The expertise of WTI researchers is in high demand for research collaborations, presentations, and academic exchanges around the world. “Where in the World is WTI?” will periodically feature partnerships and forums that showcase the growing international scope of our work.
WHERE: Kruger National Park, South Africa
WHO: Rob Ament, Road Ecologist
WHY: African Conference for Linear Infrastructure and Ecology
WTI Road Ecologist Rob Ament traveled to South Africa last week with colleagues Sandra Jacobson and Terry McGuire to present a workshop on how transportation, energy and mining sectors can mainstream biodiversity provisions within linear transportation. The workshop was one component of the African Conference for Linear Infrastructure and Ecology. They also presented a poster based on a recently published paper on transportation infrastructure investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
Rob’s work in Africa has expanded over the last few years, in part through his position as the co-chair of the Transport Working Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. At the conference last week, he also gave an individual presentation entitled “Biodiversity-friendly surface transportation infrastructure: A global overview,” based on the recent activities of the working group.
Plan now to attend the 12th TRB International Conference on Low Volume Roads, being held September 15–18, 2019 in Kalispell, Montana. Register by May 15 to take advantage of the reduced Early Bird rate. WTI is the local host for this conference, so please help spread the word to colleagues in your network.
The conference will provide a global forum to examine new technologies and new techniques in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of low-volume roads. Panelists will explore case studies and practical solutions to common problems related to all aspects of low-volume roads.
For registration and hotel information, visit the conference website.
WTI has released a new report investigating Key Deer mortality along a segment of Highway 1 within the National Key Deer Refuge in Florida. Road Ecologists Marcel Huijser and James Begley found that 75% of all reported mortalities in this area were related to collisions with vehicles. The team also investigated and mapped how the locations of collision “hotspots” have changed since the installation of wildlife fencing, underpasses, and deer guards. The final report (“Exploration of opportunities to reduce Key Deer Mortality along US Highway 1 and other roads, National Key Deer Refuge, Florida, USA”) summarizes the pros and cons of eight different strategies aimed at reducing collisions with Key Deer on Highway 1.
The National Key Deer Refuge final report is now available on the WTI website. This research effort is part of a technical support contract for National Wildlife Refuges, which encompasses projects at refuges across the country.
This fall, the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) will host a training workshop on the fundamentals of Positive Culture Framework. Registration is now open for the 2 ½ day event, which will be held September 24-26 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The training is designed for anyone working to improve health and safety, such as traffic safety professionals, substance misuse professionals, prevention specialists, violence prevention advocates, coalition members, government personnel, and law enforcement officers. Through this training, attendees will:
- Learn how culture influences behavior;
- Develop and refine skills in three critical areas: leadership, communication, and the integration of effective strategies; and
- Gain specific next steps for transforming culture to improve health and safety.
The agenda and registration information for this training is available on the CHSC website.
Final 7! On Friday, March 1, the MSU College of Engineering hosted the finals of its Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. Road Ecology Graduate Student Matt Bell was one of seven finalists vying for best presentation of their thesis research in only 180 seconds, using only one slide. Matt’s presentation, “Modeling Risk of Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions,” focuses on his research with mentor Dr. Yiyi Wang to develop a real-time risk model that alerts drivers of areas with higher risk of collisions with large animals.
Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland in Australia (www.threeminutethesis.org). It encourages graduate students to develop their presentation skills and learn how to explain complex concepts to general audiences. More than 200 universities in the U.S. now participate.
WTI Road Ecologists Marcel Huijser and James Begley have completed recommendations for reducing wildlife road mortalities on highways that serve two national wildlife refuges along the coast of Virginia. “Exploration of Wildlife Mitigation Measures for the Roads through and around Fisherman Island and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuges in Virginia,” now available on the WTI website, includes specific recommendations for enhancing barriers, culverts, fencing and other methods to reduce vehicle collisions with several species of concern, including the diamondback terrapin (turtle) and the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel.