Meet Jason, Our New Research Associate Who Helps Track Conservation Results
November 5, 2015
SGI’s newest research associate will measure the biological outcomes of collaborative sage grouse conservation work. Photo by John Carlson.
The Sage Grouse Initiative is dedicated to working with diverse groups to put in place voluntary, high-quality habitat conservation projects across the West’s sagebrush-steppe ecosystem. We’re also committed to making sure those projects result in measurable improvements for sage grouse, and the hundreds of species that depend upon an intact sagebrush sea.
We are thrilled to announce the newest member of our team, who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat and Population Evaluation Team in partnership with SGI and IWJV. Jason will be providing the science-based tools fundamental to SGI’s collaborative conservation model, while measuring the biological outcomes of work on the ground. His work focuses on learning about the role that mesic resources play in wildlife populations across the West.
Jason studied a unique population of sage grouse found in the northeastern edge of the bird’s range: Valley County, Montana and Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada. As part of his Master’s work at the University of Montana, he documented the largest migration event of sage grouse, which is sustained by large, intact sagebrush rangelands. Jason went on to receive his PhD from Colorado State University, where he developed spatial planning tools for golden eagles. These tools provide a framework for siting future wind energy developments in areas predicted to have the least impact on eagle populations.
Jason is looking forward to playing a role in the continued success of SGI by measuring the biological outcomes of our collaborative work on the ground. His research will focus on the critical role of mesic (wetland) resources for sustaining healthy wildlife populations, as well as developing tools to monitor songbirds. The goal of his research is to better understand how SGI can best benefit multiple species under the umbrella of sage grouse conservation.
The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.