Bison Ecology & Management education module - Page 4

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Introductory activity: Scientific Summary & Discussion

Choose a topic (and associated journal paper, white paper, or web article) from the list below.
Write a 3-4 page detailed summary of the topic with the following components:

  1. Present the full citation of your paper.
  2. Summarize the purpose of the paper.
  3. Describe the audience for which this paper is intended.
  4. What is the main thesis or point of the paper?
  5. How is this point supported? Evidence? Data? Opinion? Other?
  6. What are the strengths of the paper?
  7. What are the weaknesses of the paper?
  8. Is there any background information needed to understand the paper?
  9. Describe why this paper / topic would be of interest to people.

Be prepared to share these elements and lead a short discussion of your paper in class.

Possible topics related to Yellowstone National Park

  1. Fire and fire management
    1. What is the current fire management plan in Yellowstone National Park? Should we fight fires? When? What are the consequences of this decision?
    2. 1988 Yellowstone fire: “Surprises and Lessons from the 1988 Yellowstone Fire” (pdf file on Blackboard).
    3. Changes in vegetation following the 1988 fire : “Establishment, Persistence, and Growth of Aspen Seedlings in Yellowstone National Park” (pdf file on Blackboard).
    4. Impacts on animals: What was the long-term effect of the 1988 fires on populations of large mammals?
  2. Invasive species
    1. Lake trout:
      (this is document from 1994, would also need to find update on situation)
    2. Other aquatic species
    3. Plants: How big a threat are invasive plant species to Yellowstone?
  3. Wolves
    1. History of reintroduction and current status (on Blackboard)
    2. Greater Yellowstone wolf recovery: Separating myth from reality
    3. Wolves, elk, willows, and the ecological trophic cascade
      “Wolves Influence Elk Movements: Behavior Shapes a Trophic Cascade in Yellowstone National Park” (pdf file on Blackboard).
    4. Vegetation change
      “Reduced Cottonwood Recruitment Following Extirpation of Wolves in Yellowstone’s Northern Range” (pdf file on Blackboard).
    5. ESA and delisting: Should wolves be delisted?
  4. Grizzly Bears
    1. Population dynamics: “The History of Effective Population Size and Genetic Diversity in the Yellowstone Grizzly: Implications for Conservation” (pdf file on Blackboard)
    2. The ESA and the grizzly bear: Will grizzlies be delisted?
      “Final Conservation Strategy for Grizzly Bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem” (pdf file on Blackboard)
      “An Alternative Path to Grizzly Recovery in the Lower 48 States” (pdf file on Blackboard)
    3. Habituation to people
      “Brown Bear Habituation to People: Safety, Risks, and Benefits”
  5. Elk
    1. Extinction due to wolves? “Yellowstone’s Ungulates After Wolves – Expectations, Realizations, and Predications” (pdf file on Blackboard)
  6. Geothermals
    1. Bioenergetics:“Hydrogen and Bioenergetics in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem” (pdf file on Blackboard)
    2. The Yellowstone caldera: Is Yellowstone Going to Blow Again? When?
      “Steam Explosions, Earthquakes, and Volcanic Eruptions – what’s in Yellowstone’s Future?” (pdf file on Blackboard) (this website is old, but can be used to find more recent updates)
  7. Policy and controversies
    1. Snowmobiles
    2. Brucellosis
  8. Other?



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