The Bowser lab has three main areas of research, all united by two principals: A changing climate impacts biodiversity and to sustain biodiversity and society, and that the intersections of science and society are built on equity and the broader impacts of all of our research on society.
Pollinator Loss in Protected Areas.
Biodiversity is challenged by changing climates and for many species, protected areas are refuge. However, as climate changes and conditions shift, how do different species persist in these fragments of ecosystems? Our preliminary focus is on mountain systems, using western protected areas (Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park along with Custer and Gallatin National Forests of Montana and Wyoming), Peruvian Highlands (Huascaran National Park of Peru) and a partnership with European institutions on the highlands. Our students look at insect pollinator systems as one area of research sensitive to climate change. In addition, we use citizen science datasets to connect to the broader public and to co-create data with students, local communities and others to understand pollinators at multiple scales (local, regional and international). We also use virtual datasets (Natural History collections, Museums and other online sets) to explore species shifts and changes over time.
Data, Diversity and Discovery
Cultural connections to special places such as National Parks are complex. How different people see themselves in parks and protected areas is often associated with which stories a park chooses to highlight. In this project, we work closely with National Park Service personnel exploring issues of multicultural history in natural resource preservation and education. This project is focused on Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the US with the goal of training students to see that all landscapes have cultural roots.
International Environmental Negotiations
Pollinator decline is a worldwide phenomena as highlighted by the Global Environmental Outlook Report, The Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science (IPBES) and other international fora. Understanding how to communicate the broader Impacts of our ecological research to the global stage, our lab uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an framework for a program to introduce students to international environmental negotiations.