Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Adaptive Monitoring and Modeling of Sea Otters


September 2015 - September 2020


Problem statement:

Data associated with reintroduced and/or invasive wildlife species are often collected, but are not typically optimal for desired inference.

So What? Why this research matters:

The ability to formally make inferences about, and forecast, spreading wildlife populations is critical for guiding future monitoring efforts and understanding the mechanisms associated with their dynamics.


This project is in collaboration with scientists at the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey.

Research That Informs Decisions:

Formal statistical models that account for the various sources of uncertainty in monitoring populations can be developed and fit to existing data to provide forecasts that can then optimally be used to guide future decisions about monitoring efforts.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Williams, P.J., M.B. Hooten, J.N. Womble, G.G. Esslinger, M.R. Bower, and T.J. Hefley. (2017). An integrated data model to estimate spatio-temporal occupancy, abundance, and colonization dynamics. Ecology, 98: 328-336.
  • Williams, P.J., M.B. Hooten, J.N. Womble, G.G. Esslinger, M.R. Bower, and T.J. Hefley. (2017). Estimating occupancy and abundance using aerial images with imperfect detection. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8: 1679-1689.
  • Williams, P.J., M.B. Hooten, J.N. Womble, G.G. Esslinger, and M.R. Bower. (2018). Monitoring dynamic spatio-temporal ecological processes optimally. Ecology, 99: 524-535.
  • See All ...

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 19

Scientific Publications: 87

Presentations: 91



Funding Agencies

  • NPS Alaska-CESU
  • Rocky Mtn Natl Park-CESU


Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  2. Colorado State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute