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Rene Valdez

Global Change Fellow Alumnus | Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources | North Carolina State University

2015 – 2016 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now?

Rene is a Human Dimensions Specialist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Statement of Purpose:

I am a PhD student in the Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources working with Dr. Nils Peterson. My research explores human perceptions and reactions to novel species on the landscape. As climate change “reshuffles” species, the impacts of invasive species on cultural and natural resources will continue to rise. Decision-makers may be required to use multi-criteria decision analysis to explore new approaches to invasive species management.

Description of Research:

My current research focuses on human perceptions of invasive rodents and management actions on islands. Rodents have caused numerous extinctions on islands across the globe. Current management actions have successfully removed invasive populations from hundreds of islands but those methods are not well suited for large inhabited islands, or continental land with invasive species. In collaboration with other students at NC State’s Genetic Pest Management graduate program, we are considering the use of genetically modified mice to eradicate invasive populations. With the SECSC I hope to work with scientists and land managers to explore how they prioritize the various values that are part of a multi-criteria decision analysis for invasive species management. My research aligns with SECASC Theme 4: Ecological Research and Modeling.

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