US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Mary Rowland

Mary M. Rowland

Research Wildlife Biologist
1401 Gekeler Lane
La Grande
United States

Phone: 541-962-6582
Fax: 541-962-6504
Contact Mary M. Rowland

Current Research

My current research focus is the development and validation of elk habitat selection models for Oregon and Washington that can be applied to benefit management across all land ownerships in the interior Northwest. I am also co-editing a technical guide for the Forest Service on monitoring protocols for wildlife habitat, to be pulished early in 2013.

Research Interests

Regional habitat assessments; habitat modeling; wildlife habitat and population monitoring; landscape-level analyses of habitat conditions; biodiversity and use of surrogate species in conservation; threats assessment and human disturbance modeling in forests and rangelands, especially sagebrush ecosystems.

Past Research

My past work has explored several topics, including developing and validating wildlife models (including elk, greater sage-grouse and wolverine); elk response to fire and roads and traffic; use of the greater sage-grouse as an umbrella species for other sagebrush-associated wildlife; modeling threats to sagebrush systems from invasives like cheatgrass; and encroachment of pinyon-juniper woodlands into sagebrush.

Why This Research is Important

Improved models that predict elk nutritional resources and where elk occur across landscapes of the Pacific Northwest enable land managers to make informed management decisions about issues such as forage improvements and access management. For example, areas with excellent elk forage may be little used owing to disturbance from roads and traffic. Strategic access management can greatly benefit redistribution of elk on national forests and private lands and can increase viewing and hunting opportunities, as well as decrease damage on agricultural lands. Moreover, the model outputs are for all lands, which encourages dialogue about elk habitat management and its effects across a variety of land ownerships and partners. Integrating management actions for elk with the needs of other early seral species is also beneficial to management for multiple species.


  • Colorado State University, M.S. Wildlife Ecology 1981
  • Duke University, B.S. Zoology 1977

Professional Organizations

  • The Wildlife Society, Peer Reviewer (1979 - Current)
    Member since 1970s; national, section, and state levels. Serve as reviewer for TWS journals each year; have served as session chair at state-level annual TWS meetings and state officer of Wyoming Chapter.

Awards & Recognition

  • National award from Boone and Crockett Club and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 2012
    Award to the multi-agency Elk Modeling Team (which I lead) to recognize outstanding work in creating and validating new elk nutrition and habitat selection models for elk in western Oregon and Washington.
  • Outstanding Service Award, Oregon Chapter, The Wildlife Society,, 2012
    Received award for leading modeling team that developed and applied Westside elk habitat models for OR and WA, which are being used throughout the modeling region to benefit land management.
  • Certificate of Merit and cash award, PNW Research Station, 2012
    Award received for excellent performance and leadership in elk habitat modeling.
  • Extra Effort Award, Washington Office, R&D, U.S. Forest Service, 2011
    For outstanding performance in detail as National Wildlife Program Leader, Washington Office, Research and Development R&D
  • Civil Rights Action Group Research Grant for Underserved Populations, PNWRS, 2009
    First recipient of the PNW Civil Rights Action Group for Research with Underserved Communities Fund award, totaling $20,000. Research involved creating elk habitat models specifically tailored for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, through collaboration with
  • Extra Effort Award, U.S. Forest Service, 2009
    From the Washington Office, Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Unit and Region 6; for performance in editing a new technical guide for wildlife habitat monitoring
  • Sustainable Operations Award, 2009
    PNW Research Station, U.S. Forest Service ($500 + matching for local unit)
  • SPOT award, U.S. Forest Service, 2009
    Received award for work on elk habitat modeling project, PNW Research Station
  • Science Findings Award, PNW Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, 2006
    Co-recipient of $10,000 award for research accomplishments related to regional assessments of habitat threats in sagebrush ecosystems;findings were featured in PNW Science Findings

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


National Technical Guide Provides a Foundation for Monitoring Wildlife Habitat on National Forests

This technical guide offers comprehensive guidance for habitat monitoring on public lands in the United States, particularly national forests an ...


Last updated on : 10/21/2016