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

Iowa Education Activities


Northern Leopard frog in an Iowa wetland.

The Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has a 70-year history of research in support of our state, federal, and non-government cooperators. This research program has also provided graduate training for nearly 240 M.S. and Ph.D. students, the vast majority of which have pursued professional careers as management and research biologists, as well as university faculty. Our students pursue degrees in Animal Ecology, Fisheries Biology, Wildlife Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Science. Our three Unit scientists advise roughly 10 students in any given year. Our students are typically supported by research assistantships with minimum stipends of $19,075 and fringe benefits. In addition, M.S. candidates receive a 50% resident tuition waiver, and Ph.D. students receive a full 100% tuition waiver. Our major funding sources have traditionally been the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IADNR), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), but our grant portfolio usual involves several state, federal and private natural resource agencies at any given time.

More specifically, Unit scientists recently have been funded by both the fisheries and wildlife divisions of the IADNR; the Science Support Program, Division of Migratory Bird Management, and the Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region of the USFWS; National Wildlife Health Center, GAP Analysis Program, and Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center of the USGS; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Hungry Canyons Alliance in western Iowa; the Minnesota DNR; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (the research arm of Ducks Unlimited); and the National Park Service.

Most of our research involves field projects, and the majority of these occur in the agroecosystem that dominates the Iowa landscape. Therefore, our wildlife studies emphasize the impacts of agriculture on wildlife species and the effectiveness of restoration programs in sustaining viable wildlife populations. The aquatic resources of Iowa are also utilized intensively and are significantly affected by agricultural and other human activities. Our fishery research program reflects both the nature of Iowa's resources and their intense use through special emphasis on studies pertaining to habitat relationships, ecology and management of fishes, and the impact of agriculture on these resources.


