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Wallace P. Erickson

Wallace P. Erickson

MS Statistics, BS Math and Statistics

About

75
Publications
29,774
Reads
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7,461
Citations
Citations since 2017
2 Research Items
2334 Citations
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Introduction
Mr. Wallace P. Erickson has been a statistician with WEST since 1991 and their Chief Operating Officer since 2011. He has a M.S in statistics from the University of Wyoming, and a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from Winona State University. He has over 23 years of consulting experience related to the design and analysis of environmental and wildlife studies. He is an author/co-author on over 40 professional journal articles. He has 4 daughters.
Additional affiliations
June 1991 - present
Western EcoSystems Technology Inc.
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
Full-text available
The development of photovoltaic (PV) utility-scale solar energy (USSE) in the desert Southwest has the potential to negatively affect birds through collision mortality. Based on early patterns in fatality monitoring data, the lake effect hypothesis (LEH) was developed and suggested that birds misinterpret PV solar panels for water. As the LEH was o...
Article
Full-text available
Recent trends in renewable energy development in the United States (U.S.) show that new installed capacity of utility-scale solar energy has exceeded 30% of total installed capacity of all sources per year since 2013. Photovoltaic solar energy provides benefits in that no emissions are produced; however, there are potential impacts from photovoltai...
Article
Full-text available
Three recent publications have estimated the number of birds killed each year by wind energy facilities at 2012 build-out levels in the United States. The 3 publications differ in scope, methodology, and resulting estimates. We compare and contrast characteristics of the approaches used in the publications. In addition, we describe decisions made i...
Article
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recommends using a Bayesian modeling framework to predict the annual golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) fatality rate at a wind energy facility, and the modeling approach defines prior distributions for collision rate and exposure rate from data at existing wind projects. Collision rate is defined a...
Article
Full-text available
Small passerines, sometimes referred to as perching birds or songbirds, are the most abundant bird group in the United States (US) and Canada, and the most common among bird fatalities caused by collision with turbines at wind energy facilities. We used data compiled from 116 studies conducted in the US and Canada to estimate the annual rate of sma...
Article
In a recent paper, Smallwood et al. (2010) conducted a study to compare their "novel" approach to conducting carcass removal trials with what they term the "conventional" approach and to evaluate the effects of the different methods on estimated avian fatality at a wind power facility in California. A quick glance at Table 3 that succinctly summari...
Article
Brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry and juveniles were episodically or continuously exposed to a metals mixture (Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd): the concentrations and ratios of the metals, and variations in water quality (pH, hardness), were selected to represent conditions measured during episodic storm events in the Clark For...
Article
Abstract Wind has become one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy worldwide, but widespread and often extensive fatalities of bats have increased concern regarding the impacts of wind energy development on bats and other wildlife. We synthesized available information on patterns of bat fatalities from a review of 21 postconstruction f...
Article
Full-text available
Avian collision fatality data from studies conducted at 30 wind farms across North America were examined to estimate how many night migrants collide with turbines and towers, and how aviation obstruction lighting relates to collision fatalities. Fatality rates, adjusted for scavenging and searcher efficiency, of night migrants at turbines 54 to 125...
Article
We describe landscape use of female brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. Radiocollars, fitted to 43 adult female brown bears, provided radio relocations, which we used to describe habitat use patterns by season and reproductive class at the landscape scale. Brown bears were associated with areas with low densities of huma...
Article
We examined bat activity levels, species composition, and collision mortality at a large wind plant in southwest Minnesota from 15 June-15 September, 2001 and 2002. We found 151 bat casualties, most of which were hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus). We recorded 3,718 bat passes at bat foraging and roosting areas within 3.6 km of the wind plant (x̄ = 48/...
Article
Full-text available
In 1994 a major wind power development project was initiated in southwest Minnesota that may eventually produce 425 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The wind plant currently consists of 3 phases that total 354 turbines capable of generating 236 MW. During a study conducted from 1996–1999 to assess effects of wind power development on wildlife, 184 ba...
Article
Full-text available
We compared post Exxon Valdez oil-spill densities of marine birds in Prince William Sound from 1989–1991, 1993, 1996, and 1998 to pre-spill densities from 1984–1985. Post-spill densities of several species of marine birds were lower than expected in the oiled area of Prince William Sound when compared to densities in the unoiled area. These negativ...
