Yellowstone conference to focus on using science in management decisions

The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. hosts archives and other facilities researchers use to learn about Yellowstone National Park science and history. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Specialists from the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. and elsewhere will discuss using science in natural resource management decisions this week at a conference in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

Scientists will present their latest research on everything from soil microbes to moose migration this week during a conference in Yellowstone National Park focused on using scientific data in making policy decisions throughout the greater Yellowstone area.

The 11th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem begins this evening and runs through Wednesday at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, where researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines will gather to share details of their work.

The conference will include panel discussions featuring scientists, managers and other decision makers covering the latest scientific findings and examining resource challenges throughout the greater Yellowstone area.

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will deliver the keynote address Tuesday evening, according to information released by the Yellowstone public affairs office.

Conference organizers said they chose to focus this year’s event on presentations and discussions that could help define current resource challenges, offer the latest scientific findings and help establish management priorities.

Unique to this year’s conference are a series of panel discussions during which resource managers will interact directly with scientists. These discussions are designed to help ensure that resource managers and scientists are communicating effectively.

Dozens of researchers are scheduled to speak on topics ranging from the use of smartphone apps in science to emergency response plans for a major volcanic eruption in Yellowstone.

A wide range of wildlife management topics will also be discussed, including new research on grizzly bear diet adaptability, Yellowstone cutthroat trout reproduction, genetic adaptation to brucellosis among Yellowstone elk and seasonal predation patterns of gray wolves.

The conference will be followed Thursday with a separate project designed to capture oral histories of those involved in the reintroduction of wolves to the greater Yellowstone area.

The biennial conference series began in 1991 as a way to encourage awareness and application of wide-ranging, high-caliber scientific work on the region’s natural and cultural resources.

For additional details and a full conference schedule, visit the Greater Yellowstone Science Learning Center website.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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