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SDSU Ecologist Receives Grant for Beaver Research


Beavers are ecosystem engineers that alter the landscape by cutting down trees, building dams and creating ponds. Many other species, from frogs to moose, rely on the habitat created by beavers. The animal is a “keystone species,” meaning they have a disproportionately large effect on their environment relative to their abundance.

Carol Johnston is a professor of ecology at South Dakota State University in Brookings. She’s been studying beavers since the 1970s. She’s received a two-year National Science Foundation grant to compile a book based on her previous NSF-funded research on how beavers have affected the ecosystem at Voyageurs National Park near International Falls, Minnesota. She joined Dakota Midday and discussed her research.

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