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

Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Activities

Research conducted by the Pennsylvania Unit helps to inform management of white-tailed deer.

As part of our mission, each of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit scientists routinely provides technical assistance such assistance with study design and data analysis support, special training in statistical analysis, workshops, and consultations on a variety of natural resource issues.

See a few of our recent contributions below.

Description and Agency Provider(s) Date
Surveyed heron rookery on Susquehanna River
Diefenbach 2004-04-01
Survey heron rookery on Susquehanna River
Diefenbach 2003-04-01
Site visit with Pennsylvania state personnel to discuss an environmental sampling program at a hatchery
Carline 2001-12-01
Served on a science advisory committee meeting for the Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network
Diefenbach 2004-12-14
Served on a panel to review Wisconsin's deer population estimation methods
Diefenbach 2005-09-30
Served on a interdisciplinary, multi-agency team to develop guidelines for development and conduct of scientifically sound surveillance programs for detecting Chronic Wasting Disease in free-ranging cervids, U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, Wisconsin,
Diefenbach 2002-12-01
Reviewed the Pennsylvania Game Commission's draft Deer Management Plan and provided comments and recommendations
Diefenbach 2002-07-01
Reviewed brook trout conservation plan for the PA Fish and Boat Commission
Carline 2006-06-28
Reviewed a species status assessment (SSA) for the Florida Key deer
Southeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Diefenbach 2017-12-04
Provided technical advice to New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regarding methods of estimating abundance of black bears
Diefenbach 2003-02-01
Provided recommendations on designing a trout spawning survey to Trout Unlimited Watershed Coordinator, Amy Gottesfeld.
Carline 2002-09-01
Provided printed materials and advice to a Cumberland County fishing club on techniques to treat an acidified stream.
Carline 2005-04-14
Provided population estimates for black bears in New Jersey for the NJ Division of Wildlife using 2003-2-14 data.
New Jersey Division of Wildlife
Diefenbach 2015-01-01
Provided expert opinion on Trout Unlimited's conservation portfolio analysis for the eastern range of the brook trout. This occurred via a webinar to discuss results of their assessment.
Trout Unlimited
Wagner 2016-04-28
Provided evalation of efficacy of sampling hunter-killed deer to detect presence of chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania
Diefenbach 2003-07-01
Provided analyses of angler survey data to state biologists
Carline 2006-05-30
Provide technical assistance/expert opinion to Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, through Cambium Inc., to help guide efforts to manage and monitor both brook trout and their habitat across southern Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (
Wagner 2016-02-22
Participating in a working group that reviewed guidelines and policies for the stocked trout program.
Carline 2005-09-20
Participated on a panel to review selection criteria for state wildlife grants.
Carline 2004-03-01
Participated in a workshop to develop a risk assessment procedure for chronic wasting disease in cervids for use by state wildlife agencies
Diefenbach 2004-04-01
Participated in a workshop that reviewed monitoring plans for the National Park Service
Carline 2005-05-19
Participated in a working group to design two studies for PA Fish & Boat Comm.
Carline 2006-01-05
Participated in a Trout Working Group session that reviewed regulation proposals for the PA Fish and Boat Commission
Carline 2005-01-08
Participated in a Conservation Action Planning Workshop
Carline 2006-09-19
Participated in a 2-day workshop sponsored by the PA Game Commission to provide input on avian conservation in Pennsylvania.
Diefenbach 2004-11-09
Organized a panel of freshwater mussel experts who reviewed existing protocols for sampling mussels in large rivers and developed revised protocols.
Carline 2005-06-24
Met with bear biologists from Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to discuss survival and population estimation as well as aversive conditioning techniques for nuisance bears and possible multi-state research
Diefenbach 2005-03-24
Member of the Chesapeake Bay brook trout technical team to provide expertise on statistical model development and application.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wagner 2014-04-01
Member of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Brook Trout Action Team to develop a management strategy for brook trout in the Chesapeake Bay
Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture
Wagner 2014-10-24
I served on a technical review panel to review and comment on stock assessment and simulation models of management performance and to share criticisms with the Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group (LEPMAG). The LEPMAG is a partnership between the Lake Erie Committee and the Lake Erie fisheries stakeholders. LEPMAG works to develop fisheries management plans for walleye and yellow perch.
Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group
Wagner 2012-02-06
Helped Trout Unlimited chapter set up an environmental fellowship for a graduate student and screened applicants.
Carline 2002-12-01
Facilitated presentation by economists on value of recreational fishing for technical and nontechnical audience
Carline 2006-01-16
Facilitated Structured Decision Making workshop for Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry to develop a decision model for managing deer with respect to forest vegetation conditions.
PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Wagner 2011-02-15
Facilitated Structured Decision Making workshop for Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry to develop a decision model for managing deer with respect to forest vegetation conditions.
PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Wagner, Diefenbach 2010-02-03
Conducted groundwater sampling on Big Spring Creek.
Carline 2003-02-01
Conducted a redd survey on Big Spring Creek for the PA Fish & Boat Commission.
Carline 2002-11-01
Assisted state fisheries biologists in developing a sampling design to assess fisher use of wild trout streams in Pennsylvania
Diefenbach 2004-03-01
Assisted state biologists with designing an angler survey for wild trout streams
Carline 2004-01-01
Assisted state biologist with designing a sampling program for detection of PCBs at fish hatcheries.
Carline 2004-02-01
Assisted local sewer authority and state EPA personnel with design of fish sampling protocol.
Carline 2006-05-23
Assisted in a horseshoe crab survey.
Carline, Snyder 2003-06-01
Assisted environmental monitoring volunteers with selection of stream sampling sites
Carline 2006-05-02
Assisted USFWS staff at Rappahannock NWR to conduct a pilot study to develop techniques for monitoring wintering grassland songbirds.
Diefenbach 2005-01-24
Assisted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with hooking mortality study.
Carline 2002-05-01
Assisted PA Fish and Boat Personnel with design of a state-wide angler survey on stocked trout streams
Carline 2005-02-11
Assisted PA Fish & Boat Comm. staff with study design for angler survey
Carline 2006-04-19
Assist Deer Management Section of the Pennsylvania Game Commission with developing management programs and activities, and developing research projects.
Diefenbach 2002-07-01
Assist DCNR with developing a process for setting deer harvest allocations on state forest lands
PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Diefenbach 2009-10-01
Advised PA Fish & Boat Commission on a groundwater sampling protocol at Huntsdale Hatchery.
Carline 2002-11-01
Role - Description Provider         Start Date        End Date       
Member, ad hoc Graduate Review Committee Diefenbach 2008-09-01 2009-08-31
Member, ad hoc Computer Technology Committee Diefenbach 2006-07-01 2010-08-31
Member, ad hoc Computer Committee Diefenbach 2007-09-01 2009-08-31
Member, School of Forest Resources Safety Committee Diefenbach 2005-05-01 2007-05-31
Member, Forestlands Committee Diefenbach 2009-08-01 Present
Member of ad hoc Grants and Contracts Faculty Committee - Provide input to Grants and Contracts Office for improving handling of grant proposals. Diefenbach 2016-04-01 Present
Graduate Program Committee - Administer PhD candidacy exams in Wildlife and Fisheries Science program. Assist with allocating departmental graduate assistantships. Review graduate applications to the program. Diefenbach 2014-01-01 2016-08-31
Ecology Admissions Committee - Main jobs are to review applications online, determine whether students should be admitted, and provide online comments for each applicant to help Ecology Program Chair and faculty members make decisions. Wagner 2011-12-01 2013-12-31
Chair, Curriculum Committee for IGDP in Ecology Diefenbach 2007-08-01 2010-08-31
Role and Organization Individual         Start Date        End Date       
Wildlife Action Plan Advisory Committee Diefenbach 2012-12-01 2015-10-31
Member, Steering Committee, Rethinking Deer Management from an Ecological Perspective Diefenbach 2001-10-01 2003-11-30
At-large Member, Pennsylvania Biological Survey Diefenbach 2002-08-01 2010-08-31
Affiliate Member, Quantitative Fishery Center, Michigan State University Wagner 2012-03-01 Present
Outreach Activity Provider(s)        Date       
