Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

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)
  • See All ...

Research Publications

  • 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.
  • Conway, C.J. 2018. Burrowing Owls: Happy Urbanite or Disgruntled Tenant? Chapter 12 in Urban Raptors: Ecology and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Cities (C. Boal and C. Dykstra, eds.). Island Press.
  • See All ...

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)
  • See All ...

Idaho Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Courtney ConwayMember, Search Committee for Idaho Dept of Fish & Game research biologist (August 2012 - September 2012)
  • Courtney ConwayFaculty Advisor, Natural Resources Graduate Student Organization (May 2007 - August 2011)
  • Courtney ConwayMember, Scientific Advisory Council, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (February 2005 - June 2008)
  • See All ...

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)
  • See All ...

Technical Publications

  • Conway, M., and C. J. Conway. 2012. Relative abundance of Yuma clapper rails within proposed improvement sites along the Union Pacific Railroad in Imperial Valley, California. Wildlife Research Report #2012-01, U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Tucson, AZ.
  • Nadeau, C. P., C. J. Conway, M. Conway, and M. Ogonowski. 2011. Habitat requirements of California black rails, Yuma clapper rails, and western least Bitterns: an adaptive management approach, Final Report to Wildlife Conservation Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department. Wildlife Research Report #2011-06, USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Tucson, AZ.
  • Conway, C. J., and C. P. Nadeau. 2011. Managing Rails with Fire in Arizona. Wildlife Research Report #2011-05, U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Tucson, AZ.
  • See All ...

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 6

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 4

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 25

Scientific Publications: 80

Presentations: 240

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