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Bridges for Wildlife: Reconnecting Populations and Ecosystems along I-90

Bridges for Wildlife: Reconnecting Populations and Ecosystems along I-90
Kris Ernest
CWU - Sammamish


Presentation Abstract: If you’ve driven over Snoqualmie Pass in the past few years, you’ve probably been delayed and perhaps frustrated by the construction in progress between Hyak and Easton.  Thankfully, all that construction will provide major safety improvements for motorists.  The new wildlife overpasses and underpasses will also provide major safety improvements for wildlife, and help reconnect populations and ecosystem processes that have been restricted by the highway and its traffic.  Biologists have been monitoring populations of wildlife – both big and small – since before construction began in order to understand how the highway was affecting wildlife and how well the wildlife crossing structures are working.  Dr. Ernest will present an overview of wildlife monitoring for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project, and show you how she and her team of students have been tracking small mammals near the highway.  Come find out what they have been discovering about pikas, shrews, flying squirrels, and other small mammals. 


Professional Biography: Kris Ernest is a biology professor at Central Washington University, where she teaches courses in introductory biology, wildlife ecology, biomes of the Pacific Northwest, and field techniques.  Her research in terrestrial ecology focuses on populations and communities.  Previous research has explored interactions between plants and herbivores in the desert Southwest, tropical rainforests in Costa Rica and Australia, and coniferous forests of Washington State.  She and her students have been monitoring wildlife for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project since 2008.  They are documenting distributions and habitat use of small mammals near the highway, and testing the effectiveness of the wildlife bridges and undercrossings that are being put in place.


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Event Type: 
Faculty & Staff
Seminars & Workshops

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