By Doug Gorby, UMGL Joint Venture Coordinator

The Midwest Region is pleased to welcome Jayme Strange to our Upper Mississippi/Great Lakes Joint Ventures staff where she will work in a leadership role on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partner forest habitat issues in our region.

Jayme Strange. Photo by USFWS

Jayme began her new role June 5, 2023. She will work with partners including the U.S. Forest Service, the American Bird Conservancy and others to accelerate and amplify forest bird conservation and research initiatives in the region. Jayme will focus on collaborating with partners to leverage resources for landscape-scale programs that are aligned with the Joint Ventures Landbird Habitat Conservation Strategy.

Jayme will be based out of Wisconsin and will work across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, primarily in the boreal/hardwood transition habitat of Bird Conservation Region 12. Across this geography, she will network with folks from public agencies, nongovernmental offices, universities, commercial forest owners and others to protect, restore, enhance and manage public and private forest sustainably. Her aim will be to ensure healthy habitats for populations of forest-dependent birds while embracing the many uses and benefits of forest lands.

Prior to this position, Jayme served as a biologist and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lab manager for the U.S. Geological Survey – Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, in Wisconsin. In this capacity, she was responsible for planning and executing multiple scientific projects, providing conceptual and technical recommendations in the use of GIS and compiling reliable natural resource data with partners.

As a biologist for U.S. Geological Survey, Jayme successfully coordinated partnerships to undergo research projects supporting the Upper Mississippi River System and Great Lakes region with our agency, the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as various state and local governments. Jayme’s research focused on using data from laser imaging, detection and ranging, known as LiDAR, bathymetry and other topographic content to understand geomorphic changes of the Upper Mississippi River and impacts to endangered mussel habitats, invasive carp research and Lake Superior shoreline degradation.

Jayme sees the big picture, leading multiple biological investigations and teams that helped inform wildlife and fishery managers about how to best conserve our surrounding environments.

Jayme said, “I’m excited to be the Northern Forests Conservation Delivery Network coordinator and apply my education and experience to further support and advance landscape-scale forest bird habitat conservation. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to join the American Bird Conservancy Great Lakes team, the Upper Mississippi/Great Lakes Joint Venture team and assisting with state and regional bird conservation initiatives.”

Jayme lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children and golden retriever. She enjoys running, hiking and canoeing around the driftless region. Her family spends their free time fishing and exploring the Mississippi River and spending time at their cabin in Chequamegon–Nicolet National Forest.

Boundary Water Bay. Photo by Mike Sweet/USFWS