Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Dr. John Organ

Research Publications

  • DOI10.1002/wsb.830 Abstract |  Download  | 
  • Goguen, A.D., S.J. Riley, J.F. Organ, and B.A. Rudolph. 2017. Wild-harvested venison yields and sharing by Michigan deer hunters. Human Dimensions of Wildlife DOI: 10.1080/10871209.2017.1409372 Abstract |  Download  |  Publisher Website | 
  • Mumma, M.A., J.D. Holbrook, N.D. Rayl, C.J. Zieminski, T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, S.P. Mahoney, and L.P. Waits. 2017. Examining spatial patterns of selection and use for an altered predator guild. Oecologia DOI 10.1007/s00442-017-3971-8 Abstract | 
  • Duda, M.D., T. Beppler, and J.Organ. 2017. The growth of sport shooting participation: what does this mean for conservation revenue? The Wildlife Professional 11(2): 38-41. Download  | 
  • Organ, J.F. 2016. Book Review: Inside the Equal Access to Justice Act: Environmental Litigation and the Crippling Battle over America's Lands, Endangered Species, and Critical Habitats. Journal of Wildlife Management 80: early view
  • Organ, J.F., T.A. Decker, and T.M. Lama. 2016. The North American model and captive cervid facilities-what is the threat? Wildlife Society Bulletin 40(1):10-13
  • Decker, D., C. Smith, A. Forstchen, D. Hare, E. Pomeranz, C. Doyle-Capitman, K. Schuler, and J. Organ. 2016. Governance principles for wildlife conservation in the 21st century. Conservation Letters. In Print Abstract |  Download  | 
  • Organ, J.F. The North American model of wildlife conservation and wild turkey management: the future. Pages 19-23 in D.E. Miller, editor, Proceedings of the eleventh national wild turkey symposium. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Abstract | 
  • Rayl, N.D., T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, J.E. McDonald, Jr., R.D. Otto, G. Bastille-Rousseau, C.E. Soulliere and S.P. Mahoney. 2015. Spatiotemporal variation in the distribution of potential predators of a resource pulse: black bears and caribou calves in Newfoundland. Journal of Wildlife Management 79(7): 1041-1050.
  • White, H. B., T. Decker, M.J. O’Brien, J.F. Organ and N. M. Roberts. 2015. Trapping and furbearer management in North American wildlife conservation, International Journal of Environmental Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2015.1019297
  • Decker, D.J., A.B. Forstchen, E.F. Pomeranz, C.A. Smith, S.J. Riley, C.A. Jacobson, J.F. Organ, and G.R. Batcheller. 2015. Stakeholder engagement in wildlife management: does the public trust doctrine imply limits? J. Wildl. Manage. 79:174-179.
  • Stevens, S.S., B. Amulike, S. Ndaga, J.F. Organ, and T.L. Serfass. 2014. The confusion of common names: a wildlife specific methodological challenge in cross-cultural research. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19(2): 191-199.
  • Rayl, N.D., T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, J.E. McDonald, Jr., S.P. Mahoney, C. Soulliere, S.E. Gullage, T. Hodder, F. Norman, T. Porter, G. Bastille-Rousseau, J.A. Schaefer, and D.L. Murray. 2014. Mapping the distribution of a prey resource: neonate caribou in Newfoundland. Journal of Mammalogy 95(2).
  • Organ, J.F., D.J. Decker, S.S. Stevens, T.M. Lama, and C. Doyle-Capitman. 2014. Public trust principles and trust administration functions in the North American model of wildlife conservation: contributions of human dimensions research. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19:407-416
  • Poo-Munoz, D.A., L.E. Escobar, A.T. Peterson, F. Astorga, J.F. Organ, and G. Medina-Vogel. 2014. Galictus cuya (mammalia): An update of current knowledge and geographic distribution. Iheringia, Serie Zoologia 104:341-346.
  • Rayl, N.D., T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, J.E. McDonald, Jr., R.D. Otto, and S.P. Mahoney. 2014. Den abandonment and transitional day bed use by black bears Ursus americanus in Newfoundland. Wildlife Biology 20:222-228.
  • Decker, D.J., A.B. Forstchen, J.F. Organ, C.A. Smith, S.J. Riley, C.A. Jacobson, G.R. Batcheller, and W.F. Siemer. 2014. Impacts management: an approach to fulfilling public trust responsibilities of wildlife agencies. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38:2-8.
  • Decker, D.J., A.B. Forstchen, C.A. Jacobson, C.A. Smith, J.F. Organ, and D. Hare. 2013. What does it mean to manage wildlife as if public trust really matters? Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. 78:47-54
