Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Nebraska Education Activities

Amy Williams (MS, 2011) conducting DNA analysis of otter scat

Craig Allen teaches two courses in alternating years. "Foundations of Ecological Resilience" develops an understanding of the concept of resilience, especially ecological resilience, and the prominent issues in resilience theory, its development and application. Students explore both theoretical and applied aspects of ecological resilience, and the development of resilience theory. To further explore these concepts, students develop and complete a group project focusing on a resilience appraisal of a system of people and nature in Nebraska.

Craig also teaches "Ecology of Biological Invasions." Biological invasions are an accelerating global phenomenon with potentially far-reaching economic and ecological impacts. The course increases understanding of invasions and their impacts, and draws from plant, invertebrate and vertebrate examples. The focus is primarily on animal invasions and understanding the effects on structure, process and function of native ecological systems.

Kevin Pope teaches two courses in alternating years. He team teaches "Managed Aquatic Systems" with UNL Associate Professor, Mark Pegg. The course is designed to increase students’ understanding of ecological processes that occur in regulated river basins and associated problems or opportunities that arise with fishery management. The focus is primarily on fishes and understanding how structure, process, and function of aquatic systems are influenced by human activities. Topics covered include continuum concept, Thorton’s reservoir continuum model, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, biotic interactions and river-reservoir interfaces. A unique aspect of this course is the presence of both professors in the classroom; that is, this course is truly team-taught, providing students the formal opportunity to interact with two faculty members that have differing experiences and sometimes differing opinions.

Kevin also teaches "Quantitative Fishery Assessment" which provides an overview of common statistical, methods used in ecological field studies. It is designed to increase 1) understanding of current fishery assessment practices and 2) proficiency with SAS. Emphasis is placed on quantitative assessments of populations (e.g., recruitment, growth, and mortality), communities (predator-prey interactions) and ecosystems (biostressors). Upon completion, students should be able to apply current quantitative methods used in fishery data analysis, effectively communicate statistical ideas, and critique scientific studies (e.g, identify strengths and weaknesses of statistical assessments).

Every other year, Joseph (TJ) Fontaine teaches the course, "Adaptive Natural Resource Management." The primary focus of this course is to introduce students to the concepts of structured decision making and adaptive management. In doing so, the course explores the history of natural resource management and the various management paradigms that have and continue to dominate resource management. Recently, TJ also taught a course in Scientific Writing to help students learn the intricacies of scientific writing from developing proposals and writing manuscripts, to participating in the peer review process.

Theses and dissertations can be found at UNL's Digital Commons. To search, select "Collections," scroll down to "Natural Resources, School of." Or do an author search by Last Name in Advanced Search.

Courses Taught

  • Quantitative Fishery Assessment (Kevin Pope 2018)
  • Ecology of Biological Invasions (Craig Allen 2017)
  • Managed Aquatic Systems (Kevin Pope, Mark Pegg 2017)
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Training Offered

  • Motorboat Operator's Certification Course (MOCC), U.S. Department of the Interior, Brookings, South Dakota. (Kevin Pope, Christopher Chizinski, Steven Chipps May 2017)
  • Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) (Steven Chipps, Kevin Pope, Christopher Chizinski May 2014)
  • Motorboat Operator's Certification Course (MOCC), U.S. Department of the Interior, Lincoln, Nebraska. (Kevin Pope, Christopher Chizinski, Steven Chipps April 2013)
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 8

Phd Students: 12

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 11

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 38

Scientific Publications: 117

Presentations: 178

Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  5. Wildlife Management Institute