TROUT U by Michael Becker for the College of Letters and Science Confluence Magazine (Volume 8) features the applied research of Tom McMahon. The Ecology Department's Fish and Wildlife Management Program, founded in 1936, has a strong partnership with state and federal agences for solving management problems such as whirling disease, interactions between native and non-native trout, and the effects of climate change on fish.

A four-year project to provide land managers in the country's federally managed lands with better information for addressing climate and land use changes has been "launched" by Andy Hansen. NASA remote-sensing data will be used to simulate how the ecosystems of two Landscape Conservation Cooperatives will change. (Confluence, Volume 8)

This fall Mariah Mayfield traveled to Washington, D.C. to present her work to officials from the EPA and other federal agencies. A master's degree student in the department, she received a 2010 EPA Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship to expand her study of trout numbers, habits and habitat. (Confluence, Volume 8)

MSU Fisheries scientists continue to monitor the ecological impact of the oil spill on the Yellowstone River in July. (Confluence, Volume 8)

Martha Potvin, who became MSU's new provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2011, is tenured in the Department of Ecology. (Confluence, Volume 8)

Several members of the department have volunteered to mentor students from Chief Joseph Middle School in Bozeman. These science students are preparing science fair projects for the state competition this spring. Their instructor, Brian McGeehan, explained that it has been an "amazing learning experience" for past participants, and students have placed 1st and 2nd in recent competition. The department would like to acknowledge and thank our volunteers: Adam Mitchell, M.S. in Biological Sciences candidate and Dan Bachen, M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Managment candidate, both with Dr. Andrea Litt, and Dr. Paul Cross, Affiliate Faculty from NOROCK of the USGS.

The 18th Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society in Waikoloa, Hawaii, November 5-10, included presentations by two Department of Ecology graduate students.  Brittany Mosher shared her Masters' thesis work in a talk titled, "Avian community response to a mountain pine beetle epidemic" in the Ecology and Habitat Relationships of Birds Session.  The Wildlife Society has announced that Brittany has won theStudent Presentation Award for this conference. She was also responsible for moderating the session.  Britanny's thesis work is co-advised by Vicki Saab (USDA Forest Service) and Jay Rotella (Department of Ecology). Glenn Stauffer, PhD candidate with Jay Rotella, spoke on his research, "Temporary emigration of female Weddell seals prior to first reproduction," in the Population Dynamics of Mammals Session. Both students were recipients of $500 Student Research Travel Grants from the College of Letters and Science.

A team of graduate students, researchers, and faculty from the Department of Ecology have just returned from McMurdo, Antarctica. Professors Bob Garrott and Jay Rotella have been part of a team for many years who are studying the population ecology of Weddell seals. These seals raise pups in the area during the Antarctic spring. They are joined this year by PhD candidate, Thierry Chambert, two former undergraduates, Jesse DeVoe and Michael Yarnall, additional research technicians, Jessica Farrer and Darren Roberts, and video journalist, Mary Lynn Price. A pilot program is developing curricular activities with several Bozeman schools. You may follow their research experiences in two ways. This is the link to the blog:, and there is a link to the team's Weddell Seal Science webportal:

MSU fishery scientists to assess impact of oil spill, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, July 6, 2011. Department of Ecology and the Montana Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit work with government agencies.

Study Trip to Thailand, Amanda Zellar, undergraduate student in the Organismal Biology option, was on of the students from MSU-Bozeman who took a study trip to Thailand this summer as the culmination of a spring honors class. The course explored basic principles of public health in Thailand and was taught by Dr. Wade Hill. Several photos from the trip are available on the MSU Family page.

Where's whitey? apparent decline in mountain whitefish has biologists concernedThe Bozeman Daily Chronicle, April 21, 2011. Chris Guy and Montana Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit helping to launch research efforts.