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Falk Huettmann PhD, Seabird Research Profile

Falk is a ‘Digital Naturalist’ and his research deals with global biodiversity conservation. He has studied seabirds for over 20 years, and his work is interdisciplinary and spans many parts of the globe. His research was trained in Germany, the EU, Canada and the U.S. Further, he obtained some in-depth conservation and policy experience while visiting, intern’ing and working across the globe (for instance from the EU to Africa and Russia over Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, China and Central-South America to Iceland and Norway). Despite much effort and presentations, one will find that most of the world’s science-based seabird management is in its infancy, at best, or still follows many trivial and outdated concepts and structures. Arguably, the state of biodiversity, the ocean and the atmosphere is in a major crisis by now. At minimum, it needs a major overhaul and improvement to succeed.

Photo 1: Falk Huettmann, working on Sakhalin Island (Sea of Okhotsk, Russia).

To address the current shortcomings and for an improved global sustainability – now and in the future- Falk’s research and publications have a global focus and deal for instance with the following components:

-Open Access (sample citations Huettmann 2005, 2007 and 2011)

-Open Source Tools (sample citations : Huettmann et al. 2007, Bluhm et al. 2010, Mordecai et al. 2010)

-Machine Learning, Data Mining and Predictions (e.g. for inference, forecasting and rapid management action) (sample citations: Humphries et al. 2012, Booms et al. 2011 and Huettmann 2001)

-Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods (sample citations: Humphries et al. 2012, Betts et al. 2009, Yen et al. 2004)

-Seascape Ecology and Marine Wilderness (sample citations: Huettmann and Diamond 2006, Hardy et al. 2011, Zharikov et al. 2006)

-Hands-on Field Research & Naturalist Study (sample citations: Schuckard et al. 2006, Huettmann et al. 2005, McFarlane Tranquilla et al. 2003)

-A Sustainability Focus of Research, Management and Policy (sample citations: Huettmann and Hazlett 2010, Huettmann 2007, 2008)

By now, Falk and his team have written over 120 peer-reviewed publications and made many more data and metadata publications, including the following 3 books (dealing, in part, with seabirds, data, the oceans and how to improve their status):

1) Cushman, S. and F. Huettmann (2010). Spatial Complexity, Informatics and Wildlife Conservation. Springer Tokyo, Japan. http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/ecology/book/978-4-431-87770-7

2) Drew, A.D., Yo. Wiersma and F. Huettmann (2011). Predictive Modeling in Landscape Ecology. Springer, New York. http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/ecology/book/978-1-4419-7389-4

3) Huettmann F. (ed). (2012). Protection of the Three Poles, Springer Tokyo, Japan. http://www.springer. com/life+sciences/ecology/book/978-4-431-54005-2

Falk is currently an Associate Professor in Wildlife Ecology with the Biology & Wildlife Department, Institute of Arctic Biology, at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF). But his EWHALE (Ecological Wildlife & Habitat Data Analysis of the Land- & SeascapE) lab covers a wide array of biodiversity-related conservation topics; on land and at sea (including ship-based research).

Figure 1: Mean relative index of occurrence of 27 seabird species in the Arctic, overlaid with shipping lanes (unpublished Humphries & Huettmann; data from Huettmann et al. 2011)

Recent research by Falk and his multi-national students and co-workers deal with new research angles, impact studies, eg. Arctic shipping, the Caribbean, Antarctica, Marbled Murrelets, Avian Influenza (AI), a first look at the deep sea (predictive), and man-made climate change (as a new baseline for a globe dominated by humans). Over the years Falk has joined several major research initiatives (COML, CAML, IPY, GBIF, GMBA-DIVERSITAS, Avian Influenza-NIH), his research received several awards and grants, and he has published on wider issues like Steady State Economy and the Western Society’s Human Footprint on the globe. Most of his research is ‘spatial’, involving Geographic Information Systems (GIS), modeling and online data. Falk is an associate editor and reviewer in many journals. He supervises students and teaches online, in the classroom and in international field schools on many topics, including Eco-Informatics, Predictive Modeling, Landscape Ecology (advanced as well as for undergraduates), GIS & Remote Sensing, Quantitative Analysis, Wildlife Management and tropical ecology topics.

The EWHALE lab engages in many other studies and topics, too. For more information or contact please feel free to email us at fhuettmann@alaska.edu (or call EWHALE lab 907 474 7671)