With the overarching goal of determining how the always-fatal-to-cervids disease will disburse through the state's free-ranging white-tailed deer herd, the research is aimed at informing the commission's efforts to slow or limit the spread of the disease. Walter 2017-05-23
Water resources monitoring in the Spring Creek basin. Carline 2003-09-01
Water resource monitoring in the Spring Creek watershed; Nittany Valley Planning Comm. Carline 2004-05-01
Water resource monitoring in the Spring Creek watershed; Centre Region Planning Comm. Carline 2004-05-01
Water resource monitoring in the Spring Creek watershed; Centre County Planners Carline 2004-02-01
Was interviewed by a reported from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette regarding paddlefish project. Carline 2002-02-01
Was interviewed by WHYY radio station for a report on paddlefish project. Carline 2002-03-01
Was interviewed by Scripps Howard News Service regarding effects of climate change on fishery resources. Carline 2002-05-01
The Wildlife Society online: Deer in the Mid-Atlantic may be more susceptible to chronic wasting disease than deer elsewhere, according to recent research, which found they carry more gene markers known to represent a high susceptibility to the fatal neurological disease than other deer. Walter 2019-06-12
The Wagner Lab discussed the importance of water quality and stream health with 160 first and second grade students at a local school. Wagner, Massie, White, McClure 2019-09-11
Students from the State College Area School District Learning Enrichment/Gifted Support Program visited a study stream where Bob Mollenhauer and Dr. Wagner provided an overview of radio telemetry for studying movement and habitat use of stream fishes. The students were also given a tour of the USFWS Northeast Fishery Center and an overview of lake trout bioenergetics research by Megan Kepler. Wagner, Kepler, Mollenhauer 2010-11-09
Special briefing for Pennsylvania agency administrators on accumulation of PCBs in hatchery trout Carline 2001-11-01
Special briefing for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, House Game and Fisheries Committee on PCB accumulation in hatchery trout. Carline 2001-12-01
Served as judge for Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp Design Contest Diefenbach 2003-09-01
Provided written material to WPSX, Public Television Station, for production about brook trout and other natives Pennsylvania fishes. Carline 2002-01-01
Provided update on snowshoe hare and cottontail rabbit research to a joint Pennsylvania Game Commission and houndsmen meeting at the Harrisburg Hq of the PGC Diefenbach 2005-06-28
Provided to a graduate student from University of Maryland background information and data on a riparian restoration project. Carline 2002-04-01
Provided overview of white-tailed deer research in Pennsylvania to the SE Pennsylvania State Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association Diefenbach 2009-03-21
Provided interview to reporter for Centre Daily Times regarding water quality status of Spring Creek. Carline 2002-09-01
Provided interview to a reporter from the Centre Daily Times on stream pollution. Carline 2002-10-01
Provided benthic data to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Carline 2002-01-01
Provided a public tour of research grouse study area as part of Migratory Bird Day celebration Diefenbach 2005-05-28
Provided a half day field tour on stream ecology for a youth fishing program. Carline 2002-08-01
Provided a display on ecology of crayfish for a one-day public education program sponsored by the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources. Carline 2005-06-06
Provided a display at a one-day public education program sponsored by the ClearWater Conservancy. Carline 2005-09-18
Presented a program on water resources monitoring to the Board of Directors of the ClearWater Conservancy. Carline 2005-08-11
Presentation to the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited on water quality issues in Spring Creek. Carline 2002-01-01
Presentation to the PA Bureau of Forestry on the Deer-Forest Study and Decision Support Tool for their Deer Management Assistance Program Diefenbach 2015-01-24
Presentation to the Beech Creek Watershed Association on deer research. Diefenbach 2005-04-12
Presentation of research findings on white-tailed deer research in Pennsylvania at the Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association. Diefenbach 2014-03-08
