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Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit


2011 - Current Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Geological Survey and Adjunct Associate Professor Kansas State University

Research Projects (1) Development of conservation and climate adaptation strategies for wetlands in the Great Plains LCC region, (2) Estimating Inundation Frequency of Playa Wetlands Using 1970s LandSat MSS Data: Did Irrigation Practices Artificially Increase Frequency and Longevity of Landscape Wetness?

1991 - 2011 Regional Migratory Gamebird Management Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Research and Conservation Projects (1) development of a goose collar observation network in Mexico, (2) determining the status of white-winged doves and American woodcock in Region 2, (3) banding, habitat use, population structure, and nest success of American woodcock in east Texas, (4) population analyses of waterfowl wintering in Region 2, (5) waterfowl use of Gulf Coastal National Wildlife Refuges, (6) greater white-fronted goose population origin and movements in northwest Texas, (7) organization and supervision of observation network of neck-banded geese in northwest Texas, (8) coordination of funding between the North American Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Fort Mohave tribe, (9) long-term banding of mottled and whistling ducks on the Texas Gulf Coast and Mexico, (10) whistling duck nest box placement and monitoring, (11) lead levels in mottled ducks and lesser scaup, (12) saline wetland use by migrating shorebirds in the Playa Lakes Region, (13) conservation of freshwater wetlands adjacent to the Laguna Madre (resulted in funding by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant), (14) assessment of waterfowl dispersal from the San Luis Valley, Colorado, (15) body condition of harvested waterfowl from the upper Texas Gulf Coast, (16) prevalence of a cloacal helminth in a wintering waterfowl population, (17) temporal variation in plant communities of a coastal marsh, (18) plant community dynamics of playa wetlands, (19) amphibian use of playa wetlands, (20) satellite telemetry of northern pintails in New Mexico and Texas, (21) survival, movements, and habitat use of playa wetlands by northern pintails, (22) influence of USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife projects on lesser prairie-chicken populations in eastern New Mexico, (23) impacts of grazing and herbicide on migratory song birds in sand shinnery oak habitats, (24) analysis of continental northern pintail banding data, (25) development of aerial survey methods for lesser prairie-chickens, (26) recruitment by mottled ducks on the upper Texas Gulf Coast, (27) current physical and functional status of playa wetlands on the Southern Great Plains, (28) assessment of USDA conservation programs on playa wetlands, (29) population ecology of snowy plovers on the Southern High Plains, (30) model of habitat selection for long-billed curlews of the western Great Plains, (31) use of stable isotopes to delineate breeding origin of migratory shorebirds using saline wetlands of the Southern High Plains, (32) development of a body condition index for mottled ducks, (33) assessment of waterfowl migration chronology in the Central Flyway, (34) sources and uptake of lead by mottled ducks and other waterbirds on the upper Texas Gulf Coast, (35) development of a midwinter wetness index for playa wetlands, (36) movements and habitat use by raccoons in coastal marshes of the Chenier Plain of the upper Texas Gulf Coast, (37) comprehensive assessment of vegetation communities in saline lakes of the Southern High Plains, (38) use of satellite telemetry to measure movements and habitat use by mottled ducks on the upper Texas Gulf Coast, and (39) modeling of the effects of climate changes on a population of lesser prairie-chickens.

Adjunct Professor, Texas Tech University, 1993-Current

I serve or have served on 37 graduate committees (M.S. and Ph.D) at 4 Universities including 5 as committee chair. I taught the Introduction to Wildlife - Majors course each fall 1995-2003 and spring 2009. Currently, I teach Natural Resource Policy and BioPolitics a combined upper-level undergraduate and graduate class each fall (2004-2010) and team teach Waterfowl Ecology and Management (fall 2010). Coordinated development and serve as Education and Interpretive Coordinator for the Native Rangeland Research and Education Area on the university campus (Prairie and Playa Nature Area). Co-sponsored a visiting scientist from China (Sun Hong Zhi - 2/95-2/96). Campus faculty advisor for the Texas Tech University Student Chapter of Duck Unlimited from 1994 to current. Participated on the organizing committee for the 1994 Playa Lakes Symposium sponsored by the Water Resources Center, Texas Tech University; 1999 Texas Wetlands Workshop – Playas sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; 2007 Texas Section of the Society of Range Management Annual Meeting, Lubbock, Texas; and 2007 Playa Wetlands Symposium sponsored by the Texas Cooperative Extension Service. I am also an adjunct graduate faculty member at Oklahoma State University, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Texas State University.

Education and Interpretive Coordinator, Texas Tech University, 1998-2011

Development and implementation of environmental education activities for the Native Rangeland Research and Education Area on the campus of Texas Tech University. The 160-acre area is a relic short-grass prairie and contains an 18-acre playa wetland. I organized a community advisory committee, wrote an educational Master Plan, engaged in fund raising, assisted in development of educational activities and training of teachers, guided construction of associated web pages, and served as instructor for groups using the area. With professors from the College of Education, Texas Tech University, we have developed an environmental educational research program evaluating our efforts on teachers and students in classroom, outdoor, and virtual (Internet) learning situations. Specific environmental education efforts include (1) playa education activity trunk for teachers, (2) traveling slide show for teachers and other presentations, (3) curriculum for environmental education to fit Texas TEKS, (4) 3-week training workshop for teachers on High Plains Ecology designed to incorporate math and science, (5) WEBWORKS a program designed to teach elementary students about watersheds, (6) Science It's a Girl Thing camp programs, (7) brochure on playa education, (8) development of lecture series, (9) 3 environmental science workshops with Natural Resource Foundation of Texas, (10) PINTAIL PARTNERS a program designed to teach students about wetlands, migration, and bird population using data from northern pintails outfitted with satellite transmitters (in conjunction with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Natural History), (11) interpretive display "WHAT IS A PLAYA" at Lubbock International Airport and the Library of Texas Tech University, (12) development of Texas Tech University Outreach and Extension Course "Vanishing Prairie Wetlands", (13) serve on the development committee of the Jena Welch Playa Nature Center in Midland, Texas, and (14) MOTTLED DUCK ECOLOGY a program designed to teach students about wetlands, animal movements, and bird population using data from mottled ducks outfitted with satellite transmitters on the upper Texas Gulf Coast.

Lecturer, Texas Tech University, Fall 1991

Instructor, Texas Tech University, 1990

Research Assistant, Texas Tech University, 1988-1991

Fire Crew, Texas Tech University, 1988-1990

Under Dr. Henry Wright, participated in 33 prescribed burns, including rangeland and juniper dominated breaks. Over the 3 years, approximately 350 hours were spent on prescribed burns.

Research Assistant, Texas Tech University, 1986-1988

Lab Assistant, South Dakota State University, 1986

Field Technician, South Dakota State University, 1984-1985

Inspector, Ottertail County Land and Resource Management, Minnesota, 1984-1986