Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Kansas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Kansas Project

A strategic process for fisheries management and aquatic conservation. PI: M. E. Mather, 2018-2025.

January 2018 - December 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

A Strategic process for fisheries management and aquatic conservation. PI: M. E. Mather, 2019-2022.

I am dedicated to the Unit mission elements of (a) providing excellent training for graduate students that will help them succeed in the rigorous science-based conservation required for the changing world, and (b) delivering proactive, effective research that identifies, then implements, solutions to the problems facing our management colleagues. Over my > 25 years with the Cooperative Research Unit Program, I have gained specific insights into what state and federal managers within our cooperating agencies need to be effective in science-based, data-driven conservation and management. Throughout my career, I have also gained substantial insights into the science, valued by universities, needed to provide lasting and effective decision support. Over the last three years (2018-2020), I have used my experience and commitment to develop then deliver insights that can help Unit cooperators address common problems (e.g., gear selection, harvest regulation evaluations, strategic planning, setting science-based goals for management and conservation, methodology for the creation of problem-related question networks that guide data analysis/collection, data fusion, and identifying metrics for success). These contributions promise to substantially improve the long-term implementation of the mission of our state, federal, and university cooperators.

Research Publications Publication Date
Mather, M. E., and J. M Dettmers. Adaptive problem maps (APM): connecting data dots to build increasingly informed and defensible environmental conservation decisions. Journal of Environmental Management 312 (2022) 114826
March 2022
Hitchman, Sean, M., Martha E. Mather, Joseph M. Smith. 2021. Does type, quantity, and location of habitat matter for fish diversity in a Great Plains riverscape? Fisheries. August 2021
Hitchman, S.M, M. E. Mather, J. Smith, and J. Fencl. 2018. Identifying keystone habitats with a mosaic approach can improve biodiversity conservation in disturbed ecosystems. Global Change Biology 2017;1–14. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13846; July 2017
Hitchman, S. M., M. E. Mather, J. M. Smith, J. S. Fencl. 2018. Habitat mosaics and path analysis can improve biological conservation of aquatic biodiversity in ecosystems with low-head dams. Science of the Total Environment 619–620: 221–231; April 2018
Fencl, J., M. Mather, J. Smith, and S. Hitchman. 2017. The blind men and the elephant examine biodiversity at low-head dams: are we all dealing with the same dam reality? Ecosphere 8 (1): 1-17; DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1973; November 2017
Fencl, J. S., M. E. Mather, K. Costigan, and M. D, Daniels. 2015. How Big of an Effect Do Small Dams Have?; Using Geomorphological Footprints to Quantify Spatial Impact of Low-Head Dams and Identify Patterns of Across-Dam Variation PLoS ONE 10(11): e0141210. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141210 | Abstract November 2015
Chestnut- Faull, K. C., M. Mather, Q. Phelps, D. Shoup. 2022. A review of empirical evidence related to the effectiveness of harvest regulation evaluations: a systematic, standardized collaborative approach to data collection. Fisheries. | Abstract August 2022
Presentations Presentation Date
Mather, Martha E. 2020. Combining Freakonomics with Data Fusion to Advance Big Data Approaches for Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation Problem Solving. 150th Annual Meeting of American Fisheries Society. September 14- 2 5 2020. Columbus, Ohio. Invited Presentation for Symposium Entitled “Merging Data Science and Fisheries and Aquatic Science to Solve Big Problems.
September 2020
Mather, M.E., D. Shoup, and Q. Phelps. 2019. Ensuring that technological advances actually advance the fisheries profession: Developing a strategic framework that uses advanced technologies to solve persistent fisheries problems. Presentation is part of a symposium entitled “Integrating Advanced Technologies to Improve Data Quality and Reduce Bias in Fisheries and Wildlife Population Research and Management.” 149th Annual American Fisheries Society Meeting and Joint Conference with The Wildlife Society in Reno, Nevada, September 29-October 3, 2019. October 2019
Mather, M. E., Q. Phelps. D. Shoup, K. Chestnut-Faull, C. Aymami. Syntheses are an underused opportunity to advance fisheries research and management: a framework to move fisheries “synthesis science” forward. 83rd Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, Overland Park, Kansas (February 12-15, 2023). February 2023
Mather, M. E., J. M. Smith, J. M. Dettmers, S. M. Hitchman, and J. T. Finn. 2019. Identifying and Operationalizing Big Hairy Audacious Goals for Fish Habitat Research, Management, and Conservation. This presentation that is part of a symposium entitled “Habitat Modeling Across Terrains and Disciplines: Addressing Common Challenges in Fisheries and Wildlife.” 149th Annual American Fisheries Society Meeting and Joint Conference with The Wildlife Society in Reno, Nevada, September 29-October 3, 2019. October 2019
Mather, M. E. 2022. Using a holistic approach to connect research and management. 152nd American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Spokane, WA. August 21-25, 2022 August 2022
Mather, M. E. 2021. We have been working on this forever: why is “diversity and inclusion” so hard? Invited presentation for a symposium entitled “Diversity and inclusion: a strategy to implement change for 2021 and beyond.” 151st Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, November 6-10, 2021, Baltimore, MD. November 2021