Bison Ecology & Management education module - Page 10

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Project activity. Part 4 - Final Paper & Presentation Information

PAPER (200 points)

Your final paper in this class will build upon the research we have been doing on bison in Yellowstone National Park. Bison are a symbol of the American West and a conservation success story in Yellowstone National Park. However, they are also at the heart of management dilemmas that center around two issues: 1) Bison leaving the Park in certain winters and potentially transmitting the disease brucellosis to cattle in the surrounding area. 2) Bison leaving the Park due, potentially, to the grooming of roads and associated use of snowmobiles. To better understand these management issues we analyzed historical and recent bison data to answer the following sets of questions:

  • Population Dynamics
    · How has bison population size changed over the past century?
    · What factors have influenced changes in population size over the past century? (natural & human)
  • Spatial Dynamics
    · What changes in bison distribution have occurred during the past century?
    · What factors have influenced changes in bison distribution during the past century? (natural and human)
  • Habitat Dynamics
    · What type of habitat do bison select as their preferred place to live?
    · What type of habitat facilitates bison movement?

Your paper will showcase your efforts to answer these questions and the conclusions you reached. The paper should be approximately 10 pages long (including graphs, with a minimum of 5 references) and have, at a minimum, the following sections & topics:

  1. Introduction
    1. General
      1. History of bison in America
      2. Bison Life History Traits
    2. Specific
      1. History of Bison in Yellowstone National Park
      2. Description and Background of Bison Management Issues & Related Park Policies
    3. Project goals
      1. Statement and Description of Project Goals & Question
  2. Methods
    1. Description of Methods within each category, including origin of data
      1. Population Dynamics
      2. Spatial Dynamics
      3. Habitat Dynamics
  3. Results
    1. Results of Analyses within each category
      1. Population Dynamics
      2. Spatial Dynamics
      3. Habitat
  4. Discussion and Conclusions
    1. Restate Project Goals
    2. Discussion of Results in Relation to Management Issues
      1. Strengths
      2. Weaknesses
    3. Next Steps
    4. Conclusions / Final Thoughts
  5. References

PRESENTATION (160 points)

Each person should be prepared to present a 15 minute overview of your project results on Wednesday, December 7. Your presentation should follow the outline of your paper (described above). The use of visual aids and a Powerpoint presentation is expected (e.g. overheads of graphs, photos or diagrams, etc.).




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