Title Instructor(s) Start Date End Date
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Otis 2006-01-15 2006-05-01
Stream Ecology Pierce 2013-08-26 2013-12-19
Stream Ecology Pierce 2011-08-20 2011-12-15
Stream Ecology Pierce 2009-08-20 2009-12-14
Stream Ecology Pierce 2007-08-20 2007-12-14
Stream Ecology Pierce 2006-01-10 2006-05-05
Stream Ecology Pierce 2004-01-10 2004-05-05
Stream Ecology Pierce 2002-01-07 2002-05-03
Stream Ecology Pierce 2000-01-10 2000-05-05
Seminar Koford 2007-01-09 2007-05-06
Seminar Koford 2006-01-09 2006-05-05
Restoration Ecology Koford 2010-08-18 2010-12-10
Restoration Ecology Koford 2008-08-18 2008-12-19
Restoration Ecology Koford 2006-08-21 2006-12-15
Restoration Ecology Koford 2004-08-19 2004-12-14
Restoration Ecology Koford 2003-08-19 2003-12-12
Restoration Ecology Koford 2002-08-26 2002-12-12
Restoration Ecology Koford 2001-08-24 2001-12-12
Research Designs In Ecology Otis 2002-08-20 2002-12-10
Quantitative Techniques in Field Ecology Otis 2008-08-25 2008-12-10
Quantitative Techniques in Field Ecology Otis 2005-01-10 2005-05-09
Foundations of Ecology andEvolutionary Biology Koford 2009-08-21 2009-12-15
Fisheries Science Pierce 2013-01-12 2013-05-10
Fisheries Science Pierce 2011-01-14 2011-05-10
Fisheries Science Pierce 2009-01-10 2009-05-05
Fisheries Science Pierce 2007-01-10 2007-05-05
Fisheries Science Pierce 2005-01-10 2005-05-06
Fish Ecology Pierce 2002-06-17 2002-07-13
Fish Ecology Pierce 2000-06-19 2000-07-14
Extended Field Trip - Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Klaver 2013-01-15 2013-05-10
Conservation by Proxy Klaver 2014-01-16 2014-05-09
Analysis of Resource Selection Klaver 2013-01-15 2013-05-10
Analysis of Populations Klaver 2014-08-25 2014-12-19
Training Provided Instructor(s) Completion Date
Several presentations and training materials provided to state cooperators in the national mourning dove banding program and the pilot parts collection survey program Otis 2006-09-30
Several presentations and training materials provided to state and federal cooperators in the national mourning dove banding program, the pilot parts collection survey program, and the development of a national dove harvest strategy Otis 2008-10-01
Report of estimated bird response to habitat restroation in the Eagle Lake Wetland Complex, provided at the Iowa DNR 2002 Wildlife Bureau Statewide meeting. Koford 2002-03-12
Participated and made presentations on statistical designs to university, state and federal agency personnel involved in surveillance and monitoring programs for chronic wasting disease, December 2002. Otis 2002-12-12
Paper given at USDA NRCS/Iowa State University Research/Outreach Coordination Meeting, Ames, Iowa, 4 October 2005. Koford 2005-10-04
Overview of songbird research in the Eagle Lake Wetland Complex and Kellerton Bird Conservation Area, provided at the Iowa DNR 2001 Wildlife Bureau Statewide meeting. Koford 2001-02-15
Organized and trained state and federal migratory bird specialists on field and data management procedures for dove banding study, 7 workshops Otis 2005-06-01
Dove banding workshop for Northesatern U.S. state and federal biologists Otis 2010-06-10
Delivered invited paper at the 62nd Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Sympiosium was on area sensitivity of grassland birds. Koford 2000-12-04
Contributed three talks at "Integraed All-bird Training Workshop" held at the Springbrook Environmental Education Facility. Sponsored by IAFWA, hosted by Iowa DNR. Koford 2001-10-12
Bird and bat responses to changing landscapes in northern Iowa. Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau meeting, Springbrook, Iowa Koford 2005-02-17
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Web-Based Tools for Fisheries and Natural Resources in Iowa", January 2005 Pierce 2005-01-28
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Using the Iowa Rivers Information System (IRIS) for Stream Fisheries Management", December 2006 Pierce 2006-12-19
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Use of Fishery Analysis and Simulation Tools (FAST) software", January 2002 Pierce 2002-01-01
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Routine Fisheries Analysis using the R Program", July 2009 Pierce 2009-07-29
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Interactive Dynamic Graphics for Data Analysis", February 2001 Pierce 2001-02-02
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Identification of Iowa Fishes", July 2007 Pierce 2007-07-13
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, hosted workshop for fisheries professionals, "Turtle Biology, Identification, and Sampling Methods", August 2012 Pierce 2012-08-09
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, helped plan and organize workshop for fisheries professionals, "Age and Growth Workshop", July 2011 Pierce 2011-07-20
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter, American Fisheries Society, helped plan and organize short course for fisheries professionals, "Aquatic Plant Identification", August 2010 Pierce 2010-08-11
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Introduction to GIS in Natural Resources", January 1999 Pierce 1999-01-08
As Continuing Education Committee Chair of the Iowa Chapter American Fisheries Society, planned and organized short course for fisheries professionals, "Advanced GIS in Natural Resources", January 2000 Pierce 2000-01-06
Title and Location Speaker Date
hypothesis testing versus model selection: paradigm shift or rhetoric?
Presented to: university of missouri
Otis 2002-11-15
hypothesis testing versus model selection: paradigm shift or rhetoric?
Presented to: Purdue University
Otis 2002-04-02
Thoughts about the University of Florida Program in Environmental Statistics
Presented to: University of Florida
Otis 2007-04-24
Spatial patterns in stream fish assemblages over time: revelations from Iowa's historical stream fish database
Presented to: Iowa State University
Pierce 2008-11-30
Population Models in Support of Harvest Management of Mourning Doves
Presented to: University of Arkansas
Otis 2004-04-19
Persistence of wildlife populations in an ever-changing midwestern landscape
Presented to: University of Nebraska, Omaha
Koford 2008-03-26
Overview of wind/wildlife research
Presented to: Wind/Wildlife Forum, Des Moines,
Koford 2005-10-15
Landscape effects on grassland bird density
Presented to: Iowa State University
Koford 2002-10-11
Habitat and Fish Communities in the Missouri River: Indicators of Human Alteration in America’s Longest River
Presented to: Iowa State University
Pierce 2003-01-31
Gamefish consumption and forage fish production in Spirit Lake: trophic supply and demand in an important Iowa fishery
Presented to: Iowa State University
Pierce 1997-10-31
Evaluating habitat restoration for grassland birds
Presented to: Iowa State University
Koford 2009-02-05
Can we beat the scavengers? The challenge of quantifying wildlife impacts of wind generation
Presented to: Michigan State University
Koford 2005-09-08
Title Presenter Date
mourning dove population dynamics Otis 2005-10-12
hypothesis testing versus model selection: paradigm shift or rhetoric? Otis 2001-11-30
animal population analysis Otis 2003-10-08
Stat 534. Ecological Statistics. Mark-recapture methods. Otis 2009-09-15
Dispersal Koford 2006-04-03
Career Path to Wildlife Biology Klaver 2012-10-04
Student (Degree) Advisor Start Year End Year
Wu, Han (PhD) Otis 2005 Present
Woolnough, Daelyn (PhD) Pierce 2002 2006
Vogel, Jennifer (PhD) Koford 2006 Present
Vogel, Jennifer (MS) Koford 2003 2006
Vogel, Jen (PhD) Otis 2006 Present
VanNimwegen, Ron (MS) Koford 2002 2005
Towery, Brenna (MS) Klaver 2013 Present
Szcodronski, Kim (MS) Klaver 2012 Present
Socha, Andrea (MS) Koford 2004 2006
Skrade, Paul (MS) Koford 2006 Present
Shire, Taylor (MS) Koford 2009 2010
Robles, Abel (MS) Koford 2007 2010
Reeves, Rebecca (MS) Klaver 2012 2014
Potter, Lisa (MS) Koford 2002 2006
Pillsbury, Finn (PhD) Koford 2006 2010
Pillsbury, Finn (MS) Otis 2004 2006
Piel, Alex (MS) Koford 2002 2004
Penne, Chris (MS) Otis 2005 2007
Pedersen, Janni (PhD) Koford 2006 Present
Parks, Timothy (MS) Pierce 2010 Present
Palic, Dusan (PhD) Pierce 2001 2005
Ozawa, Haishin (MS) Otis 2004 2004
Olechnowski, Brian (PhD) Otis 2004 2009
Olechnowski, Brian (PhD) Koford 2004 2009
Neebling, Travis (MS) Pierce 2007 Present
Moorhouse, Amy (MS) Klaver 2013 Present
Maurer, Kristine (MS) Pierce 2010 Present
Martin, Leanne (MS) Koford 2003 2005
Lu, Pencheng (PhD) Otis 2004 2006
Koch, Jeff (MS) Pierce 2006 Present
Knoot, Tricia (MS) Koford 2001 2004
Klimksiek, Edward (MS) Koford 2003 2004
Kaatz, Sara (MS) Pierce 2001 2004
Inselman (SDSU), Will (MS) Klaver 2012 Present
Huang, Ling (MS) Otis 2003 2005
Hovick, Torre (MS) Koford 2006 2010
Hentjes, Valerie (MS) Otis 2006 Present
Hentges, Valerie (MS) Pierce 2006 Present
Henry, Drew (MS) Otis 2006 Present
Henningsen, John (MS) Koford 2000 2003
Harms, Tyler (MS) Koford 2009 2011
Hall, Embere (MS) Otis 2003 2005
Gregory, Cory (MS) Koford 2008 2010
Grant, Tyler (PhD) Koford 2009 Present
Gardner, Lynne (PhD) Klaver 2012 Present
Folks, Karri (PhD) Klaver 2013 Present
Fischer, Jesse (PhD) Pierce 2008 Present
Falcy, Matt (PhD) Otis 2006 Present
Erwin, Mike (MS) Otis 2008 Present
Egertson, Chris (MS) Pierce 2001 2003
Dale, Julia (MS) Klaver 2014 Present
Crain, James (MS) Klaver 2014 Present
Conover, Ross (PhD) Koford 2006 2009
Colvin, Mike (PhD) Otis 2008 Present
Colbert, Paul (MS) Otis 2004 2006
Caruthers, Jennett (MS) Otis 2007 Present
Boyer, Kelly (PhD) Klaver 2013 Present
Benson, Thomas (MS) Koford 2000 2003
Barbknecht, Andrea (MS) Otis 2005 2007
Anderson, Christopher (MS) Klaver 2013 Present
Almond, Ann (PhD) Klaver 2013 Present