This Week: Four Faculty Candidate Seminars!

This week, you are invited to join us for four seminars featuring faculty candidates for a position as unit leader of the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Depending on the selected candidate, the position will be based either at SEFS or at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

All seminars will run from 4 to 5 p.m., and please pay attention to room locations below, as they vary with each speaker. We hope you can come out to hear from and meet these candidates!

1. Tuesday, December 13, 4 to 5 p.m., FSH 203
Dr. Michelle McCLure
Division Director, NOAA Fisheries

“Science for Salmon Recovery: Building Foundations for Agency Action”
Twenty‐six Evolutionarily Significant Units in five west coast anadromous salmonid species were listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. Since that time, a wide range of scientific work to support the recovery of these ESUs has been conducted. I describe how we developed biological recovery goals for Interior Columbia species, as well as population modeling evaluating the impact of anthropogenic actions and environmental conditions on these species. Reintroductions and climate change will almost certainly factor into the long-term recovery of these and other species; I also provide an overview of guidance we developed to inform management and science efforts in both of these areas.

Bio
Michelle is currently the division director of the Fishery Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries). In this capacity, in addition to sending lots of email, she oversees much of the scientific work that informs harvest management for the West Coast Groundfish fishery. Prior to this position, she worked for 13 years on salmon conservation efforts, including co-chairing the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team. Michelle received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, and her undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College.

2. Wednesday, December 14, 4 to 5 p.m., AND 207 (Forest Club Room)
Dr. Dan Esler
USGS Alaska Science Center

“Conservation Research on Migratory Birds Throughout the Annual Cycle”
Migratory birds are challenging to manage, given their use of spatially discrete and ecologically variable habitats at different annual cycle stages. Identifying when and where constraints on populations are manifested can be very difficult under these circumstances. In this seminar, I lay out some of the challenges inherent in research and management of migratory animals, including (1) delineation of meaningful population units, (2) identification of demographic bottlenecks, and (3) determination of drivers of variation in demographic attributes, including cross-seasonal effects that originate in one annual cycle stage but are expressed in another. I give examples of how my research has addressed these challenges with conservation issues ranging from specific, local habitat alterations to continental-scale concerns about population status.

Bio
Dan is a research wildlife biologist with the Alaska Science Center of USGS, where he leads the Nearshore Marine Ecosystem Research Program. Prior to that, he was with the Centre for wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where he directed an applied research program addressing sea ducks and other aquatic birds and their prey. Dan’s research utilizes a broad range of approaches and disciplines, with the overarching goal of providing research that is relevant for informed conservation of wildlife populations, habitats, and ecosystems.

3. Thursday, December 15, 4 to 5 p.m. FSH 203
Dr. Julien Martin
Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey

“Ecological Modeling for Decision Making”
Julien will discuss the role of ecological modeling for making decisions about natural resource management. First, I will describe the role of traditional approaches for conservation, such as population viability analyses, threat analyses and trend detection. Then I will present a more structured approach to decision making. I will consider the example of optimal design of protection zones for marine mammals. I will follow up with the application of an adaptive resource management framework for dealing with sequential decisions and model uncertainty. I will also contrast the role of surveillance and targeted monitoring programs in the context of conservation and management.

Bio
Julien is a research wildlife biologist at the US Geological Survey’s Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. He obtained a B.S. in ecology from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France), a M.S. in analysis and modeling of biological systems from the University of Lyon (France), and a Ph.D. in the department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. As a research graduate assistant at the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit he was in charge of the Snail Kite monitoring program. He worked as postdoctoral researcher at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research center on statistical modeling and decision analysis. Before joining the USGS, he worked for 5 years as the lead research scientist in the marine mammal program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commission (the Florida state wildlife agency). He is a courtesy faculty member in: (1) the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida; and (2) the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. His expertise includes: wildlife ecology, estimation of demographic parameters, population dynamics, ecological forecasting and the application of decision theory to natural resource management.

4. Friday, December 16, 4 to 5 p.m., AND 207 (Forest Club Room)
Dr. Sarah Converse
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

“The Interaction of Demographic Estimation, Modeling and Decision Analysis in Threatened Species Management”
Managers of threatened species are interested in identifying strategies to reduce the risk of extinction and to increase the ecological and socio-cultural benefits of these species. To identify optimal management strategies, we must predict how populations will respond to management. To do that, quantitative ecologists work with managers and species experts on two interrelated processes: estimating demographic parameters and relationships from existing data, and using this information to build population models. These two processes alone, however, will rarely be adequate to identify optimal management actions. When using information to make decisions, threatened species managers are often confronted with at least two additional complications: dealing with uncertainty, and negotiating tradeoffs between competing objectives. Therefore, the philosophy and tools of decision analysis are critical to the process of identifying optimal management strategies. Through a series of examples across a variety of threatened  taxa – including polar bears, boreal toads, and whooping cranes – the interrelationships between, and the methods for, demographic estimation, population  modeling, and decision analysis will be illustrated.

Bio
Sarah is a research ecologist in the Quantitative Methods Research Group at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where she has worked since 2007. Previously, she worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, after receiving her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 2005. Her research program is built around two themes: quantitative population ecology of endangered species, and decision analysis applications in endangered species management. Her work spans taxonomic boundaries, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. She has published more than 50 research articles and book chapters. She regularly assists US Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife management agencies in the identification of management strategies for threatened species.