RECAP: Monument Research Symposium

 2018 Monument Research Symposium, (l-r): Dr. Michael Parker, SOU students Hope Braithwaite and Suphasiri Muttamara;KBO executive director John Alexander, and Dr. Jad D'Allura. Symposium sponsored by Friends of CSNM. Photo by Ellie Thompson

2018 Monument Research Symposium, (l-r): Dr. Michael Parker, SOU students Hope Braithwaite and Suphasiri Muttamara;KBO executive director John Alexander, and Dr. Jad D'Allura. Symposium sponsored by Friends of CSNM. Photo by Ellie Thompson

For 20 years the Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) has been conducting monitoring and research in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in collaboration with the BLM and many other partners. 
     At the 2018 Monument Research Symposium, KBO Executive Director Dr. John Alexander presented the keynote address titled KBO Science Informing Adaptive Management and Conservation in Our National Monument. He talked about the The results that have and continue to inform adaptive management that improves ecological conservation. Dr. Alexander summarized on how KBO’s science has helped to shape management actions that have benefited migratory birds, ecosystem health, and biodiversity in the Monument.
     Three student researchers presented findings from their projects, conducted in the monument. These were supported by the Friends Research Fund 2017 grants.

Suphasiri Muttamara SOU Environmental Education
Geographic variation in vocalizations of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in southwestern Oregon and northern California. Dr. Stewart Janes, SOU Professor of Biology / Director of Environmental Education, served as faculty advisor.  
     The distribution of pika (Ochotona princeps) populations in the southwestern Oregon are poorly known and their range is highly fragmented. Recently, a population of pika was discovered on Vulture Rock which is now within the boundaries of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) due to the recent monument expansion. 

The results showed that vocalization of pikas populations at Vulture Rock and Sky Lakes differ from those at Crater Lake. Difference in call structures and frequencies suggested that the pikas in the southern Cascades region display geographic variation in vocalizations among populations. These results suggest the populations have become isolated. The small and unique pika population at Vulture Rock is vulnerable to loss of genetic diversity and prone to extirpation. However, the CSMN may play an important role as a climate refuge for the pikas and other species that depend on cool climate. See the photos and story.

Hope Braithwaite, SOU Environmental Education
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Dr. Michael Parker, SOU Professor of Biology, served as faculty advisor.
     This is the first inventory of dragonflies and damselflies (odonates) in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, including distribution and relative abundance within and among diverse aquatic habitats. To date, 46 taxa (30 dragonflies, 16 damselflies) are documented in the CSNM. A notable species, Aeshna tuberculifera was recorded at Parsnip Lakes, the southernmost location known for this species in the western USA. This study creates a benchmark of odonate species diversity for the CSNM that can be further updated and utilized to potentially monitor changes in environmental conditions including aquatic habitat quality, water quality and community responses to climate change. See the photos and story.

 Alec Sweetland delivered his findings via Skype from his office in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Alec Sweetland delivered his findings via Skype from his office in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Alec Sweetland, University of Oregon Geology
Geologic Summer Research Investigations (CSNM)  Dr. Jad D’Allura, SOU Professor Emeritus, served as faculty advisor.
     Alec Sweetland’s research included detailed mapping of volcanic rock units within the northeast portion of the Monument as well as investigation into selected stream geohydrology in the southeast part of the Monument. The objective of geologic mapping was to separate different lava and ash flow units of different rock and soil characteristics located in thickly vegetated terrain. Discharge rates of selected streams were measured in June and August to compare with data from previous wet and dry years and to relate stream characteristics and anomalies to the underlying geology. See Alec's field notes and photos.