Community Invited to NPWRC on September 16th, 2-5 PM

The public is invited to attend a free, family-friendly open house at a local U.S. Geological Survey center for ecology research on Saturday, September 16.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center scientists and learn about research conducted at the Jamestown, North Dakota, facility. Wildlife-oriented activities will be available for children, and refreshments, including cookies and lemonade, will be provided.The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has been a member of the Jamestown community since its founding in 1965, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 with an informational open house.“Our science center enjoys the opportunity to show members of the community what we do, and we hope to make this a regular event,” said Dave Mushet, a USGS biologist at the center.

Dave Mushetdmushet@usgs.gov
Kindergartners Learn About Science at NPWRC

Two kindergarten classes from Gussner Elementary School in Jamestown recently (5/18/2017) visited the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center where these future scientists learned about the work currently being conducted by several USGS scientists.

Clint Ottocotto@usgs.gov
Sheel Bansal New Technology in the Study of Prairie Pothole Region Wetlands

Carbon and nitrogen recycling research at NPWRC was highlighted in the Jamestown Sun on April 3, 2017. Sheel Bansal, Principal Investigator, was interviewed by a reporter on the new technology being used to capture up to 25 gases simultaneously every 30 seconds. 

Sheel Bansalsbansal@usgs.gov
Wolf Image Dave Mech Interviewed about Yellowstone Wolf Biology, Research, and Management

 An interview with Dave Mech and other scientists about Yellowstone wolf biology, research, and management appeared online in Yellowstone Science 24(1) online at

Native Prairie in North Dakota NPWRC Researchers Quoted in Washington Post Article on Grassland Conversion

An article published online on June 16, 2016, by the The Washington Post, Energy and Environment section, referenced research studies at NPWRC, e.g. grassland birds, pollinators, wetlands, land-use change and ecosystem services. Clint Otto and Larry Igl, Research Ecologists at NPWRC, Jamestown, ND were quoted by the author, Ryan Schuessler. The article features impacts of the conversion of grassland to farmland, primarily due to the loss of CRP acres. It can be read at

A beeyard in North Dakota Clint Otto and Matthew Smart's Land Use and Pollinator Health Study Featured in National Geographic

Clint Otto and Matthew Smart's land use and pollinator health study was featured in National Geographic:

Surveying for Grassland Birds Jill Shaffer and Larry Igl Interviewed in new UND Documentary


NPWRC scientists Jill Shaffer and Larry Igl are interviewed in a new University of North Dakota documentary on the decline of the Western Meadowlark in North Dakota.

NPWRC Float in the 2015 White Cloud Parade NPWRC Lauches 50th Anniversary Celebrations with Entry in Jamestown's White Cloud Parade

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The celebrations started on July 11th with a walk down the main street of Jamestown as part of the annual White Cloud Parade organized by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce. NPWRC staff constructed a float for the parade and passed out candy and brochures to kids and adults lining the parade route. 

Gary Krapu Gary Krapu Interviewed

Gary Krapu was interviewed on February 26 by Ariana Brocious of the University of Nebraska for a web-only print story to be published on the Platte Basin Timelapse website ( An excerpt of the phone interview may be used for a radio story which would broadcast on NET Public Radio in Nebraska. The interview, entirely on cranes, focused on findings presented in the most recent monograph – “Spring migration ecology of the mid-continent sandhill crane population with an emphasis on use of the Central Platte River Valley, Nebraska,” Wildlife Monographs 189:1-41;

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 50th Anniversary Logo Join us for the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center


The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is celebrating its 50th year of conducting research for the management of the Great Plains’ natural resources. The Center was founded in 1965 to establish a scientific foundation for, and help guide the future of the Department of Interior’s waterfowl management programs. Northern Prairie became an internationally respected center of excellence in migratory bird and wetland research through its many field studies throughout the Prairie Pothole Region. We invite all alumni, partners, and colleagues to join us for a formal celebration of Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center’s 50th Anniversary at 10:30 am on Friday, August 21, 2015 at NPWRC. 

