WNAN Symposium 2021 Image

Zoom links for this virtual symposium will be sent via email to registered participants on the evening of 1 April.

Impact of Climate Change on Western North American Ecosystems

Climate change is having widespread impacts across the globe and on western North American ecosystems in particular. Current climate models predict that these impacts will intensify into the foreseeable future. This one-day virtual symposium hosted by Utah Valley University and sponsored by Western North American Naturalist will highlight research being done across several disciplines to help us understand and mitigate these impacts in our region. Scientists at all career stages are welcome to participate both as presenters and audience members.  Plan on attending!

For additional Information or questions, email us at:  wnan2021@uvu.edu

Please join us!

Abstract Submission
Due March 15, 2021

Deadline for Submissions: March 15, 2021
Submit Abstract Here

Keynote Speaker

David Inouye image

David Inouye
University of Maryland

Dr. Inouye has worked with bumblebees, euglossine bees, pollinating flies, tephritid flies, hummingbirds, and wildflowers, on topics including pollination biology, flowering phenology, plant demography, and plant-animal interactions such as ant-plant mutualisms, nectar robbing, and seed predation. He has worked in Australia, Austria, Central America, and Colorado, where he has spent summer field seasons since 1971 at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). His long-term studies of flowering phenology and plant demography are supported by the National Science Foundation and are being used now to provide insights into the effects of climate change at high altitudes.

Dr. Inouye taught courses in ecology and conservation biology at the University of Maryland, and has also taught at the University of Colorado's Mountain Research Station, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and with the Organization for Tropical Studies. He is the founder and moderator for the Ecological Society of America's ECOLOG-L listserv list, and serves on the Board of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. He is Past-President of the Ecological Society of America, and a Lead Author on the report on pollinators produced by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. 

Keynote session (Facilitated by Ashley N. Egan)

9:00 am: Welcome, Ashley N. Egan (Utah Valley University)

9:10 am: Keynote Address, David Inouye (University of Maryland)

Title: How is the montane climate changing, and how does that affect phenology and abundance of wildflowers and their mutualists?

Morning General Session (Facilitated by Ashley N. Egan)

9:45 am: Mitchell J. Power (University of Utah) “Fire, vegetation and climate linkages in the Uinta Mountains during the past 10,000 years”

10:00 am: Heath Ogden (Utah Valley University) “Insects and Climate Change: From Ice Bugs to Mayflies”

10:15 am: Ben Abbott (Brigham Young University) “Back to the Holocene: why we must do better than 1.5°C and how we can do it.”

10:30 am: BREAK

10:45 am: Michael Dillon (University of Wyoming) “A climate vise of temperature extremes may shape current and future bumble bee distributions.”

11:00 am: Sam St. Clair (Brigham Young University) “Impacts of wildfire on plant-herbivore interactions in ecosystems of the western US.”

11:15 am: R. Justin DeRose (Utah State University) “4,000 years of fire and vegetation change in aspen communities: lessons for a changing climate.”

11:30 am: Tara Bishop (US Forest Service) “Climate change and exotic grass invasions effects on desert communities.”

11:45 am: Discussion


Noon - 1 pm: LUNCH BREAK

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (Facilitated by Paul Dunn)

1:00 pm: Geoff Zahn (Utah Valley University) “Long-term soil fungal community recovery after fire is impacted by climate change.”

1:15 pm: Sarah E. Gomes (San Francisco State University) “Interactions between coastal fog and physiological function of Seaside daisies (Erigeron glaucus).”

1:30 pm: Sarah Waybright (University of Wyoming) “Effects of ground temperature on the energy use and survival of queen bumble bees.”

1:45 pm: Ellen C. Keaveny (University of Wyoming) “How bumble bees weather a late season cold snap.”

2:00 pm: Isabella Errigo (Brigham Young University) “Why should I care about a bad ski season? A look at feedback loops and wildfires in the western US."

2:15 pm: Haley Moon (Brigham Young University) “Megafire effects stream sediment flux and dissolved organic matter reactivity, but land use dominates nutrient dynamics.”

2:30 pm: Brian Brown (Brigham Young University) “The Effect of Wildfire on Streamflow in the Western US.”

2:45 pm: Devri Adams (Brigham Young University) “The Ecological Effects of Megafire on Forest Ecosystems.”

3:00 pm: BREAK

3:15 pm: Johanna Varner (Colorado Mesa University) “Nutritional quality and overwinter preservation of Pika winter diet over three decades of climate change.”

3:30 pm: Tabitha McFarland (Colorado Mesa University) “Predictors of individual-level stress in an isolated population of American pikas (Ochotona princeps).”

3:45 pm: Josey King (Colorado Mesa University) “Elevational patterns of stress in an isolated population of American pikas (Ochotona princeps)

4:00 pm: Karl Jarvis (Southern Utah University) “DNA studies of Mojave desert tortoise diets in fire-damaged and unburned habitats in the Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area.”

4:15 pm: Noelle Zenger (Brigham Young University) “Can mechanical thinning of the forests provide the same ecosystem benefits as fire?”

4:30 pm: Anne Kelly (CSU Desert Studies Center) “Constraints on ecosystem type and productivity across a broad climate gradient.”



One of the important outcomes of this symposium will be a special issue of the Western North American Naturalist devoted to the topic of the effects of climate change on Western North American ecosystems.  To that end, we strongly encourage all participants to submit their work for consideration for this special issue.  WNAN has graciously provided reduced page charges for the special issue. The organizers of this symposium have also reserved additional money to help defray publication charges for those who submit manuscripts.  These awards will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact a member of the Symposium organizing committee for information about publishing in the special issue.

Symposium Organizing Committee

Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn

Assistant Professor



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Ashley Egan

Ashley Egan

Assistant Professor



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Erin Riggs

Erin Riggs



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Michael T. Stevens

Michael T. Stevens



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