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RRC Staff and Expertise

Current Raptor Research Center Staff:

Jim Belthoff, PhD
RRC Interim Director
(208) 426-4033

Jim Belthoff holding a Barn Owl outside a farm
Jim Belthoff describing his Barn Owl research, Canyon County, Idaho (John Kelly photo)

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 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.

Steve Alsup, MS
RRC Research Associate
(208) 426-5215

Steve Alsup holding a Prairie Falcon in the field
Steve Alsup holding a Prairie Falcon at Lucky Peak, Idaho

Steve Alsup has been studying birds of prey for more than 15 years, with experience designing and conducting nesting surveys and nest monitoring for several raptor species throughout the United States; documenting the effects of energy development on birds of prey in the Intermountain West; and working at fall migration research stations in Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, and Florida. Steve earned a Master’s of Science in Raptor Biology, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Geographical Information Analysis, from Boise State University. 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.

Stacey Smith
RRC Research Center Administrator
(208) 426-3329

Stacey Smith releasing a Cooper's Hawk after it was banded at Boise Peak
Stacey Smith releasing a Cooper’s Hawk after it was banded at Boise Peak, Idaho

Stacey Smith came to the RRC in 2020 with seven years of administrative experience in both the private and public sectors and B.S. degrees in Environmental Biology and Zoo Science. Her background includes field experience with threatened and endangered bird and mammal species that facilitates her understanding of staff and student needs and her responsiveness to research priorities. Stacey is the only office staff for the RRC and works on the center’s business administration, accounting and compliance, human resource management, website development, and planning/coordination for events and travel. She especially enjoys encouraging and supporting students’ success in Boise State programs.

Raptor Biology Affiliate Faculty:

Former RRC Directors:

Dr. Marc Bechard
Raptor Research Center Director, 2014-2018

Dr. Mark R. Fuller
Raptor Research Center Director, 1994-2013

Dr. Tom Cade (deceased)
Raptor Research Center Director, 1987-1993

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