Article
Full-text available
Our purpose is to provide researchers, consultants, decision-makers, and other stakeholders with guidance to methods and metrics for investigating nocturnally active birds and bats in relation to utility-scale wind-energy development. The primary objectives of such studies are to 1) assess potential impacts on resident and migratory species, 2) qua...
Article
At a time of growing concern over the rising costs and long-term environmental impacts of the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, wind energy has become an increasingly important sector of the electrical power industry, largely because it has been promoted as being emission-free and is supported by government subsidies and tax credits. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of grassland and shrub-steppe bird species are declining more precipitously than any other group of North American bird species (Peterjohn and Sauer 1999). Much of the decline appears associated with habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation of grassland and shrub-steppe habitats. Agricultural development is the greatest cause of gra...
Article
The primary objective of this study at the San Gorgonio Wind Resource Area was to estimate and compare bird utilization, fatality rates, and the risk index among factors including bird taxonomic groups, wind turbine and reference areas, wind turbine sizes and types, and geographic locations. The key questions addressed to meet this objective includ...
Article
We examined bat activity levels, species composition, and collision mortality at a large wind plant in southwest Minnesota from 15 June-15 September, 2001 and 2002. We found 151 bat casualties, most of which were hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus). We recorded 3,718 bat passes at bat foraging and roosting areas within 3.6 km of the wind plant (x̄=48/de...
Article
Observations of dead raptors at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area triggered concerns on the parts of regulatory agencies, environmental/conservation groups, wildlife resource agencies, and wind and electric utility industries about possible impacts to birds from wind energy development. Bird fatality rates observed at most wind projects are not...
Article
Full-text available
Two variants of a proposed technique for the validation of resource selection functions (RSF) were compared. Each validation technique involves validation of a model with a set of used points held out from the original data or obtained through additional sampling. A simulation was designed to examine the ability of the validation methods to judge p...
Article
Full-text available
Kernel density estimators are often used to estimate the utilization distributions (UDs) of animals. Kernel UD estimates have a strong theoretical basis and perform well, but are usually reported without estimates of error or uncertainty. It is intuitively and theoretically appealing to estimate the sampling error in kernel UD estimates using boots...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce the numbers of avian collisions with wind turbines, several measures have been employed with various levels of success. One hypothesis is that painting turbine blades to increase their visibility may reduce avian fatalities. This study examined the effects of painting wind turbine blades with UV-reflective paint on bird use and mortality...
Article
In 1994 Xcel Energy initiated a wind-power development project in southwestern Minnesota that will eventually produce 425 megawatts (MW) of electricity. During our study the wind farm consisted of 3 phases of development totaling 354 turbines capable of generating 236 MW, depending on wind speed. We assessed effects of the wind farm on birds from 1...
Book
We have written this book as a guide to the design and analysis of field studies of resource selection, concentrating primarily on statistical aspects of the comparison of the use and availability of resources of different types. Our intended audience is field ecologists in general and, in particular, wildlife and fisheries biologists who are attem...
Article
Full-text available
We briefly address the four main issues that Wiens et al. (2001) present in their commentary on Irons et al. (2000). In summary our response is: (1) We discussed before-after control-impact design assumption, at length in our paper. Data do not exist to resolve this issue and Wiens et al. fail to shed new light on it. (2) Contrary to Wiens et al.'s...
Article
We briefly address the four main issues that Wiens et al. (2001) present in their commentary on Irons et al. (2000). In summary our response is: (1) We discussed before-after control-impact design assumptions at length in our paper. Data do not exist to resolve this issue and Wiens et al. fail to shed new light on it. (2) Contrary to Wiens et al.'s...
Article
Full-text available
2001: Snow cover and snow goose Anser caerulescens cae-rulescens distribution during spring migration. -Wildl. Biol. 7: 65-76. Arctic geese often use spring migration stopover areas when feeding habitats are partially snow covered. Melting of snow during the stopover period causes spatial and temporal variability in distribution and abundance of fe...
Article
Full-text available
The joint effect of multiple initial decisions made about sampling design in evaluation of environmental impacts using observational field assessments influences the ability to detect and accurately estimate responses. The design can dictate in advance whether the study can identify even large impacts that truly exist. Following the 'Exxon Valdez'...
Article
