Samuel Pecoraro is an Ecologist at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center’s (GLSC) Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station, located within the Indiana Dunes National Park.
Sam has worked with USGS since 2016, on landscape ecology and spatial data analyses at scales ranging from metapopulation to continental. He has experience with acoustic technology first to model Great Lakes substrates by repurposing the GLSC’s historic fishery sonar data, and more recently to survey and model fish spawning habitat with multibeam data. Sam has worked on mapping the federally threatened Pitcher’s thistle (Cirsium pitcheri), which is endemic to The Great Lakes. While with USGS, he has been able to study the migration of the iconic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in collaboration with partners. Sam is interested in the ways technology can help solve the great ecological challenges; he has been involved in the development of the GLSC’s computer vision program, which was created to help meet objectives laid out by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and Lakebed 2030.
(2016 – present) Ecologist, USGS Great Lakes Science Center
(2014 – 2015) Visiting Scholar, Boston University
(2011 – 2012) Project Manager, PaleoEcological Observatory Network
Education and Certifications
M.S. 2014, Ecology, University of Notre Dame
B.S. 2010, Environmental Science, University of Notre Dame
Honors and Awards
James W. Moffett Award for the best scientific publication authored by personnel of the Great Lakes Science Center (2020).
Abstracts and Presentations
Pecoraro, S.D., Arnold, A.J., Geisz, J., and Esselman, P.C. (2022) High-Resolution Mapping of Spawning Reefs to Support Conservation in Northern Lake Michigan.
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