  • Organ, J.F. 2013. The changing landscapes of wildlife conservation: fragmentation and human values, the policy perspective. Fair Chase. Summer 2013:8-9.
  • Samek, K., L. Bies, and J.F. Organ. 2013. Why is wildlife a public trust resource? Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. 78:12-17.
  • Medina-Vogel, G., M. Barros, J.F. Organ, and L. Bonesi. 2013. Coexistence between southern river otter and the alien invasive North American mink in marine habitats of southern Chile. Journal of Zoology 290:27-34.
  • Organ, J.F., S.P. Mahoney, and V. Geist. 2013. Born in the hands of hunters: the North American model of wildlife conservation. Pages 69-75 in P.R. Krausman and B.D. Leopold, Eds., Essential Readings in Wildlife Management and Conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • Siemer, W.F., S.A. Jonker, D.J. Decker, and J.F. Organ. 2013. Toward and understanding of beaver management as human and beaver densities increase. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 7(1): 114-131.
  • Organ, J.F. 2013. The wildlife professional. Pages 24-33 in P. Krausman and J. Cain, eds. Wildlife management and conservation: Contemporary principles and practices. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • Organ, J.F. 2012. The evolution of a professional society. The Wildlife Professional. 6(3):24-31.
  • Bies, L., M. Hutchins, J. Organ, and S. DeStefano. 2012. The role of professional societies in connecting science and management: The Wildlife Society as an example. Pages 85-98. In J.P. Sands, F.J. DeMaso, M.J. Schnupp, and L.A. Brennan, eds. Wildlife Science: Connecting research with management. Taylor Francis, London, UK.
  • Organ, J.F., D.J. Decker, S.J. Riley, J.E. McDonald, Jr., and S.P. Mahoney. 2012. Adaptive management in wildlife conservation. Pages 43-54 In N. Silvy, ed., The Wildlife Society Techniques Manual, 7th edition, Vol. II. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • Organ, J.F., V. Geist, S.P. Mahoney, S. Williams, P.R. Krausman, G.R. Batcheller, T.A. Decker, R. Carmichael, P. Nanjappa, R. Regan, R.A. Medellin, R. Cantu, R.E. McCabe, S. Craven, G.M. Vecellio, and D.J. Decker. 2012. The North American model of wildlife conservation. Wildlife Society Technical Review 12-04. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
  • Decker, D.J., S. J. Riley, J.F. Organ, W.F. Siemer, and L.H. Carpenter. 2011. Adaptive impact management: A practitioner’s guide. Human Dimensions Research Unit and Cornell Cooperative Extension, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • Decker, D.J., C.A. Jacobson, and J.F. Organ. 2011. Transformation of State Fish & Wildlife Agencies: Ensuring the Future of Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World. Leaders’ Guide. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 52pp.
  • Jacobson, C.A., D.J. Decker, and J.F. Organ. 2010. Fish and wildlife conservation and management in the 21st century: Understanding challenges for institutional transformation. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. And Natur. Resour. Conf. 75:107-114.
  • Organ, J.F., and G.R. Batcheller. 2010. Toward the state wildlife management institution of the future: Key elements. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 75: 139-142.
  • Organ, J.F., and J.E. Dizard. 2010. Wilderness in the 21st century: Problem or opportunity? Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 75: 29-34.
  • Batcheller, G.R., M.C. Bambery, L. Bies, T. Decker, S. Dyke, D. Guynn, M. McEnroe, M. O’Brien, J.F. Organ, S.J. Riley, and G. Roehm. 2010. The public trust doctrine: Implications for wildlife management in the United States and Canada. Technical Review 10-01, The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • Jacobson, C.A., J.F. Organ, D.J. Decker, G.R. Batcheller, and L. Carpenter. 2010. A conservation institution for the 21st century: Implications for state wildlife agencies. J. Wildl. Manage. 74(2): 203-209
  • McMullin, S.L., D. Svedarsky, S.J. Riley, J. Organ, D. Schad. 2009. The coursework of conservation: Are university curricula on target? A synthesis. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 74: 75-79.
  • Decker, D.J., J.F. Organ, and C.A. Jacobson. 2009. Why should all Americans care about the North American model of wildlife conservation? Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 74:32-36.
  • Organ, J.F. 2009. Opening Comments: Making the North American model more relevant to more Americans. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 74: 25-26.
