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KODIAK: Data Analysis -- the Last Frontier
Alaska Region, September 1, 2004
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For the past 25 winters, wildlife biologist Denny Zwiefelhofer has boated along standardized transects in 4 large bays of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, monitoring sea bird distribution and abundance. Denny's knowledge of Kodiak's marine birds was essential to the Exxon Valdez Trustee Council in analyzing the impact of the oil spill on Kodiak prior to acquiring land as mitigation. However, much of Denny's work has not been formally analyzed and published; the analyses proving statistically challenging. Until this summer when the Division of Natural Resources hired Mike Keim as its first statistics intern to work on this project with Joel Reynolds, Regional Refuge Biometrician. Mike, a Ph.D. student in Quantitative Ecology & Resource Management at the University of Washington, was intrigued by the data set's challenges and the opportunity to visit Kodiak and experience the logistic challenges of Denny's field work. After 2 weeks in Kodiak, Mike and Joel analyzed the challenging statistical features of the monitoring data. Summer ended with Mike presenting their method and preliminary results to a pleased Kodiak staff. Back in school, Mike will complete number crunching this winter for the 15 marine bird species of interest and looks forward to publishing this work with Denny and Joel. And, after 25 years, Denny finally will have the satisfaction of sharing the findings of his years of field work with his colleagues.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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