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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

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

Topics covered in the February activity report.

Collaborative Science

USGS Wildlife Disease Coordination Call

Richard Erickson (UMESC) shared results from a recent publication that examined the impacts of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) and wind energy development on the Indiana bat, during the USGS's Wildlife Disease Coordination Call, February 22, 2017. Erickson’s presentation titled, “Effects of wind energy generation and white-nose syndrome on the viability of the Indiana bat,” is available online at  (Richard Erickson,, Ecosystems).

Erickson, R.A., Thogmartin, W.E., Diffendorfer, J.E, Russell R.E., Szymanski J.A. 2016. Effects of wind energy generation and white-nose syndrome on the viability of the Indiana bat. PeerJ. 4:e2830. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2830.


University of Wisconsin Presentation on working for the USGS

Richard Erickson (UMESC) presented, "My Job," at a meeting of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Biology Club, March 2, 2017.  Erickson is a Research Ecologist who develops mathematical and statistical models to understand the natural world, how we affect it, and how it affects us. Erickson’s current research focuses on developing models to monitor and understand invasive species, however he has also worked on projects ranging from studying the impacts of wind energy developments on wildlife to estimating long term trends of aquatic biota on the Mississippi River (Richard Erickson,, Ecosystems).

Partner Meetings

Migratory Bird Program Stakeholder and Partner Workshop

Wayne Thogmartin (UMESC) helped to develop the strategic plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 Migratory Bird Program by participating in their Stakeholder and Partner Workshop in Bloomington, MN, February 16, 2017 (Wayne Thogmartin,, Ecosystems).

Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Trapping Task Force Meeting

Jane Rivera and Kim Fredricks (UMESC) participated in the GLFC Trapping Task Force Meeting, February 21-22, 2017, in Ann Arbor, MI.  UMESC provides expertise on United States and Canada regulations as they pertain to biopesticide experimental research permits and registration.  Rivera provided an update of regulatory actions that occurred from September 2016 through February 2017.  The purpose of the task force is to coordinate optimal trapping techniques for assessing adult sea lamprey populations and to remove adult and transforming sea lampreys from the spawning and feeding population. Sea lamprey pheromone attractants and repellants, classified as biopesticides, are showing promise as new tools to enhance trapping.

Monarch Butterfly Workshop & Conference

Wayne Thogmartin and Emily Weiser (UMESC) participated in Commission for Environmental Cooperation's workshop, “Monitoring Monarch Butterflies and Their Habitat Across North America,” March 4-5, 2017 in Toluca, Mexico. This workshop convened Tri-national Monarch Science Partnership delegates from Canada, the US, and Mexico, to identify priorities for the monitoring and inventory of monarch butterflies across the continent. Thogmartin and Weiser will also participate in the, “4th International Symposium on the Research and Conservation of Monarch Butterflies,” March 4-5, 2017, prior to the workshop (Wayne Thogmartin,, Ecosystems).

Scientific Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops

Aquaculture America 2017: Portable eDNA test kit presented

Chris Merkes and Jon Amberg (UMESC) gave a presentation on the development and validation of a portable environmental DNA (eDNA) test kit for bigheaded carps, at Aquaculture America 2017, February 19-22, 2017, in San Antonio, TX.  The portable eDNA test kit was developed with private industry to simplify eDNA analysis so that minimally trained personnel could use the kit to detect invasive species in the field in under 1 hour.  Currently, natural resources law enforcement officers in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio are using this device to screen bait shops for Bighead Carps and Silver Carps.  Merkes and Amberg are trying to raise awareness of this technology among the aquaculture community, and establish connections to foster further development to meet future needs (Chris Merkes,, Ecosystems).

ASLO 2017

Scientists from the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center participated in the 2017 biennial meeting of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s (ASLO), February 26-March 3, 2017, in Honolulu, HI.  The conference theme, “From the Mountains to the Sea,” emphasizes the connectivity of our planet’s aquatic systems, and underscores the urgent need to share knowledge, insights, discoveries, and different world views about the lakes, rivers, streams, aquifers, wetlands, and oceans that comprise our Earth’s hydrosphere.  For more information contact Jeff Houser ( or James Larson (, Ecosystems).


ASLO – Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
eDNA – environmental DNA
GLFC – Great Lakes Fisheries Commission
UMESC – Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
USGS – U.S. Geological Survey
WNS – White-Nose Syndrome

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