Thomas Connor is a first-year PhD student studying with Jack Liu. He's spending his summer doing field work in Wolong, China. 

July 27, 2015

(Editor's note: This blog was written in mid-June, but held captive by limited internet access)

Yesterday was my first day venturing into the field to collect fecal samples for later genetic analysis. I hope to conduct a non-invasive genetics survey of Wolong Nature reserve and the surrounding areas to determine movement patterns and population structure at a reserve-network scale and determine some of the effects of human development and protection efforts on pandas.


July 22, 2015

The benefits people reap from nature – or the harm they can suffer from natural disasters – can seem as obvious as an earthquake. Yet putting numbers to changes in those ecosystem services and how human well-being is affected has fallen short, until now.

A team of researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) and Chinese Academy of Sciences are advancing new modeling technology to quantify human dependence on nature, human well-being, and relationships between the two. The latest step is published in this week’s Ecosystem Health and Sustainability journal.


June 15, 2015

The environmental movement is making a difference – nudging greenhouse gas emissions down in states with strong green voices, according to a Michigan State University (MSU) study.

Social scientist Thomas Dietz and Kenneth Frank, MSU Foundation professor of sociometrics, have teamed up to find a way to tell if a state jumping on the environmental bandwagon can mitigate other human factors – population growth and economic affluence – known to hurt the environment.  


June 4, 2015

As one of the most highly prized game fish in the Upper Midwest, muskellunge (also known as muskies) and northern pike help support a $20 billion sport fishing industry. Facing declines in natural reproduction, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University inland fisheries researcher, has developed a list of research and management needs to help keep the fish -- and the industry -- thriving.