Incorporating social drivers to optimize conservation practices that address Gulf Hypoxia and declining wildlife populations impacted by extreme climate events

Fiscal Year: 
FY'14
Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Timothy J. Fox (UMESC Geospatial Sciences Branch); Jason J. Rohweder (UMESC Geospatial Sciences Branch); Meghna Babbar-Sebens (Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering); Linda S. Prokopy (Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources); Gwen White (Eastern Tallgrass Prairie & Big Rivers LCC)
Status: 
Completed
Science Themes: 

USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian birds), as conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project developed a spatial decision support system (DSS) to address these issues. The DSS was designed to identify MRB watersheds where application of conservation practices can (1) reduce nutrient export to the Gulf hypoxia zone and (2) enhance conservation for grassland and riparian birds, based on (3) identifying landowners willing and capable of implementing these practices. The DSS identified appropriate conservation practices to be implemented, and quantified resulting benefits for both nutrient export and bird habitat. The DSS  also enabled analyses of whether landowner willingness to implement desired practices was affected by perceptions of climate extremes. This project was supported and included contributions from LCCs and agencies throughout the MRB, including federal and state resource management agencies and universities. The project, a pilot for a larger future effort, seeks to move current conservation approaches to a more strategic level, by identifying where to locate projects in critical watersheds for the greatest overall conservation benefit. (Joint project with the South Central CASC)

Publications: 
  • Yarasca, E.N., S. Garrison, and M. Babbar-Sebens. In preparation. On the inclusion of bird habitat goals in multi-objective optimization of wetland placement: An Examination of redundancies and tradeoffs.Singh, Ajay, Francis Eanes and Linda Prokopy. In Press. Assessing Conservation Adoption Decision Criteria Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process: Case Studies from Three Midwestern Watersheds. Society and Natural Resources.Singh, A. S. and Prokopy, L. S. 2017. Agricultural Producer Perspectives on the Adoption of Conservation Practices, Water Quality, and Climate Change in Big Creek and Lime Creek Watersheds. West Lafayette: Purdue University. 
  • Garrison, S. 2016. Determination of Trade-offs Between Wetland Ecosystem Services in an Agricultural Landscape. M.S. thesis, Oregon State University.
  • Singh, Ajay S., Belyna Bentlage, and Linda S. Prokopy. 2016. Agricultural Producer Perspectives on the Adoption of Conservation Practices, Water Quality, and Climate Change in the Lower Wabash River Watershed, Posey County, Indiana. Natural Resources Social Science Lab, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University.
  • Singh, Ajay S., and Linda S. Prokopy. 2016. Agricultural Producer Perspectives on the Adoption of Conservation Practices, Water Quality, and Climate Change in the Lime Creek Watershed, Buchanan and Benton Counties Iowa. Natural Resources Social Science Lab, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University.
  • Yarasca, E.N., and M. Babbar-Sebens (2017). Multiobjective Optimization of Wetlands for Attaining Flood, Water Quality and Bird Habitat Benefits. In: ASCE’s World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, Sacramento, CA, May 21-25.
  • Yarasca, E.N. (2017). Multiobjective Optimization of Wetlands for Attaining Flood, Water Quality and Bird Habitat Benefits. M.S. thesis, Oregon State University.\
  • Singh, Ajay, Francis Eanes and Linda Prokopy. In Press. Assessing Conservation Adoption Decision Criteria Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process: Case Studies from Three Midwestern Watersheds. Society and Natural Resources.
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Presentations: 
  • Timothy Fox, Jason Rohweder, Jack Waide, Meghna Babbar-Sebens, Linda Prokopy, and Gwen White.  Incorporating social drivers to optimize conservation practices that address Gulf Hypoxia and declining wildlife populations impacted by extreme climate events.  75th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, February 2015, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Singh, Ajay, Belyna Bentlage, Meghna Babbar-Sebens, and Linda Prokopy. Ag producers' motivations for adopting conservation practices. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, August 2016, Kansa City, MO.​

  • In addition, Jack Waide made presentations on project progress and results at several meetings of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC.

Attached Files: 
PDF icon Waide_FinalReport.pdf