Jesse Sikora, MSc Student

Spatial Analysis of Beaver Impoundment Impacts on Riverscapes in Restored Tallgrass Prairie

My broad research interests include wildlife behavioral ecology, ecosystem engineers, and restoration ecology. Growing up in the pine barrens, I spent the majority of my time camping and hiking in the woods which fostered a love for nature and animals at a very young age. I pursued my passion for the natural world at William Paterson University where I received a B.S. in Environmental Science in 2012. After graduating, I spent the next eight years living around the country seeking seasonal field ecology positions ranging from short-horned lizard surveys for University of Wyoming to managing the prairie dog population management program for Petrified Forest National Park. Through the years of working for the National Park Service, I established my career goal of working within adaptive management and restoration. My graduate position at NIU will help develop my skills in research to propel my career in applied wildlife management and restoration.


My current graduate research is located at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, IL. I am focusing on collecting initial data of the previously unstudied beaver population in the area including spatial dynamics of impoundments, as well as the associated riverscape impacts of the impoundments.