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RESEARCH

 

WHAT ROLE DO GREEN SPACES  PLAY IN MAINTAING BIODIVERSITY IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS?

For the past fifteen years, we have explored the role that wild lands in urban parks play in supporting diversity.   Our work has shown that bumble bees, bats and ants all rely on the wild parts of parks for survival.

HOW CAN WE BEST MANAGE PARKS TO PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY?

Park management is often an excercise in doing what you can with limited resources.  We have examined the effects of landscape design, invasive species and forest thinning on biodiversity in these managed lands.

HOW DOES RESTORATION BENEFIT POLLINATORS?

Working in the coastal sand dunes of Fort Ord, in Monterey County, we looked at the effect of habitat restoration on bees' foraging behavior and habitat choice.  Preliminary results indicate that dunes that are restored with  native plant species support many more species than those left invaded with ice plant. 

HOW DO MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE INFLUENCE BIODIVERSITY IN MONTANE ENVIRONMENTS?

A primary focus of the lab is biodiversity in montane meadows of the Sierra Nevada.  Using a set of meadows in the Tahoe National Forest, we have looked at nesting habits of warbling vireos, migratory bird diversity, upslope migrants and the bumble bees.  We are specifically interested in how meadows are affected by drought, restoration and climate change.

HOW SHOULD WE MONITOR POLLINATORS?

We still have only a very limited understanding of most aspects about our planet. A key to understanding is develop cost-effective long term monitoring.  Together with Sam Droege and Ed Connor, Gretchen has led the development of new standardized methods for use around the world.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Beyond, leadingThe Great Sunflower Project, the largest citizen science project focused on pollinators.  Gretchen has worked to developed standards for data management and science quality for citizen science projects worldwide.