Staff will also be hosting an Anniversary Open House for the public from 10:00 to 2:00 on Saturday, August 22.  The public is encouraged to join us and learn more about what we do, watch demonstrations, and meet the staff.  Hotdogs, lemonade and cake will be served from 11:30 – 12:30.

For more information, contact the Center at  For a schedule of open-house events and a map to the Center, click the More Info Link at the bottom of this page.     






Mark Sherfynpwrc_50thanniversary@usgs.gov
Cover photo of scientific investigations report 2015-5004 Just Released: Climate Change and Prairie Pothole Wetlands—Mitigating Water-Level and Hydroperiod Effects Through Upland Management

The following USGS online publication was approved for release and has been made available to the public.USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5004:Climate Change and Prairie Pothole Wetlands—Mitigating Water-Level and Hydroperiod Effects Through Upland ManagementSuggested citation:Renton, D.A., Mushet, D.M., and DeKeyser, E.S., 2015, Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands—Mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5004, 21 p., This publication is available at After the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and product metadata have been registered by CrossRef, the official URL will be publication is available online only. 

David Mushetdmushet@usgs.gov
Cover photo of scientific investigations report 2014-5017 Brine Contamination to Aquatic Resources from Oil and Gas Development in the Williston Basin, United States

The Williston Basin, which includes parts of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota in the United States and the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada, has been a leading domestic oil and gas producing region for more than one-half a century. Currently, there are renewed efforts to develop oil and gas resources from deep geologic formations, spurred by advances in recovery technologies and economic incentives associated with the price of oil. Domestic oil and gas production has many economic benefits and provides a means for the United States to fulfill a part of domestic energy demands; however, environmental hazards can be associated with this type of energy production in the Williston Basin, particularly to aquatic resources (surface water and shallow groundwater) by extremely saline water, or brine, which is produced with oil and gas. The primary source of concern is the migration of brine from buried reserve pits that were used to store produced water during recovery operations; however, there also are considerable risks of brine release from pipeline failures, poor infrastructure construction, and flow-back water from hydraulic fracturing associated with modern oilfield operations.During 2008, a multidisciplinary (biology, geology, water) team of U.S. Geological Survey researchers was assembled to investigate potential energy production effects in the Williston Basin. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey participated in field tours and met with representatives from county, State, tribal, and Federal agencies to identify information needs and focus research objectives. Common questions from agency personnel, especially those from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were “are the brine plumes (plumes of brine-contaminated groundwater) from abandoned oil wells affecting wetlands on Waterfowl Production Areas and National Wildlife Refuges?” and “are newer wells related to Bakken and Three Forks development different than the older, abandoned wells (in terms of potential for affecting aquatic resources)?” Of special concern were the wetland habitats of the ecologically important Prairie Pothole Region, which overlays a part of the Williston Basin and is recognized for the production of a majority of North America’s migratory waterfowl.On the basis of the concerns raised by on-the-ground land managers, as well as findings from previous research, a comprehensive study was developed with the following goals: summarize existing information pertaining to oil and gas production and aquatic resources in the Williston Basin; assess brine plume migration from new and previously studied sites in the Prairie Pothole Region; perform a regional, spatial evaluation of oil and gas production activities and aquatic resources; assess the potential for brine contamination to wetlands and streams; and hold a decision analysis workshop with key stakeholders to discuss issues pertaining to oil and gas production and environmental effects and to identify information gaps and research needs.This report represents an initial, multidisciplinary evaluation of measured and potential environmental effects associated with oil and gas production in the Williston Basin and Prairie Pothole Region. Throughout this report there are reviews of current knowledge, and discussions relating to data gaps and research needs. On the basis of the information presented, future research needs include: regional geophysical and water-quality assessments to establish baselines for current conditions and estimate the extent of previous brine contamination, investigations into the direct effects of brine to biotic communities, and evaluations to identify the most effective techniques to mitigate brine contamination.

Robert Gleasonrgleason@usgs.gov
Working at Nortern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Biological Science Technician Needed

Current Job Openings at NPWRC:

 If you would like to learn more about upcoming job opportunities at NPWRC, please call 701-253-5500 or email Jennifer Kapp