Dave has over 30 years experience in wildlife and wetland research in the Southern Great Plains and has been associated with PLJV in a variety of roles since 1992. That collaboration has contributed to the development and communication of a well-rounded research program that integrates many aspects of ecology, management, and human dimensions associated with conservation of natural resources. It has also generated many opportunities to synthesize our understanding of the important role of playas — and other unique systems — for the people, wildlife, and plants that live in this unpredictable and extreme environment.
Dave is currently the Leader of the USGS Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor at Kansas State University, as well as Adjunct Professor at Texas Tech University. Prior to moving to Kansas, he was stationed at Texas Tech University and served as the Regional Migratory Gamebird Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region for nearly 20 years.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from South Dakota State University, Dave attended Texas Tech University where he completed his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in wildlife science. He studied breeding ecology of lesser prairie-chickens in response to herbicide applications and vegetation ecology and management of playa wetlands, respectively.
Dave’s research is broad but focuses on the management and conservation of populations and their dependent habitats. His research areas include playas, saline lakes, and other wetlands; migratory birds, including waterfowl and grassland birds; lesser and greater prairie-chickens; plant ecology; amphibians; and pollinators. Much of his work addresses population response to habitat management and natural disturbances.