Oral Presentations - Session 2C: UC 330


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Friday, April 13th
1:40 PM

Evaluation of compensatory responses to suppression of an invasive northern pike population in western Montana: implications for success

William N. Glenn

UC 330

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

Northern pike is an invasive species of fish that was illegally introduced into western Montana. As with many other exotic predators, population suppression strategies were implemented to reduce their predatory impact on native species of concern such as cutthroat and bull trout. Suppression of established predator populations is controversial, because of the potential unknown compensatory responses that may limit success. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) began removing northern pike from Milltown Reservoir in 2002 and continued until the removal of the reservoir was approved in 2005. Between 2000 and 2005, FWP collected diet data, scale samples, and abundance estimates. I examined whether lowering abundances through suppression increased individual compensatory growth response by examining northern pike scales and measuring the distances between yearly growth annuli. I used the Frasier Lee method to back-calculate size at age and found an average 30mm increase in the size of age 1 and age 2 fish following the beginning of suppression. Increased growth rates may result in higher reproductive capacity through a younger age of maturity and higher fecundity. In addition, increased growth rates of pike increased individual predation rates. Interestingly, with suppression of the pike population there was a decrease in the proportion of bull trout and cutthroat trout in the diets of northern pike. These trends are likely explained by the shift in size structure associated with removal of larger, adult pike to a population composed primarily of younger, smaller fish. Overall, the suppression strategy reduced predation on native trout, however without reducing numbers of smaller pike in the population the positive results are dependent upon suppression continuing.

2:00 PM

Assessing the effects of biochar amendments on plant growth and nutrient cycling in Montana top soil

Erika J. Foster

UC 330

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

This project examines the effects of biochar application rates on soil properties and plant growth in a Missoula topsoil. Recent research delves into the many possible uses of biochar, from agriculture to soil reclamation and restoration projects. In Idaho and Montana portable biochar burners have been transported to timber harvest sites. The unusable slash piles can be burned through a pyrolysis process, creating biochar, a fine porous charcoal-like substance that attracts and sorbs water and nutrients. When added to soil, biochar makes these substances readily available for plant uptake, which has potential uses for facilitating native plant establishment and growth. This investigation focuses on the effects of biochar on two common species native to western Montana, Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch wheatgrass) and Lupinus albifrons (silvery lupine) and one exotic invasive species, Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed). A treatment of 0%, 5% and 15% (v/v) biochar was mixed into the soil and the seeds planted and monitored over a two month period. The assessment includes measuring final above and below ground plant biomass and examining soil properties, including pH, soil organic and inorganic nitrogen content, microbial biomass and water holding capacity. The results provide information to those involved in forest management and restoration who are interested in strategies for enhancing soil quality and native plant growth.

2:40 PM

An analysis of relevant certifications available to Information Technology (IT) audit professionals and their respective applications in private accounting

Victoria de Onis

UC 330

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

Distinguishing oneself in the professional accounting services industry is a strategic enterprise that can serve to position accomplished professionals for career advancement. This analysis provides insight specific to the IT auditing profession surrounding the practical advantages of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) qualifications in information security and assurance, risk management and information integrity, and Project Management (PM). Of the relevant globally accepted and recognized certifications available to IT auditing professionals, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/IT), and the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designations are the most fundamentally critical. Furthermore, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is recommended for veteran professionals working in specific practice area management roles. Through the balanced combination of industry know-how and CPE designations, auditing professionals are more likely to experience increased efficiency, widened earnings potential margins, and heightened client and firm leadership recognition. In addition, high achievers who pursue CPE enrichment also contribute to the reputability and credibility of the accounting profession at large by executing leading practices and the highest ethical standards.While the IT auditing certifications examined in this analysis are optional and a plethora of supplemental certifications within various accounting topic concentrations exist, these esteemed designations play an important function in facilitating the acquisition of knowledge necessary to execute auditing industry leading practices and the comprehensive alignment between security, systems, and business continuity.