Larkin Powell

Larkin Powell

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Director of Great Plains Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit and Applied Ecology Mission Area Leader
Address 419 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-472-6825
FAX 402-472-2946
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Hi, I'm Larkin Powell, professor of conservation biology and animal ecology at the School of Natural Resources.

I teach courses in the school's fisheries and wildlife major, including field courses to Cedar Point Biological Station and to Namibia. I have also led student trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and to Puerto Rico. I have an active research lab for master's and doctoral students and postdoctoral associates.

My areas of study attempt to explain how management of landscapes affects wildlife populations. Many of my research projects are focused on private lands or state/federal properties. I have students working on projects assessing grazing management, farm bill conservation programs, prescribed burning, and other management-related issues. I have worked on projects involving forest and grassland songbirds, upland game birds, sandhill cranes, quail-doves, waterfowl, small mammals, mesopredators, painted turtles and raptors.

I've been at UNL since 2001 and I participate in the applied ecology faculty group.

Larkin Powell

Selected Publications

Cunningham, Z., L. A. Powell, M. Vrtiska, S. Stephens, and J. Walker. 2016. Skewed age ratios of breeding mallards in the Nebraska Sandhills. American Midland Naturalist 175:280-285.
Dallmann, J. D., E. J. Raynor, L. C. Anderson, L. A. Powell, and Walter H. Schacht. 2016. iButton® Temperature Loggers Effectively Determine Prairie Grouse Nest Absences. Great Plains Research 26:117-123.
Smith, J. A., C. E. Whalen, M. Bomberger Brown, and L. A. Powell. 2016. Indirect Effects of an Existing Wind Energy Facility on Lekking Behavior of Greater Prairie-Chickens. Ethology 122:419-429.
Anderson, L., W. Schacht, L. A. Powell, J. Lusk, and W. Vodehnal. 2015. Greater Prairie-Chicken Brood Site Selection and Survival in the Nebraska Sandhills. Journal of Wildlife Management 79:559-569.
Ejigu, D. A. Bekele, L. A. Powell, and J. -M. Lernould. 2015. Habitat preference of the endangered Ethiopian walia ibex (Capra walie) in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. 38: 1-10.
Giovanni, M. D., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. 2015. Habitat selection and survival for western meadowlark fledglings in a contiguous prairie system. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127: 200-211.
Haugen, M., M. Vrtiska, and L. A. Powell. 2015. Duck species co-occurrence in hunter daily bags. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39:70–78.
Haugen, M., M. Vrtiska, and L. A. Powell. 2015. The Effects of Harvest Regulations on Behaviors of Duck Hunters. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 20:15-29.
Hiller, T. L., J. S. Taylor, J. J. Lusk, L. A. Powell, and A. J. Tyre. 2015. Evidence that the conservation reserve program slowed population declines of pheasants on a changing landscape in Nebraska, USA. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39:529-535.
Kowalewski, L. K., C. Chizinski, L. A. Powell, K. L. Pope, and M. A. Pegg. 2015. Accuracy or Precision: Implications of Sample Design and Methodology on Abundance Estimation. Ecological Modelling 316:185-190
Pegg, M. A., K. L. Pope, L. A. Powell, K. C. Turek, J. J. Spurgeon, N. T. Stewart, N. P. Hogberg, and M. T. Porath. 2015. Lake and reservoir rehabilitations: seeking the fountain of youth. Fisheries 40:177-181.
Powell, L. A. 2015. Hitler’s effect on wildlife in Nebraska: World War II and farmed landscapes. Great Plains Quarterly 35:1-26.
Powell, L. A. 2015. Periodic corrections to agricultural land values provide opportunity for conservation. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 70: 39A-44A.
Sliwinski, M. L. A. Powell, N. Koper, M. Giovanni, W. Schacht. 2015. Research design considerations to ensure detection of all species in an avian community. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7:456–462.
Smith, J., Matthews, T. W., Holcomb, E. D., Negus, L. P., Davis, C. A., Brown, M., Powell, L. A., Taylor, J. S. 2015. Invertebrate prey selection by ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) broods in Nebraska. American Midland Naturalist 173:318-325.
Steffensen, K.D., L. A. Powell, M. Stukel, K. R. Winders, and W. J. Doyle. 2015. Updated assessment of hatchery-reared pallid sturgeon (Forbes & Richardson,1905) survival in the lower Missouri River. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 32:3-10.
Winder, V. L., A. J. Gregory, C. A. Hagen, D. A. Haukos, D. C. Kesler, L. C. Larsson, T. W. Matthews, L. B. McNew, M. A. Patten, J. C. Pitman, L. A. Powell, J. A. Smith, T. Thompson, D. H. Wolfe, B. K. Sandercock. 2015. Factors affecting female space use in ten populations of prairie chickens. Ecosphere 6:9, art166. [recipient of The Wildlife Society’s 2016 Wildlife Publication Award]
Post van der Burg, M., L. A. Powell, and A. J. Tyre. 2010. Finding the smoothest path to success: model complexity and the consideration of non-linear patterns in nest survival data. Condor 112:421-431.
Powell, L. A. 2010. Farming with wildlife: conservation and ecotourism on private lands in Namibia. Lincoln, Nebraska: Lulu Publishing. 50pp.
Powell, L. A., K. D. Powell, and T. R. Powell. 2010. Dust and mud: perspectives from Namibia. Lincoln, Nebraska: Lulu Publishing. 42pp.
Steffensen, K. D., L. A. Powell, and J. D. Koch. 2010. Assessment of Hatchery-Reared Pallid Sturgeon Survival in the Lower Missouri River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:671-678.
Fricke, K. A., S. L. F. Kempema, and L. A. Powell. 2009. Small mammal ecology on private rangelands in Nebraska. Great Plains Research 19:65-72.
Hiller, T. L., L. A. Powell, T. D. McCoy, and J. J. Lusk. 2009. Long-term agricultural land-use trends in Nebraska: 1866-2007. Great Plains Research 19:225-237.
Kocer, C. J., and L. A. Powell. 2009. A field system for isoflurane anesthesia of multiple species of mesopredators. American Midland Naturalist 161(2):406-412.
Post van der Burg, M., L. A. Powell, and A. J. Tyre. 2009. Modeling parasitism rate and parasitism risk: an illustration using a colonially nesting songbird, the red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus. Journal of Avian Biology 40:263-270.
Powell, L. A. 2009. The role of learning styles in student evaluations of a problem-based learning course. Transformative Dialogues 2(3):1-15.
Powell, L. A. 2009. Using reflection documents to assess student learning. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education 38:33-39.
Powell, L., S. Riley, A. Tyre, and S. Hygnstrom. 2009. The value of early experience: students know they need it, but how do they get it? The Wildlife Professional 3(4):45-47.
Powell, L.A., A.J. Tyre, S.E. Hygnstrom, D.A. Wedin, P.R. Hanson, M.S. Kuzila, and J.B. Swinehart. 2009. Wilderness serendipity: planning and assessing learning during an experiential field course.North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal 53: 56-61.
Groepper, S. R., P. J. Gabig, M. P. Vrtiska, J. M. Gilsdorf, S. E. Hygnstrom, and L. A. Powell. 2008. Population and spatial dynamics of resident Canada geese in southeastern Nebraska. Human-wildlife Conflicts 2:271-278.
Plummer, M. V., D. G. Krementz, L. A. Powell, and N. E. Mills. 2008. Effects of habitat disturbance on survival rates of softshell turtles (Apalone spinifera) in an urban stream. Journal of Herpetology 42:555-563.
Powell, L. A. 2008. An ecologist struggles with the problem of evil: why Aldo Leopold and baby meadowlarks argue against an all-powerful God. Theology 16:96-108.
Varland, D. E., L. A. Powell, M. K. Kenney, and T. L. Fleming. 2008. Monitoring peregrine falcon use of coastal beaches in Washington, 1995-2003. Journal of Raptor Research 42:161-170.
Walker, J. A., Z. J. Cunningham, M. P. Vrtiska, S. E. Stephens and L. A. Powell. 2008. Low reproductive success of mallards in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Prairie Naturalist 40:1-15.
Fritz, S., D. Husmann, D. Reese, R. Stowell, and L. Powell. 2007. High school students' perceptions of a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. NACTA Journal 51:44-49.
Powell, L. A. 2007. Approximating variance of demographic parameters using the delta method: a reference for avian biologists. Condor 109:950-955.
Knutson, M. L., L. A. Powell, R. K. Hines, M. Hammer-Friberg, and G. J. Niemi. 2006. An assessment of bird habitat quality using population growth rates. Condor 108:301-314.
Powell, L. A., and K. A. Hobson. 2006. Enriched feather hydrogen isotope values for Wood Thrushes sampled in Georgia, USA, during the breeding season: implications for quantifying dispersal. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84:1331-1338.
Powell, L. A., and M. L. Knutson. 2006. A productivity model for parasitized, multi-brooded songbirds. Condor 108:292-300.
Powell, L. A., J. D. Lang, D. G. Krementz, and M. J. Conroy. 2005. Use of radio-telemetry to reduce bias in nest searching. Journal of Field Ornithology 76:274-278.
Powell, L. A. 2004. A multi-state capture-recapture model using stable isotope data to enhance estimation of movement rates. Condor 106:761-767.

