An urban squirrel feasting on its bird feeder treasures.
By Jerod A. Merkle
Human dominated landscapes can provide a food haven for certain species. Think squirrels and pigeons, animals many of us see almost every day. These species have adapted so well to human infrastructure and its seemingly endless bounty, that they can live their entire lives within cities with millions of people.
Of course, there are other species that also capitalize on foods available in urban areas. But they do so with much less visibility. In fact, they spend much of their time in more natural areas, only venturing into urban areas to feed. In this case, think of animals such as raccoons, coyotes, and bears. Although the act of moving from wildlands into urban areas is for the most part driven by food, our understanding of how animals make these decisions is still not complete. Understanding how and why these behaviors develop can help direct efforts to minimize human-wildlife conflicts.
I am pleased to introduce a guest piece by Peter Brewitt, PhD Candidate University of California Santa Cruz and blogger at http://damremoval.wordpress.com. In his PhD research, Peter is working on the politics and ecology of two of the dams mentioned in this series. Thanks to Peter for the quick turnaround on this article – please thank him by checking out his work at the above links.
-Nate and the ECE
The ecology of dams and dam removal: a socio-ecological history of the Elwha (Part 4)
By Peter Brewitt
The Elwha River used to be 45 miles long. It flowed north out of Washington’s Olympic Mountains, from glaciers to taiga to lowlands and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was far enough west to pick up the moisture rolling in off the Pacific ocean, far enough east to avoid getting scoured out like the rainforest rivers on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. And… it was full of salmon. Continue reading →
and I immediately felt defeated. Had I chosen poorly when deciding to submit to PLoS ONE? Or, are those people that view PLoS ONE as “career suicide” just old-school professors who, for some weird reason, think papers don’t get reviewed at PLoS ONE? And, does that even matter, since I’ll need those same old-school professors to want to hire me in a couple years? Needless to say, my motivation for finishing the revisions waned. Continue reading →
The White Salmon River watershed and surrounding vicinity. Borrowed from friendsofthewhitesalmon.org
By Nate Hough-Snee
Near Washington State’s Mt. Adams, a small river begins, flowing south into the Pacific Northwest’s largest wild Salmon production facility, the Columbia River. This river begins in steep headwaters on one of the Pacific Northwest’s lesser volcanoes and runs 44 miles through forests ranging from the subalpine to second-growth plantations, draining roughly 400 square miles. Continue reading →
So, you just finished writing a paper on a really cool project. Finally. And you’ve gotten your co-authors to sign off on it. Finally. And it only took 15 drafts. Amazing. Now what? Where should you send it? The blogosphere has been humming with discussion on where to submit your papers in the past couple months. Check out Jeremy Fox’s advice over at Dynamic Ecology, or Ethan White’s at Jabberwocky Ecology, or our very own Nate Hough-Snee’s right here.
Rather than add my general philosophy to that discussion, I am going to give a concrete example of one of my papers and its trajectory from first submission to publication. Specifically, the paper I recently blogged about on Yellowstone willows that appeared in ProcB. Continue reading →
A map of the Rogue River Basin and associated Chinook salmon runs. Borrowed from rogueriverkeeper.org
By Nate Hough-Snee
Case one: the Savage Rapids Dam, Rogue River, OR.
The Rogue River begins a 215-mile journey to the sea from Crater Lake, the remnant caldera from the eruption of Mt. Mazama in south central, Oregon. From Crater Lake the river snakes through Oregon’s lushly forested Cascade Range before heading through the Klamath Mountains and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and onward to the Pacific Ocean. Between the two mountain ranges, the river passes US Interstate 5 near Grants Pass, a former timber town and the county seat of Southern Oregon’s Josephine County. It’s near this point where the river seemingly parallels I-5, at which a major salvo was fired in the 21st century’s first Pacific Northwest dam wars.
When someone asks, “what is the signature of human beings on Earth?” what do you immediately think of? Does your mind wander to vast expanses of land converted to row-crop agriculture? Or do you think of a sea of urban pavement and rooftops? What about the earth’s brightened night sky, as captured from space? What systems have been ubiquitously changed, those large and small, across continents and cultures? Whatever your answer, many people can agree that the landscapes that humans have most heavily altered are those that they perhaps need most – water dependent ecosystems: streams, rivers and lakes. Continue reading →