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NSF Grant Looks at Genetic Diversity

two mallards

Professor Michael Schummer of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is a co-principal investigator for a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from ESF, the University of Texas El Paso, Mississippi State University, Smithsonian Institute, and Illinois Natural History that has received nearly $1 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study genetic diversity in North Ameri

Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker

A Kennedy chair project on evaluating the efficacy of marsh terraces is featured on the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker. Visit the tracker at

Delta Waterfowl Hunt Program

Delta Waterfowl Hunt Program students

The weather was cold, clear and breezy for the Delta Waterfowl Mississippi State University Hunt Program this past weekend, but everyone had a good time and learned more about the role waterfowl hunting plays in wildlife conservation. Students participated in two clay shooting events, a mentored hunt, a waterfowl presentation, and demonstrations on concealment, calling, and decoy strategies. Thank


Dr. J. Brian Davis

StudentBrian joined Mississippi State’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture in August 2009. Brian grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and began hunting ducks and Canada geese as a youth in northern Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Management in 1986. Brian gained wetland management experience during summers and immediately upon graduation with the Missouri Department of Conservation. From 1988-1994, Brian worked for the California Waterfowl Association on wintering and breeding duck research, a statewide wood duck nest box program, writing management plans for private duck clubs, and conducted other educational outreach. Brian attended Mississippi State University from 1994-2001, and earned M.S. (1998) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees studying breeding and brood rearing wood ducks and other aspects of wood duck ecology. After departing Mississippi State in 2001, Brian worked as a Regional Biologist for Ducks Unlimited in Little Rock, Arkansas, and more recently in Lafayette, Louisiana (January-July, 2009). Brian helped deliver various conservation programs that restored and protected bottomland hardwood forests and other wetlands. Brian also frequently spoke publicly on behalf of DU conservation programs and assisted private landowners with wetland management, wrote NAWCA proposals, and participated in major gift fundraising. Brian’s research interests are broad yet focused on waterfowl and wetland ecology and management in the Lower Mississippi Valley and elsewhere in North America. Brian has published a number of articles in The Journal of Wildlife Management, Wetlands, and other scientific outlets, as well as numerous popular articles based on his and other scientists’ research. Additionally, Brian has presented numerous invited and contributed papers at scientific and outreach venues, has helped garner several million dollars in research and conservation grants, and has played primary roles in organizing and conducting youth waterfowl hunting workshops for DU and MSU in the past. Brian will be responsible for teaching Waterfowl Ecology and Management, Wetlands Ecology and Management, and Wildlife Techniques and developing a productive research and service program in the department and in association with the James C. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation.

Jessica Klassen

StudentDr. Klassen is revisiting the wintering aerial duck surveys that are flown annually by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks. These surveys were created un the early 2000s by doctoral student, Dr. Aaron Pearse of the WFA. Part of Dr. Klassenís efforts involve creating a water model of the MAV and then analyses of approximately 15-years of aerial survey data on duck abundance and distribution in parts of the MAV.