Andrew Stokes, a 2022 University of Illinois Springfield master’s in environmental studies graduate, was honored on April 14, 2023, in the Student Union Ballroom with the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for the 2021-2022 academic year. He appeared virtually.
Stokes thesis, “Population Visibility Analysis of Two Hacked Osprey Populations in Central Illinois,” was mentored by Tih-Fen Ting, UIS associate professor of environmental studies.
In his study, he explored how the declining population of Osprey birds should be hacked to establish self-sustaining breeding populations. He used population viability analysis (PVA), a simulation modeling tool commonly used to predict future population sizes and risk of extinction, and compared those outcomes to different management strategies in order to inform decision-making.
He used PVA to determine the number of juvenile Ospreys that must be hacked to achieve viable breeding populations, outlined the importance of having an adequate amount of breeding structures to support the hacked Osprey populations and guided conservation and research efforts by identifying the most influential factors affecting the dynamics of these populations.
Stokes now works for the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. CEMML has supported resource conservation on federal lands for nearly four decades, working primarily with the Department of Defense, as well as other federal departments and agencies.
He started out as Environmental GIS Analyst for CEMML but recently has moved into a new position as Natural Resources Planning Specialist.