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Welcome to the 2008 Briefing Series for Members of Congress and Staff

This year's theme is "USGS Climate Change Science: Exploring the Past, Observing the Present, Forecasting the Future"

Previous Congressional Briefings

Third in the 2008 series

Climate Change: The Challenge of Invasive Species

Invasive cheatgrass is altering historical fire regimes throughout the western United States, exposing native ecosystems not adapted to fire to more frequent and intense fire events. Invasive aquatic species including invertebrates, fishes, and the fish disease VHS continue to colonize the Great Lakes at an alarming rate. The increased uncertainties posed by climate change compound the challenges facing resource managers throughout the United States as they grapple with growing populations of invasive species. Come learn how the USGS and its partners are working to provide and apply the science needed by resource managers and policy makers to anticipate and address the impacts of climate change and invasive species on the landscape.

Date: September 19, 2008


USGSPam Fuller
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database Manager
U.S. Geological Survey

Bureau of Land Management logoMike Pellant
Great Basin Restoration Initiative Coordinator
Bureau of Land Management

Department of Natural Resources - Michigan logoGary Whelan
Fish Production Manager, Fisheries Division
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Time: 9:30 a.m.

2325 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C

Congressional Sponsors:
Climate Change: The Challenge of Invasive Species 
PDF (1.5 MB)

Hosted by: The following links leave the USGS site.

Handouts at the September 19 Briefing:
  • Facing Tomorrow's Challenges-An Overview  (USGS Fact Sheet)
  • Understanding Ecosystems and Predicting Ecosystem Change  (USGS Fact Sheet)
  • Climate Variability and Change  (USGS Fact Sheet)
  • The Role of Environment and Wildlife in Human Health  (USGS Fact Sheet)
  • The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program
  • Invasive Species and Climate Change  (USGS Open-File Report)
  • Ichthyophoniasis: An Emerging Disease of Chinook Salmon in†the Yukon River  (Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 16:58–72, 2004-available by subscription or article purchase)
  • Near term climate projections for invasive species†distributions  (Biological Invasions Online)
  • SageSTEP Fact Sheet
  • Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts Workshop & Symposium  (Society for Range Management)

  • Speaker Biographies

    Pam Fuller

    Pam Fuller is the program leader for the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program, which maintains a nationwide database and a web site of aquatic invaders.  She is author of the summary book "Nonindigenous Fishes Introduced into Inland Waters of the United States," which reviews the introductions of more than 500 species and looks at spatial and temporal patterns of these introductions.  She has been involved in numerous national and international invasive species research activities and work groups, particularly in the field of invasive species information management.  She collaborated with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to develop NISbase, a distributed query system for aquatic invasive species databases, and is involved in the development of a global equivalent, the Global Invasive Species Information Network. She received degrees in zoology from SUNY Oswego (B.S.) and the University of Florida (M.S.).

    Mike Pellant

    Mike Pellant is the program coordinator for the Bureau of Land Managementís Great Basin Restoration Initiative. The aim of the GBRI is to reverse the downward ecological spiral of the Great Basin, which has been exacerbated by invasive species, such as cheatgrass and other noxious weeds, and the increase in wildfires. Mike has been with the Bureau of Land Management for 30 years. Prior to his current position as program coordinator for the GBRI, he worked as an ecologist at the BLM Idaho state office and as a range conservationist in Idaho and Utah. Mike is also an adjunct faculty member in the Biology Department at Boise State University. He received his B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Range Science from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

    Gary Whelan

    Gary Whelan has worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for over twenty years. He is currently the Fish Production Manager for the Departmentís Fisheries Division and also manages the Tribal Coordination Unit for the Fisheries Division. In addition, Gary is co-chair of the National Fish Habitat Initiative Science and Data Committee, co-chair of the American Fisheries Society Board of Professional Certification, chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission- Great Lakes Fish Health Committee, and president of the American Fisheries Society History Section. Garyís degrees in Fisheries Management are from the University of Wyoming (B.S.) and the University of Missouri (M.S.).

    For information on the USGS Climate Change Science briefing series, please call 703-648-4455.

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