Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Upcoming talk by Beth Fitzpatrick

Our next fall speaker is Beth Fitzpatrick, a PhD candidate at the University of Wyoming who studies the effect of development on Greater Sage-Grouse. Please join us for her talk entitled "Using Science to Solve Problems: Planning Future Restoration for Long-term Persistence of a Species" this coming Wednesday, 29 October. The talk will begin at 7 pm at the Berry Center auditorium, but refreshments and mingling will start at 6:30 pm.

For a sneak peek, here is Beth's description of her work:
"This research focuses on the effect of development on genetic connectivity of Great Sage-Grouse leks. Leks are found at specific locations within sagebrush habitat and many habitat or landscape characteristics may influence those locations. Development is known to increase the likelihood of lek abandonment and has been associated with sage-grouse population declines. One process that helps breeding sites persist is dispersal of offspring to different lek sites. This can be assessed by measuring gene flow or connectivity between pairs of breeding sites. Certain habitat and landscape characteristics may also be associated with successful dispersal. Habitat and landscape characteristics found to influence connectivity of leks can then be used to predict how connectivity of leks might change with development or restoration of sagebrush habitat. This will allow both land managers and developers to make decisions on where to prioritize restoration efforts."

Beth's blog has more info on the project and great documentation of her adventures with sage-grouse.

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