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Arcata, CA, United States

Humboldt State University is the northernmost campus of the California State University system, located in Arcata within Humboldt County, California, USA. The main campus, nestled at the edge of a coast redwood forest, has commanding views of Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Its location eight miles north of Eureka and 279 miles north of San Francisco on the North Coast of California is notable for its natural beauty and relative remoteness. Wikipedia.

Railsback S.F.,Humboldt State University | Harvey B.C.,Pacific Southwest Research Station
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2013

Many ecologists believe that there is a lack of foraging theory that works in community contexts, for populations of unique individuals each making trade-offs between food and risk that are subject to feedbacks from behavior of others. Such theory is necessary to reproduce the trait-mediated trophic interactions now recognized as widespread and strong. Game theory can address feedbacks but does not provide foraging theory for unique individuals in variable environments. 'State- and prediction-based theory' (SPT) is a new approach that combines existing trade-off methods with routine updating: individuals regularly predict future food availability and risk from current conditions to optimize a fitness measure. SPT can reproduce a variety of realistic foraging behaviors and trait-mediated trophic interactions with feedbacks, even when the environment is unpredictable. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

The variance in relative fitness, commonly called the "opportunity for selection," is a measure of the maximum amount of selection that can occur in a population. I review the relation between fitness variance and population growth, showing that fitness variance is higher during periods of population decline. This is true both for survival and for commonly used models for variable descendant number (Poisson, negative binomial, generalized Poisson). Empirical evidence suggests that not just the opportunity for selection but also the actual selection occurring is commonly greater during such periods of population reduction. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Grimm V.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Railsback S.F.,Humboldt State University
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

Modern ecology recognizes that modelling systems across scales and at multiple levels-especially to link population and ecosystem dynamics to individual adaptive behaviour-is essential for making the science predictive. 'Pattern-oriented modelling' (POM) is a strategy for doing just this. POM is the multi-criteria design, selection and calibration of models of complex systems. POM starts with identifying a set of patterns observed at multiple scales and levels that characterize a system with respect to the particular problem being modelled; a model from which the patterns emerge should contain the right mechanisms to address the problem. These patterns are then used to (i) determine what scales, entities, variables and processes the model needs, (ii) test and select submodels to represent key low-level processes such as adaptive behaviour, and (iii) find useful parameter values during calibration. Patterns are already often used in these ways, but a mini-review of applications of POM confirms that making the selection and use of patterns more explicit and rigorous can facilitate the development of models with the right level of complexity to understand ecological systems and predict their response to novel conditions. © 2011 The Royal Society. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FIELD STATIONS | Award Amount: 346.03K | Year: 2015

Humboldt State Universitys (HSU) Marine Lab (http://www.humboldt.edu/marinelab/ ) has been awarded a grant to modernize aging components of the running seawater system which will enhance research and training activities at the lab with a reliable, high-quality system. HSU is the northernmost California State University campus and has a well-deserved reputation for high quality natural resources and science programs. The marine lab offers outstanding undergraduate and graduate instruction and excellent opportunities to carry out research projects in the lab and provides access to a wide diversity of marine and coastal habitats. The new seawater system will include two underground water tanks that provide redundancy, improve temperature regulation, are safer in an earthquake-prone region, and provide more effective utilization of the labs limited footprint by creating space for future expansion. The new system and future expansion will significantly advance or research and training capacity in intertidal ecology, invasive species, fisheries biology, chemical, biological and geological oceanography, and climate change.

The new seawater facilities will have a positive impact on training at all levels, including K-12 classes, undergraduate and graduate fishery biology, marine biology and oceanography majors at Humboldt State University, community college faculty and students, visiting graduate students, visiting students from throughout the U.S. and the general public. Public outreach is accomplished through free public aquaria, open 6-7 days a week year-round, with guided tours, educational workshops, and high-quality displays; these facilities serve approximately 20,000-35,000 visitors/year. HSU is an Hispanic-serving institution and the only university campus along the northern California coast primarily dedicated to undergraduate education. The area is also home to a large number of Native American Tribes and Rancherias with tribal members actively collaborating in marine research and resource management projects with HSU and other institutions. The lab has a resident Marine Naturalist who leads informal marine science education efforts at the ML and other venues. In the last five years the lab has served over 5,000 K-12 students and offered 240 organized tours of the facility by multiple institutions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 457.10K | Year: 2015

An award is made to Humboldt State University (HSU) to acquire a Fluidigm Juno/Biomark system. The Juno/Biomark consists of a real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) instrument and a controller designed to load a variety of microfluidic arrays. PCR is a fast method of copying small segments of DNA critical to molecular and genetic analysis. The instrument supports a diverse set of applications, including gene expression, SNP genotyping, mutant detection, and absolute quantification of nucleic-acid sequences utilizing digital PCR. The key feature of the instrumentation are microfluidic arrays that allow thousands of nanoliter reactions to be run in parallel. Several different microfluidic arrays are available, thus the instrument can support users with low as well as high-throughput needs. The instrument will be housed in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences Core Facility, a shared-use laboratory for teaching and research. The Juno/Biomark will serve as a centerpiece for training undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences, including those in the Stem Cell Biology training program and laboratory sections of Behavioral Neuroscience, Cellular Neuroscience, Conservation Genetics, Genetics, and Animal Physiology. Since HSU is a Hispanic Serving Institution, and has a high concentration of Native American students, this project will enable education and training of underrepresented groups with advanced genetic techniques. Collaboration with local teachers and their students at Hoopa High School (in the Hoopa Tribal Nation), McKinleyville High School, and the Redwood Science Institute, an institute which provides training for high school teachers, will provide opportunities for high school students to use this cutting-edge instrument.

The Juno/Biomark system will be used by a broad range of researchers across multiple departments and scientific disciplines (Biology, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Psychology) at HSU. The hallmark of the instrumentation is its capacity to support a diversity of applications and its versatility to accommodate different throughput needs, including high-throughput options. Researchers Andrew Kinziger, Sean Craig, Ehtan Gahtan, Micaela Szykman Gunther, Brian Tissot, Darren Ward, Margaret Wilzbach, Jianmin Zhong and colleagues will use the instrumentation to conduct investigations in the areas of conservation and management of fishes, ecology and evolution of invasive species, behavioral neuroscience, behavior and social interactions of mammals, conservation ecology of marine fishes and invertebrates, and detection and control of tick-borne diseases. The new instrumentation will enhance existing research programs and allow investigations that are essentially impossible with existing equipment. The Juno/Biomark system will substantially improve research infrastructure at HSU and the region by providing access to high throughput genetic capabilities to a rural area of northern California far from other universities with comparable instrumentation.

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