Conservation Science
Northeast Region


Conservation Science News and Updates

March 2015

Conservation Science News and Updates is jointly compiled and distributed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Science Applications and External Affairs, in coordination with other FWS programs. This periodic newsletter is part of our agency's ongoing commitment to integrating and applying the best available science tools, information and practices toward common species and habitat goals at landscape scales. Please email submissions to

Assessing potential energy development across the Appalachians
A team of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists, with assistance from U.S. Geological Survey, have developed a collaborative conservation strategy examining cost-effective approaches for efforts to conserve and manage 36 imperiled freshwater fish and mussel species in the 22,360 square-mile Upper Tennessee River Basin. The strategy identifies aquatic species conservation objectives and recommends a management approach for conserving and recovering prioritized species and locations across the basin. It is designed to help the Service better integrate its efforts internally and with those of partners in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, whose missions complement the goal of maximizing conservation and recovery of imperiled aquatic species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. View the strategy

Conserving imperiled aquatic species in the Upper Tennessee River Basin
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is helping to lead a collaborative effort to protect and restore wildlife and natural resources the South River Greenway -- one of the last remaining intact forest tracts and stream valley wetlands in Anne Arundel County, MD., located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. Learn more

Refuge Division of Natural Resources March 2015 Project Updates
The Northeast Region Refuges' Division of Natural Resources provides technical support, expertise and advice to staff and collaborates with partners to accomplish the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission. Our goal is to use sound science that informs effective and efficient management decisions and identifies our most important resource and conservation contributions at local, regional and landscape scales.  The Division also participates in and supports the Inventory & Monitoring Initiative, which works with others to assess the status of national wildlife refuge lands, waters, and biota, and supports conservation objectives at multiple spatial scales. March 2015 Project Updates include:

  • Northeast Regional Service Catalog (ServCat) Effort
  • Phragmites Management Decision Support Tool
  • Nanotag Project Coordination
  • North and Mid-Atlantic Coast Salt Marsh Integrity Index (SMI) Project
  • Coastal Refuge Monumentation Effort
  • Managing Coastal Impoundments for Long-term Resiliency

Learn more

Gauging sea-level rise effects on piping plovers

How are climate change and management decisions affecting the future of Piping Plover? Sarah M. Karpanty from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech discusses her work on forecasting the impacts of sea-level rise on barrier island nesting habitat for the federally protected shorebird. Learn more

Examining climate change impacts on contaminants, nutrients
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Environmental Contaminants program is helping to lead a collaborative effort to investigate how rising temperatures, more intense storms, droughts, and sea-level rise are changing the way contaminants and nutrients interact with the environment in the North Atlantic region. Learn more

Informing coastal response to sea-level rise
The U.S. Geological Survey has released several new products related to landscape change, decision-support and structured decision making are now publicly available through the USGS website. Learn more

Providing GIS support for Eastern Shore land protection strategies
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program partnered with The Nature Conservancy to develop GIS models to support land protection strategies for the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Modeling considerations included avian habitat use, ideal parcel size for suitable habitats, connectivity, and sea-level rise projections. Future work on this project will include a cost-benefit analysis of economic considerations associated with land protection. Contact: Jessica Rhodes, USFWS, Virginia Field Office at for more information.

Promoting sustainable agricultural practices in Long Island Sound
With funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Long Island Sound partners will use North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative tools to prioritize conservation actions related to agriculture. Learn more

A fish-eye view of habitat restoration
Dr. Todd Petty, professor of Aquatic Science at West Virginia University, discusses stream habitat conditions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed -- through the eyes of brook trout. View the video

Assessing coastal salt marsh advancement in Connecticut
With The Nature Conservancy's completion of a Salt Marsh Advancement Zone Assessment for all 24 coastal municipalities, Connecticut is now the first state in the nation to have comprehensive, detailed, parcel-scale information to inform land-use and policy decisions in the face of climate change. Learn more


2015 Stream-Smart Road Crossing Workshops
This workshop will cover road-stream crossing projects from site assessment to permitting and installation. The emphasis will be on maintaining and restoring the habitat and economic values of the stream. Workshop presenters will include professionals from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Forest Service, ProjectShare, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Maine Coastal Program, NOAA and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Learn more 

March 11: "FISHTAIL: A decision support mapper for conserving stream fish habitats of the Northeast Climate Science Center region" Wes Daniel, Postdoctoral Affiliate and Nick Sievert, Graduate Student, University of Missouri

March 20: USFWS Science Seminar Series webinar: "Using the Motus Wildlife Telemetry System to track regional-scale movements of birds" Phil Taylor, Bird Studies Canada Chair of Ornithology, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada; Sarah Neima, M.Sc. student, Mount Allison University; Diana Hamilton, Associate Professor, Mount Allison University; Julie Paquet, Atlantic Canada Shorebird Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service

April 1:  "Extending the Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Map to Atlantic Canada" Mark Anderson, Director of Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy's Eastern U.S. Region

April 15: USFWS Science Seminar Series webinar: "Interactive effects of climate change with nutrients, mercury, and freshwater acidification on key taxa in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region" Fred Pinkney, Environmental Contaminants Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Annapolis, MD

April 15:  "Fire, Bugs, and Humans: Modeling Interacting Disturbances in Anthropogenic Landscapes" Brian R. Sturtevant, Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station

April 29: "Changes in forest composition and structure under alternative climate scenarios in the Northeastern U.S" Frank R. Thompson, Research Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station

Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference
April 19-21, 2015, Newport, RI:
The annual conference for natural resource professionals in the fields of wildlife biology, fisheries and fisheries management, information and education, and law enforcement, provides opportunities for education, discussion, and exchanging of ideas. Learn more

Spring North Atlantic LCC Steering Committee Meeting
April 22, 2015, Newport, RI: 
The spring meeting will follow on the footsteps of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, providing an opportunity to review progress on action items, and consider next steps related to science products, science delivery, conservation design and communications.

"Like the resource it seeks to protect, wildlife conservation must be dynamic, changing as conditions change, seeking always to become more effective." -- Rachel Carson

For more information on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region conservation science programs and the people who put them into action, visit


Last updated: March 12, 2015