MSU student honored for waterfowl study presentation


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Posted: 10/10/2006


A College of Forest Resources doctoral student at Mississippi State University is receiving national recognition for his research presentation on waterfowl populations in the Magnolia State.

Aaron T. Pearse of Oberlin, Kan., received a top award for an oral report given at the recent Fourth North American Duck Symposium in Bismarck, N.D.

"Evaluation of an Aerial Survey to Estimate Wintering Waterfowl Abundance in Mississippi" is the title of the wildlife and fisheries major's study. His work focuses on surveys conducted during the winters of 2002-05.

Pearse [pronounced "pierce"], who is scheduled to graduate in May, competed against 17 other students. His honor also included a monetary award to cover travel expenses.

Pearse's research involved the modification of aerial survey methodology developed originally in the early 1990s by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Ken Rienecke. Both survey methods focus on estimating the number of mallards and other waterfowl that winter in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

MSU wildlife and fisheries professor Rick Kaminski said, "Aaron took the Rienecke survey approach and modified and refined it to produce the methodology that is being used on an increasingly widespread basis today." Kaminski is Pearse's doctoral adviser.

The system has proven so successful that it's being adopted for use in conducting waterfowl surveys by Mississippi and other LMAV states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.

Before enrolling at MSU in 2003, Pearse completed a bachelor's degree at Kansas State University and a master's at the University of Idaho.

OUTDOOR NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS: For more information on Pearse's work, contact him via Dr. Kaminski at 662-325-2623 or

Wildlife and Fisheries