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RRC Expertise

Raptor Research Center staff members have extensive experience with raptor biology, survey, and monitoring projects and techniques. Get an overview in the following synopses and see Our Work for more detailed information about their publications and current work.

Raptor Research Center Staff

  • Jim Belthoff holding a burrowing owl in the field

    Jim Belthoff, PhD

    RRC Interim Director

    Jim Belthoff has served as Interim Director for the RRC from 2018 to the present. Jim has been a professor at Boise State in the Department of Biological Sciences since 1993, and he has enjoyed mentoring numerous graduate and undergraduate students along the way. Much of Jim’s research focuses on the biology, behavior, and ecology of owls and other raptors. He is interested in dispersal, migration, mating systems, territoriality, ectoparasites and disease ecology, and how habitat conversion to agriculture affects birds of prey. Jim has current projects related to the population biology, behavioral ecology, ectoparasites, and conservation of burrowing owls; roadway mortality and ecology of barn owls; ecotoxicology in ferruginous hawks; and the behavioral ecology of flammulated owls and western screech-owls.

    In 2020, Jim’s work was honored by the Raptor Research Foundation with the prestigious The Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom Award, a non-monetary award that recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the understanding of raptor ecology and natural history.

    Jim Belthoff has served as Interim Director for the RRC from 2018 to the present. Jim has been a professor at Boise State in the Department of Biological Sciences since 1993, and he has enjoyed mentoring numerous graduate and undergraduate students along the way. Much of Jim’s research focuses on the biology, behavior, and ecology of owls and other raptors. He is interested in dispersal, migration, mating systems, territoriality, ectoparasites and disease ecology, and how habitat conversion to agriculture affects birds of prey. Jim has current projects related to the population biology, behavioral ecology, ectoparasites, and conservation of burrowing owls; roadway mortality and ecology of barn owls; ecotoxicology in ferruginous hawks; and the behavioral ecology of flammulated owls and western screech-owls.

    In 2020, Jim’s work was honored by the Raptor Research Foundation with the prestigious The Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom Award, a non-monetary award that recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the understanding of raptor ecology and natural history.

  • Research Assistant Steve Alsup in Duck Valley

    Steve Alsup, MS

    RRC Research Associate

    Steve Alsup has been studying birds of prey for more than 15 years. He has experience designing and conducting nesting surveys and nest monitoring for several raptor species throughout the United States, with more than 5 years’ experience documenting the effects of energy development on birds of prey in the Intermountain West. Steve is also a Certified Raptor Bander through the North American Banding Council, and has worked at fall migration research stations in Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, and Florida. Steve earned a Master’s in Raptor Biology, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Geographical Information Analysis, from Boise State University. His Master’s thesis project focused on the effects of urbanization on Swainson’s hawks in the Treasure Valley and identified landscape and habitat features associated with increased nesting success and productivity. Steve’s work with the Raptor Research Center at Boise State University includes conducting canyon-nesting raptor surveys, documenting poaching of protected avian species, and documenting the spatial and temporal distribution of raptors in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho.

    Steve Alsup has been studying birds of prey for more than 15 years. He has experience designing and conducting nesting surveys and nest monitoring for several raptor species throughout the United States, with more than 5 years’ experience documenting the effects of energy development on birds of prey in the Intermountain West. Steve is also a Certified Raptor Bander through the North American Banding Council, and has worked at fall migration research stations in Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, and Florida. Steve earned a Master’s in Raptor Biology, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Geographical Information Analysis, from Boise State University. His Master’s thesis project focused on the effects of urbanization on Swainson’s hawks in the Treasure Valley and identified landscape and habitat features associated with increased nesting success and productivity. Steve’s work with the Raptor Research Center at Boise State University includes conducting canyon-nesting raptor surveys, documenting poaching of protected avian species, and documenting the spatial and temporal distribution of raptors in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho.

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