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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

October 2014 Activity Highlights
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Topics covered in the October activity report.

Aquatic Ecosystem Health

Florfenicol Drug Residues in Rainbow Trout

Meinertz, J.R., Hess, K.R., Bernardy, J.A., Gaikowski, M.P.  2014.  Florfenicol Residues in Rainbow Trout after Oral Dosing in Recirculating and Flow-through Culture Systems.  Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 26(4):243-250. DOI:10.1080/08997659.2014.945046.

Aquatic Invasive Species

Zebra Mussel Control in Lake Erie

James Luoma and Todd Severson (UMESC) assisted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Marrone Bio Innovations with an experimental open-water sub-surface application of Zequanox in Lake Erie, November 3-6, 2014.  Zequanox is a selective molluscicide used to control invasive zebra and quagga mussels.  Zequanox received registration approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this past July (2014) for use in open water environments.  The Lake Erie field test will provide critical information for use in developing Zequanox application strategies.

Climate Change

Testing IUCN Risk Assessment Protocols with Climate Change Factors

Stanton, J.C., Shoemaker, K.T., Pearson, R.G., Akçakaya, H.R. 2014. Warning times for species extinctions due to climate change. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12721.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

Project 80, “Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes”

Chris Custer (UMESC) presented results from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) project, “Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes,” at the 38th annual Waterbird Society meeting in La Paz, Mexico, November 4-7, 2014.  Custer’s presentation covered how techniques used to assess the effectiveness of dredging and other remedy projects at contaminated sites in the Great Lakes can be used at other locations where similar remedy projects are being considered.  Additional information on Custer’s work is available at

Chris Custer (UMESC) gave three invited presentations highlighting results from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) project, “Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes,” at the 35th annual meeting of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America (SETAC NA), November 9-13, 2014, in Vancouver, British Columbia.  While at SETAC NA Custer also met with federal partners to facilitate collaboration on additional cutting edge biomarker research across the Great Lakes, using transcriptomics and metabolomics.  Background information on the GLRI project is available at  Custer’s presentations included:


Randy Hines, Shelly Bartsch, and Larry Robinson (UMESC) hosted over 100 seventh-grade students from La Crosse's Longfellow Middle School’s “School on the River,” October 16, 2014.  The Program’s curriculum focuses on the Mississippi River’s ecological systems and how these systems lead to students’ understanding of how cultural, economic, political and organizational systems work in the real world. Presentations included the use of geographic information systems to map and monitor floodplain vegetation on the Upper Mississippi River System, including the use of historic aerial photos and 3-D mapping technologies.

Upper Mississippi River Restoration

UMRR Analysis Team Meeting

Barry Johnson, Jennifer Sauer, and Jeff Houser (UMESC) attended the Analysis Team (AT) meeting of the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program, November 6, 2014, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Rock Island, IL.  The meeting included representatives of UMRR partner agencies and focused on discussion of research proposals for action during FY 2015.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Airspace Use by Night Migrating Landbirds during Fall Migration

Eileen Kirsch and Mike Wellik (UMESC) traveled to northwestern Ohio to collect data radar data for the project, “Airspace use by night migrating landbirds in relation to the southwestern shore of Lake Erie, Ohio,” October 1-8, 2014.  This was the last field trip for the second season of collecting fall migration data.  During this trip, Kirsch and Wellik operated 2 marine X-band radars simultaneously on the shoreline of Lake Erie and 3-miles inland, to study flight directions, altitudes, speeds, intensity, and ascent and descent rates of biological targets.  Data from this study will be used to determine whether or not the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ current 3-mile buffer zone along the shoreline of Lake Erie is sufficient, or necessary, to curtail wind farm threats to birds and bats during migration.  The study is being conducted in cooperation with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Black Swamp Bird Observatory.

Wildlife Ecology

North American Loon Symposium

Luke Fara, Steve Houdek, and Kevin Kenow (UMESC) gave a series of presentations on the migration patterns, staging areas, and wintering sites used by the common loon, at the North American Loon Symposium in Ashland, WI, October 25-26, 2014.  Resource managers are using this information to develop and implement regional common loon conservation strategies.  UMESC presentations included:


AA – Analysis Team
AOC – Area of Concern
DNR – Department of Natural Resources
EROD – ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase
GLRI – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
IUCN – International Union for the Conservation of Nature
LTRMP – Long Term Resource Monitoring Program
PWRC – Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
SETAC – Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
UMESC – Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
UMRR – Upper Mississippi River Restoration
USFWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS – U.S. Geological Survey

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