research

photo credit: www.uncovercolorado.com/National-Parks/Rocky-Mountain.html
Elk exclosure fencing cause a bottom-up trophic cascade, with vegetation restoration creating new habitat for songbirds and other taxa. photo credit.

I am interested in developing interdisciplinary approaches to evaluate land management practices and implement solutions.  My current research takes place in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I value youth and stakeholder involvement in science research and planning, and am exploring new ways to communicate conservation messages to a broader audience.

Current research questions include…

 

How is elk and vegetation management impacting songbird communities?

My masters research focuses on trophic cascades due to over-grazing by elk (Cervus elaphus).  In this project, I am evaluating the effects of elk management and willow restoration on bird and small mammal communities in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado.  I am using program DISTANCE, unmarked package in R, and vegan package in R, to analyze abundance, occupancy, and community composition.

Are elk exclosures effective tools for riparian vegetation restoration?

At Rocky Mountain National Park, I supervise field data collection in more than 200 aspen, willow, and upland herbaceous plots to determine if elk exclosures are effectively restoring vegetation.  We are collaborating with USGS for the data analysis.

How do we design a raptor monitoring program that accommodates rock climbing and protects birds?

I am leading a literature review and historical data summary to assess the effectiveness of RMNP’s raptor monitoring program.  Our goal is to identify areas of improvement to closure and monitoring protocols that maximizes both protection to nesting birds as well as access to rock climbers.


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