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Health and Environmental Effects Research

WED Scientist To Attend Workshop on Modeling Complex Interacting Ecological Systems

Nathan Schumaker of NHEERL’s Western Ecology Division (WED) has been invited to take part in a workshop on simulation model development and application being hosted by the Chicago Zoological Society during the week of May 20, 2012. This is the first in a series of workshops funded by the National Science Foundation that are part of a multi-year study titled “Using Metamodels to Enable Transdisciplinary Research for the Study of Dynamic Biological Systems Under Global Change”. The study’s principle investigators are the developers of the two computer simulation models most commonly used in conservation biology—Ramas and Vortex. The workshop will highlight the work of Dr. Schumaker, who recently has completed a complementary model titled HexSim. A principal focus of the workshop will be the initiation of a case study involving the endangered black-footed ferret, prairie dogs, and sylvatic plague. Dr. Schumaker’s research at WED under the Safe and Healthy Communities and Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Programs includes the use of the ferret-prairie dog-plague system as a case study to illustrate how human disturbances can alter the spread of zoonotic disease and how pesticides interact with other disturbances to influence the fate of endangered wildlife.

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