Students in a Northern Arizona University undergraduate conservation biology class have been studying impacts of a prolific bison herd near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. The class, started about 12 years ago by ecology professor Thomas Sisk, gives students the opportunity to do field research and contribute to land policy decisions. Grand Canyon National Park officials are in the process of creating an environmental impact statement for managing bison.
In 1906, Charles “Buffalo” Jones brought a herd of bison to northern Arizona to breed with cattle, thinking the offspring would produce a superior animal. A few years later, after a lackluster result, Jones sold off the bison he could capture and abandoned approximately 20 animals.
Since then, the herd has grown to an estimated 400, more than four times the optimum number for maintaining balanced ecosystems. Bison have trampled archaeological sites, affected water resources and damaged native plants through overgrazing and reducing plant diversity.
“The basic quality of the meadow ecosystems is changing because of grazing and some plants aren’t growing anymore,” said Lindsey Close. The environmental sciences major and her classmates spent multiple days camping working at the North Rim, evaluating plants and soils in areas populated by bison.
In addition to employing skills she learned in the classroom and laboratory to address a real-life environmental concern, Close said she learned a lot about the complexity of land management. To avoid being hunted, the herd travels to the national park, but the animals also live on state and forest service lands, with separate policies relating to managing bison.
Professor Robert Sanford said the opportunity for students to understand land management complexities is a valuable lesson in addition to learning the science. “It is a little bit rare that we are able to build experiential learning into our labs with the output of a true application. Students also have the exceptional opportunity to work in groups across multiple agencies and with different people and personalities,” Sanford said.
Martha Hahn, chief of science and resource management at Grand Canyon National Park, said her department is analyzing the student’s research. “The outcome of that analysis will be incorporated during the process of designing alternatives for the environmental impact statement,” Hahn said.
Public Affairs Coordinator
Theresa Bierer | newswise
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
25.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences