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Sarah Converse

Research Ecologist

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Short Biography

Sarah has been a Research Ecologist in the Endangered Species Research Group at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center since 2007. Her research program is built around 2 themes - quantitative population ecology of endangered species and decision analysis applications in endangered species management. 

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Klimstra, R.L., C.E. Moorman, S.J. Converse, J.A. Royle, and C.A. Harper. 2015. Small mammal use of hayed native warm-season and non-native cool-season forage fields. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39(1):49-55 [Link]

Canessa, S., G. Guillera-Arroita, J.J. Lahoz-Monfort, D.M. Southwell, D.P. Armstrong, I. Chadès, R.C. Lacy, and S.J. Converse. 2015. When do we need more data? A primer on calculating the value of information for applied ecologists. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10.1111/2041-210X.12423. [Link]

Royle, J.A. and S.J. Converse. 2014. Hierarchical spatial capture-recapture models: modeling population density from replicated capture-recapture experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5(1):37-43. [Link]

Servanty, S., S.J. Converse, and L.L. Bailey. 2014. Demography of a reintroduced population: moving toward management models for an endangered species, the whooping crane. Ecological Applications 24(5):927-937 [Link]

Brown M.E., R.C. Doyle, J.N. Chandler, G.H. Olsen, J.B. French Jr., D.E. Wildt, S.J. Converse, C.L. Keefer, and N. Songsasen. 2014. Chromic and iron oxides as fecal markers to identify individual whooping cranes. Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 9:68-72. [Link]

Krause A., D. Golovin, and S.J. Converse. 2014. Sequential decision making in computational sustainability via adaptive submodularity. Artificial Intelligence Magazine 35:8-18. [Link]

Lunn N.J., E.V. Regehr, S. Servanty, S.J. Converse, E. Richardson, and I. Stirling. 2014. Demography and population assessment of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay, Canada. Environment Canada Research Report. [Download File]

Converse S.J., C.T. Moore, M.J. Folk, and M.C. Runge. 2013. A matter of tradeoffs: reintroduction as a multiple objective decision. Journal of Wildlife Management 77(6):1145:1156. [Link]

Converse S.J., C.T. Moore, and D.P. Armstrong. 2013. Demographics of reintroduced populations: estimation, modeling, and decision analysis. Journal of Wildlife Management 77(6):1081-1093. [Link]

Mueller, T., R.B. O'Hara, S.J. Converse, R.P. Urbanek, and W.F. Fagan. 2013. Social learning of migratory performance. Science 341(6149):999-1002. [Link]

Converse S.J., J.A. Royle, P.H. Adler, R.P. Urbanek, and J.A. Barzen. 2013. A hierarchical nest survival model integrating incomplete temporally-varying covariates. Ecology and Evolution 3(13):4439-4447. [Link]

Converse, S.J., J.A. Royle, and R.P. Urbanek. 2012. Bayesian analysis of multi-state data with individual covariates for estimating genetic effects on demography. Journal of Ornithology 152(S2):S561-S572. [Link]

Moore, C.T., S.J. Converse, M.J. Folk, M.C. Runge, and S.A. Nesbitt. 2012. Evaluating release alternatives for a long-lived bird species under uncertainty about long-term demographic rates. Journal of Ornithology 152(S2):S339-S353. [Link]

Campbell, E.W., A.A. Yackel-Adams, S.J. Converse, T.H. Fritts, and G.H. Rodda. 2012. Do predators control prey species abundance? An experimental test with brown treesnakes on Guam. Ecology 93(5):1194-1203. [Link]

Converse, S.J. and J.A. Royle. 2012. Dealing with incomplete and variable detectability in multi-year, multi-site monitoring of ecological populations. Pages 426-442 in R.A. Gitzen, J.J. Millspaugh, A.B. Cooper, and D.S. Licht, editors. Design and Analysis of Long-term Ecological Monitoring Studies. Cambridge University Press. xxiv, 560 pp.

Smith, D.H.V., A. Moehrenschlager, N. Christensen, D. Knapik, K. Gibson, and S.J. Converse. 2012. Archive eggs: a research and management tool for avian conservation breeding. Wildlife Society Bulletin 36(2): 342-349. [Link]

Smith, D.H.V., S.J. Converse, K.W. Gibson, A. Moehrenschlager, W.A. Link, G.H. Olsen, and K. Maguire. 2011. Decision analysis for conservation breeding: Maximizing production for reintroduction of whooping cranes. Journal of Wildlife Management 75(3):501-508. [Link]

Runge, M.C., S.J. Converse, and J.E. Lyons. 2011. Which uncertainty? Using expert elicitation and expected value of information to design an adaptive program. Biological Conservation 144(4):1214-1223. [Link]

Converse, S.J., K.J. Shelley, S. Morey, J. Chan, A. LaTier, C. Scafidi, D.T. Crouse, and M.C. Runge. 2011. A decision-analytic approach to the optimal allocation of resources for endangered species consultation. Biological Conservation 144(1):319-329. [Link]

Converse, S.J. 2011. Appendix C. Structured decision making for energy exploration and development decisions on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. Pages 243-249 in L. Holland-Bartels and B. Pierce, editors. An evaluation of the science needs to inform decisions on Outer Continental Shelf energy development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1370. 278 pp. [Link]

Golovin, D., A. Krause, B. Gardner, S.J. Converse, and S. Morey. 2011. Dynamic resource allocation in conservation planning. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence 25:1331-1336.

