The Research Advances in Fisheries Wildlife and Ecology Symposium (RAFWE) showcases research, extension, and outreach activities conducted by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, related departments at OSU and other colleges and universities, and state and federal agencies.

The next RAFWE will be held on Friday, April 27, 2018, at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus, Corvallis, OR. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Questions? Want additional information about RAFWE? Please contact Ryan Baumbusch or Kerrick Robinson. Thanks! 

RAFWE 2017

2017 Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers: Rosemary and Peter Grant, Princeton University

"In search of the causes of evolution"

This year we had the privilege to host Dr. B. Rosemary Grant and Dr. Peter Grant as our keynote speakers.  Dr. and Dr. Grant are both emeritus professors of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University where their lab uses a variety of methods and approaches to studying the interaction between genetics, ecology, and behavior.  Over 40 years ago they decided to study this interaction and the resulting diversity of individuals with Darwin’s Finches on the Galápagos Islands.

Dr. B. Rosemary Grant graduated in 1960 from Edinburgh University, then acted as a research associate at the University of British Columbia, Yale University, McGill University, and University of Michigan.  She completed her doctoral dissertation work at Uppsala University in 1985 and joined Princeton University shortly after.  Dr. Peter Grant graduated in 1960 from Cambridge University then moved to University of British Columbia to complete his dissertation work in 1964.  He was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University and a professor at McGill University and University of Michigan before joining Princeton University in 1985. 

We were grateful that they were able to speak at the RAFWE symposium this year. You can learn more about their work at Dr. Rosemary Grant - Princeton University and Dr. Peter Grant - Princeton University.  

2017 Schedule

2017 RAFWE symposium schedule (available as a PDF).

2017 Workshops

RAFWE 2017 Workshops were held on Thursday, April 13th from 5-7pm.  

Workshop 1: Identifying the Human Dimensions of your Project

Led by Dr. Kelly Biedenweg, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, OSU, and Dr. Ana Spalding, School of Public Policy, OSU

Location: Nash 32

Description: In this interactive workshop, we will define the human dimensions of natural resource management and participate in activities to identify the different human dimensions of your research topic, how you might learn more about human dimensions, and briefly consider the requirements for incorporating human dimensions into your study.

Articles to read before the workshop:

  1. Spalding, A.K. and K. Biedenweg. 2017. Socializing the coast: Engaging the social science of tropical coastal research.  Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 187(5):1-8.
  2. Spalding, A.K. K. Biedenweg, A. Hettinger, and M. Nelson. 2017. Demystifying the Human Dimensions of Ecological Research. Frontiers in Ecological Science.
  3. Bennett, N. et al. 2016. Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation.  Biological Conservation.

Limited to 25 people

Workshop 2: Unlocking QGIS

Led by Rick Debbout, Associate Software Engineer/GIS Analyst, Environmental Protection Agency

Location: ALS 4000

Description: QGIS is free, open-source software that provides many tools for the viewing and manipulation of geographic data. This workshop will give a brief overview of the interface and demonstrate a few examples of common GIS operations. Skills covered by this workshop may include: working with data frames, raster files, building queries and selecting locations, adjusting layer styles, composing maps, and creating other types of documents.

Participants MUST have QGIS installed on their personal laptop prior to this workshop. QGIS can be downloaded for free at the following site: (Windows Users, download here:

Limited to 50 people

2017 Brown Bag Lunch

Professional societies are considered an integral part of the ecology, science, and conservation community. Many of us routinely attend society meetings and workshops. But how well do you know the history, functions, and benefits of society membership? In this RAFWE Brown Bag luncheon, a panel of three elected officials from fisheries and wildlife societies will discuss the value of society membership, and why professional societies are still meaningful to modern science.

Panel participants include:

Dr. Ben Clemens (OR AFS Past President): Dr. Benjamin Clemens is the Past President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. His self-described interests include “animal migration, life history diversity, and the mechanisms involved in the creation and maintenance of diversity”.  After completing his Ph.D. at Oregon State University in 2011, Dr. Clemens began his career with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  He currently serves as a Fish Biologist and Statewide Lamprey Coordinator in addition to serving as OSU Affiliate Faculty (2013-2015). Before earning his doctorate at OSU, he completed his Masters in Zoology at the University of Guelph in 2002.

Jeff Barna, MS, PWS (Society for Ecological Restoration): Jeff Barna will represent the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration.  After completing his MS at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004, Jeff held a number of ecologist positions with Alaska Biological Research Inc. in Forest Grove, Oregon, and Fairbanks, Alaska and Tetra Inc. in Portland, Oregon.  He is currently a research ecologist and senior biologist for Environmental Science Associates in Portland, Oregon.  Jeff has coordinated projects and research “focusing on plant and vertebrate taxa, as well as wetland and riparian ecology, with a concentration on protected resources.”  

Julia Burco, PhD, DVM, (The Wildlife Society): Dr. Julia Burco will represent the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society. After receiving her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University in 2000, she went on to University of California, Davis and earned her MPVM in Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health. At UC Davis she also received her PhD in Comparative Pathology where she performed clinical rehabilitation work and oil spill response with aquatic birds. Since 2011, Julia has worked for Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife as a wildlife veterinarian.

F. Teal Waterstrat, MS (President, Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology): Teal Waterstrat is the current president of the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology (SNVB). During his time as president, he hopes to foster the ongoing growth, advancement, and enjoyment of SNVB. Teal earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Washington and went on to earn his Masters of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. He has worked for various natural resources management agencies, museums and non-profits over the past 10 years. He currently works for the USFWS as a biologist at their Washington Field Office in Lacey, Washington.

Oral Presentations, Speed Talks, and Posters

The focus of RAFWE is to provide graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research to their peers and faculty in a student-run symposium. Faculty and professionals in research fields are also encouraged to participate. 

Oral Presentations are 15 minutes in length; there are 12 minutes for the presentation followed by three minutes for questions. Oral presentations will be given in the morning and early afternoon of the second day of RAFWE in the LaSells Stewart Center.

Speed Talks are short, 4 minutes in length, with automatically advancing slides, followed by 1 minute for questions. Speed talks will be given in the afternoon of the second day of RAFWE in the LaSells Stewart Center.

Posters: A formal poster session will be held in the evening. Please plan for one hour of attendance at your poster to answer questions. Posters should be set up in the afternoon at approximately 2 pm and retrieved by the end of the symposium or poster session. At least one poster dimension should be 36", and maximum poster dimensions are 36" x 44".

Abstract Submissions for oral presentations and posters may be submitted by students and faculty at OSU, other colleges and universities, employees of state and federal agencies, and professionals associated with non-governmental organizations. Abstracts should be 250 words or less.


Lunch is catered by Oregon State University, with vegan/vegetarian and now a gluten free option.

Evening hors d'oeuvres will be served, as well as non-alcoholic refreshments. Free keg of beer provided while supplies last. Additional beer and wine will be available for purchase. Catering by Oregon State University.

Metered parking for the LaSells Stweart Center is available in the Reser Stadium lot. More information about parking can be found on the OSU Transportation Website

RAFWE Social and Auction

The evening social and silent auctions are located at the LeSells Stewart Center directly after the poster session.

Funds from the silent auction are used to support future RAFWE symposiums.


The FWGSA would like to thank the generous people who have contributed their time and resources to making past RAFWE's possible

We would like to thank this year's sponsors: Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society, ER Jackman Foundation, OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Agricultural Research Foundation, and the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Finally, we would like to thank all of the local businesses and individuals who donated merchandise for last year's silent auction as well as presentation prizes. RAFWE wouldn't be possible without you!