WTI’s Road Ecology program provides national leadership in understanding the interaction between roads, natural resources and the ecological environment. The solutions we develop and implement address concerns of road ecology including wildlife migration near highways and animal-vehicle collisions.
To succeed, our program works to ensure:
- State-of-the-art science is applied in the development and restoration of surface transportation systems across the nation;
Transportation policies are developed and programmatically applied to protect the environment;
- Road ecology is an established multidisciplinary academic field at Montana State University and other higher education institutions;
- Environmentally sound transportation systems are recognized by society as an important component of America’s quality of life.
DEFINITION: Road ecology is the study of the complex interaction between roads and the environment over scales of space and time.
About the Road Ecology Program
In 2001, the Western Transportation Institute launched “Transportation Systems–Wildlife Ecology Interactions” as a research focus area to reflect our growing interest and expertise in the field of road ecology. The program expanded further, beginning in 2005, to include wildlife, aquatic, landscape and plant ecology. We have nine staff dedicated to exploring a diversity of solutions for reducing the impacts of highways on the natural environment.
Today, the Road Ecology Program strives to develop and implement science-based solutions through:
- Research, so that state-of-the-art science is applied in the development and restoration of transportation systems across the nation.
- Education, to put into action courses, seminars, curricula, programs, and research opportunities for students in higher education, as well as K-12.
- Outreach and technology transfer, to share our research findings and expertise with transportation professionals, allied agencies, the private sector, and other constituencies interested in reducing the impacts of surface transportation systems on nature.
- Communications, to assure environmentally sound transportation systems are recognized by society as an important component of America’s quality of life.