Current Graduate Students - Steve Dunham
Current Research: I am currently working on a project studying the relative densities, patch occupancy, and population performance of spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) in the industrial forests of Maine. Little is known about the current status of spruce grouse in Maine, although there is evidence that the mature conifer forests, with which the species is most associated, are declining across the state. However, other silvicultural conditions in the industrial forest may provide the structural requirements necessary for use by the species. I will compare spruce grouse populations and patch occupancy in precommercially thinned stands, advanced regenerating conifer dominated clearcuts, and the “classic”, mature conifer dominated stands. Stands will be surveyed each spring along standardized transects using broadcasts of the aggressive female, or “cantus” call. Responding grouse will then be captured and marked with colored leg bands. A subset of marked individuals will also receive a necklace mounted radio transmitter. I hope to use the results of this study to create a habitat model for spruce grouse and to find timber management practices that benefit both the grouse and landowners alike
Previous Research Experience: My previous research experience involves working as a biological science technician for the US Fish & Wildlife Service at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Calais, Maine.