  • Organ, J.F., and G.R. Batcheller. 2009. Reviving the public trust doctrine as a foundation for wildlife management in North America. Chapter 13, pages 161-171 in M.J. Manfredo, J.J. Vaske, P.J. Brown, D.J. Decker, and E.A. Duke, Eds., Wildlife and Society: The Science of Human Dimensions. Island Press, Washington, D.C., 350pp.
  • Jonker, S.A., J.F. Organ, R.M. Muth, R.R. Zwick, and W.F. Siemer. 2009. Stakeholder norms towards beaver management in Massachusetts. J. Wildl. Manage. 73(7): 1158-1165
  • Mahoney, S.P., V. Geist, J.F. Organ, R. Regan, G.R. Batcheller, R.D. Sparrowe, J.E. McDonald, C. Bambery, J. Dart, J.E. Kennamer, R. Keck, D. Hobbs, D. Fielder, G. DeGayner, and J. Frampton. 2008. The North American model of wildlife conservation: enduring achievement and legacy. Pages 7 – 24 in Sporting Conservation Council. 2008. Strengthening America’s hunting heritage and wildlife conservation in the 21st century: Challenges and opportunities. U.S. Dept. Interior and U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 128 pp.
  • Svedarsky, D., T. Franklin, J. Organ, B. Leopold, R. Baydack, E. Campbell, A. Crossley, T. Decker, M. Hutchins. B. Minser, T. Ryder, B. Thompson, and D. Yasuda. 2008. Pivotal challenges for wildlife management and conservation: Perspectives from 2008 TWS Council. The Wildlife Professional 2(2):11-13.
  • Organ, J.F., J.H. Vashon, J.E. McDonald, Jr., A.D. Vashon, S.M. Crowley, W.J. Jakubas, G.J. Matula, Jr., and A.L. Meehan. 2008. Within-stand selection of Canada lynx natal dens in northwest Maine, USA. Journal of Wildlife Management. 72(7):1514-1517.
  • Vashon, J.H., A.L. Meehan, W.J. Jakubas, , A.D. Vashon, C.R. McLaughlin, G.J. Matula, and S.M. Crowley. 2008. Spatial ecology of a Canada lynx population in northern Maine. Journal of Wildlife Management. 72(7):1479-1487.
  • Vashon, J.H., A.M. Meehan, J.F. Organ , W.J. Jakubas, C.R. McLaughlin, A.D. Vashon, and S.M. Crowley. 2008. Diurnal habitat relationships of Canada lynx in an intensively managed private forest landscape in northern Maine. Journal of Wildlife Management. 72(7):1488-1496.
  • Organ, J.F., and S.P. Mahoney. 2007. The future of public trust: the legal status of the public trust doctrine. The Wildlife Professional 1:18-22.
  • Stevens, S.S., T.L. Serfass, and J.F. Organ. 2007. Otters and wildlife tourism: A recipe for conservation success? Proceedings of the Sixth TAWIRI Scientific Conference, 3rd – 6th December 2007, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania. 6:489-505.
  • Organ, J.F. 2006. The public trust foundation of wildlife conservation in North America. Proceedings of the 86th Annual Conference, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 86:39-44.
  • Organ, J.F., D.J. Decker, L.H. Carpenter, W.F. Siemer, and S.J. Riley. 2006. Thinking like a manager: Reflections on wildlife management. Wildlife Management Institute, Wash. DC, USA .
  • Jonker , S.A. , R.M. Muth, J.F. Organ, R.R. Zwick, and W.F. Siemer. 2006 . Experiences with beaver damage and attitudes of Massachusetts residents towards beaver. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 34:1009-1021.
  • Enck, J.W., D.J. Decker, S.J. Riley, J.F. Organ, L.H. Carpenter, and W.F. Siemer. 2006 . Integrating ecological and human dimensions in adaptive management of wildlife-related impacts. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 34:698-705.
  • Muth, R.M., R.R. Zwick , M.E. Mather, J.F. Organ, and J.J. Daigle. 2006 . Unnecessary source of pain and suffering or necessary management tool: Examining the attitudes of conservation professionals toward outlawing the use of the leghold trap. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 34:706-715.
  • Decker, D.J., D.B. Raik, L.H. Carpenter, J.F. Organ, and T.M. Shusler. 2005. Collaboration for community-based wildlife management. Urban Ecosystems 8:227-236.
  • Geist, V., and J.F. Organ . 2004 . The public trust foundation of the North American model of wildlife conservation. Northeast Wildlife. 58:49-56.
  • Organ, J.F., and C.R. Griffin. 2004. Mercury and PCBs in Massachusetts river otters: watershed comparisons. Proceedings of the 11 th International Otter Colloquium.
  • Krall, L., J.F. Organ, and F. Shepard. 2003. The value of wilderness revisited. In A. Watson and J. Sprout, eds. Seventh World Wilderness Congress Symposium: Science and Stewardship to Protect and Sustain Wilderness Values; Proc. RMRS-P-27. U.S. Dept. Agr. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden , UT , USA .