Tyre, A.J., J.T. Peterson, S.J. Converse, T. Bogich, D. Miller, M. Post van der Burg, C. Thomas, R. Thompson, J. Wood, D.C. Brewer, and M.C. Runge. 2011. Adaptive management of bull trout populations in the Lemhi Basin. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 2:262-281. [Link]

Farris, K.L., S.J. Converse, S. Zack, W.D. Robinson, A.J. Amacher, T. Contreras, W.L. Gaines, E.S. Kilpatrick, J.D. Lanham, D. Miles, G. Rompre, K.E. Sieving, and J.C. Pierson. 2010. Short-term effects of fire and fire-surrogate treatments on avian nest survival: A national-scale analysis. Open Environmental Sciences 4:53-62. [Link]

Martin, J., A.F. O'Connell, Jr., W.L. Kendall, M.C. Runge, T.R. Simons, A.H. Waldstein, S.A. Schulte, S.J. Converse, G.W. Smith, T. Pinion, M. Rikard, and E.F. Zipkin. 2010. Optimal control of native predators. Biological Conservation 143(7):1751-1758. [Link]

Converse, S.J., J.N. Chandler, G.H. Olsen, and C.C. Shafer. 2010. Evaluating propagation method performance over time with Bayesian updating: an application to incubator testing. Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 11:110-117. [Link]

Bailey, L.L., S.J. Converse, and W.L. Kendall. 2010. Bias, precision, and parameter redundancy in complex multistate models with unobservable states. Ecology 91(6):1598-1604. [Link]

Kendall, W.L., S.J. Converse, P.F. Doherty, Jr., M.B. Naughton, A. Anders, J.E. Hines, and E. Flint. 2009. Sampling design considerations for demographic studies: a case of colonial seabirds. Ecological Applications 19(1):55-68. [Link]

Converse, S.J., W.L. Kendall, P.F. Doherty, Jr., and P.G. Ryan. 2009. Multistate models for estimation of survival and reproduction in the grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma). Auk 126(1):77-88. [Link]

Converse, S.J., W.L. Kendall, P.F. Doherty, Jr., M.B. Naughton, and J.E. Hines. 2009. A traditional and a less-invasive robust design: choices in optimizing effort allocation for seabird population studies. Pages 727-744 in D.L. Thomson, E.G. Cooch, and M.J. Conroy, editors. Modeling demographic processes in marked populations. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 3. Springer, New York. xxiv, 1131 pp. [Link]

Moore, C.T., S.J. Converse, M.J. Folk, R. Boughton, B. Brooks, J.B. French, T.E. O'Meara, M. Putnam, J. Rodgers, and M. Spalding. 2008. Releases of whooping cranes to the Florida nonmigratory flock: a structured decision-making approach. Report to the International Whooping Crane Recovery Team, September 22. 26 pp. [Link]

Mazerolle, M.J., L.L. Bailey, W.L. Kendall, J.A. Royle, S.J. Converse, and J.D. Nichols. 2007. Making great leaps forward: Accounting for detectability in herpetological field studies. Journal of Herpetology 41(4):672-689. [Link]

Converse S.J., W.M. Block, and G.C. White. 2006. Small mammal population and habitat responses to forest thinning and prescribed fire. Forest Ecology and Management 228(1-3):263-273. [Link]

Converse S.J., G.C. White, and W.M. Block. 2006. Small mammal responses to thinning and wildfire in ponderosa pine-dominated forests of the southwestern United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 70(6):1711-1722. [Link]

Converse S.J., G.C. White, K. Farris, and S. Zack. 2006. Small mammal responses to forest fuel reduction: national-scale results from the fire and fire surrogate project. Ecological Applications 16(5):1717-1729. [Link]

Iverson J.B., S.J. Converse, G.R. Smith, and J.M. Valiulis. 2006. Long-term trends in the demography of the Allen Cays Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata): human disturbance and density-dependent effects. Biological Conservation 132(3):300-310. [Link]

Monroe, M.E. and S.J. Converse. 2006. The effects of early season and late season prescribed fires on small mammals in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management 236(2-3):229-240. [Link]

Converse S.J., J.B. Iverson, and J.A. Savidge. 2005. Demographics of an Ornate Box Turtle population experiencing minimal human-induced disturbances. Ecological Applications 15(6):2171-2179. [Link]

Converse S.J., B.G. Dickson, G.C. White, and W.M. Block. 2004. Estimating small mammal abundance on fuels treatment units in southwestern ponderosa pine forests. Pages 113-120 in C. van Riper III and K.L. Cole, editors. The Colorado Plateau: cultural, biological, and physical research. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, USA. [Link]

Converse S.J. and J.A. Savidge. 2003. Ambient temperature, activity, and microhabitat use by Ornate Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata). Journal of Herpetology 37(4):665-670. [Link]

Converse S.J., J.B. Iverson, and J.A. Savidge. 2002. Activity, reproduction and overwintering behavior of Ornate Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) in the Nebraska Sandhills. American Midland Naturalist 148(2):416-422. [Link]


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Plants and Animalsendangered species
Plants and Animalswildlife population management
Techniques and Methodsstatistical analysis

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Examples of Current Projects

Image of Current Focus for Examples of Current Projects

Demography and ecology of the reintroduced Eastern Migratory Population of whooping cranes

Decision analysis for reintroduced populations


Demography of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay


Conservation planning for the boreal toad in the Southern Rocky Mountains, in the face of chytridiomycosis-associated declines


Demography and ecology of albatrosses


Hierarchical spatial capture-recapture models

Contact Information

Sarah Converse
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708
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