Calendar* by Dafne Cholet (Flickr, CC0)The past year has been one of change, collaboration, and innovation for the MFLN. We started 2016 by implementing a new approach to program planning and delivery: identifying timely and relevant issue-driven content reflecting the professional development needs of our audiences. We also shifted to a collaborative planning approach, which helps us address issues from multidisciplinary standpoints. Finally, we began shifting program delivery from lecture-style content delivery to problem-centered learning approaches that rely on our audience members’ participation and experience. These shifts in programming resulted in seven collaborative webinars, five “Lunch and Learn” sessions (discussion sessions as follow-ups to webinars), and two open-forum webinars. Across the network, you may have noticed some of these changes as a part of your participation experience: an increased use of case studies, intentional interaction in webinars and social media, and dedicated “chat times” in webinars; blog posts responding to questions and issues raised in webinar chats; expanding webinar conversations to our social media platforms; and programming topics that reflect your requests. We are just getting started on these new approaches and will continue to refine our work as we move into another new year of programming!We also welcomed several new staff members in 2016: Caitlyn Brown and Bari Sobelson joined Family Development at Valdosta State as information specialist and social media specialist, respectively; Alicia Cassels joined the leadership team as evaluation consultant; Kristen DiFilippo joined Nutrition & Wellness as professional education coordinator at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and Mitch McCormick joined Community Capacity Building as social media specialist at Cornell. New staff and old have been instrumental in implementing programming changes and also in keeping the MFLN mission at the center of all we do. We are grateful not only to our brilliant and dedicated staff, but also to our colleagues at the Department of Defense and across the Cooperative Extension System for helping to make 2016 one of our most productive and successful years yet.We also want to thank YOU, our audience members, for your continued participation and support! In 2016 alone, 5,725 of you attended our 50 live webinars and 3 virtual learning events. In total, you earned 7,727.5 continuing education credits (way to go!). We ended the year with 26,742 Facebook likes, 3,445 Twitter followers, and 94 LinkedIn group members. Please keep up the pace for 2017, and let us hear from you! We want to know what issues are important to you. We want to hear about your professional experiences. We want you all to have the opportunity to learn not only with us, but from each other. Interact with us during webinars, on social media, and on our blog pages. Contact the staff of the CAs to let them know about your professional development needs, facilitators you would like to interact with, and ideas for future programming. Please let us know how we can continue to serve you as you continue another year of service to our nation’s military families.Don’t forget to check out our upcoming webinars for February! If you do not currently receive the MFLN “Network News” to your inbox each month, we invite you to subscribe.
The devil is in the detail: small-scale sexual segregation despite large-scale spatial overlap in the wandering albatross
Sexual segregation in foraging habitat occurs in many marine predators and is usually attributed to competitive exclusion, different parental roles of each sex or niche specialisation associated with sexual size dimorphism. However, relatively few studies have attempted to understand the patterns and underlying drivers of local-scale sexual segregation in marine predators. We studied habitat use, diet and feeding ecology of female and male wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, fitted with GPS and stomach-temperature loggers during the chick-rearing period (austral winter) at South Georgia in 2009. During this period, when oceanographic conditions were anomalous and prey availability was low in waters near the breeding colony, the tracked wandering albatrosses showed high consistency in their foraging areas at a large spatial scale, and both males and females targeted sub-Antarctic and subtropical waters. Despite consistency in large-scale habitat use, males and females showed different foraging behaviours in response to oceanographic conditions at a smaller scale. Males appeared to be more opportunistic, scavenging for offal or non-target fish discarded by fishing vessels in less productive, oceanic waters. They exhibited sinuous movements, feeding mostly on large prey and consuming similar amounts of food during the outbound and return parts of the foraging trip. In contrast, females targeted natural productivity hotspots, and fed on a wide variety of fish and cephalopods. They commuted directly to these areas; most prey were ingested on the outbound part of the trip, and they often started their return after ingesting large prey at the farthest point from the colony. Together, these results indicate that sexual segregation in core foraging areas of wandering albatrosses is driven by sex-specific habitat selection due to the low availability of prey in local Antarctic waters. This segregation results in different feeding behaviour at local scales which may be explained by differing breeding roles and degree of parental investment by each sex, with females investing more than males in reproduction. Further investigations are necessary to confirm the existence of this pattern through time under contrasting environmental conditions and to identify the drivers responsible for local-scale sexual segregation in wandering albatrosses.