Environment, Ecology, and Biology Projects

AERC specializes in environment, ecology, and biology projects. Our research portfolio includes wildlife monitoring, habitat surveying, and management recommendations from around the Pacific region. Learn more about our ecology projects below.

Avian Research

bald eagle in a fir tree

Avian Nest Survey

How do birds affect military training? And how does military training affect birds, specifically those identified as Species Of Special Concern?

researcher looking through a telescoping lens at a bird watching site

Large Bird Survey

AERC researchers look for nests from above and below to monitor nesting success on JBER, and contribute to the multi-office Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey.

A tri-colored blackbird

Tricolor Blackbird Survey

Land managers on Edwards Air Force Base in California balance recreation with conservation to protect an endangered blackbird.


Fish Research

small salmon in a human hand

Juvenile Salmon Diet Investigation

What do JBER's smallest salmon snack on? Biologists went to the creek to find out. The answers will help land managers protect salmon habitat on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

small creek leaving a larger lake

Otter Lake Salmon Recording

Cook Inlet's endangered belugas consume salmon that hatch on base. The pod's long-term health depends on understanding how many salmon reach the inlet.

fish weir on a river

Beluga Whale Dietary Study

UAA welders helped construct a new fish weir that AERC placed in the Sixmile water system to better understand local salmon populations.


five researchers in life vests on the shore of a lake

Salmon Abundance

AERC researchers developed new techniques to measure and monitor salmon diversity on Eagle River, providing land managers with more details on the population.



Mammal Research

bat in a gloved hand

Little Brown Bat Survey

AERC completed the first study of little brown bats on base to protect the threatened species from spreading White Nose Disease.

moose standing in a pond

Moose Management

Moose hunting has cultural, financial, and lifestyle benefits for Alaskans. An AERC surveys looked for ways to improve their habitat.



Plant Research

bright orange flowers

Invasive Plant Remediation

Invasive species can disrupt ecology and recreation on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Researchers survey hotspots on base and remove dozens of invasive wildflowers and plants.

Two researchers stand on a green mountain ridge

Rare Plant Inventory

Researchers traveled miles of military land searching for plants deemed rare to Alaska, and species identified by Alaska Native communities as culturally important.

invasive green bushes under blue sky growing by concrete

Wake Island Invasives

AERC staff arrived on Wake Island to assess and remove invasive ironwood, which had overgrown military monuments and historic sites from World War II.


Insects and Others

a beetle climbs a spruce tree

Spruce Beetle Forestry Management

A continuous survey of spruce beetle outbreaks helps land managers treat the trees and plan for future wildfires.

two snails on a large green leaf

Tree Snail Conservation and Genetics

Endemic tree snails are disappearing from Hawaii. AERC studied snail genetics to find new habitat for the multiple endangered species. (Photo: Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth, DMA Pacific)

three sandhill crane fly through blue sky

Fort Wainwright Wildlife Survey

Biologists monitored everything from birds to bats to wood frogs to inform management plans on the US Army installation east of Fairbanks.