Category Archives: Events

Volunteer Opportunity: Cascade Pika Watch

Cascades Pika Watch has been monitoring the distribution and abundance of pikas throughout the Columbia River Gorge for four years, based on local research results dating back to 2011. Citizen scientists have been hiking to talus slopes and reporting on presence/absence of pikas, giving us a baseline understanding of where pikas live in the Gorge. Because of the severity of the Eagle Creek fire last summer, it is more important than ever to get an accurate picture of how pikas are doing in the continentally unique context of the Columbia River Gorge. Thanks in part to a grant from the Forest Service, they are planning to extend our depth of data collection in the Gorge and conduct more-detailed abundance surveys over the next two summers. Data to be collected include counting numbers of pika individuals present, identifying the five dominant plant species and their approximate percent cover in a transect, and estimating percentage of fire damage to the talus. The protocol involves carefully walking transects across the talus patch, thus requiring volunteers who are physically capable of doing so safely.

Due to the more-technical nature of these surveys, they are looking for a more-experienced group of volunteers to help us collect these data. All volunteers for this project would need to attend one, four-hour field training with Dr. Johanna Varner during June 22-25 inclusive, though they may consider a Plan B, if these dates are absolutely out of the question for you. Each more-experienced volunteer would then be assigned a small handful of sites to complete in their own time (during the summer season).

If you are interested in participating, please complete this form and they will contact you directly:


Photo Credit: Dr. Johanna Varner

Why abundance, and not just are pikas present Y/N?: 1) going from 10 pikas to 1 pika is a 90% reduction, but the patch would still be considered “occupied” and totally unchanged — i.e., abundance is a much more-sensitive measure that is more likely to detect changes from before the fire, given how much time has elapsed since the fire, at this point; and 2) this is probably a once-in-several-decades event (we hope !!), so it’s better to get a more-complete understanding of what happened, because that will better help us understand why.  For 2), having abundance data means that we can answer any question more powerfully, without having to visit as many sites (because Poisson models are more powerful than logistic models, for a given sample size).



Forest Ecology/Management course – June 25-29, Corvallis, OR

This course on forest ecology will provide biologists and land managers with basic forest ecology and management knowledge and skills. While the course will be taught at Oregon State University, with daily, hands-on site visits to the nearby McDonald Forest, this will NOT be strictly a west-side forest class. The basics of forest ecology that are part of this course will apply to many forest types, and between case studies and opportunities for student engagement with specific forest issues they are dealing with, there will be ample opportunity to learn about and discuss application in a wide variety of forest types. Dr. McComb has a long career in researching and teaching forest ecosystems and the application of forest ecology in wildlife habitat management. This is a great opportunity to get hands on with a knowledgeable and excellent instructor! Tuition is waived for NPS employees!

For more information, click here: 

Salamander Saturday is May 5th!

Foundation for the Conservation of Salamanders (FCSal) is planning for their big outreach day, Salamander Saturday on May 5th and are looking for events on the West Coast!

Salamander Saturday is an initiative started by FCSAL to raise awareness about salamanders, their habitats, and their role in the ecosystem. We encourage organizations around the world to hold an event on this day and to share their events with FCSal through social media using #SalamanderSaturday, thereby promoting global unity in the effort to protect salamanders.

Interested in hosting an event?

You can help by creating a day for international salamander awareness. Your Salamander Saturday event should be catered to your organizations strengths and schedules; it can be as simple as hosting an education table, or as involved as a fundraising event. FCSal will be partnering with American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK), Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), and Amphibian Survival Alliance to reach a broad audience of amphibian lovers and to make Salamander Saturday a success!

​If you would like to participate in Salamander Saturday, please email FCSAL at  and share your plans. Make sure to send the event tile/program name, organization hosting, location/time, and website (if applicable). All Salamander Saturday events will be promoted via and their Facebook page, so please take pictures and have fun spreading the word about salamander conservation! If you would like to host a fundraiser for FCSal, they would be happy to supply you with necessary materials including Chopsticks for Salamanders stainless steel chopsticks.

Resource Selection Function Workshop

The Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society is hosting a two and a half day RSF workshop, taught by Dr. Ryan Long from the University of Idaho. The workshop will be held May 23rd -25th, in Adair Village (Near Corvallis), at the ODFW Office conference room.

