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Jill A. Dechant Shaffer

Ecologist
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
8711 37th Street Southeast
Jamestown, North Dakota 58401

Phone: (701) 253-5547
Fax: (701) 253-5553
Email NPWRC Staff
Research,
Jamestown Headquarters

Photo of Jill Shaffer.

Expertise:

  • Avian Ecology, with an emphasis on grassland and wetland birds
  • Impact of wind energy on grassland birds

Current Projects:

Education:

  • M.S., Zoology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR (1996)
  • B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin, River Falls, WI (1993)

Professional Experience:

  • 1999-present:  Ecologist, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, USGS, Jamestown, ND
  • 1996-1999:  Biological Science Technician, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, USGS, Jamestown, ND
  • 1997:  Ecology Instructor, Jamestown College, Jamestown, ND
  • 1993-1996:  General Biology Laboratory Instructor, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Professional Affiliations:

  • The Wildlife Society (TWS)
    • North Dakota Chapter of TWS
    • Central Mountains and Plains Section of TWS
  • American Ornithologists' Union
  • Wilson Ornithological Society
  • The Waterbird Society
  • Great Plains Natural Science Society
  • North Dakota Bird Records Committee

Selected Publications:

Shaffer, J. A., and J. P. Thiele. 2013. Distribution of burrowing owls in east-central South Dakota. Prairie Naturalist 45:40-44. PDF

Strickland, M. D., E. B. Arnett, W. P. Erickson, D. H. Johnson, G. D. Johnson, M. L. Morrison, J.A. Shaffer, and W. Warren-Hicks. 2011. Comprehensive guide to studying wind energy/wildlife interactions. Prepared for the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, Washington, D.C. http://www.nationalwind.org//publications/comprehensiveguide.aspx

Pietz, P. J., D. A. Buhl, J. A. Shaffer, M. Winter, and D. H. Johnson. 2009. Influence of trees in the landscape on parasitism rates of grassland passerines in southeastern North Dakota. Condor 111:36-42. PDF Download

Shaffer, J. A., and D. H. Johnson. 2009. Displacement effects of wind developments on grassland birds in the northern Great Plains. Pages 57-61 in Proceedings of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative Wind Wildlife Research Meeting VII. Milwaukee, WI. Slide presentations

Erickson, W., D. Strickland, J. A. Shaffer, and D. H. Johnson. 2007. Protocol for investigating displacement effects of wind facilities on grassland songbirds. National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, Washington, D. C.

Shaffer, J. A., Knutsen, G. A., Martin, R. E., and Brice, J. S. 2007. Pattern and potential causes of white-faced ibis, Plegadis chihi, establishment in the northern prairie and parkland region of North America. Canadian-Field Naturalist 121:46-57. PDF

Winter, M., Johnson, D. H., and Shaffer, J. A. 2006. Does body size affect a bird's sensitivity to patch size and landscape structure? Condor 108:808-816. Full-text via BioOne (subscription required)

Winter, M., D. H. Johnson, J. A. Shaffer, T. M. Donovan, and W. D. Svedarsky.  2006.  Patch size and landscape effects on density and nesting success of grassland birds.  Journal of Wildlife Management 70:158-172.

Johnson, D. H., J. E. Austin, and J. A. Shaffer. 2005. A fresh look at the taxonomy of midcontinental Sandhill Cranes. Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 9:37-45. PDF Download

Winter, M., D. H. Johnson, and J. A. Shaffer.  2005.  Variability in vegetation effects on density and nesting success of grassland birds.  Journal of Wildlife Management 69:185-197.

Winter, M., J. A. Shaffer, D. H. Johnson, T. M. Donovan, W. D. Svedarsky, P. W. Jones, and B. R. Euliss.  2005.  Habitat and nesting of Le Conte’s Sparrows in the northern tallgrass prairie.  Journal of Field Ornithology 76:61-71. PDF

Winter, M., D. H. Johnson, J. A. Shaffer, and W. D. Svedarsky.  2004.  Nesting biology of three grassland passerines in the northern tallgrass prairie.  Wilson Bulletin 116:211-223. PDF

Klute, D. S., L. W. Ayers, M. T. Green, W. H. Howe, S. L. Jones, J. A. Shaffer, S. R. Sheffield, and T. S. Zimmerman. 2003. Status assessment and conservation plan for the Western Burrowing Owl in the United States. Biological Technical Publication FWS/BTP-R6001-2003. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. 108 pages.

Shaffer, J. A., C. M. Goldade, M. F. Dinkins, D. H. Johnson, L. D. Igl, and B. R. Euliss.  2003.  Brown-headed Cowbirds in grasslands: their habitats, hosts, and response to management.  Prairie Naturalist 35:145-186.

Shaffer, J. A., Igl, L. D., and VanHove, F. 2003. Historical and recent records and first nest records of Henslow's sparrow in North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist 35:81-94. PDF

Winter, M. S. E. Hawks, J. A. Shaffer, and D. H. Johnson.  2003.  Guidelines for finding nests of passerine birds in tallgrass prairie.  Prairie Naturalist 35:197-211 PDF

Dechant, J. A.  2001.  Range expansion of the Pileated Woodpecker in North Dakota.  Prairie Naturalist 33:163-182.

Dechant, J. A., D. H. Johnson, C. M. Goldade, and L. D. Igl. 2001. Responses of grassland birds to management practices: lessons from the literature. Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science 55:7-8.

Dechant, J. A., M. L. Sondreal, D. H. Johnson, L. D. Igl, C. M. Goldade, A. L. Zimmerman, and B. R. Euliss.  1999 (revised 2003).  Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Bobolink.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND.  24 pages.

Note: The Bobolink account (above) is just one of a series of publications that arose from a literature review of effects of management practices on grassland and wetland birds. See "Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds" http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/literatr/grasbird/grasbird.htm and "Effects of Management Practices on Wetland Birds" http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/literatr/wetbird/wetbird.htm for a complete and updated listing of the 48 species accounts.

Recent Presentations

Shaffer, J. A. (presenter), D. H. Johnson, and D. A. Buhl. 2012. Avoidance of wind generators by breeding grassland birds. North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

Shaffer, J. A. (presenter), D. H. Johnson, and K. Heist. 2012. Effects of wind developments on birds and bats in the northern Great Plains. North Dakota State University, Environmental and Conservation Science Graduate Program Seminar, Fargo, ND. (Invited presentation).

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), and J. A. Shaffer. 2011. Effects of wind developments on grassland birds in native habitats in the northern Great Plains. Annual meeting of The Wildlife Society, Waikoloa, HI.

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), J. A. Shaffer, and K. Heist. 2011. Effects of wind developments on birds and bats in the northern Great Plains. Annual meeting of The Wildlife Society, Waikoloa, HI. (Invited presentation).

Robinson, A. (presenter), N. Niemuth, J. Shaffer, T. Runia, and S. Kempema. 2010. Developing a landscape-level, model-based approach to evaluating prairie grouse habitat and populations. Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sage Grouse and Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse Technical Meeting, Twin Falls, ID.

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), and J. A. Shaffer. 2009. Avoidance of wind generators by breeding grassland birds. Cooper Ornithological Society. Tucson, Arizona.

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), and J. A. Shaffer. 2009. Avoidance of wind generators by breeding grassland birds. Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Mankato, MN.

Patzman, R. (presenter), J. A. Shaffer, and G. Thompson. 2009. Wind development and the Northern Plains Wind Energy Forum. Annual Meeting of the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Mandan, ND.

Shaffer, J. A. (presenter), and D. H. Johnson. 2009. Displacement effects of wind developments on grassland birds in the northern Great Plains. Annual Meeting of the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Mandan, ND.

Shaffer, J. A., and G. Thompson (presenter). 2009. Displacement effects of wind developments on grassland birds in the northern Great Plains. Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Prairie-Chicken Society. Twin Valley, MN. (Invited presentation).

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), L. D. Igl, M. Winter, M. A. Cunningham, J. A. Shaffer, and W. D. Svedarsky. 2008. Habitat fragmentation: fact and fiction. Annual Meeting of the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Grand Forks, ND. (Presentation received an honorable mention in the Natural Resource Communicator Award competition).

Johnson, D. H. (presenter), L. D. Igl, M. Winter, M. A. Cunningham, J. A. Shaffer, and W. D. Svedarsky. 2008. Habitat fragmentation: fact and fiction. USDA Forest Service National Grassland Managers workshop, Fargo, ND. (Invited presentation).

Shaffer, J. A. 2008. Biological issues related to wind development in the Dakotas. Montana-Dakota Utilities, Bismarck, ND. (Invited presentation).

Shaffer, J. A. 2008. Biological issues related to wind development in the Dakotas. Northern Plains Wind Energy Forum, Fargo, ND. (Invited presentation).

Shaffer, J. A. 2008. Keeping the green in green energy. Annual Meeting of the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Grand Forks, ND. (Presentation received an honorable mention in the Natural Resource Communicator Award competition).

Shaffer, J. A. 2008. Keeping the green in green energy. Annual Meeting of the South Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Chamberlain, SD. (Invited presentation).

Shaffer, J. A. (presenter) and D. H. Johnson. 2008. Displacement effects of wind developments on grassland birds in the northern Great Plains. National Wind Coordinating Collaborative research meeting, Milwaukee, WI.

Shaffer, J. A. (presenter), and D. H. Johnson. 2008. Effects of wind development on grassland birds in native habitats in the northern Great Plains. Joint Meeting of the American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society, and Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Portland, OR.

Shaffer, T. L., P. J. Pietz, D. A. Buhl, T. A. Grant, and J. A. Shaffer (presenter). 2008. Activity patterns at the nest: implications for nest survival? Joint Meeting of the American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society, and Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Portland, OR.


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