Seminars

Academic Year 2018 - 2019

Subject Population Modeling

Main Speaker: Richard Rebarber

Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Date: 10/3/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Richard Rebarber

Speaker's Bio

Richard Rebarber is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1984, with thesis work in control theory. He spent his first 20+ years at Nebraska working on Control Theory, and has recently been working with biologists on population dynamics and other topics in Mathematical Ecology. He has been the long-time director of an applied mathematics REU Site and has extensive experience mentoring undergraduate research.

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon402-472-7235

mail iconrebarber@unl.edu

Video

The Ecology and Conservation of Jaguar in Western Paraguay

Main Speaker: Jeffrey Thompson

Researcher, CONACYT Paraguay

Date: 10/22/2018
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: 228 Hardin Hall

Jeffrey Thompson
Jeffrey Thompson

Speaker's Bio

Jeffrey J Thompson received his B.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, his M.Sc. from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He was formerly employed by the Argentine government and the United Nations Environmental Program and is now a researcher in the national scientific council of Paraguay, a member of the Paraguayan Scientific Society, and an associated researcher of the NGO Guyra Paraguay where he is the co-coordinator of its jaguar research program. He is interested in the effects of land use on wildlife populations and movements, particularly carnivores and terrestrial gamebirds. His present research addresses the ecology of the carnivore community, particularly the movements and population dynamics of jaguar, in the Gran Chaco and Pantanal ecosystems of western Paraguay in relation to land use.

Applied Ecology and Management Around Waterfowl Management in Nebraska

Main Speaker: Todd Arnold

Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Date: 10/24/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Todd Arnold
Todd Arnold

Abstract

Ornithologists have been banding birds for over a century, but these data have been used less often than they could be to answer questions about population dynamics. In this seminar, I attempt to bridge the gap between data-rich species like mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), with over 1.2 million band recoveries, to data-poor species like wood warblers (Parulidae), with just over 6,000 recoveries from 53 combined species. The most common application of band-recovery data is estimation of annual survival. By using species as random effects, I show how we can also estimate juvenile and adult survival for data-poor assemblages such as wood warblers. Moving on to fecundity, I demonstrate how we can estimate fecundity at annual and regional scales using age ratios of birds captured for banding, and I apply these estimators to prairie dabbling ducks (Anatidae) and dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis). Finally, I demonstrate how banding data can be combined with harvest data to estimate population size using Lincoln estimators, and apply the method to data-rich and data-poor examples.

Todd with bird

Speaker's Contact Information

mail iconarnol065@unm.edu

Data-driven Modeling of Ecological Dynamics

Main Speaker: Hao Ye

Quantitative Ecologist and Postdoctoral Research Associate, Computational Ecology, University of Florida

Date: 10/31/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Hao Ye
Hao Ye

Abstract

Systems that exhibit complex, nonlinear, and even chaotic dynamics can be challenging to understand and model. In particular, unlike physics or chemistry, biology does not have fundamental mathematical laws, and many of the quantitative relationships (e.g. scaling laws) are empirical rather than proscriptive. In this presentation, two examples that apply the framework of empirical dynamic modeling to infer mechanism directly from time series are examined: (1) elucidating the role of environmental conditions for recruitment of Fraser River sockeye salmon; and (2) identifying causal drivers and algal blooms in the Southern California Bight. I conclude with an overview of current work to quantifying long-term change in complex ecological communities.

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Hao Ye’s research brings together ideas from machine learning, dynamical systems theory, and ecology to understand how complex systems change over time. The work involves both methods development (i.e. R packages) and their application to diverse systems (e.g. neuroscience, astrophysics, climate and atmospheric science) to investigate the underlying mechanisms that give rise to observed patterns. Dr. Ye has degrees in computer science, experimental psychology, and oceanography, and is currently a postdoctoral associate and Moore data fellow in the Weecology Lab, department of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida. Website: https://haoye.us

Earth observation by constellations of CubeSats: New opportunities and challenges

Main Speaker: Rasmus Houborg

Assistant Professor and Senior Research Scientist, Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University

Date: 11/14/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Rasmus Houborg
Rasmus Houborg

Abstract

Emerging satellite constellations comprised of hundreds of small CubeSats are transforming very high-resolution earth observation by overcoming the spatiotemporal constraints associated with conventional single-sensor satellite missions. However, the large number of constellation satellites, and relatively cheap sensor components and design, introduce cross-sensor inconsistencies and cross-calibration challenges. While superior in terms of spatiotemporal resolution, the radiometric quality, spectral resolution, and absolute calibration accuracy is not equivalent to that of rigorously calibrated space-agency satellites such as Landsat and Sentinel. A CubeSat Enabled Spatio-Temporal Enhancement Method (CESTEM) has been developed to realize the full potential of CubeSat sensing. CESTEM adopts an agnostic sensor data fusion and cross-sensor calibration technique that exploits conventional satellite systems as the gold standard. CESTEM offers a unique data-driven avenue towards cross-platform interoperability enabling spatiotemporal enhancement of spectral metrics and biophysical properties retrievable from conventional large satellite systems. In this work, CESTEM ingests high quality Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 based retrievals of surface reflectance and plant biophysical properties as references to calibrate relatively noisy CubeSat observations and provide high fidelity CubeSat-based insights into crop growth dynamics, developing plant stress, and crop disturbances. Using CESTEM, daily 3 m RGB and NIR imagery afforded by a constellation of ~150 active CubeSats deployed in low-earth orbits, are transformed into Landsat 8 or Sentinel-2 consistent surface reflectance and leaf area index estimates. Application over a variety of agricultural landscapes and environments highlights the resolution advantage both spatially and temporally. Comparisons against in-situ observations in fields of corn near Mead, Nebraska demonstrate encouraging capability of the CESTEM-based estimates for reproducing observed spatiotemporal dynamics. The repeatable in-field information on crop condition provided by CESTEM have significant potential for powering smarter, more efficient, and productive farming at broad scales.

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Rasmus Houborg is a Senior Scientist in the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence (GSCE) and an Assistant Professor with a tenure home in the Department of Geography at the South Dakota State University (SDSU). Dr. Houborg's research is broadly focused on advancing the utility and integration of multi-scale and multi-sensor remote sensing data for high resolution land surface characterization. This includes novel translation of spectral signals into meaningful vegetation biophysical quantities (e.g., leaf area index, photosynthetic pigment contents), and integration of observation based constraints into land surface modeling frameworks.

After being awarded a PhD in Physical Geography at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark he moved to the United states working first as a Post-doctoral scientist at the USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory (2007-2009) and then as a Research Associate in the Hydrological Sciences Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland (2009-2011). He also spent two years (2011-2013) at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Italy, and five years (2013-2017) at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) working as a Research Scientist in the Hydrology and Land Observation (HALO) group. Dr. Houborg joined the GSCE January 2018.

Speaker's Contact Information

mail iconrasmus.houborg@sdstate.edu

Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit – nitrate and ag fields

Main Speaker: Peter Levi

Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Drake University

Date: 11/28/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Peter Levi
Peter Levi

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Peter Levi received a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) with minors in International Relations and Environmental Science. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years working in environmental education, from San Diego to the Florida Keys and southern Maine to southern Africa. Peter completed his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame in 2012 where he studied the ecosystem responses to Pacific salmon in streams and rivers throughout their native and introduced ranges. He then had a post-doctoral research appointment in the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University in Denmark and a second in the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Peter is an ecosystem ecologist interested in the function of streams, rivers, and reservoirs from both a theoretical and applied perspective. In his research, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to assess the ecological value and integrity of freshwater ecosystems, bridging diverse disciplines such as limnology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and economics. Peter encourages students with interests in water resources, ecology, conservation, or environmental restoration to discuss research opportunities in his lab. As he continues to develop his research at Drake, Peter looks forward to working with wildlife and fisheries managers, conservation organizations, local and state politicians, and fellow academics in Iowa and the Upper Midwest.

Peter is dedicated to the liberal arts approach and especially enjoys Drake's small class sizes, frequent faculty-student interactions, and requirements for interdisciplinary coursework. The courses he teaches include Principles of Geology, Hydrology, and Global Biogeochemistry as well as other courses in the physical Earth sciences. Peter frequently engages with local schools and organizations in and around Des Moines, sharing the wonder of science with younger and older students alike through community outreach.

Speaker's Contact Information

mail iconpeter.levi@drake.edu

Student learning in the context of ecology and evolution college courses

Main Speaker: Lisa Corwin

Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

Date: 12/5/2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Lisa Corwin
Lisa Corwin

Speaker's Bio

I am the Principle Investigator for the Research on Ecology and Evolution Education for Action and Change (RE3ACH) lab. My lab engages in biology education research and focuses on how biology students develop into resilient, creative, and competent scientific researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology and STEM more broadly. My primary research interests span three themes. I investigate 1) how biology students cope with the challenges and failures they encounter in scientific research and how they develop their ability to respond productively to challenges to make progress on a research project, and ultimately, to persist in their scientific endeavors, 2) how biology students develop creativity withing biology contexts and specifically how engaging them in the process of iterative design, whether it be design of an experiment, a potential new product, or a land management plan, can help them to develop knowledge and skills associated with creativity, such as divergent thinking, idea generation, and deeper understanding of the links between form and function, and 3) how involving students in place-based culturally relevant research experiences influences their likelihood to engage and persist in biology - and specifically ecology - endeavors. These research themes stem from my long-time interest in how society address broad ecological and environmental problems, such as climate change, and how we, as educators, can foster a new generation of resilient, creative, and passionate scientists equipped to tackle these broad and complicated issues.

Speaker's Contact Information

mail iconlisa.corwin@colorado.edu

 

Seminar Archives

The School of Natural Resources, its faculty and affiliated programs sponsor various seminar series. Unless otherwise indicated, all are open to the public.

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