Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)


We hope you will enjoy learning about the variety of ecosystems and species we are studying throughout the United States. Our scientists work on diverse issues such as fish and wildlife conservation, invasive species and wildlife disease, energy development, climate and ecosystem change, and much more. Click on Science to begin exploring the places we go and the species and landscapes we study.



Upcoming presentations on ecological and biological research, held every other Tuesday starting Fall 2018. 

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NOROCK in the News

NOROCK in the News

Click here for the most recent media and news on NOROCK science.

Shrinking Glaciers


Date published: October 26, 2018

A Unified Research Strategy for Disease Management

As wildlife diseases increase globally, an understanding of host-pathogen relationships can elucidate avenues for management and improve conservation efficacy. Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of wildlife, and disease is a major factor in global amphibian declines.

Date published: September 28, 2018

Large-scale Review of Amphibian Species and Community Response to Climate Change

Amphibian species and community richness has been declining in North America and climate change may play a role in these declines. Global climate change has led to a range shift of many wildlife species and thus understanding how these changes in species distribution can be used to predict amphibian community responses that may improve conservation efforts.

Date published: July 19, 2018

IGBST Public Notifications and Resources

As part of ongoing efforts required under the 2016 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) captures and monitors grizzly bears for research and monitoring purposes. Here you will find capture notifications for the 2018 field season.


Year Published: 2018

Change in dominance determines herbivore effects on plant biodiversity

Herbivores alter plant biodiversity (species richness) in many of the world’s ecosystems, but the magnitude and the direction of herbivore effects on biodiversity vary widely within and among ecosystems. One current theory predicts that herbivores enhance plant biodiversity at high productivity but have the opposite effect at low productivity. Yet...

Koerner, Sally E.; Smith, Melinda D.; Burkepile, Deron E.; Hanan, Niall P.; Avolio, Meghan L.; Collins, Scott L.; Knapp, Alan K.; Lemoine, Nathan P.; Forrestel, Elisabeth J.; Eby, Stephanie; Thompson, Dave I.; Aguado-Santacruz, Gerardo A.; Anderson, John P.; Anderson, T. Michael; Angassa, Ayana; Bagchi, Sumanta; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Bastin, Gary; Baur, Lauren E.; Beard, Karen H.; Beever, Erik; Bohlen, Patrick J.; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Canestro, Don; Cesa, Ariela; Chaneton, Enrique; Cheng, Jimin; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Deleglise, Claire; Dembélé, Fadiala; Dorrough, Josh; Eldridge, David J.; Fernandez-Going, Barbara; Fernández-Lugo, Silvia; Fraser, Lauchlan H.; Freedman, Bill; García-Salgado, Gonzalo; Goheen, Jacob R.; Guo, Liang; Husheer, Sean; Karembé, Moussa; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Kraaij, Tineke; Kulmatiski, Andrew; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit; Lezama, Felipe; Loucougaray, Gregory; Loydi, Alejandro; Milchunas, Daniel G.; Milton, Suzanne J.; Morgan, John W.; Moxham, Claire; Nehring, Kyle C.; Olff, Han; Palmer, Todd M.; Rebollo, Salvador; Riginos, Corinna; Risch, Anita C.; Rueda, Marta; Sankaran, Mahesh; Sasaki, Takehiro; Schoenecker, Kathryn A.; Schultz, Nick L.; Schütz, Martin; Schwabe, Angelika; Siebert, Frances; Smit, Christian; Stahlheber, Karen A.; Storm, Christian; Strong, Dustin J.; Su, Jishuai; Tiruvaimozhi, Yadugiri V.; Tyler, Claudia; Val, James; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Veblen, Kari E.; Vermeire, Lance; Ward, David; Wu, Jianshuang; Young, Truman P.; Yu, Qiang; Zelikova, Tamara J.

Year Published: 2018

Estimating the risk of elk-to-livestock brucellosis transmission in Montana

Wildlife reservoirs of infectious disease are a major source of human-wildlife conflict because of the risk of potential spillover associated with commingling of wildlife and livestock. In Montana, the presence of brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in free-ranging elk (Cervus canadensis) populations is of significant management concern because of the...

Rayl, Nathaniel D.; Proffitt, Kelly M.; Almberg, Emily S.; Jones, Jennifer D.; Merkle, Jerod A.; Gude, Justin A.; Cross, Paul C.
Rayl, N. D., K. M. Proffitt, E. S. Almberg, J. A. Merkle, J. H. Jones, J. A. Gude, and P. C. Cross. 2018. Modelling elk-to-livestock transmission risk to identify hotspots of brucellosis spillover. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Year Published: 2018

Hidden cost of disease in a free‐ranging ungulate: brucellosis reduces mid‐winter pregnancy in elk

Demonstrating disease impacts on the vital rates of free‐ranging mammalian hosts typically requires intensive, long‐term study. Evidence for chronic pathogens affecting reproduction but not survival is rare, but has the potential for wide‐ranging effects. Accurately quantifying disease‐associated reductions in fecundity is important for advancing...

Cotterill, Gavin G.; Cross, Paul C.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Rogerson, Jared D.; Scurlock, Brandon M.; Du Toit, Johan T.
Cotterill, G.G., Cross, P.C., Middleton, A.D., Rogerson, J.D., Scurlock, B.M. & Du Toit, J.T. (2018). Hidden cost of disease in a free-ranging ungulate: brucellosis reduces mid-winter pregnancy in elk. Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1-10.