Persentation on managing trout streams to a youth conservation camp. Carline 2003-07-01
Penn State News: Some deer are more susceptible to chronic wasting disease that is spreading through herds of white-tailed deer across much of the United States, according to Penn State researchers, who have identified a panel of genetic markers that reliably predict which animals are most vulnerable to the contagious neurological disorder. Walter 2019-06-06
Organized presentations on economic evaluations of recreational fishing Carline 2006-01-05
News release on results of deer hunter research studying deer hunter densities, movements, and distribution. Diefenbach 2004-02-01
Made presentation at public meeting on management of Big Spring Creek. Carline 2003-01-01
Made a presentation at the Pennsylvania Trout Summit Conference on accumulation of PCBs in hatchery trout. Carline 2002-09-01
Interviewed for a Pennsylvania radio show on grouse research at the Barrens. Diefenbach 2004-10-13
Information on watershed research for local newspaper. Carline 2001-09-10
Guided field trip of Millbrook Marsh for members of the Clearwater Conservancy. Carline 2002-05-01
Gave presentation on urban development and water resources and moderated a public forum Carline 2005-10-05
Gave a talk on wastewater issues and moderated a public forum Carline 2006-01-19
Gave a talk on groundwater issues and moderated a public forum Carline 2006-02-28
Gave a talk and moderated a public forum on surface water issue Carline 2006-05-04
Fair Chase Article: When we think about genetics of white-tailed deer we almost always think about the large antlered buck that we see walking by our tree stand. In fact, there is a booming business in the deer farming industry to share genetic materials to breed those bucks that give us the highest score. Over years or decades, mating these large-antlered bucks in captivity has resulted in deer farms having deer with antlers that we would never see in the wild deer we hunt. This form of breeding bucks for big anlters over many generations coincidently provides us with another tool in the toolbox for another type of deer research –landscape genetics of wild deer. The use of genetics in the deer farming industry is different than how we might use genetics to manage or understand the ecology of wild white-tailed deer. Genetics have become even more important recently due to the wild deer-farmed deer interface as it relates to chronic wasting disease. Walter 2018-06-02
Effects of I-99 construction on Spring Creek Carline 2003-12-01
Eastern US representative for USGS to a briefing to House and Senate Committee staffers to assist in understanding on chronic wasting disease for future funding initiatives to address research and management of the disease in Washington, D.C., 20–21 June (Invited Oral – 2 days) Walter 2019-06-21
Diefenbach, D. R. 2003. The Coop Unit: long term wildlife partners. Pennsylvania Game News 74(4):12-14. Diefenbach 2003-04-01
Developed news release to describe ongoing progress of white-tailed deer research in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Diefenbach 2003-06-01
Developed news release on upcoming research project to study the distribution of snowshoe hares in Pennsylvania. Diefenbach 2003-07-01
Conducted field trip on stream sampling for senior volunteers Carline 2006-05-16
Conducted electrofishing which was videotaped for TV production by WPSX, public television. Carline 2002-01-01
Advised local TU group on stream site selection for restoration- 2 half day trips Carline 2006-07-20
A two-year research project based in the Poconos region involves collecting otter scat -- excrement -- at hundreds of waterside locations, called latrines, in Monroe, Wayne, Carbon, Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, and subjecting it to DNA analysis to identify different animals. Data from those collections will be fed into a computer population model to calculate otter numbers Walter 2014-02-27
A study of the spread of chronic wasting disease among white-tailed deer in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania found that infected deer tend to cluster in low-lying open and developed areas. These results suggest that state wildlife management agencies should concentrate surveillance efforts in such topography and landscapes. Walter 2014-04-10