It has been estimated that from 100 million to well over 1 billion birds are killed annually in the United States due to collisions with human-made structures, including vehicles, buildings and windows, powerlines, communication towers, and wind turbines. Although wind energy is generally considered environmentally friendly (because it generates el...
Article
Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) often use tall, large-diameter trees to nest, and so the potential for conflict with forest management exists. Responses of bald eagles to forest management practices, particularly selective logging, have not been investigated thoroughly. We present a case study describing relationships between territory occup...
Article
We compared post Exxon Valdez oil-spill densities of marine birds in Prince William Sound from 1989–1991, 1993, 1996, and 1998 to pre-spill densities from 1984–1985. Post-spill densities of several species of marine birds were lower than expected in the oiled area of Prince William Sound when compared to densities in the unoiled area. These negativ...
Article
Full-text available
Before-after control-impact (BACI) studies are common observational studies con ducted to determine environmental impacts of accidents or potential disturbances. In this paper, we present a practical guide to analysis of BACI studies when response variables are counts. Two commonly used analyses and one less common, but more appropriate, analysis a...
Article
Full-text available
This report presents a literature review on avian-wind turbine interactions and the results of a one-year avian baseline study conducted in 1998 at the proposed Conservation and Renewable Energy System (CARES) wind development site in Klickitat County, Washington. Avian use of the site ranged from 1.11/survey in the winter to 5.69/survey in the spr...
Chapter
Radiotelemetry and Animal Populations is a succinct synthesis of emerging technologies and their applications to the empirical and theoretical problems of population assessment. The book is divided into sections designed to encompass the various aspects of animal ecology that may be evaluated using radiotelemetry technology - experimental design, e...
Article
Because much of the information concerning disturbance of waterfowl by aircraft is anecdotal, we examined behavioral responses of Pacific brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) and Canada geese (B. canadensis taverneri) to experimental overflights during fall staging at Izembek Lagoon, Alaska. These data were used to develop predictive models of brant a...
Article
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow practical new approaches for the study of habitat/resource selection. In this article, we illustrate several statistical techniques that can be used in resource selection studies involving GIS with data from a study of winter habitat selection by moose (Alces alces) on the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper defines and illustrates some statistical methods useful in assessing risk of avian collision with turbines and other potential windplant-related wildlife impacts. We use examples from monitoring studies we have developed for the SeaWest wind plant near Arlington, Wyoming (Johnson et al. 1998b), and the Buffalo Ridge Wind Plant near Lake...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed river habitat selection of waterfowl wintering in the South Platte River below the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District treatment plant in Adams County, Colorado to determine potential impacts of proposed river channel modifications. Daily mean number of waterfowl was 711 per km of river over the study area, and 19 species of waterfowl...
Article
Statistical tests of the classical (null) hypothesis–that there is no difference in effects of control media and test media– are commonly used to make statistical inferences toward the no-observed-adverse-effect concentration. However, failing to reject this hypothesis is not considered as scientific proof the hypothesis is true. An effect may exis...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and subsequent cleanup activities on density, biomass, and species diversity of intertidal fishes in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Intertidal fish were sampled in a quasi-experimental, matched-pairs (oiled–cleaned versus reference sites) design stratified...
Article
Full-text available
We estimate that from 500 million to possibly over 1 billion birds are killed annually in the United States due to anthropogenic sources including collisions with human-made structures such as vehicles, buildings and windows, power lines, communication towers, and wind turbines; electrocutions; oil spills and other con-taminants; pesticides; cat pr...
Article
The,generation and availability of spatially explicit data through geographic information systems (GIS) offers the opportunity to greatly expand the variety of variables used in the development,and application of resource selection functions (RSFs). However, use of GIS capabilities in the analysis of habitat selection does bring potential difficult...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are often used for generating predictor variables for wildlife or plant resource selection models, and in producing maps of subsequent predicted values from the resulting models. Land cover class is often used as a possible covariate, if a land cover map derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper or other imagery is a...

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Project (1)
Project
Project addresses collisions with human infrastructure, human attitudes toward wildlife harvest, and other unintended consequences of human activity.