Lawrence Igl


Larry Igl is an Ecologist with Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey in Jamestown, North Dakota. He received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology, Biology, and Natural Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; M.S. degree in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University; and Ph.D. in Zoology from North Dakota State University. His research interests are avian ecology and conservation, with an emphasis on grassland, wetland, and agricultural ecosystems in the Midwest and Great Plains. Specific areas of interest include avian responses to habitat management and disturbances, Farm Bill and agriculture programs, grassland bird ecology, cowbird brood parasitism, and nesting ecology. He has conducted surveys of breeding, migrating, and wintering birds throughout the southern, central, and northern Great Plains. Recent investigations include a long-term evaluation of breeding bird communities in grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana; an eco-immunology study of New World Blackbirds; a study relating wetland management to mercury in songbirds and ducks; an evaluation of the effects of livestock stocking rates on breeding birds in grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service; and an investigation of the response of grassland birds to adaptive management treatments that are being used to restore floristic composition of native grasslands owned by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.



Ph.D., Zoology, North Dakota State University, Fargo.  Dissertation title:  Breeding bird use of grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in the northern Great Plains.

M.S., Animal Ecology, Iowa State University, Ames.  Thesis title: The role of climate and mowing on Dickcissel (Spiza americana) movements, distribution, and abundance.

B.S., Triple major (Biology, Wildlife Ecology, and Natural Resources Management), University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.  Undergraduate Research Internship Paper:  Survey of the flora and fauna in the La Crosse Marsh, La Crosse County, Wisconsin.


Research and Teaching Experience:

2010-present.  Research Ecologist, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Jamestown, North Dakota.

1992–2010.  Ecologist, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Jamestown, North Dakota.

1988–1991. Graduate Research Assistant on a study examining the effects of climate and mowing on the abundance, distribution, and movements of Dickcissels nesting in Iowa alfalfa fields.  Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

1991.  Field Biologist on a study evaluating bird and small mammal abundance and usage patterns in an intercropping agricultural system.  Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

1991–1992.  Laboratory Research Assistant on a study examining the factors influencing grit use by birds and their relationship to avian exposure to granular pesticides.  Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

1987–1989. Teaching Assistant in various laboratory and discussion courses (General Biology, Vertebrate Biology, Bird Study, Ecology, and Wildlife Resource Conservation).  Departments of Biology and Animal Ecology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. 

1987.  Field Assistant on a study examining the effects haying on the dynamics of grassland birds nesting in Iowa alfalfa fields.  Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

1986–1987.  Field Biologist on several studies examining the effects of carbofuran insecticide applications (granular and foliar) on migrating birds using corn and alfalfa fields in southern and western Texas and central Oklahoma.  Environmental Laboratory, Inc. and Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

1985. Student Intern selected for a breeding bird survey of a 1500-acre (607-ha) wetland complex and a beaver population study on a 4000-acre (1619-ha) wildlife area in western Wisconsin.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wisconsin.


Selected Professional Affiliations and Committee Memberships:

American Ornithological Society.

  • Member, 2016–present.
  • Elective member, 2006–present (transferred from American Ornithologists’ Union).

American Ornithologists’ Union.

  • Member, 1988–2016.
  • Merged with Cooper Ornithological Society in 2016.

Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

  • Member, 1988–present.

Wilson Ornithological Society.

  • Member, 1988–present.

Cooper Ornithological Society.

  • Member, 1989–2016.
  • Merged with American Ornithologists’ Union in 2016.

Association of Field Ornithologists.

  • Member, 1989–present.

Great Plains Natural Science Society.

  • Member, 1994–present.
  • Book Review Editor, The Prairie Naturalist, January 2010–present.
  • Associate Editor (Ornithology), The Prairie Naturalist, October 2010–present.

North Dakota Bird Records Committee.

  • Member, 1998-present.
  • Voting member, 1998, 2000–2004, 2007–present.
  • Alternate voting member, 2005–2006.
  • Secretary, 2007–2014.
  • Chair, 2014–present.

The Wildlife Society.

  • Member, 2002–present.
  • Central Mountain and Plains Section of The Wildlife Society, 2006–present.
  • North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, 1996–present (Life member, 2008–present).
  • Rangeland Wildlife Working Group, The Wildlife Society, 2014–present.

Northern Great Plains Joint Venture.

  • Member, Technical Committee, 2011–present.

Prairie Pothole Joint Venture.

  • Member, Grassland Bird Subcomittee of the Technical Committee, 2016–present.

Adjunct Faculty.

  • Department of Biological Sciences and School of Natural Resources, North Dakota State University, 2014–present.