  • Riley, S.J., W.F. Siemer, D.J. Decker, L.H. Carpenter, J.F. Organ, and L. Berchielli. 2003. Adaptive impact management: An integrative approach to wildlife management. Human Dimensions of Wildl. 8:81-95.
  • Muth, R.M., RR. Zwick, M.E. Mather and J.F. Organ. 2002. Passing the torch of wildlife and fisheries management: Comparing the attitudes and values of younger and older conservation professionals. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. 67:178 – 193
  • Riley, S.J., D.J. Decker, L.H. Carpenter, J.F. Organ, W.F. Siemer, G.F. Mattfeld, and G.R. Parsons. 2002. The essence of wildlife management. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 30(2):585-593.
  • Organ, J.F., and A. Haskell. 2001. Implementing the otter action plan: insights from the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Habitat 13:49-53.
  • York, E.C., T.L. Moruzzi, T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, R.M. Sauvajot, and R.M. DeGraaf. 2001. Description and evaluation of a remote camera and triggering system to monitor carnivores. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 29(4):1228-1237.
  • Geist, V., S.P. Mahoney, and J.F. Organ. 2001. Why hunting has defined the North American model of wildlife conservation. 66: 175-185. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 66:175-185.
  • Organ, J.F., T.A. Decker, S. Langlois, and P.G. Mirick. 2001. Trapping and furbearer management in North American wildlife conservation. Northeast Furbearer Resources Technical Committee. 42 pp.
  • Organ, J.F. 2000. Are the staff in agencies that manage hunting capable of relating to the activity, its problems and innovative solutions? Pages 41-46 in W.D. Mansell, editor, Proceedings of the Premier’s Symposium on North America’s Hunting Heritage. Wildlife Forever, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA. 266 pp
  • Organ, J.F. and E.K. Fritzell. 2000. Trends in consumptive recreation and the wildlife profession. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 28(4):780-787.
  • Batcheller, G.R., T.A. Decker, D.A. Hamilton, and J.F. Organ. 2000. A vision for the future of furbearer management in the United States. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 28 (4):833-840.
  • Organ, J.F. and M.R. Ellingwood. 2000. Wildlife stakeholder acceptance capacity for black bears, beavers, and other beasts in the east. Human Dimensions of Wildl. 5:63-75.
  • Organ, J.F. 1998. A review of two reports on status of mammal trapping on national wildlife refuges, 1992-1996. Proc. of Joint Fur Resources Workshop and 16th Midwest Furbearer Workshop. 16:28.
  • Muth, R.M., D.A. Hamilton, J.F. Organ, D.J. Witter, M.E. Mather, and J.J. Daigle. 1998. The future of wildlife and fisheries policy and management: Assessing the attitudes and values of wildlife and fisheries professionals. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 63:604-627.
  • Organ, J.F., R.M. Muth, J.E. Dizard, S.J. Williamson, and T.A. Decker. 1998. Fair chase and humane treatment: Balancing the ethics of hunting and trapping. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 63:528-543.
  • Organ, J.F., R.F. Gotie, T.A. Decker, and G.R. Batcheller. 1998. A case study in the sustained use of wildlife: The management of beaver in the northeastern United States. Pages 125-139 in H.A. van der Linde and M.H. Danskin, Eds., Enhancing Sustainability: Resources For Our Future. SUI Technical Series, Vol. 1, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 178pp.
  • Fuller, T.K., and J.F. Organ. 1997. Why states need to practice ecosystem approaches to management. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 62:280-288.
  • Organ, J.F., T.K. Fuller, S.A. Jonker, and W. Weber. 1997. Mesocarnivores in the northeast: establishing research priorities. Departmental Report Series No. 2. Dept. of Forestry and Wildl. Manag., Univ. of Mass., Amherst. 40pp
  • Decker, T.A., R.F. Gotie, J.F. Organ, and G.R. Batcheller. 1996. Return of the beaver in the northeastern United States. Pages 57-58 in P. Hirschoff, S. Metcalfe, and L Rihoy, eds. Rural Development and Conservation in Africa: Studies in Community Resource Management. Harare, Zimbabwe. 60pp.
  • Newton, R.B., J.F. Organ, and C. Peterson. 1988. Forested wetlands of the northeast. Environmental Institute Publication No. 88-1, U. Mass., Amherst. 14pp.
  • Norton, D.J., J.F. Organ, and T. Litwin. 1985. Covertype classification and mapping on Long Island’s national wildlife refuges. Proc. Am. Soc. Photogram. and Remote Sensing.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 102

