The Great Basin LCC hosts an annual webinar series to showcase some of the latest research from our supported projects and other initiatives in the Great Basin. We also collaborate with other LCCs and partners to present webinars on relevant and pressing topics in our region.
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The Great Basin LCC annual webinar series provides an opportunity for land managers and scientists working in the Great Basin to discuss their latest research and how to incorporate the research into on-the-ground efforts. Each webinar includes a 30 minute overview of a project, followed by a discussion of how the work can be applied and possible collaborations.
Regional mapping of herbaceous annual cover in the Great Basin - July 26 at 1:00 PM (PDT)
In this webinar, Bruce Wylie and Stephen Boyte with the U.S. Geological Survey discussed their recent work mapping herbaceous annual vegetation across regions in the Great Basin. The team utilized regression tree algorithms combined with spectral and ancillary data (for elevation, soils, etc.) to achieve accuracy-focused maps. They used high-resolution satellite data (2m) to scale ground observations to levels compatible with moderate-resolution satellites (Landsat and MODIS). The speakers also discussed data access, selected journal publications and future plans during the webinar.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
Using weed-suppressive bacteria to control invasive annuals - August 28 at 9:30 AM (PDT)
Speakers: Matt Germino, U.S. Geological Survey and Great Basin LCC, David Pyke, U.S. Geological Survey, Richard Lee, Bureau of Land Management, Mike Gregg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jane Mangold, Montana State University, and Brynne Lazarus, U.S. Geological Survey
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) invasions pose a serious threat to Great Basin ecosystems. Managers and scientists are hopeful that strains of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens that have been selected for their weed-suppressive properties in laboratory, greenhouse and wheat field trials will also be able to selectively inhibit root growth of annual weeds in more complex rangeland ecosystems. These weed-suppressive bacteria (WSB) are now commercially available in many states and have been applied on tens of thousands of acres across the Great Basin, yet results are variable and largely unpublished, indicating that much remains to be understood about when, where and why WSB are or are not effective. In this one hour "lightning session" webinar, six speakers provided an overview of the promise and uncertainty surrounding WSB use in Great Basin rangelands and the efforts currently underway to better characterize WSB effectiveness.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
Effects of grazing on sage-grouse and other shrub-steppe birds: A collaborative project to inform management of sage-steppe rangelands - September 13 at 10:00 AM (PDT)
Greater Sage-grouse have declined since the mid-1960s, and grazing is the most extensive land use within sage-grouse habitat. The speakers presented progress on a 10-year project designed to document the effects of cattle grazing on: 1) demographic traits of Greater Sage-grouse; 2) sage-grouse habitat characteristics, 3) insect abundance, which is important prey for sage-grouse chicks, and 4) abundance of all other bird species. The research team works at five study sites in Idaho where they randomly assign BLM pastures to one of four grazing treatments that include spring-only grazing, spring and fall grazing, and no grazing.
The project is supported by numerous partners, including: Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, University of Idaho, and the Public Lands Council. The research team includes Courtney Conway (Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit), Karen Launchbaugh (University of Idaho), David Musil (Idaho Department of Fish and Game), Andrew Meyers (University of Idaho), Paul Makela (Bureau of Land Management), and Shane Roberts (Idaho Department of Fish and Game).
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Salmonid Population Viability Project: Developing decision-support tools to improve at-risk trout population management - September 21 at 1:00 PM (PDT)
Decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources are integral to the management of imperiled species. Managers need to determine what restoration activities will have the most benefit, where reintroductions are most feasible, and when to cease interventions in locations where persistence is highly unlikely. For many imperiled taxa, these kinds of decisions are made without the benefit of the most essential information: quantitative estimates of population viability. The goal of this project is to improve decision making for imperiled species by developing and applying novel methods of population viability analysis (PVA) that use all available field data and can be applied even for populations with limited information. We will discuss current collaborative efforts to apply the method to Lahontan cutthroat trout conservation planning and upcoming plans for Bonneville cutthroat trout and desert redband trout.
Relations among cheatgrass-driven fire, climate and sensitive-status birds across the Great Basin - October 11 at 10:00 AM (PDT)
As the distribution and abundance of non-native cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in the Great Basin has increased, the extent and frequency of fire in the region has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and native grasses and forbs in which many native animals, including Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), breed and feed. Managers have suggested changes in fire regimes, fuels treatments and post-fire restoration with the intent of increasing the probability of Greater Sage-grouse persistence. However, researchers have rarely assessed the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these interventions rigorously. This project is collecting and analyzing data on the effects of cheatgrass on current and future fire regimes, and the effects of fire regimes and vegetation treatments on multiple sensitive-status species. Project inferences have considerable potential to inform decisions about management of both ecological processes and species.
Calculating the water balance for the southwest under current and future climates - October 19 at 2:30 PM (PST)
Ongoing changes in climate are influencing the water resources of California and the Great Basin. Projections of future climate scenarios are essential for assessing associated biological, physical and socioeconomic impacts. The researchers in this project used the U.S. Geological Survey's Basin Characterization Model (BCM) to integrate coarse climate projections with fine-scale locality data to translate generated fine-scale maps of projected climate trends into hydrologic consequences. The BCM thus facilitates the evaluation of hydrologic response to climate change at regional, watershed and landscape scales. This type of downscaled hydro-climatic data is essential for assessing the vulnerability of water supplies, forested and agricultural lands, biodiversity, and human health and safety.
Indicators of resilience and resistance of sagebrush steppe communities associated with soil temperature and water availability - November
Assessment of impacts of feral horses and livestock grazing on sage-grouse and their habitats - November
Using narrative stories to understand Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Great Basin - December 6 at 1:00 PM (PST)
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