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, G. Esslinger, J.N. Womble, J.L. Bodkin, and M.R. Bower. (In Revision). The return of an apex predator following deglaciation. Diversity and Distributions.
  • 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.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 100

Masters Students: 236

Phd Students: 155

Post Docs: 57

University Staff: 246

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 712

Scientific Publications: 1967

Presentations: 4396



Funding Agencies

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


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey