There is not a map that predicts bird species biodiversity for the whole United States at scales that are relevant for a forester or a county planner. However, such a map is utterly needed to make realistic conservation plans.
Sarah Carter has been working on Wisconsin conservation issues for more than 10 years. Her current project asks how we can identify conservation priorities in some of Wisconsin’s most treasured landscapes, including the Baraboo Hills and the Northwest Wisconsin pine barrens.
Oscar Cardenas, an invited scientist in the SILVIS Lab, is working on the zoning of a biosphere reserve in Mexico where he studying jaguar habitat in order to assure the species presence for the future. While doing so, he’s faced with social issues that are intrinsically and deeply related with natural resources protection and preservation and raise some new research questions.
Vegetation structure is an important habitat attribute characterizing bird habitat. Measuring vegetation structure in the field is time consuming and thus inefficient across large scales. Eric Wood is exploring whether use of a metric called image texture derived from satellite and aerial images can potentially streamline the process of assessing vegetation structure and facilitate prediction of bird distribution across large areas.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, privatization of timber firms was expected to provide an efficient mechanism for the management of forest resources in Russia. Kelly Wendland analyzes how economic factors have impacted harvesting since transition and explores whether weak governance effected investment decisions in European Russia.
Grassland fires in Kalmykia, Russia increased dramatically following the collapse of socialism. Socio-economic changes reduced livestock numbers and therefore grazing pressure on grasslands. Maxim Dubinin analyzed over 20 years of satellite images to quantify this change.
Can a bumper sticker inspire innovative research? In the case of Chad Rittenhouse PhD, a chance sighting motivated an innovative line of research that questions how changes occur in the natural world and how we perceive and measure these changes.