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Meet Our Conservation Team

Michigan and the Great Lakes

Dr. Patrick Doran

Associate State Director/Conservation Director for Michigan

As Director of Conservation for Michigan, Dr. Patrick Doran leads statewide and Great Lakes‐wide investigations of conservation priorities. This includes the identification and prioritization of important conservation areas, as well as the development and implementation of conservation strategies and measures of success.

Patrick earned his doctorate from Dartmouth College, where he studied the causes and consequences of spatial variation in the distribution and abundance of forest breeding songbirds at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Patrick received dual master’s degrees in ecology and environmental science from Indiana University where he studied the effects of forest fragmentation on the breeding success of forest dependent songbirds. He received his undergraduate education at Villanova University. Patrick has also held positions as a habitat biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as a senior ecologist/GIS analyst with The Wildlands Project.

Read an interview with Dr. Patrick Doran


The Coastal Wetlands of Western Lake Erie: Have We Lost Our Swiss Army Knife?

October 28, 2014

What does a 95 percent loss look like? Imagine losing 95 percent of your retirement portfolio. That would take another career to rebuild. What if we lost 95 percent of the water in the Great Lakes? Every lake except Ontario would be bone dry. The scenario seems pretty drastic, but it’s exactly where we are with the status of our wetlands in western Lake Erie. Read the entire article

Consequential Nature: The Power of Nature That Doesn’t Seem to Matter, But Does

May 06, 2014

A couple of years back I read “Consequential Strangers” by Melinda Blau and Karen Fingerman that I frequently recall in my experiences with nature. The book argues that there are consequential strangers in everyone’s life that impact us in unknown ways. The authors refer to “the power of people that don’t seem to matter, but do…”.For me, I think about the power of nature that doesn’t seem to matter, but does. Read the entire article

Definition as Intention: “Climate Adaptation”

March 18, 2014

Pop quiz! Define “climate adaptation.” Did your definition include response to current changes? Future changes? Did it include the idea of reducing risk? Did you have something gradual or disruptive in mind? Did it include explicit planning? What actions would your definition would imply? If you’re a little fuzzy on the definition of adaptation, you’re not alone, say the authors of a recent journal article on perceptions of climate change adaptation among resource managers in the Great Lakes area. Read the entire article

The Great Lakes Deserve Some R&R

November 19, 2012

Stressed out? Yeah, me too! Work, family, bills, friends, health, holidays. Just one of these I might be able to handle. But when they all add up…those are the times I really need some R&R. For the Great Lakes, “R&R” means Reinvestment and Restoration. And given that these lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people and in the U.S. provide 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages, reinvestment and restoration are wise investments. Read the entire article

Everyday Environmentalist: Compost. Yes, Compost.

August 15, 2011

This past summer, my family consumed dozens of watermelons and enough apples to fill a tree. These foods not only help my family grow; next year, they will help my garden grow. I compost — I confess it. It wasn't always easy. I floundered for a couple of years. But now every bit of compostable material from my kitchen and yard makes its way through my pair of backyard compost bins. Read the entire article

The Sweetwater Sea: An International Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Lake Huron


Franks Taylor, R., A.L. Derosier, K. Dinse, P.J. Doran, D.N. Ewert, K.R. Hall, M.E. Herbert, M.L. Khoury, D.T. Kraus, A. Lapenna, G. Mayne, D.R. Pearsall, J. Read, and B. Schroeder. 2010. The Sweetwater Sea: An International Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Lake Huron ‐ Technical Report. A joint publication of The Nature Conservancy, Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Michigan Natural Features Inventory Michigan Sea Grant, and The Nature Conservancy of Canada. 217 pp.

Land conversion at the protected area’s edge


Kramer, D., and P.J. Doran. 2010. Land conversion at the protected area’s edge. Conservation Letters 3:349‐358.

West Nile virus impacts in American crow populations are associated with human land use and climate


LaDeau, S.L., C.A. Calder, P.J. Doran, and P.P. Marra. 2010. West Nile virus impacts in American crow populations are associated with human land use and climate. Ecological Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11284‐010‐0725‐z.

Are Terrestrial Reserve Networks Adequate for Conserving Aquatic Ecosystems?


Herbert, M., P.B. McIntyre, P.J. Doran, J.D. Allan, and R. Abell. 2010. Are Terrestrial Reserve Networks Adequate for Conserving Aquatic Ecosystems? Conservation Biology 24:1002‐1011.

Biodiversity conservation in the era of biofuels: risks and opportunities


Fletcher, R.J. Jr., B.A. Robertson, J. Evans, P.J. Doran, J.R.R. Alavalapati, and D.W. Schemske. 2010. Biodiversity conservation in the era of biofuels: risks and opportunities. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1890/090091

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