I use a variety of methods to assess future threats and impacts to wildlife species and habitats arising from climate change and related disturbances. I recently applied a coupled model approach to assess habitat and species vulnerability to climate and wildfire in the southwestern U.S. Currently, I am developing a spatially explicit model to predict fire damage on cultural resources within New Mexico and adapting the vulnerability assessment framework to explore the implications of climate change impacts for fire regimes within the Southwest. I am also actively involved with a number of state and federally sponsored climate change vulnerability assessments for western and southwestern ecosystems.
My research interests include landscape scale analysis of disturbance processes (fire, drought, land conversion, pathogens and parasites); climate change impacts on wildlife species; habitat change due to changing climate; wildlife disease ecology; wildlife disease as an invasive species issue; and, conservation biology.
My previous research projects include:
Friggens, Megan; Raish, Carol; Finch, Deborah; McSweeney, Alice. 2014. The influence of personal belief, agency mission and city size on open space decision making processes in three southwestern cities. Urban Ecosystems. doi: 10.1007/s11252-014-0419-3.
Friggens, Megan M.; Finch, Deborah M.; Bagne, Karen E.; Coe, Sharon J.; Hawksworth, David L. 2013. Vulnerability of species to climate change in the
Southwest: terrestrial species of the Middle Rio Grande. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-306. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 191 p.
Friggens, Megan M.; Beier, Paul. 2010. Anthropogenic disturbance and the risk of flea-borne disease transmission. Oecologia. 164: 809-820.
Much of my research aims to help managers and conservationists identify successful strategies for addressing issues relating to species conservation under global change. Climate change affects species' interactions in unpredictable ways and is likely to increase the negative impact of invasive species and disease. Synergistic climate-fire impacts are of particular importance within the western U.S. Managers are faced with the task of making decisions under a number of uncertainties relating to future conditions and species' responses to those conditions. I use syntheses, models, and actively engage managers to reduce this uncertainty and identify probable outcomes to help identify adaptive management strategies for conserving critical resources.
Bagne, Karen E.; Friggens, Megan M.; Coe, Sharon J.; Finch, Deborah M. 2014. The importance of assessing climate change vulnerability to address species conservation. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 5(2): 450-462, e1944-687X.