Masters Students: 243

Phd Students: 163

Post Docs: 57

University Staff: 254

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 699

Scientific Publications: 1910

Presentations: 4358


Contact Us

Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Reston, VA 20192 Phone: (703) 648 - 4260 Fax: (703) 648 - 4269 Our University Web Site


John Organ
CRU Chief John Organ processing a Canada lynx kitten during a long term research collaboration between the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

John F. Organ is the Chief of the U.S.G.S. Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units. He was Chief of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 2005 to 2014, and worked in the FWS’s Ecological Services and National Wildlife Refuge programs during his 35 year career. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Michigan State University, and Andres Bello University in Santiago, Chile. He is a certified Wildlife Biologist and Past President and Fellow of The Wildlife Society. He is also a Professional Member of the Boone and Crockett Club and a Senior Specialist in the Fulbright Scholar Program. He is a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist and Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Groups, and an instructor and Advisory Board member of the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Program. He is also a consultant to the Peru Forest Sector Initiative where he is assisting the Peruvian government in training biologists and developing wildlife regulations. He advises M.S. and Ph.D. students studying carnivores and human dimensions in Africa, Canada, Chile, and the U.S. and teaches graduate courses in Wildlife Management and Conservation and Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation.


  1. U.S. Geological Survey
  2. U.S. Geological Survey - Ecosystems
  3. U.S. Department of the Interior

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