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Kurt P Kowalski, PhD

My work differs from that of many other scientists because, although I am a Research Wetland Ecologist with a research focus on Great Lakes coastal wetland habitats and invasive plant species (e.g., Phragmites australis), I have extensive involvement in the application of research results into practice and policy (e.g., development of novel adaptive management approaches).

Can we find innovative control approaches for Phragmites australis (Common Reed) and other invasive plant species of concern to resource managers?

What is the role of hydrologic connectivity in the rehabilitation and adaptive management of diked and coastal wetland ecosystems in the Laurentian Great Lakes and throughout the nation?

What is the landscape-scale potential for coastal wetland habitat rehabilitation throughout the Great Lakes basin?

These are a few of the research questions that I have been working on during my 27+ years at the Great Lakes Science Center. My master’s work in GIS and remote sensing at Eastern Michigan University and doctoral studies at the University of Michigan provided a solid foundation for extensive work with USFWS refuges (Detroit River, Ottawa, Seney, Shiawassee), Michigan DNR, Ohio DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and many other partners. I’ve studied the marshes of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) for many years and continue to work with managers to apply site specific results at national scales. Leadership experiences at the National Conservation Leadership Institute and within USGS have helped me conduct some innovative science and push our research teams in new directions.

Select Research Projects:

Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Restoration Assessment: overview, geonarrative, and mappers (See Web Tools tab below)

Collaborative coastal wetland restoration planning and monitoring for over 1,000 acres (400 hectares) at the USFWS Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Implementation of the binational Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government