Research on the prairies is long, hard work, and it requires a special breed to take on the challenge. Ducks Unlimited has three researchers working in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Our research team has, combined, more than 16 years of undergrad and graduate work focused solely on biology.
Kaylan Kemink – manager of conservation planning
Kaylan Kemink is the manager of conservation planning for DU's Great Plains Region (GPR). She completed her undergraduate degree in Natural Resources at Cornell University and obtained her Master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Fisheries and Wildlife. Her Master's research focused on an assessment of the translocation program for Missouri's endangered greater prairie chicken. Kaylan's work at DU focuses on designing and implementing research to develop conservation targeting tools, communicating research results to DU staff and partners, and working with other research partners in the GPR. She is currently involved in a larger waterfowl productivity study in the Prairie Pothole Region. In partnership with the University of North Dakota, Kaylan and the GPR research group are working to foster an undergraduate summer research internship at the DU's Coteau Ranch.
Kyle Kuechle – wetland research scientist
Kyle Kuechle is a wetland research scientist with Ducks Unlimited’s Great Plains Regional Office in Bismarck. Kyle uses his experience and background in wetland science and ecotoxicology to help conserve the vital wetland habitat of waterfowl. Together with the conservation planning team, he will conduct research to help find the most critical wetland conservation needs. After earning his Bachelor of Science in biology from Bemidji State University, Kyle went on to earn his Masters in natural resources from the University of Missouri, while researching the effects of agricultural pesticides on wetland food webs with a focus on impacts to aquatic invertebrates.
Mason Sieges – research scientist
Mason Sieges is a research scientist for the Great Plains Region. His professional experience includes several years working on wildlife projects in 11 different states working for various conservation organizations with focus on waterfowl, shorebirds, and grassland birds in the Prairie Pothole Region. In 2014, he received a master’s degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Delaware after completing a project involving the use of radar to examine waterfowl and shorebird use of flooded agricultural fields in southern Louisiana. After graduate school, Mason took an interest in career development of young professionals. He enjoys mentoring undergraduate researchers in the field and hopes to expand the Great Plains Office’s conservation-focused internship program to states adjacent to North Dakota.