USGS - science for a changing world

Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

January 2015 Activity Highlights
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Topics covered in the January activity report.

Aquatic Ecosystem Health

Mudpuppy Propagation Techniques

Steve Redman gave a presentation on UMESC’s propagation techniques for culturing mudpuppies, at the 2015 Mid- Continent Warmwater Fish Culture Workshop, February 2-4, 2015, in Branson, Missouri.

Aquatic Invasive Species

Lampricide Resistance and Next-Generation Lampricides

Terry Hubert, Jon Amberg, and Mike Boogaard participated in the workshop, “Lampricide Resistance and Next-Generation Lampricides,” January 13-15, 2015, Ypsilanti, MI.  The purpose of the workshop was to explore the possibility that sea lamprey larvae are developing a resistance to the chemicals used in sea lamprey control, and to discuss what approaches are available to address resistance if it is occurring.  Jon Amberg and Terry Hubert presented invited papers at the workshop.  Amberg’s presentation was titled, “Pesticide Development for 21st Century Aquatic Invasive Species,” and Hubert’s presentation was titled, “Development of “Green” Pesticides:  Strategies for Identifying New Lampricides.” The Great Lakes Fishery Commission sponsored of the workshop.  Terry Hubert is a member of the workshop organizing committee.

Media Contacts

Great Lakes Documentary – Battle for the Great Lakes

Kevin Kenow and Jon Amberg were interviewed and filmed by Jessica Walsh (Great Lakes Media) on January 15-16 about USGS research to include in the upcoming documentary “Battle for the Great Lakes”.  Kenow showcased research on efforts to track common loon movements and feeding behavior to assess avian botulism exposure, and Amberg shared research on the development of selective microparticle pesticides for controlling Asian carp as part of an Integrated Pest Management approach.  


Mexican free-tailed Bat Conservation

Wayne Thogmartin (UMESC) and collaborators from the University of Arizona (R. Wiederholt, C. Svancara, L. López-Hoffman), University of Tennessee (G. McCracken), National Autonomous University of Mexico (R. A. Medellín), and USGS (J. E. Diffendorfer, K. Bagstad, and D. Semmens; GECSC), published research describing conservation prioritization of maternity roosts of the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana). Mexican free-tailed bats are among the most numerous bats in North America and provide valuable ecosystem services such as insect pest-suppression in agricultural areas and recreational viewing opportunities. The authors used a multi-attribute utility function to determine the most critical maternity roosts to protect to maintain the population viability and ecosystem services of this species. This multi-attribute utility function tool can help prioritize management actions under different conservation scenarios and can be easily adapted to other species.  For more information contact Wayne Thogmartin at  The paper is available at


Wilderness First-Aid

Andrew Strassman, Erin Hoy, and Joe Jakusz attended a 70-hour Wilderness First Responder training and certification course at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, January 3-9, 2015.  This course, taught by Wilderness Medical Associates International, was designed to provide individuals who work in remote areas with the skills necessary to redress medical emergencies that occur during field work in remote or hard to access locations.

Upper Mississippi River Restoration – Environmental Management Program

Operational Planning Meeting

Jeff Houser, participated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program’s operational planning meeting January 20-22, 2015, in St. Paul, MN.  The Operational Plan will be a document that guides the UMRR program to help achieve its vision as documented in the UMRR Strategic Plan.  The UMRR Strategic Plan is a 10-year vision for the Program.  UMESC provides science leadership for the UMRR program.

Wildlife Ecology

North American Bat Monitoring Program Receives Award

The architects of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) have been awarded the 2015 Wings Across the Americas Conservation Award: Research Partnership Award. NABat is a multi-agency, multi-national effort designed to address the lack of large-scale long-term monitoring data for North American bats. This continental-scale monitoring program (akin to the North American Breeding Bird Survey or the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative) grew out of the Conservation and Recovery Working Group of the National Plan for Assisting States, Federal Agencies, and Tribes in Managing White-Nose Syndrome in Bats. Members of this collaborative include Susan Loeb (USFS), Tom Rodhouse (NPS), Laura Ellison (USGS-FORT), Cori Lausen (Wildlife Conservation Society), Jonathan Reichard (USFWS), Kathryn Irvine (USGS-NRMSC), Thomas Ingersoll (USDoD), Jeremy Coleman (USFWS), Wayne Thogmartin (USGS-UMESC), John Sauer (USGS-PWRC), Charles Francis (Canadian Wildlife Service), Mylea Bayless (Bat Conservation International), Thomas Stanley (USGS-FORT), Douglas Johnson (USGS-NPWRC), and Patrick Field (Consensus Building Institute).  The award will be conferred to project lead Susan Loeb at the North American Wildlife Resources Conference on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Quantitative Ecology – Migratory Species

Richard Erickson and Wayne Thogmartin were co-authors on two talks given at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in the AMS Special Session on Mathematics in Natural Resource Modeling, January 12, 2015.

Frameworks and Models for Assigning Value to Migratory Species Habitat

Richard Erickson and Wayne Thogmartin participated in the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) Working Group on Habitat for Migratory Species, January 26-29, 2015.  Thogmartin is an organizer and co-PI for the working group.  The working group is developing quantitative frameworks and mathematical models for assigning value to habitat used by migratory species such as waterfowl and Monarch butterflies. Other USGS participants include, Jay Diffendorfer, Darius Semmens (GECSC), and Mike Runge (PWRC).  NIMBioS is a National Science Foundation funded Synthesis Center housed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Additional information is available at,

Wildlife Toxicology Catalog

Richard Erickson (UMESC) and Barnett Rattner (PWRC) have updated the Whole Wildlife Toxicology Catalog, a Web site that links to sites containing information of value to scientists, regulators, and natural resource managers.  The Whole Wildlife Toxicology Catalog is available at


NABat – North American Bat Monitoring Program
GECSC – Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
NIMBioS – National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
NPS – National Park Service
UMESC – Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
UMRR – Upper Mississippi River Restoration
USACE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
USDoD – U.S. Department of Defense
USFS – U.S. Forest Service
USFWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS – U.S. Geological Survey
USGS-FORT – Fort Collins Research Center
USGS-NPWRC – Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
USGS-NRMSC – Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
USGS-PWRC – Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey

Page Contact Information: Contacting the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Page Last Modified: April 7, 2015