The University of Washington Olympic Natural Resources Center invites the public to join us for an “Evening Talk” with researcher, Maia Murphy-Williams, Masters of Science Candidate, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Wildlife Science Group.
Maia’s research is focused in the Olympic National Park on Marmots. The presentation is entitled “Of Meadows and Marmots: an investigation of climate change impacts in the high alpine ecosystems of Olympic National Park, Washington”.
Synopsis of research: The endemic Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus) population of Olympic National Park (ONP) has declined an estimated 50 percent in the past 30 years (Griffin, 2008). Endemic to Olympic National Park, the Olympic marmot is an ecologically important and charismatic species. The loss of this alpine icon would be detrimental to the alpine ecosystem and to Olympic National Park.
This project builds off previous research by Sue Griffin, and the continued monitoring efforts of the Marmot Citizen Science Project lead by Patti Happe at ONP, with the goal of learning more about climate change impacts on alpine meadows and marmot habitat preferences. The purpose of this project is to investigate the causes of the Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus) population decline and to provide information to ONP managers to help develop management strategies to aid in the future preservation of the species.
Maia is a graduate student at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, at the University of Washington, pursuing an M.S. in Wildlife Science. Her master’s research is examining the effects of climate change on the declining endemic Olympic Marmot population on the Olympic Peninsula, in partnership with Olympic National Park. Maia is also involved in a variety of other wildlife projects in Olympic NP, the most recent being the mountain goat translocation project in July 2019.
In 2014, she earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology with a focus in Ecology, Evolution, and Organisms from Colorado College. Her background is in ecological field research and she has worked on several wildlife projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica, the Colorado Front Range, California, and Washington. Her research interests include landscape-scale conservation and climate change resilience within wildlife populations.
Before starting graduate school, Maia spent two seasons at Olympic National Park as a biological field technician on the Olympic Fisher Project. In 2017, Maia worked for the US Forest Service as the crew lead for a 16-person carnivore monitoring team in the Sierra Nevada National Forest.
Evening Talks at ONRC are supported by the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community. In addition to bringing speakers and interesting research out to ONRC, the series provides a great opportunity for graduate students and others to gain experience presenting their research to the public, and to a thoroughly engaged audience. Refreshments will be served and a potluck of your favorite dessert is encouraged.
Please join us at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in our Hemlock Forest Room at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2t.
For more information please contact Frank Hanson at 360- 374-4556.