Educational Background

  • BS - Graceland University (1990)
  • MS - Iowa State University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1992)
  • PhD - University of Georgia, Ecology (1998)


  • 2016 – Research Paper of the Year, Co-author awarded by The Wildlife Society 
  • 2015 – Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students awarded by UNL Parents Association 
  • 2014 – Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students awarded by UNL Parents Association 
  • 2008 – Teaching Award of Merit awarded by National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture 
  • 2008 – Fulbright Scholar awarded by Council for International Exchanges of Scholars 
  • 2007 – Superior Academic Advising Award awarded by College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources  
  • 2004 – Holling Family Junior Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence awarded by College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska  

SNR Mission Area(s)

  • Applied Ecology

Affiliations (index)

Notable Websites

Other Areas of Interest

I use team-based and problem-based learning in my courses, and am interested in the pedagogy of active learning in ecology and natural resources. Research interests: wildlife population ecology, avian ecology, conservation biology, management of private lands, wildlife habitat use, decision-making.

SNR Areas of Expertise

Keyword Expert Level

10 - Top Expert
1 - Mild Interest



Game, wildlife


Agritourism and Ecotourism






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Undergraduate Majors Bachelor of Science in
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fisheries & Wildlife
Graduate Program(s)

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

including specializations in
  • Adaptive Management
  • Applied Ecology
  • Geographic Information Systems

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences

including specializations in
  • Adaptive Management
  • Applied Ecology

Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
NRES 101 Natural Resources Orientation X X None
NRES 233 Wildlife Field Techniques X X n/a
NRES 433 Wildlife Management Techniques X X NRES 433/833
NRES 833 Wildlife Management Techniques X X NRES 433/833
NRES 880 Vertebrate Population Analysis X n/a