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

Headquarters Research Activities


Northern Pintail Drake at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

The Cooperative Research Units Program conducts research on a wide range of disciplines related to fish, wildlife, and natural resource management. Our 40 Units collectively conduct research on virtually every type of North American ecological community. Most research projects are carried out by graduate students participating with and/or under the direction of unit or other university scientists. Collectively, the Units typically have more than 1,000 research projects under way and generate 250-300 scientific publications annually.

Unit research may be of local, regional, national, or international interest. The research programs conducted by units are approved as directed by the Coordinating Committee overseeing each unit.

Check out our current and completed research projects by clicking a link below. You can also find a complete list of publications by clicking on the Publications link on the main menu.


Project Completion Date
Fish community response to commercial operation of the Richard 2007-09-30
Fish community response to commercial operation of the Richard B Russell pump-storage hydropower facility on the Savannah River, GA-SC 2010-09-30
Quantitative Assessment of Pelagic Fishes in Colorado Reservoirs 2022-06-30
Field Examination of Wastewater Treatment Effluent Thermal Regimes and Effects on Reproduction of Johnny Darter Etheostoma Nigrum 2022-06-30
Control of sucker spawning migrations in a major tributary of the Gunnison River to increase the production of native sucker larvae 2021-09-30
Assessing attitudes and impacts to society associated with the use of nontoxic ammunition for hunting on National Wildlife Refuges 2019-12-31
Using Genomics to Understand Population Dynamics and Enhance the Management of Canada Lynx Populations in the Contiguous United States 2019-12-31
Comparative Ecology and Conservation of Bears in North and South America 2020-12-31
Research Publications Publication Date
Wirth, L., A. Rosenberger, A. Prakash, J. Margraf, and T. Hamazaki. 2012. A remote sensing/GIS-based approach to identify and model spawning habitat for fall chum salmon in a sub-arctic, glacially-fed river. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:1349-1363. | Download 2012-12-31
Williams, B.K., R.C. Szaro, and C.D. Shapiro. 2007. Adaptive Management: U.S. Department of the Interior Technical Guide. Adaptive Management Working Group, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 2007-06-30
Williams, B.K., M.D. Koneff, and D.A. Smith. 1999. Evaluation of waterfowl conservation under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:417-440. | Abstract 1999-04-30
Williams, B.K., M. Eaton, and D.R. Breininger. 2011. Adaptive resource management and the value of information. Ecological Modelling 222:3305-3456. 2011-09-30
Williams, B.K. and J.D. Nichols. 2001. Systems identification and the adaptive management of waterfowl in the United States. Wildlife Biology 7:129-142. | Abstract 2001-09-30
Williams, B.K. 2011. Resolving structural uncertainty in natural resources management using POMDP approaches. 222:1092-1102. | Abstract 2011-03-31
Williams, B.K. 2011. Passive and active adaptive management: Approaches and an example. Journal of Environmental Management 92:1371-1378. | Abstract 2011-05-31
Williams, B.K. 2011. Adaptive management of natural resources: Framework and issues. Journal of Environmental Management 2011:1346-1353. | Abstract 2011-05-31
Williams, B.K. 2009. Markov decision processes in natural resources management: Observability and uncertainty. Ecological Modelling 220:830-840. | Abstract 2009-03-31
Williams, B.K. 2007. Optimal management of non-Markovian biological populations. Ecological Modelling 200:234-242. | Abstract 2007-01-31
Williams, B.K. 2006. Adaptive harvest management: where we are, how we got here, and what we've learned thus far. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 71. 2006-06-30
Williams, B.K. 2003. Policy, research, and adaptive management in avian conservation. The Auk 120:212-217. 2003-01-31
Williams, B.K. 2003. A research agenda for bird conservation. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 68: 304-311. 2003-06-30
Williams, B.K. 2001. Uncertainty, learning, and optimization in wildlife management. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 8:269-288. | Abstract 2001-09-30
Williams, B.K. 2000. Perspectives on regulation of the sport harvest of wildlife. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 65:61-64. 2000-06-30
Williams, B. K., and J. D. Nichols. 2001. Systems identification and the adaptive management of waterfowl in theUnited States. Wildlife Biology 7:129-142. 2001-09-30
Williams, B. K., M. D. Koneff, and D. A. Smith. 1999. Evaluation of waterfowl conservation under the north american waterfowl plan. Journal of Wildlife Management. 63(2):417-440. 2000-01-31
Williams, B. K., J. D. Nichols, and M. J. Conroy. 2002. Analysis and management of animal populations. Academic Press. 2002-04-30
Williams, B. K., J. D. Nichols, and M. J. Conroy. 2002. Analysis and management of animal populations. Academic Press . 2002-04-30
Williams, B. K. 2001. Uncertainty, learning, and the optimal management of wildlife. Env. Ecol. Stat. 8:269-288 2001-06-30
Williams, B. K. 2000. Perspectives on regulation of the sport harvest of wildlife. North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 65:61-64. 2000-11-30
White, H. B., T. Decker, M.J. O’Brien, J.F. Organ and N. M. Roberts. 2015. Trapping and furbearer management in North American wildlife conservation, International Journal of Environmental Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2015.1019297 2015-03-31
Szaro, R.C. and B.K. Williams. 2008. Climate change: Environmental effects and management adaptations. In: Fenech, A., D. MacIver, and F. Dallmeier (eds.). Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Americas. Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario. 2008-02-28
Stolarski, J. T, F. J. Margraf, J. G. Carlson, and T. M. Sutton. Lipid and moisture content modeling of amphidromous Dolly Varden Char using bioelectrical impedance analysis. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 34:471-481. 2014-04-30
Rayl, N.D., T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, J.E. McDonald, Jr., R.D. Otto, G. Bastille-Rousseau, C.E. Soulliere and S.P. Mahoney. 2015. Spatiotemporal variation in the distribution of potential predators of a resource pulse: black bears and caribou calves in Newfoundland. Journal of Wildlife Management 79(7): 1041-1050. 2015-08-31
Powell, L.A., A.J. Tyre, M.J. Conroy, J.T. Peterson, and B.K. Williams. 2011 Integrating adaptive management into wildlife curricula. The Wildlife Professional 5(2): 74-76. 2011-04-30
Organ, John F., and R.E. McCabe. 2018. History of state wildlife management and conservation. Chapter 1, pages 1 - 23 in T.J. Ryder, editor, State Wildlife management and Conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. LCCN 2017017327 2018-02-28
Organ, J.F., T.A. Decker, and T.M. Lama. 2016. The North American model and captive cervid facilities-what is the threat? Wildlife Society Bulletin 40(1):10-13 2016-03-31
Organ, J.F. The North American model of wildlife conservation and wild turkey management: the future. Pages 19-23 in D.E. Miller, editor, Proceedings of the eleventh national wild turkey symposium. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, USA. | Abstract 2015-12-31
Organ, J.F. 2018. The North American model of wildlife conservation and the public trust doctrine. Chapter 13, pages 125 – 135 in B.D. Leopold, W.B. Kessler, and J.L. Cummins, eds., North American Wildlife Policy and Law. Boone and Crockett Club, Missoula, Montana, USA. DOI 10: 111234 2018-08-31
Organ, J.F. 2018. Federal aid in wildlife and fisheries conservation. Chapter 16, pages 163-175 in B.D. Leopold, W.B. Kessler, and J.L. Cummins, eds., North American Wildlife Policy and Law. Boone and Crockett Club, Missoula, Montana, USA. DOI: 10: 198765 2018-08-31
Organ, J.F. 2016. Book Review: Inside the Equal Access to Justice Act: Environmental Litigation and the Crippling Battle over America's Lands, Endangered Species, and Critical Habitats. Journal of Wildlife Management 80: early view 2016-06-30
Nichols, J.D., M.D. Koneff, P.J. Heglund, M.G. Knutson, M.E. Seamans, J.E. Lyons, J.M. Morton, M.T. Jones, G.S. Boomer, and B.K. Williams. 2011. Climate change, uncertainty, and natural resource management. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:6-18. | Abstract 2011-01-31
Nichols, J.D., M.C. Runge, F.A. Johnson, and B.K. Williams. 2007. Adaptive harvest management of North American waterfowl populations: A brief history and future prospects. Journal of Ornithology 148:S343-S349. | Abstract 2007-12-31
Nichols, J.D. and B.K. Williams. 2006. Monitoring for conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 21:668-673. | Abstract 2006-12-31
Nichols, J. D., M. C. Runge, et al. 2006. Adaptive Harvest Management of North American Waterfowl Populations - Recent Successes and Future Prospects. Journal of Ornithology 147(5): 28-28. 2006-08-31
Nestler, J. M., R. A. Goodwin, T. M. Cole, D. Degan, and D. Dennerline. 2002. Simulating movement patterns of blueback herring in a stratified southern impoundment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:55-69. 2002-01-31
Nathaniel D. Rayl, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, John F. Organ, Matthew A. Mumma, Shane P. Mahoney, Colleen E. Soulliere, Keith P. Lewis, Robert D. Otto, Dennis L. Murray, Lisette P. Waits, and Todd K. Fuller. 2018. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in prey abundance and vulnerability shapes the foraging tactics of an omnivore. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12810 | Abstract 2018-03-31
Mumma, M.A., J.D. Holbrook, N.D. Rayl, C.J. Zieminski, T.K. Fuller, J.F. Organ, S.P. Mahoney, and L.P. Waits. 2017. Examining spatial patterns of selection and use for an altered predator guild. Oecologia DOI 10.1007/s00442-017-3971-8 | Abstract 2017-10-31
Mason, J.R., L. Carpenter, M. Cox, J. Devos, J. Fairchild, D. Freddy, J.R. Heffelfinger, R. Kahn, S, McCorquodale, D. Pac, D. Summers, G.C. White, and B.K. Williams. 2006. The case for ungulate survey analysis and data management. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(4):1238-1242. 2006-11-30
Johnson, F.A., and B.K. Williams. 1999. Protocol and practice in the adaptive management of waterfowl harvests. Conservation Ecology 3(1): 8. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iss1/art8/ 1999-06-30
Johnson, F., and K. Williams. 1999. Protocol and practice in the adaptive management of waterfowl harvests. Conservation Ecology. 3(1):8. [online] URL: http://www. consecol. org/vol3/iss1/art8 2000-01-31
Jennings, C. A., M. Allen, C. Belcher, R. Bringolf, D. Dennerline, T. Goar, K. Kuklinski, J. Long, P. Mazik, D. Riecke, and M. Rogers. Congratulations on Your Promotion to Management: Considerations for New Supervisory Biologists. 2020. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 7:103-113. | Abstract 2020-03-31
Hightower, J.E., W.J. Fleming and M.A. Hayman. 1999. Effects of contaminated sediments on brown bullhead condition, growth, and mortality in a North Carolina tidal creek. Proc. Catfish 2000 Symposia. 1999-01-31
Goguen, A.D., S.J. Riley, J.F. Organ, and B.A. Rudolph. 2017. Wild-harvested venison yields and sharing by Michigan deer hunters. Human Dimensions of Wildlife DOI: 10.1080/10871209.2017.1409372 | Abstract | Download | Publisher Website 2017-12-31
Duda, M.D., T. Beppler, and J.Organ. 2017. The growth of sport shooting participation: what does this mean for conservation revenue? The Wildlife Professional 11(2): 38-41. | Download 2017-03-31
Dennerline, D.E., C.A. Jennings, and D.J. Degan. 2012. Relationships between hydroacoustic derived density and gill net catch: Implications for Fish Assessments. Fisheries Research 123-124: 78-89. | Abstract | Publisher Website 2012-07-31
Dennerline, D. E., and M. J. Van Den Avyle. 2000. Sizes of prey consumed by two pelagic predators in US reservoirs: implications for quantifying biomass of available prey. Fisheries Research 45:147-154. | Publisher Website 2000-03-31
Decker, D.J., J.F. Organ, A.B. Forstchen, M.V. Schiavone, and A.K. Fuller. 2018. Wildlife management is science based: myth or reality? The Wildlife Professional 12(4): 30-32. 2018-07-31
Decker, D.J., J.F. Organ, A.B. Forstchen, C.A. Jacobson, W.F. Siemer, C.A. Smith, P.E. Lederle, and M.V. Schiavone. 2017. Wildlife governance in the 21st century - will sustainable use endure? Wildlife Society Bulletin 41:821-826. DOI10.1002/wsb.830 | Abstract | Download 2017-12-31
Decker, D.J., A.B. Forstchen, E.F. Pomeranz, C.A. Smith, S.J. Riley, C.A. Jacobson, J.F. Organ, and G.R. Batcheller. 2015. Stakeholder engagement in wildlife management: does the public trust doctrine imply limits? J. Wildl. Manage. 79:174-179. 2015-02-28
Decker, D., C. Smith, A. Forstchen, D. Hare, E. Pomeranz, C. Doyle-Capitman, K. Schuler, and J. Organ. 2016. Governance principles for wildlife conservation in the 21st century. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12211 | Abstract | Download 2016-01-31
Buck, J.M. and B.K. Williams. 1999. Expenditures and opinions of Vermont residents participating in nonconsumptive wildlife-based recreation. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 64:484-493. 1999-06-30
Buck, J. M., and B. K. Williams. 1999. Expenditures and opinions of vermont residents participating in nonconsumptive wildlife-based recreation. Trans. No. Amer. Wildl., and Natur. Resour. Conf. 64:484-493. 2000-01-31
Bissonette, J. A., C. S. Loftin, D. M. Leslie, Jr., L. A. Nordstrom, and W. J. Fleming. 2000. The cooperative research unit program and wildlife education: historic development, future challenges. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:534-541. 2000-11-30
Berry, C.R., D.E. Dennerline and R. Rulifson. 2013. Safety: Skills, Attitudes, Facts, and Equipment. In: Zale, A., D. Parrish and T. Sutton (eds.). Fisheries Techniques, 3rd Edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 2013-01-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Winkelman, D. L., W. L. Kendall, and M. C. Dzul. 2019. Introduction to the symposium on the use of autonomous PIT tag antennas for modeling vital rates and movement. American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference, Reno, Nevada, 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2019. 2019-10-03
Kendall, W. L., D. L. Winkelman, M. C. Dzul, and C. B. Yackulic. 2019. Estimating vital rates and movement using autonomous PIT tag antennas: a design and analysis framework. American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference, Reno, NV. 2019-10-03
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Trujillo, A. M. M.S. Assessment of the suitability of the northern karst region of Puerto Rico for the reintroduction of the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata). December 2004, Allen R. Lewis-Co-Advisor). 2004-12-31
Timmons, J. R. 2001. Effects of non-uniform application of phytase (simulated) on performance and bone quality of male boilers. Thesis, Master of Science, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD. 76 pp. 2001-05-31
Stolarski, J.T. 2013. Growth and energetic condition of Dolly Varden char in coastal Arctic waters. PhD Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 176 pp. 2013-05-31
South-Wirth, L. 2010. Fall chum distribution and spawning habitat preferences in the Upper Tanana River. M.S. Thesis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK. A.E. Rosenberger and J. Margraf, co-advisors. 2010-05-31
South, Lisa. 2010. A remote sensing-GIS based approach to identify and model spawning habitat for fall chum salmon in a sub-arctic, glacially-fed river. MS thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK. 76 pp. 2010-08-31
Perschbacher, J. 2011. The use of aerial imagery to map in-stream physical habitat related to summer distribution of juvenile salmonids in a southcentral Alaskan stream. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 64 pp. 2011-12-31
Nack (Drossel), Jamie. 2002. Effective of Predators and cattle on ground-nesting grassland birds in southwestern Wisconsin pastures. M.S. Thesis. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2002-05-31
Moss, M. L. 2000. Development of recirculating systems for the American eel: potential low-cost options for enhancement of the Chesapeake Bay eel fishery. Thesis, Master of Science, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD. 121 pp. 2000-12-31
Gerken, J. 2009. Identification and characterization of inconnu spawning habitat in the Sulukna River, Alaska. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 2009-12-31
Feldhaus, J. 2006. Heat shock proteins and physiological stress in redband rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) in the South Fork John Day River, Oregon. 2006-04-30
Esse, D.A. 2011. Characteristics of the Sulukna River spawning population of inconnue, Yukon River drainage, Alaska. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 55 pp. 2011-12-31
Dennerline, D. E. 2015. Evaluating novel approaches for sampling and assessing changes in reservoir fish assemblages. Ph.D. Dissertation submitted to the University of Georgia. Athens, GA. 2015-12-31
Decker, S.K.S. 2010. Thermal limitations on chinook salmon spawning habitat in the northern extent of their range. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK. 41 pp. 2010-05-31
Benolkin, E. A. 2009. Variation in age and size at maturity of Lake Clark Alaska sockeye salmon. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 2009-12-31
Balcerzak, M.J. December 2001. Raptor Abundance and Diversity and Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) Habitat Characteristics on Reclaimed Mountaintop Mines in Southern West Virginia. MS thesis, WVU. http://etd.wvu.edu/templates/showETD.cfm?recnum=2234 2001-12-31
Technical Publications Publication Date
Ruiz, J., D. Dennerline, and C. Jennings. 2008. Fisheries Investigations (2007): Richard B. Russell and J. Strom Thurmond Reservoirs. Annual Project Report for Research Work Order No. 76. Prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. 179 pp. 2008-01-31
Ruiz, J., D. Dennerline, and C. Jennings. 2007. Fisheries Investigations (2006): Ricahrd B. Russell and J. Strom Thurmond Reservoirs. Annual Report for Research Work Order No. 76. Prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. 179 pp. 2007-01-31
Ruiz, J., D. Dennerline, and C. Jennings. 2006. Fisheries Investigations (2005): Richard B. Russell and J. Strom Thurmond Reservoirs. Annual Report for Research Work Order No. 76. Prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. 176 pp. 2006-02-28
Organ, John F. 2014. Ding's Brilliant Idea. Fair Chase. 29(4): 36-38. 2014-12-31
Bissonette, J. A., C. S. Loftin, D. M. Leslie Jr., L. A. Nordstrom, and W. J. Fleming. 2000. The Cooperative Research Unit Program and wildlife education: historic development, future challenges. The Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:534-541. 2000-01-31