Academic Honors:
Spring 2014 Dean's List and President's List - June 5, 2014

Fall 2014 Student Scholarships AwardsOctober 23, 2014

Over $20,000 in student scholarship awards were presented at the Awards Banquet in the Department of Ecology on October 23. We appreciate the continuing support that allows the department to make these awards! Please review the details.

The Antarctic Weddell seal reseach project began another year of data collection in late September. This year's team includes: Terrill Paterson, PhD candidate; Kristie Yeager; Michael Yarnall, Kaitlin Macdonald, and Eric Boyd, who all earned their B.S. at MSU; and Jon Rees. There are a lot of photos about the deployment and their activites this season at . Enjoy!

Check this article in MSU News: Six MSU affiliated students receive NSF graduate research fellowshipsNate Looker and Justin Martin are featured for receiving the NSF fellowships as well as Dr. Jia Hu as their advisor. Great information about their research is included. Two of six from Ecology is noteworthy. Sorry, no photos!

MSU-ZCP research leads NYT science section today, "One for All, and All for Hunt", about the self-sacrificing behavior in African wild dog packs. You may view the article and read more about the recent research results from the Montana State University-Zambian Carnivore Program collaborative research work. Dr. Scott Creel leads the team from MSU. MSU news also features this research, "MSU Professor Continues to Spotlight African Wild Dogs."

Four undergraduate students received summer internships working with Ecology department faculty to research environmental and climate change-related project in collaboration with the IoE. The students' research findings will be presented at the undergraduate research symposium in Bozeman on August 6. Students use Twitter to communicate about their research this summer. Follow @MTIoE and #ioesummer. Congratulations to Frances Ambrose, Sara Amish, Greta Hoffman, and Jared Hoy.

Dan Bachen, who is graduating with the MS in Fish and Wildlife Management in August, 2014, provided an outstanding presentation of his research at the national meeting of The Wildlife Society last fall. His presentation on the Effects Of Nonnative Brome Grasses: Moving Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Small Mammal Declines is featured in the TWS Education brief online. You can read a summary of the research and its importance and/or view the presentation. Congratulations!

Graduate Student, Eli Rosenblatt, earning the MS in Fish and Wildlife Manangement, was recruited to do a promotion for FLIR. The video allows Eli to summarize the value of the research that he is doing for his thesis and includes samples of the photographic data being collected with specialized equipment. Enjoy his professional presentation at

MSU News Service and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle featured the award of a $1.2 million research project to investigate bighorn sheep. The is a joint research project with Fish Wildlife and Parks. Four faculty members across two MSU colleges, two departments and multiple disciplines are involved in the study. Department of Ecology Professor Robert Garrott is heading the project with Professor Jay Rotella. Working with them will be FWP researcher and former MSU graduate student Dr. Kelly Proffitt and approximately 20 other FWP biologists. Other partners will include MSU students, everyday Montanans and members of sportsmen's groups. Carson Butler will be earning his doctorate in Fish and Wildlife Biology as one expert on the research team. His preparation for this project included several summers as a research technician with master's candidate, Jesse DeVoe. This six-year study hopes to determine why some herds grow and remain healthy while other fail to thrive and guide future management decisions. The Wild Sheep Foundation is providing major support for this project. This study will provide additional opportunities to prepare undergraduate, as well as graduate, students for careers in wildlife biology.

The recently published research in Nature on the important role of dryland ecosystems in the global carbon cycle by Dr. Ben Poulter is receiving significant recognition. Dr. Poulter is the lead author of this article, "Contribution of semi-arid ecosystmes to internannual variability of the global carbon cycle." Another article, "A sink down under," by Daniel Metcalfe in Nature comments on the repercussions of this research for understanding future levels of greenhouse gas. Evelyn Bosell of MSU News Service highlights some of the media attention this reserach is receiving in her article, "MSU study: dryland ecosystems emerge as driver in global carbon cycle." Dr. Poulter is the most recent (January, 2014) professor to join the Department of Ecology with a concurrent appointment in the Institute on Ecosystems. He brings an international perspective on ecosytems dynamics to the department and MSU. Congratulations for this recognition!

The Annual State Chapter of the Wildlife Society had a great turn out from our Ecology Department in Bozeman, March 5 - 7, just prior to spring break. The TWS conference was attended by approximately 150 professionals from across the state and we had 3 faculty, 8-10 graduate students, and about 28 undergraduates students attending. Our students were everywhere throughout the conference activities, volunteering at the registration desk and for fund raising activities, moderating oral presentation sessions, running computer projection systems, and of course, participating in both the poster and oral presentation sessions. 

There were 6 oral presentations and 4 posters lead by our students and we swept the student awards with Adam Kehoe winning the best student poster and Erin Kenison winning the best student oral presentation.  Erin also won the state chapter's Wynn Freeman award recognizing an outstanding MSU student. A graduate of our MS program, Mike Thompson, was honored with the society's Distinguished Service award for his career of achievements. 

Ecology Dept. and MSU participation in the conference presentations included 4 faculty from our department, one each from the ARS and Math Sci. departments, a USGS associate, and 9 Ecol. Dept. graduate students, and 1 undergraduate student.  There were also 19 presentation authors/coauthors that are working professionals that graduated from our department's Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management Program.  Clearly we are educating outstanding professionals that then go on to productive careers and contribute immeasurably to MSU's land grant mission and the quality of life Montanan's enjoy.

(picture of bears)

MSU Communications announced the publication of department research in the "Proceedings of the Royal Society B." Sepp Jannotta summarizes how the study proves that a system of wildlife crossing structures are helping to maintain genetically healthy populations of bears, both grizzlies and black bears. Photos and video clips illustrate findings by Steven KalinowskiMichael Sawaya, and Tony Clevenger, for data from wildlife crossing structures along the Trans-Canada Highway. It is significant to have evidence that the animals are using the crossings frequently enough to prevent genetic isolation. The photo below is taken from the Research Highlight page in Nature magazine which also feature this research. Congratulations to this team!

An article written by Joanna Gilkeson, "Form Follows Function," highlighted three students in the department in "Eddies" a USFWS publication. Featured for their research revealing habitat needs of sauger and sturgeon were David Dockery, M.S. candidate, and Michael Stein and Chris Forrest, undergraduate interns. Fish Technology Center biologist Kevin Kappenman, in collaboration with Montana State University professors Thomas E. McMahon and Matt Blank, leads the project. McMahon teaches fisheries science in the Department of Ecology and Blank instructs in Civil Engineering. One goal of the project is to improve the building of fish passage structures in Montana streams. The article includes both photographs of researchers and the project work.