Piping Plover Talk Kicks Off a Centennial Research Rendezvous Speaker Series

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Date: June 2, 2015

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and highlight the value of national parks as our nation’s living laboratories, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) is hosting a monthly series of public talks by park researchers called Research Rendezvous. This program, which will continue through 2016, will provide an opportunity to learn about the diversity of scientific investigations occurring in or near the National Lakeshore. All Research Rendezvous presentations offered at the National Lakeshore are free.  

Our kick-off speaker is Dr. Francesca J. Cuthbert who will present a program entitled “On the Road to Recovery: The Great Lakes Piping Plover Population” on June 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center Auditorium in Empire, Michigan. The National Lakeshore harbors one-third of the endangered shorebird’s breeding population. Dr. Cuthbert will tell the story of the piping plover’s recovery and describe the monitoring and research activities that have increased our understanding of plover ecology and improved management efforts.

Dr. Cuthbert received her PhD in Ecology at the University of Minnesota and is currently a Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Scientific Investigator at the University of Michigan Biological Station. For the past 30 years, her research has focused on three topics in avian biology and conservation:  recovery of federal or state listed species (especially piping plovers); ecology and population dynamics of colonial nesting waterbirds; and ecology and management of abundant species (especially double-crested cormorants). Most of her research involves working closely with federal and state agency biologists to facilitate conservation and management. Dr. Cuthbert is a past President of the Waterbird Society, member of the Waterbird Conservation Council of the Americas, and a Fellow in the American Ornithologists’ Union. 

Upcoming Research Rendezvous presentations will include

July 9, 2015:  “What's Under the Bark: A Look at Native and Exotic Woodborers in Michigan” by Dr. Sara Tanis (Michigan State University)

August 6, 2015: “Avian Botulism in Lake Michigan: How Does it Happen?” by Dr. Harvey Bootsma (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

August 13, 2015: “Parks as Natural Laboratories: Water Bugs of the Upper Great Lakes National Parks” by Dr. R. Edward Dewalt (Illinois Natural History Survey)

Check our calendar for the current schedule of upcoming talks.  

Last updated: June 3, 2015

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