SNR Research Series - Fall 2016

Land Cover Change, Irrigation, and their Impacts on Climate

Speaker: Dr. Rezaul Mahmood

Professor, Western Kentucky University

Date: 9/28/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Dr. Rezaul Mahmood
Dr. Rezaul Mahmood

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Rezaul Mahmood specializes in weather and climate science. He has received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and Joined WKU in 2001. He has published more than 65 peer-reviewed papers in highly respected journals. Dr. Mahmood's research focuses on meso-scale meteorology and climatology and observations, modeling atmospheric impacts of land use land cover change, modeling impacts of soil moisture on weather and climate, air quality meteorology, flash flooding climatology and hydrometeorology of the Appalachia. Rezaul provided significant leadership in development of the Kentucky Mesonet and WKU's High Performance Computing Center (HPCC). His research has been funded by the NSF, NOAA, USDA-ARS, and others.

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When can the cause of a population decline be determined?

Speaker: Dr. Trevor Hefley

Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Kansas State University

Date: 10/5/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Abstract

Inferring the factors responsible for declines in abundance is a prerequisite to preventing the extinction of wild populations. Many of the policies and programs intended to prevent extinctions operate on the assumption that the factors driving the decline of a population can be determined. Exogenous factors that cause declines in abundance can be statistically confounded with endogenous factors such as density dependence. To demonstrate the potential for confounding, we used an experiment where replicated populations were driven to extinction by gradually manipulating habitat quality. In many of the replicated populations, habitat quality and density dependence were confounded, which obscured causal inference. Our results show that confounding is likely to occur when the exogenous factors that are driving the decline change gradually over time. Our study has direct implications for wild populations, because many factors that could drive a population to extinction change gradually through time.

Hefley, T.J., M.B. Hooten, J.M. Drake, R.E. Russell, D.P. Walsh (In press) When can the cause of a population decline be determined? Ecology Letters

Dr. Trevor Hefley
Dr. Trevor Hefley

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Trevor Hefley received his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife in 2010 and PhD in Statistics and Natural Resources Sciences in 2014 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently working on developing spatio-temporal models assessing risk factors for wildlife disease. Broadly, his research focuses on developing and applying statistical methods to inform wildlife conservation and management decisions. He is also interested in applied statistics, specifically how other disciplines such as engineering, biology, ecology and computer science utilize the large amounts of data that are currently available for decision making.

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Adaptive grazing management to optimize cattle performance and rangeland bird diversity and abundance

Speaker: David Augustine

Research Ecologist, USDA

Date: 10/12/2016
Time: 2:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

David Augustine
David Augustine

Speaker's Bio

Dr. David Augustine is a Research Ecologist with the Rangeland Resources Research Unit within the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, based in Fort Collins, CO. His research interests focus on the influence of herbivores, particularly those with hooves, on the structure, function, and diversity of ecosystems. He received his MS in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Minnesota, and PhD in Biology from Syracuse University. Dr. Augustine's research addresses both basic and applied questions about the role of native and domestic herbivores on systems including savannas of East Africa, grasslands and shrublands throughout the Great Plains of North America, and forest of eastern North America. A current major focus of his research in the Great Plains is quantifying tradeoffs and synergies among livestock production and biodiversity conservation. His seminar will focus on adaptive grazing management to optimize cattle performance and rangeland bird diversity and abundance.

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Prairie STRIPS: From research to action

Speaker: Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore

Professor, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management Iowa State University

Date: 10/19/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore
Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions. Her current research addresses the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to meet societal goals for clean water, healthy soils, abundant wildlife and inspiring recreational opportunities. Dr. Schulte Moore is co-founder and co-leader of the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) project, which pioneered the prairie strips conservation practice. She is also lead developer of People in Ecosystems/ Watershed Integration (PEWI), a simple web-based educational game designed to help people understand human impacts on the environment and improve the management of natural resources. She earned a B.S. in biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an M.S. in biology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Ph.D. in forestry in 2002 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Ames, Iowa, with her husband, Peter Moore, and two sons. They also spend time at their diversified family farm near Strum, Wis.

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The Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS): mobile apps and cloud computing for supporting land management decisions, inventory, monitoring and evaluation.

