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TY TUFF, Predicting avian migration routes in 3D 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0334 http://www.colorado.edu/ebio/tuff Intro/Methods Developing a mechanistic model to explain and predict animal migration patterns has long been a goal of migration ecologists. Modeling this natural process is difficult because of the limited biological tractability of many existing migration theories compounded by the mathematical complexity involved in describing existing migration datasets. Bottom-up hypothesis development has proven valuable for overcoming these shortcomings. Rather than ask what mechanisms are creating the data we see, this method uses scientific 1st principles to predict what an individual should do based on the laws of thermodynamics and then compares those predictions to natural data. This bottom-up approach applied to migratory animals suggests that individuals are physiologically constrained to an energy niche primarily determined by mass and, to a lesser degree, evolutionary history. Feedback loops both spatially and temporally shepherd individuals toward the physical location of their physiological optima at the mode of that energy niche distribution. Migrating individuals are moving spatially through time, in predictable ways, to continuously optimize their energetic efficiency. I hypothesize that an individual’s migratory routes are primarily determined by mass, complemented by a few shape and insolation parameters, rather than a suite of ecological drivers forcing selection for migration. Results/Conclusions Migration is a difficult phenomenon to study because each ecological dimension has its own trajectory through time. The planet and its resources are spinning one direction while migrating animals and their resource-needs travel in another. Collapsing this complexity into something biologically tractable ultimately transforms our model into one where animal navigation acts as the response variable describing how an individual consumes and manages energy. My bottom-up predictive model operates via a suite of 4 sub-models that each achieve a scientific goals: (1) control for relative movement using a common simulation platform; (2) calculate a dispersal kernel restricting an individual’s movement to mechanically achievable distances; (3) further constrict that dispersal kernel with the thermodynamic limits of the individual; and (4) use Levy walk predictions to build a movement probability surface inside the remaining dispersal kernel. I then competed these predictions with available GPS data using likelihood methods to compare various parameterizations against each other. Results indicate that individuals with smaller thermal niches must let more earth move underneath them in order to stay in their niche. Because these individuals allow more earth to pass underneath them, they will show more pronounced migration patterns than individuals with larger energy envelopes.+ More details
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This talk was designed for Workshop #51 "Launching A Scientists' Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice" of the Ecological Society of America meeting for 2013. To learn more about this session, go to: http://eco.confex.com/eco/2013/webprogram/Session8941.html. Below is the description of this workshop: Organizer: Gregory E. Hitzhusen Co-organizers: Leanne M. Jablonski and Forest I. Isbell Speakers: Matthew Anderson , Dorothy Boorse , Nalini Nadkarni and Douglas H. Boucher This session builds on previous ESA annual meeting sessions to advance the implementation of a national speakers bureau in partnership with national faith bodies and community-based justice organizations. With 83% of the American public (including 71% of ESA members surveyed) claiming membership in over 300,000 congregations, religious organizations and their partners are uniquely positioned to engage citizens in ecological issues. Developing ecologically fruitful collaboration between scientists and these communities can help bridge historic divides and provide sound science to shape sustainable ecosystem futures. Over the past year, participants from 2011 and 2012 ESA meeting speakers bureau workshops have piloted diverse outreach efforts to faith communities nationwide, tracked their impact, and shared outcomes through ongoing networking conference calls and webinars. We will review the successes and challenges of ESA members’ outreach to date, highlight the analysis of these outreach approaches, and summarize the commitments of partner organizations to help formally launch the speakers bureau. We will also address remaining issues related to implementing the speakers bureau, and discuss and formulate recommendations for ESA and our partners. Speakers from partner organizations (e.g. Interfaith Power and Light, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists) will highlight collaborators’ perspectives in this emerging dialogue between ecologists and a range of communities, and describe key examples of outreach that can be replicated. All ESA attendees interested in outreach to faith and justice communities are encouraged to participate, add to the discussion, or learn how to get involved in similar outreach.+ More details
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Bracken gives a presentation on his senior research project concerning phases of the moon affecting deer habitat selection. The conference was a joint meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and the New Jersey Academy of Science.+ More details
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Each year, the Ecological Society America offers High School Educators’ Ecological Literacy and Research Day as a way for educators to come together and advance the field, exchange notes and present lesson plans. This year’s Ecological Literacy and Research Day was on August 2 at ESA’s 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Video credit: Charlee Glenn+ More details
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