NCEAS Project 2008

Synthesis of elk influences on the Northern Yellowstone ecosystem and role of research in national park policy setting

  • Frederic H. Wagner

Climatology Working Group:

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st January—31st December 1998Participant List  
Meeting10th—12th September 1998Participant List  
Graduate Student9th November 1998—30th June 1999Participant List  
Working Group22nd—24th February 1999Participant List  

Abstract
This is a proposal for support during calendar 1998 to synthesize ecological evidence on effects of elk herbivory on the Yellowstone National Park (YNP), 100,000-ha northern-range ecosystem, and to assess use of that evidence in setting management policy in the Park; and more broadly to explore procedures for, and effective use of science in, setting policies in the National Park System. The effort would have 4 major components:

  1. Analysis by the Center Fellow of the entire 123-year data base on (a) the northern herd's population trajectory from before Park establishment (1872) to present; (b) trends in northern-range vegetation composition and production, sympatric herbivores, and hydrology; and (c) correlation between the 2 trends. Measurements inside Park exclosures from the 1930s to present, and outside Park boundaries, would serve as quasi-controls.
  2. The Center Fellow would compare results of the synthesis with previous use of the data base, and inferences therefrom, for supporting park-management policy.
  3. These 2 components would be followed by a September 1998 Working Group at NCEAS of scientists on all sides of the issue to critique and debate the synthesis.

  4. An October 1998 Working Group of public-land-law and public-administration theorists would be convened at NCEAS to explore protocols for policy setting in national parks that are legally and politically appropriate in the context of the emerging paradigm for policy setting on other public lands, and the unique public-land status of national parks.
  5. A November 1998 Working Group of theorists on the role of science in policy would be convened at NCEAS to explore the sociological influences affecting inferences from scientific evidence on the elk effects.

The final product would be a book synthesizing the results of all 4 components, or one publication each on the ecological synthesis and the policy aspects.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Keigley, Richard B.; Wagner, Frederic H. 1998. What is "natural"?: Yellowstone elk population - A case study. Integrative Biology-Issues, News and Reviews. Vol: 1(4). Pages 133-148.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 1998. Effects of elk on the Yellowstone northern range ecosystem: A circuitous scientific saga. 35th Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture. Iowa State University. Ames, IA.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 1998. Science and policy setting for public lands: The need for public process in Yellowstone and other national parks. Iowa State University. Ames, IA.
Report or White Paper Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Analysis and/or advocacy: What role(s) for ecologists?. EcoEssay Series Number 3.. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Santa Barbara, CA. Pages 6. (Online version)
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Freeing research from policy pressures: A terrestrial example. Symposium on Scientific Objectivity, Values, and Policies, 84th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Spokane, WA.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Objective science and politics: Can they coexist? (Review of Wilkinson, T. 1999. Science under siege: The politicians' war on nature and truth. Johnson Books, Boulder, CO). BioScience. Vol: 50(3). Pages 262-263.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Perspective. Yellowstone Science. Vol: 7(3). Pages 12-14.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Review: Sustaining the system. BioScience. Vol: 49(11). Pages 927-929.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Values, science, and policy: How best to serve the national parks. George Wright Forum. Vol: 16(3). Pages 52-62.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Whatever happened to the National Biological Survey?. BioScience. Vol: 49(3). Pages 219-222.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 1999. Yellowstone's northern range ecosystem: Interface between science and policy. Seminar Series. Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 2001. Freeing agency research from policy pressures: A need and an approach. BioScience. Vol: 51(6). Pages 445-450.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2001-2004. Climate-change effects on the Rocky Mountain/ Great Basin region. 18 to Civic and Local-Government Groups, 3 to Federal Agencies, 3 to High School Classes. Utah and Idaho.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2001-2004. Climate-change effects on the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin region. 8 Radio, TV, Newspaper, and Magazine Interviews. Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 2003. Preparing for a changing climate: The potential consequences of climate variability and change, Rocky Mountain/ Great Basin. A report of the Basin Regional Assessment Team for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, Utah State University. Logan, UT. Pages IV+ 239.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2004. Ecology of Great Basin invasive plant species, 17 March 2004. AIBS Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C..
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Global warming effects on climatically-imposed ecological gradients in the west. 11th Annual Stegner Center Symposium, March 4, 2006. S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Global warming: Evidence and effects. Logan Rotary Club, November 14, 2006. Logan, UT.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Global warming: Evidence and effects. Logan Association of Professional Women, September 18, 2006. Logan, UT.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Global warming: Evidence and effects. Logan Men's Club, April 2, 2006. Logan, UT.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Global warming: It's real, it's human caused, it needs to be fixed. Utah Bioneers Conference, October 20, 2006. Logan, UT.
Book Wagner, Frederic H. 2006. Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem: Elk Effects, Science, and Policy Conflicts. Oxford University Press. New York. Pages 392.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2007. Climate change and environmental effects in the west. Governor's Blue Ribbon Council on Climate Change, March 13, 2007. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. 2007. Global warming effects on climatically-imposed ecological gradients in the west. Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law. Vol: 27(1). University of Utah Press. Logan, UT. Pages 109-121.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2007. Global warming: Evidence and effects. Utah State University Emeriti, March 28, 2007. Logan, UT.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2007. Species responses to climate change: Harbingers of community and system change. The Wildlife Society 14th Annual Meeting, September 24, 2007. Phoenix, AZ.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2008. Ecosystem disturbance and wildlife interactions in the Western Cordillera: Research and management needs. Conference of the International Association of Wildland fires, September 25, 2008. Jackson Hole, WY.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2008. Science and policy in managing western national park ecosystems. Conference of the International Association of Wildland fires, September 25, 2008. Jackson Hole, WY.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2008. Species responses to climate change: Harbingers of community and system change. Desert Tortoise Council, 33rd Annual Meeting, Symposium on Climate Change, February 25, 2008. Las Vegas, NV.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2008. The impacts of climate change on the mountain west. Sierra Club National Meeting on Resilient Habitats, May 24, 2008. Sundance, UT.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2009. Climate change and effects on Utah's ecology. National Weather Service Forecast Center, Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, and Western Water Assessment Symposium on Climate Change and Utah’s Water Supply, February 24, 2009. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Book Chapter Wagner, Frederic H. 2009. Climate change projected for the 21st century and measured for the 20th in the rocky mountain/great basin region. Edited by Wagner, Frederic H. Climate Warming in Western North America/ Evidence and Environmental Effects. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Book Chapter Wagner, Frederic H. 2009. Climate warming and environmental effects in the west: Evidence for the 21st. Edited by Wagner, Frederic Climate Warming in Western North America: Evidence and environmental effects. Vol: Ch.10. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2009. Global warming effects and human solutions. B.F. Skinner Lecture, Association of Behavior Analysts International annual conference, May 26, 2009 . Phoenix, AZ.
Presentations Wagner, Frederic H. 2009. Global warming effects on the world's biota- a no- analog future. Utah Museum of Natural History, The Nature of Things lecture series, March 26, 2009 . Salt Lake City, Utah.
Journal Article Wagner, Frederic H. Climate-warming effects on interspecific interactions: Elements of community and system change. Conservation Biology.