Speaker: Gregory Gust

Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, NOAA

Date: 11/2/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Abstract

A review of some ongoing activities to improve our local meteorological observation (in situ and remote) and forecast capabilities both here and abroad, with an extensive nod to three related USAID, USDA, and NOAA assisted Capacity Building Projects in Ethiopia and Kazakhstan.
[Google USAID and NIMS/ICS, PRIME, or CRW]

Side forays will likely include:

  • Stationarity, Transition, Dynamism and Chaos?
  • Achieving Food Security amid Disparate and Volatile Climate Regimes.
  • Climate adaptation/mitigation strategies at play in Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and North Dakota.
Gregory Gust
Gregory Gust

Speaker's Bio

Mr. Gust is the NOAA/NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist serving the Red River Basin (ND/MN) from his office in Grand Forks ND since 1998.

He provides environmental information and Decision Support Services for high impact incidents, specializing in direct support to Emergency Management officials, Media outlets, Multi-Agency Coordination Centers, and public decision makers. You will find him in the thick of activities before, during, and after the BIG storms!

In addition, Greg serves as adjunct NOAA/Meteorology Advisor to various U.S. assisted developmental projects in Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere as needed. He's also on the International Committee on Weather, Water, and Climate Strategies (ICWWCS) of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Greg has crisscrossed the nation serving as Staff Meteorologist in the Air Force, then as Lead Forecaster, Science Officer, and WCM in the NWS mainly in these Northern Plains. He's chased, caught, and released tornadoes in thirteen states but spends most of his time now on local, national, or international warning coordination issues.

He holds undergraduate degrees or degree equivalents in Physics and Mathematics, from St. John's University in Collegeville MN; French, from the University of Montpellier, Montpellier FR; Education, from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks ND; and Meteorology, from Texas A&M University, College Station TX.

He began graduate studies in Mathematics and Education while at the University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks ND, but completed his Master's Degree in Meteorology/Synoptic Climatology at Penn State University, in State College PA.

E-mail: Gregory.Gust@noaa.gov
Phone: 1-701-772-0720 x726

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Drought and Public Health

Speaker: Sherry L. Burrer, DVM, MPH-VPH, DACVPM

Staff Epidemiologist/CDR, United States Public Health Service

Date: 11/9/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Abstract

Drought is a common phenomenon in the United States and poses a serious public health threat to our communities. Drought can be a slow evolving event and its many direct and indirect impacts on behavioral and physical health can be easily overlooked. Awareness and education on drought-related public health issues is key to making sure that drought in the United States is not the forgotten disaster in public health.

Sherry L. Burrer
Sherry L. Burrer

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Sherry Burrer received both her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from the Ohio State University, and she is board certified in veterinary preventive medicine. She was part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service class of 2008 and during that time was assigned to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, in 2011 she completed the CDC Preventive Medicine Fellowship at the Emergency Preparedness and Response Office of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. She currently works at CDC on the Disaster Epidemiology and Response Team at the National Center for Environmental Health.

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Incorporating Human Dimension Objectives into Habitat Planning and Delivery

Speaker: Pat Devers

Science Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management

Date: 11/16/2016
Time: 3:30:00 PM
Location: 107 Hardin Hall

Abstract

The incorporation of human dimension objectives within the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) has compelled waterfowl and wetland managers to consider whether and to what extent landscape characteristics such as public land access, the type, amount and location of wetlands, and site infrastructure will increase support for wetland conservation among user groups. We demonstrate how model outputs can be used as an objective metric to evaluate the benefits of alternative habitat acquisition and restoration projects. These data and methods show promise for incorporating human dimension objectives into habitat delivery and understanding potential tradeoffs relative to biological objectives.

Pat Devers
Pat Devers

Speaker's Bio

Pat Devers is the Science Coordinator for the Black Duck Joint Venture with the USFWS's Division of Migratory Bird Management. Pat's main responsibilities are to coordinate monitoring and research efforts in Canada and the U.S. to provide scientific information needed to support population and habitat management for black ducks and other wetland species that share its habitat. Pat also provides technical support for the implementation of Black Duck Adaptive Harvest Management. Pat's interests include population ecology and the application of decision analysis to natural resource conservation management. Pat has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Sciences from Virginia Tech, M.S. in Wildlife Science from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. Pat enjoys camping, hiking, and fishing with his wife and two sons. Pat also enjoys upland gamebird and waterfowl hunting.

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