Topics will include:


  1. Attendees will need to provide their own laptop computers for completing workshop exercises.
  2. Computers will need to have the most recent versions of ArcGIS and R (64-bit) installed prior to the workshop:
    1. 21-day trial versions of ArcGIS are available for download:
    2. R: The following required packages should be installed in advance: lme4, MASS, and ruffit. The first two packages can be installed from CRAN. The ruffit package must be installed by running the following code in R:install.packages(“ruf”,repos=””).


May 23-25, 2018
Address: 7118 NE Vandenberg Ave, Adair Village, OR 97330.
REGISTRATION: $200; Boxed lunches available for $20.
Any questions, please contact ORTWS President Elect John Goodell

Full Course Description

Space-use decisions made by animals in heterogeneous environments can reflect a variety of important processes, including the acquisition and investment of energy, avoidance of mortality from predation or other sources, intra- and interspecific competition, and interactions with both natural and anthropogenic features of the landscape. Consequently, quantifying patterns of resource selection by animals can provide key insights into relationships among the environment, individual fitness, and population dynamics that are critical for making effective management and conservation decisions. Although powerful model-based approaches to quantifying resource selection have been developed in recent years, many managers and researchers continue to use outdated techniques that provide limited insight into complex wildlife-habitat relationships. The objective of this course is to provide participants with the skills and confidence necessary to proceed from a raw dataset of animal locations and habitat characteristics to a final resource selection function using modern modeling techniques. Course structure will consist of lecture modules in the mornings (roughly 30% of the course) focused on key elements of the background and theory of resource selection analysis, and hands-on computer labs in the afternoons (roughly 70% of the course). Some previous experience with ArcGIS and/or R statistical software will be helpful.

Course Topics

  • Lecture: Introduction to resource selection analysis
    • Central definitions and concepts (use, availability, selection, preference, etc.)
    • Spatial and temporal scale (1st through 4th order selection and the importance of daily and seasonal patterns of selection)
    • Sampling and study design (the various sampling schemes and units typically associated with resource selection studies)
    • Categorical data and selection ratios (2D vs. 3D selection ratios, selection ratios as the response variable in a modeling framework)
    • Modeling resource selection (advantages, disadvantages, goals, and steps)
  • Lecture: Logistic regression
    • The logistic model and classic logistic design
    • Difficulties of the classic approach
    • Mixed-effects logistic regression (with a discussion of conditional logistic regression)
  • Hands-on computer lab: Modeling resource selection using mixed-effects logistic regression
  • Lecture: Modeling use as a continuous variable
    • Resource utilization functions (RUFs; Marzluff et al. 2004, Millspaugh et al. 2006)
    • Negative binomial regression (Sawyer et al. 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • Hands-on computer lab: Modeling resource selection using the RUF approach
  • Hands-on computer lab: Modeling resource selection using negative binomial regression
  • Interactive presentation: Mapping predicted probability of use from an RSF across a landscape
  • Interactive presentation: K-fold cross validation

Instructor Contact Information

Ryan Long
Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844
Phone (office): 208-885-7225

Building for Birds & Urban Biodiversity, April 6th in Portland

Opportunities exist to conserve biodiversity in cities and neighborhoods. This presentation introduces participants to the key principles and practices required to conserve biodiversity across cities, both for greenfield development and retrofitting areas. Participants will also learn about a new, online evaluation tool, called “Building for Birds.” This tool allows decision makers to manipulate amounts of forest fragments (urban/rural) and tree canopy (in residential areas) and determine the best designs for conserving bird habitat.

Presenter: Dr. Mark Hostetler Professor, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida

With over twenty years of experience in urban wildlife and green development issues, Dr. Hostetler conducts research and outreach on how urban landscapes could be designed and managed, from small to large scales, to conserve biodiversity. Partnering with policy makers, city/county planners, environmental consultants, and developers, he leads efforts to establish model communities that incorporate conservation design and management strategies that enhance urban biodiversity and minimize development impacts on nearby natural areas.

Learn more and register at http:

For more information, call 352-845-0568 or email