I combine two linked interests: first, the effects of urbanization on all levels of biological organization; and second, the capacity of city-dwellers to strengthen connections to nature and build knowledge about the ecosystems we inhabit. Within the broad overlap of these interests, a lot of my work so far has focused on birds in cities and on citizen science.
I am a Program Coordinator with the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources. I support two distinct research projects, both of which explore how invasive plants grow and respond to environmental conditions across the state of Minnesota. Find out more about the projects:
- Citizen science (participatory science)
- Bird conservation & ecology
- Science education
- R, GIS, ArcMap
- Cover it up, Using plants to control buckthorn, Program Coordinator at University of Minnesota, 2020-present
- Forecasting life cycles of Japanese knotweed and wild parsnip, Program Coordinator at University of Minnesota, 2020-present
- Modeling Bird-window Collisions in Core Urban Environments (link to overview), Thesis research at U of MN, 2016-2018
- Assessing bird collision risk near the U.S. Bank Stadium, Research Assistant with U of MN, September 2016 to July 2019
- Toward a Center for Citizen Science in Minnesota, Research Assistant with U of MN, September 2016 to May 2017
- Loss, S., S. Lao, J.W. Eckles, A.W. Anderson, R.B. Blair, R.J. Turner (2020). Inclement Weather and American Woodcock Building Collisions During Spring Migration. Wildlife Biology.
- Lao, S., B. Robertson, A. Anderson, R. Blair, J. Eckles, R. Turner, S. Loss (2020). The influence of artificial light at night and polarized light on bird-building collisions, Biological Conservation 241
- Loss, S., S. Lao, J.W. Eckles, A.W. Anderson, R.B. Blair, R.J. Turner (2019). Factors influencing bird-building collisions in the downtown area of a major North American city, PLoS ONE 14(11): e0224164 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224164.
- Modeling Bird-window Collisions in Core Urban Environments (2018). Master's thesis, University of Minnesota.
- Blair, R.B., A.W. Anderson, L. Fortson, and A. Lorek-Straus (2018). Recommendations for the Creation of a Center for Citizen Science, Journal of Extension 56(4): 4FEA4.
- Publicly archived datasets:
- Instructor at Migratory and Urban Bird Institute, U of MN, July 2019
- Instructor at Driven to Discover II, Professional Development for Science Educators, U of MN, Summer 2017 & 2018
- Interviewer at Ecology Fair, U of MN, December 2017
- Mentor to undergraduate student on honors thesis, 2016-2018
- Diversifying Involvement in the Natural Resource Community, U of MN, Summer 2016
- Field Tech for Audubon Minnesota, Fall 2017
- Biology Program Volunteer at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, March 2015–August 2015
- Field Tech for research on urban Canada Geese in Chicago IL by Southern Illinois University, November 2014–February 2015
University of Minnesota:
- Analyzing and Designing Change Strategies for the Future of Grassland Birds (FW 8200, 1 credit)
- Current Topics in Avian Conservation (FW 8200, 1 credit)
- Introduction to Ornithology (EEB 4134, 4 credits)
- Biometry (FW 4001, 4 credits)
- Spatial and Temporal Statistics of Ecological Data (ENT 5126, 3 credits): Principles, applications, & methods for drawing inference from observational datasets in ecology, including transformation of non-normally distributed data, mixed models, generalized linear models, model selection techniques, etc.
- GIS for Natural Resources (FNRM 5131, 4 credits): Theory and applications of geographic information science and systems; ArcMap labs; geodatabase design; spatial modeling and analysis using vector & raster data; commonly used datasets (e.g., SSURGO, NWI, NWIS, NLCD, etc.); watershed & surface water modeling
- Remote Sensing, Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources & Environment (FNRM 5262, 3 credits): Principles and applications of remotely sensed data; sensor systems and data resolution (spectral, temporal, spatial); land cover analysis (supervised, unsupervised and object-based classification); change analysis; data fusion
- Spatial Database Design & Administration (GIS 5577, 1 credit): Tools and strategies to create data management plans, query databases, visualize & store data, etc.
- Preparing Future Conservation & Natural Resource Professionals (FW 8200, 2 credits): Public trust doctrine; legislative and regulatory processes; grants and budget management; NGOs and public sector; community-engagement; facilitation and conflict management
- Anderson, A. and J. Eckles (2019). Project BirdSafe: Outcomes and Opportunities. Proceedings of Minnesota Ornithologists Union Annual Paper Session, Dec 7, Falcon Heights, MN.
- Fortson, L. (presenter), A.W. Anderson, R.B. Blair, and A. Lorek-Strauss (2019). So you want to create a Center for Citizen Science … what now? Conference Proceedings of the Citizen Science Association, March 13–17, Raleigh, NC.
- Lao, S. (presenter), A.W. Anderson, R.B. Blair, J.W. Eckles, B.A. Robertson, R.J. Turner, and S.R. Loss (2018). Investigating the Effect of Polarized Light on Bird Collisions with Buildings. Conference Proceedings of The Wildlife Society, Oct 7–11, Cleveland, OH.
- Will, T. (presenter), K. Nelson, D. Lambert, L. Elliott, A. Christianson, A. Meyer, H. Ramer, M. Barnes, A. Anderson, and A. Sandler (2016). Change Strategies for the Future of Grassland Birds in the Midwest: A Conservation Deliberation: Conference Proceedings of the Midwest Landscape Conservation Science Symposium, Jan 24–27, Grand Rapids, MI.