able to enjoy this fall and all it offers!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
The 2016 Kolshorn Lecture and Awards Ceremony was held on October 3. This year's lecture, "Citizen science networks: discovering how to support and study practices that can help the birds and the bees" was presented by Dr. Janis Dickinson, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Dr. Chuck Meslow received the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Congratulations to Gunnar Kramer , NRSM-Wildlife graduate student, who received an award for his presentation, "Nonbreeding isolation and population-specific migration routes among three populations of Golden-winged Warblers," at the North American Ornithological Conference held in Washington D.C. in August. The Council of the American Ornithologists' Union recognizes two students at each annual meeting for their outstanding oral presentations given on any subject. Gunnar is advised by Dr. David Andersen, Professor and Leader of the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit. Molly Tuma, FWCB undergraduate, pictured right, received an honorable mention from the Wilson Ornithological Society for her poster presentation, "Seasonal survival in a black-capped chickadee population in central Minnesota 1969-2012." Dr. Todd Arnold advised Molly's project.
FACULTY & STAFF HIGHLIGHTS
Dr. Joseph Bump has been appointed to the Gordon W. Gullion Endowed Chair of Forest Wildlife Research and Education and will join the FWCB faculty as an Associate Professor in the fall of 2017. Dr. Bump is currently a faculty member at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Bump studies how wildlife interactions affect ecosystem processes and biodiversity, especially in forested systems.
Dr. Laura Dee joins the FWCB Faculty as Assistant Professor of Conservation Science in the fall of 2017. Laura's research addresses climatic, ecological and socioeconomic drivers of ecosystem services and their sustainable management in the face of uncertainty. A main objective of her research is to inform resource and land management strategies for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services that will be robust to global change. Dr. Dee is currently a postdoctoral associate with the Institute of the Environment's Natural Capital Project.
Jon Slaght's (PhD, Wildlife-NRSM, 2011) photography, "East of Siberia: Wildlife and Wild Places of the Russian Far East" was featured at a special exhibition of the Bell Museum that closed in September. Dr. Slaght has been a Projects Manager for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Russia Program since 2011.
Roberta Ryan (Fisheries and Wildlife BS, 2014), was recently featured in the CFANS Alumni and Friends Newsletter. Learn more about her work at the Wildlife Science Center as an animal care/education assistant as well as her research and professional experiences while at CFANS.
Our college (CFANS) is compiling a catalog of gift ideas for those exploring ways to support our students, academic programs and research. FWCB has some great gift ideas! These include camera traps for the undergraduate field session, a poster printer for preparing presentations for research meetings, and a new (safer) electrofishing boat. All of these are much needed and would really make a difference. The full catalog will be available soon. Contact Sue Galatowitsch for more information.
To contribute to FWCB, please contact Sue Galatowitsch (612-624-3242), firstname.lastname@example.org ), FWCB Head, or Cynthia Cashman (612-624-7489), email@example.com in the CFANS Development office. More information about making gifts to the department can be found on the FWCB website.
Thanks to everyone who supports FWCB by contributing to scholarships, research, and departmental activities that include special lectures and the summer field session.