Cooperative Research Units
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Dr. Courtney Conway

Dr. Courtney Conway, Unit Leader of the Idaho Research Unit


  • Ph D University of Montana 1998
  • MS University of Wyoming 1990
  • BS Colorado State University 1985


I received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Organismal Biology & Ecology from the University of Montana. I grew up in Cincinnati and spent many of my weekends camping, hiking, backpacking, and climbing in OH, KY, and WV. I was motivated to find a career where I could continue to do these activities as part of my job, while still contributing to science.

Research Interests

avian ecology, behavioral ecology, life history evolution, avian migration, effects of management actions on bird and mammal populations

Teaching Interests

I teach Conceptual Foundations in Ecology, a 3-credit graduate class on critical thinking, the scientific method, and how to develop and test mechanistic hypotheses in ecology. I also co-teach a class on scientific writing, and teach graduate seminars on various topics in wildlife ecology.

Professional Society Service

  • North American Ornithological Conference - Chair, Scientific Program Committee (September 2014 - September 2016)
  • North American Ornithological Conference - Scientific Program Committee (December 2010 - September 2012)
  • The Wildlife Society - Past President, Southwest Section (January 2011 - December 2011)
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Research Publications

  • Burak, G.S., A.R. Goldberg, J.M. Galloway, D. Evans Mack, and C.J. Conway. 2018. Partner-based research collaboration guiding on-the-ground conservation efforts for a threatened Idaho endemic - the northern Idaho ground squirrel. The Wildlife Professional 12(5):39-42.
  • Dillon, K.G., and C.J. Conway. 2018. Nest predation risk explains variation in avian clutch size. Behavioral Ecology 29:301-311. doi:10.1093/beheco/arx130 Download  | 
  • Conway, C. J. 2018. Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Population Trends and Burrow Usage of Burrowing Owls in North America. Journal of Raptor Research 52:129-142.
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Analysis of Upland Game Bird Data - Directed Study (2019)
  • Avian Point Count Design - Directed Study (2018)
  • Fish & Wildlife Graduate Seminar (2018)
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Idaho Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Courtney ConwayChair, Search Committee for Assistant Coop Unit Leader (January 2018 - October 2018)
  • Courtney ConwayMember, Search Committee for Assistant Professor, Univ of Idaho (January 2016 - October 2016)
  • Courtney ConwayMember, Search Committee for Idaho Dept of Fish & Game research biologist (August 2012 - September 2012)
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Idaho University Committees and Workgroups

  • Courtney ConwayChair, Search Committee for Wildlife Habitat Ecologist (July 2015 - December 2015)
  • Courtney ConwayCollege Representative, Graduate Council, University of Idaho (April 2012 - September 2015)
  • Courtney ConwayMember, Search Committee for Department Chair (May 2014 - June 2014)
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Technical Publications

  • Harrity, E. J., and C. J. Conway. 2018. Dispersal and migration behavior of Yuma Ridgway’s rails. 2018 Annual Report. Wildlife Research Report #2018-1. Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Moscow, ID. 
  • Conway, C. J., A. Meyers, K. Launchbaugh, D. Musil, P. Makela, and S. Roberts. 2017. The Grouse & Grazing Project: Effects of cattle grazing on sage-grouse demographic traits – 2017 Annual Report. College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho.
  • Conway, C.J., T.I. Wellicome, D.H. Johnson, C. Lundblad, and J.L. Conley. 2017. Identifying Migratory Routes and Wintering Grounds of Burrowing Owls that Breed on DoD Installations in the Western U.S. Final Report for DoD Legacy Project #13-604. Idaho Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Moscow, ID.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 6

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 4

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 25

Scientific Publications: 80

Presentations: 237

Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Idaho
  5. Wildlife Management Institute