Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Implications of climate variability for optimal and adaptive management in wetland systems


January 2008 - January 2012


1) Formally estimate the multi-scale temporal and spatial variance structure in a suite of putatively climate driven habitat metrics (e.g. lake drying, river flow, flooding frequencies), emphasizing available legacy datasets from remote sensing, river gauges, and other pertinent sources;
2) Formally evaluate the implications of the variance in climate-driven habitat trends for optimal monitoring strategies and subsequent design of adaptive management programs, specifically addressing the spatial and temporal intensity of monitoring necessary to estimate whether populations have demonstrated biologically meaningful changes and management activities have been effective or not;
3) Collaboratively explore the implications of the variance in climate-driven habitat trends with two samples of refuges--one group from Region 7 and one group from Region 6--that differ in their a) emphasis on lacustrine/palustrine (Region 7) or riverine (Region 6) aquatic habitats for USFWS trust species and therefore b) their stakeholder interests, inherent environmental variability, degree of climate driven change, and available management actions.
4) Collaboratively explore within- and between-region assessments of the strategic implications of the variance in climate related habitat drivers to the management activities of long-term a) planning, b) budgeting, and c) selection of potential actionable management.
[note: work on the attached proposal conducted by non-CRU Federal employees, such as USGS Jane Austen and USFWS personnel, will be conducted outside the purview of this RWO]

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Nicol, S., J. K. Roach, and B. Griffith. Spatial heterogeneity in power to detect changes in lake area in Alaskan National Wildlife Refuges. Landscape Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s10980-013-9853-5 Abstract | 
  • Nicol, S., B. Griffith, J. Austen, and C. Hunter. 2014. Optimal strategies for managing water levels on riverine national wildlife refuges in a changing climate. Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-013-1033-8

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



Funding Agencies

  • Biological Resources


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey