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 September 2007
Fish community response to commercial operation of the Richard B Russell pump-storage hydropower facility on the Savannah River, GA-SC September 2010
Control of sucker spawning migrations in a major tributary of the Gunnison River to increase the production of native sucker larvae September 2021
Assessing attitudes and impacts to society associated with the use of nontoxic ammunition for hunting on National Wildlife Refuges December 2019
Using Genomics to Understand Population Dynamics and Enhance the Management of Canada Lynx Populations in the Contiguous United States December 2019
Comparative Ecology and Conservation of Bears in North and South America December 2020
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 December 2012
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. June 2007
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 April 1999
Williams, B.K., M. Eaton, and D.R. Breininger. 2011. Adaptive resource management and the value of information. Ecological Modelling 222:3305-3456. September 2011
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 September 2001
Williams, B.K. 2011. Resolving structural uncertainty in natural resources management using POMDP approaches. 222:1092-1102. | Abstract March 2011
Williams, B.K. 2011. Passive and active adaptive management: Approaches and an example. Journal of Environmental Management 92:1371-1378. | Abstract May 2011
Williams, B.K. 2011. Adaptive management of natural resources: Framework and issues. Journal of Environmental Management 2011:1346-1353. | Abstract May 2011
Williams, B.K. 2009. Markov decision processes in natural resources management: Observability and uncertainty. Ecological Modelling 220:830-840. | Abstract March 2009
Williams, B.K. 2007. Optimal management of non-Markovian biological populations. Ecological Modelling 200:234-242. | Abstract January 2007
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. June 2006
Williams, B.K. 2003. Policy, research, and adaptive management in avian conservation. The Auk 120:212-217. January 2003
Williams, B.K. 2003. A research agenda for bird conservation. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 68: 304-311. June 2003
Williams, B.K. 2001. Uncertainty, learning, and optimization in wildlife management. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 8:269-288. | Abstract September 2001
Williams, B.K. 2000. Perspectives on regulation of the sport harvest of wildlife. Transactions, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 65:61-64. June 2000
Williams, B. K., and J. D. Nichols. 2001. Systems identification and the adaptive management of waterfowl in theUnited States. Wildlife Biology 7:129-142. September 2001
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. January 2000
Williams, B. K., J. D. Nichols, and M. J. Conroy. 2002. Analysis and management of animal populations. Academic Press. April 2002
Williams, B. K., J. D. Nichols, and M. J. Conroy. 2002. Analysis and management of animal populations. Academic Press . April 2002
Williams, B. K. 2001. Uncertainty, learning, and the optimal management of wildlife. Env. Ecol. Stat. 8:269-288 June 2001
Williams, B. K. 2000. Perspectives on regulation of the sport harvest of wildlife. North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 65:61-64. November 2000
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 March 2015
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. February 2008
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. April 2014
Rolek, B.W., D.J. Harrison, D.W. Linden, C.S. Loftin, P.B. Wood. 2021. Habitat associations of breeding conifer-associated birds in managed and regenerating forested stands. Forest Ecology and Management. October 2021
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. August 2015
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. April 2011
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 February 2018
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 March 2016
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 December 2015
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 August 2018
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 August 2018
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 June 2016
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 January 2011
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 December 2007
Nichols, J.D. and B.K. Williams. 2006. Monitoring for conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 21:668-673. | Abstract December 2006
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. August 2006
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. January 2002
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 March 2018
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 October 2017
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. November 2006
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/ June 1999
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 January 2000
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 | Publisher Website March 2020
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. January 1999
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 December 2017
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 March 2017
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 July 2012
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 March 2000
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. July 2018
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 December 2017
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. February 2015
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 January 2016
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. June 1999
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. January 2000
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. November 2000
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. January 2013
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. October 2019
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. October 2019
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). December 2004
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. May 2001
Stolarski, J.T. 2013. Growth and energetic condition of Dolly Varden char in coastal Arctic waters. PhD Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 176 pp. May 2013
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. May 2010
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. August 2010
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. December 2011
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. May 2002
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. December 2000
Gerken, J. 2009. Identification and characterization of inconnu spawning habitat in the Sulukna River, Alaska. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. December 2009
Feldhaus, J. 2006. Heat shock proteins and physiological stress in redband rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) in the South Fork John Day River, Oregon. April 2006
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. December 2011
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. December 2015
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. May 2010
Benolkin, E. A. 2009. Variation in age and size at maturity of Lake Clark Alaska sockeye salmon. MS Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. December 2009
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 December 2001
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. January 2008
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. January 2007
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. February 2006
Organ, John F. 2014. Ding's Brilliant Idea. Fair Chase. 29(4): 36-38. December 2014
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. January 2000