3 - 5 pm
Johnson Hall, First Floor
Join us for a holiday celebration and see the location of the new GDPE Conference room.
In November 2015, an unprecedented experiment led by Colorado State University started about 25 miles north of Fort Collins. Bison, once native to the area, had been absent for over a century. That changed when the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation herd was released onto a 1,000-acre pasture at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space. The monumental effort, the result of numerous partnerships, also provides unique research opportunities. Kate Wilkins, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology in the Warner College of Natural Resources, is studying the ecological and social impacts of reintroducing bison on the prairie. Wilkins began her research on the area prior to the reintroduction to establish a baseline. "I'm looking at birds, mammals and plants, and how they're affected by bison," Wilkins said. The CSU team conducted wildlife surveys using 60 cameras spread throughout the bison's range. This generated 174,000 photos in a single season. Wilkins and researchers are still reviewing more than 80,000 images to differentiate data points of animals from photos of grass blowing in the wind, which also triggered the motion-sensing cameras.
Two professors - who first met more than 20 years ago in Alaska - were reunited in May, further south in the much warmer location of Todos Santos. Both researchers study mammals that live in the sea and how those animals are adapted to their environments: Shane Kanatous, associate professor in Colorado State University's department of Biology, and Tania Zenteno-Savin, professor of environmental planning and conservation at Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, first met in Alaska during a Harbor seal research trip in Prince William Sound. Now, 20 years later, they have connected again through the CSU Todos Santos Center. Kanatous was team-teaching a CSU field marine biology course with Graham Peers from the Department of Biology. Their students explored the marine environment and discovering ways to learn from and interact with residents whose families have been living in the area for generations.
Two leading Colorado educational institutions have announced an agreement to work together to elevate research, enhance educational opportunities for students and the public, and highlight their academic alignment. As part of the agreement, CSU sponsored the Extreme Mammals exhibit at DMNS, which runs through January 8, 2017. The exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History in New York showcases extreme characteristics of mammals throughout time. "Our involvement with the museum is a really great fit because Colorado State counts some of the world's most accomplished conservation biologists among its faculty. Folds like George Wittemyer and Joel Berger, to name just a few," said Elias Martinez, assistant vice president of brand strategy at CSU. "Helping bring Extreme Mammals to Denver and sharing our story as it relates to the exhibit will hopefully raise more awareness of the important work we're doing in this are."[Archive]