Public Release: 

Ecologist to be memorialized with national symposium set for March 20-21

Symposium to focus on marine mammals, fisheries, endangered species and more

Montana State University

BOZEMAN, Mont. - A symposium to honor the late Daniel Goodman, a Montana State University ecologist who died unexpectedly in 2012, will be held Thursday and Friday, March 20 and 21, at MSU's Museum of the Rockies.

Goodman died Nov. 14, 2012 at age 67 from complications of surgery to remove a recurrent tumor.

The Daniel Goodman Memorial Symposium will be organized around the broad topics that Goodman worked on during his career: marine mammals, salmon and freshwater fisheries, marine fisheries, ecosystem modeling, Bayesian statistics, ecological decision-making and risk assessment, Endangered Species Act policy, and hazardous materials and environmental monitoring.

The symposium, "Decision-Making Under Uncertainty: Risk Assessment and the Best Available Science," is free and open to the public with live streaming available over the Internet. Those who plan to attend are asked to pre-register, however, at

Speakers will come from universities and federal agencies across the United States. The keynote speaker, George Gray from George Washington University, will speak at 9:15 a.m. March 20 on "What do you say when data are sparse?"

Other topics to be discussed on March 20 are:

Environmental risk assessment at 10:30 a.m.; the role of demography in marine mammal conservation at 11:30 a.m.; the link between fisheries management and conservation at 2 p.m.; and integrated ecosystem modeling and fisheries management strategy evaluation: where are we and what is the future? at 3:45 p.m.

Topics to be discussed on March 21 are:

Scientific mentoring at 9:05 a.m.; Daniel Goodman's empirical approach to Bayesian statistics at 9:45 a.m.; better science, risk assessment and decision-making under the Endangered Species Act at 11:15 a.m.; ecological decision-making at 1:45 p.m.; keynote synthesis presentation at 2:45 p.m.; and a synthesis panel discussion at 4 p.m.

For a complete schedule, go to

According to Goodman's colleagues, Goodman achieved remarkable stature in his career, contributing greatly to environmental science and conservation. Known for his brilliant intellect, he dedicated much of his career to mathematical modeling and the statistical analyses of endangered species. He was a consultant to numerous agencies and organizations, including the EPA, the Marine Mammal Commission, National Academy of Sciences, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Power Planning Council and others.

Colleagues said Goodman was also respected for his integrity, his teaching ability, and his patience, kindness, composure, generosity and humor. At his core, he was a naturalist. He had a deep and abiding love for his family.

The symposium is part of MSU's Year of Engaged Leadership, which highlights the university's events and activities that develop leadership skills of students, faculty, staff and community members.


The symposium is sponsored in part by MSU's Department of Ecology, MSU's College of Letters and Science, the MSU Office of the Provost and the MSU Department of Mathematical Sciences.

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