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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

April 2017 Activity Highlights
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Topics covered in the April activity report.

Aquatic Invasive Species

Carbon Dioxide Demonstration Barrier Planning Meeting

Aaron Cupp and Kim Fredricks (UMESC) represented UMESC at a planning meeting for Mississippi River Lock and Dam 14 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Demonstration Barrier, April 4, 2017, in Bettendorf, IA.  If planning continues as planned, the demonstration barrier will be installed in the auxiliary lock of Lock and Dam 14 during FY 2018.  Meeting attendees included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Water Science Center, and Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (Aaron Cupp,, Ecosystems).

Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Control Program Technical Support

The second quarter lampricide samples were collected for the five year storage stability study on April 3 and 4, 2017.  Lampricides are the chemicals used to control invasive larval sea lamprey populations in the tributaries of the Great Lakes, before they become parasitic adults and migrate into the lakes to feed on lake trout, salmon, walleye, and other commercially important fish species.  Chemicals stored at the Marquette, MI. and Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada, facilities are being monitored for five years to assess their stability under different storage conditions (Jeff Bernardy,, Ecosystems).

Collaborative Science

Cross walking National Park Mapping Layers to the U.S. National Vegetation Classification

Kevin Hop (UMESC) presented, “Lessons learned: synchronizing map layers to a single U.S. National Vegetation Classification version,” at NatureServe’s Biodiversity Without Boundaries 2017 conference, April 9-13, 2017, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The presentation showcased some of the successes and challenges in synchronizing vegetation map layers of national park units within the National Park Service Great Lakes Network to a contemporary version of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification, and in updating the crosswalk to a consistent map classification. Additionally, Hop networked with NatureServe, their partners, and other cohorts who attended the conference (Kevin Hop,, Ecosystems).


Minnesota Representative Lewis Briefed on Asian Carp and Mississippi River Science

Director Mark Gaikowski and key staff from the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) briefed U.S. Representative Jason Lewis (MN-02) and staffers on April 13 along with partners from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Representative Lewis was briefed on Asian Carp surveillance, monitoring and control research and management activities at the request of Rep. Lewis.  In addition Congressman Lewis and staff were also briefed about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR), authorized by Congress to address the river’s ecological needs through restoration and scientific monitoring and research. The Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) element is implemented by the USGS-UMESC, in cooperation with the five Upper Mississippi River System states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin (Randy Hines,, Ecosystems).

Monarch Butterfly Surveys and Conservation Programs

Emily Weiser (UMESC) presented, “Saving the Monarch Butterfly: National Surveys and Conservation Programs,” at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve’s Spring Fling, April 29, 2017. Weiser’s presentation was a featured highlight of this year’s Spring Fling, as 2017 is the “Year of the Pollinator” at the Reserve (Emily Weiser,, Ecosystems). 

Publications and Tools

Using Electrical Fields to Control Zebra Mussels

James Luoma, Todd Severson, Jeremy Wise, Matthew Barbour (UMESC), and Jan Dean (Dean Electrofishing L.L.C.) evaluated the use of sinusoidal Alternating Current (AC) and 20% duty cycle square-wave Pulsed Direct Current (PDC) for controlling adult zebra mussels. The authors developed prediction regressions to estimate the peak dose (Joules/cm3) and applied power (kWh) required to achieve desired levels of zebra mussel mortality at water temperatures of 10, 15, and 22 °C.  The results demonstrate that 20% duty cycle square-wave PDC requires less applied power (i.e. lower cost) than sinusoidal AC to inducing the same level of zebra mussel mortality. The paper is available online at (James Luoma,, Ecosystems).

Scientific Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops

US-International Association for Landscape Ecology

Nate De Jager and Molly Van Appledorn (UMESC) organized the special symposium, “Floodplain Landscape Ecology: Patterns, Processes and Management Implications,” at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the US-International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE), April 9-13, 2016, in Baltimore, MD.  The symposium was created to discuss challenges and advances in characterizing floodplain ecosystem patterns and processes, and how such research can address the grand management challenge of maintaining biophysical interactions that sustain essential natural resources while reducing flood-related damage to property and loss of life (Molly Van Appledorn,, Ecosystems).  Within this symposium De Jager and Van Appledorn will present,

High-throughput Computing with HTCondor and Docker Webinar

Richard Erickson (UMESC) and Michael Fienen (WI WSC) presented a webinar on high-throughput computing with HTCondor and Docker, Tuesday April 18 at 10:00 a.m. Central. (, Richard Erickson,, Ecosystems)

Webinar: Introduction to environmental DNA (eDNA)

Chris Merkes (UMESC) presented an introduction to eDNA for the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC), April 18, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The presentation covered an overview of eDNA by defining what it is, its history, how we analyze it, and where future research is taking us.  Some of the significant findings discovered at UMESC were discussed as well as how such studies can impact natural resource management.  Pre-registration was required to view the webinar live, or a recording will be posted on the NWQMC YouTube channel (Chris Merkes,, Ecosystems).

Mississippi River Research Consortium

Scientists from the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center gave the following presentations at this year’s Mississippi River Research Consortium, April 26-28, 2017, in La Crosse, WI (Patricia Ries,, Ecosystems).

American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Specialty Conference

KathiJo Jankowski (UMESC) presented results of an ongoing Upper Mississippi River Research-Long Term Resource Monitoring research project evaluating connectivity among habitats in the Upper Mississippi River, at the AWRA conference, “Connecting the Dots: The Emerging Science of Aquatic System Connectivity,” April 30-May 4, in Snowbird, UT. Jankowski’s presentation discussed linking landscape metrics of connectivity to limnological conditions in backwater habitats.  These results are intended to inform our understanding of how the physical river template is linked with ecological conditions across the Upper Mississippi River (KathiJo Jankowski,, Ecosystems).


Social Ecological Systems Training and Education Program

Kristen Bouska (UMESC) participated in the Center for Resilient Communities' (University of Idaho) Social Ecological Systems Training and Education Program (SESTEP), April 3-7, 2017, in Moscow, ID. The SESTEP training, which consists of both in-person and virtual modules, provides a framework for understanding the complex social and ecological interactions that affect and shape natural resource use and management (Kristen Bouska,, Ecosystems).


AC – Alternating Current
AWRA – American Water Resources Association
BSBO – Black Swamp Bird Observatory
CO2 – Carbon Dioxide
DEQ – Department of Environmental Quality
DNR – Department of Natural Resources
eDNA – environmental DNA
IALE – International Association for Landscape Ecology
LTRM – Long Term Resource Monitoring
NHS – Natural History Survey
NPS – National Park Service
NWQMC – National Water Quality Monitoring Council
PDC – Pulsed Direct Current
SESTEP – Social Ecological Systems Training and Education Program
SIU – Southern Illinois University
UMESC – Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
UMRR – Upper Mississippi River Restoration
USFWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS – U.S. Geological Survey
UWL – University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
WIU – Western Illinois University
WSC – Water Science Center

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