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Samuel A.. Cushman

Research Ecologist

Research Ecologist

Address: 
2500 S. Pine Knoll Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: 
928-556-2177
Fax: 
928-556-2130
Contact Samuel A.. Cushman

Current Research

My current research studies include developing statistics and software for landscape pattern analysis, vegetation distribution, growth, regeneration along biophysical gradients and effects of management, fire and climate regimes on vegetation pattern and process at landscape levels. My other research projects include effective multi-resource monitoring, multi-scale wildlife habitat relationships modeling and new approaches to model habitat connectivity

Research Interests

Landscape ecology, landscape genetics, forest ecology, climate change, wildlife ecology, disturbance ecology, population biology, landscape dynamic simulation modeling, landscape pattern analysis.

Past Research

Landscape ecology, landscape genetics, forest ecology, climate change, wildlife ecology, disturbance ecology, population biology, landscape dynamic simulation modeling, landscape pattern analysis.

Pre Forest Service

  • Grand, J. and S.A. Cushman. 2003. A multi-scale analysis of species-environment relationships: breeding birds in a pitch pine-scrub oak (Pinus rigida-Quercus ilicifolia) community. Biological Conservation. 112(3): 307-317.
  • McGarigal, K. and S.A. Cushman. 2002. Comparative evaluation of experimental approaches to the study of habitat fragmentation effects. Ecological Applications 12(2): 335-345.
  • Cushman, S.A. and K. McGarigal. 2002. Hierarchical, multi-scale decomposition of species environment relationships. Landscape Ecology. 17:637-646.
  • Cushman, S.A. and D.O. Wallin. 2000. Rates and patterns of landscape change in the Sikhote-alin Mountains, Russian Far East. Landscape Ecology 15(7): 643-659.

Why This Research is Important

The value of a landscape perspective is now widely recognized in the resource management community. This perspective offers a useful framework for considering many resource management issues that often are in conflict. The integration of these multiple resources and management objectives in a rigorous and coherent manner is fundamentally a landscape ecology problem. There is a need for advanced research and management applications in landscape ecology in the Rocky Mountain region. Local management decisions should be guided by the broader ecological and social contexts in which the project exists. Climate change, fire, invasive species, insect and disease outbreaks, managing endangered species and human-environment interactions are examples of resource management issues that can benefit from applying the science of landscape ecology.

Education

  • University of Massachusetts, Ph.D., Landscape Ecology, 2003
  • Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, M.S., Landscape Ecology, 1997
  • Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, B.S., Landscape Ecology, 1995
  • Professional Experience

    Director, Center for Landscape Science, RMRS - Forest and Woodland Ecosystems, Flagstaff, AZ
    2011 to present

    Affiliate Faculty, Oregon State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
    2010 to present

    Adjunct Professor, Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry
    2009 to present

    Research Landscape Ecologist, RMRS - Forest and Woodland Ecosystems, Flagstaff, AZ
    2009 to present

    Adjunct Professor, University of Idaho, Department of Entomology
    2009 to present

    Adjunct Professor, Baylor University, Department of Biology
    2008 to present

    Affiliate Faculty, University of Montana, College of Forestry
    2003 to present

    Research Landscape Ecologist, RMRS - Forest and Woodland Ecosystems, Missoula, MT
    2006 to 2009

    Wildlife Biologist, RMRS - 4201, Missoula, MT
    2003 to 2006

    Graduate School Fellow, University of Massachusetts
    2002 to 2003

    GAANN OEB Fellow, University of Massachusetts
    1998 to 2003

    Ecologist, Michael P. Williams Consulting Inc. Seattle, WA
    1997 to 1998

    Graduate Research Assistant, Western Washington University
    1996 to 1997

    Graduate Teaching Assistant, Western Washington University
    1996

    Biologist 1, Washington State Department of Wildlife, Ephrata, WA
    1991 to 1992

    Professional Organizations

    • The Journal Frontiers In Ecology And Evolution, Specialty Chief Editor ( 2013 to present )
      Chief editor in charge of an editorial board of over 100 members and is responsible for overall management of the specialty section in evolutionary and population genetics of the Frontiers journals. In this capacity, he selects and recruits editorial board members, provides training and guidance to improve the performance of the editorial board, sets the overall scope and mission for the specialty section, reviews and approves proposals for special topics for the journal, handles disputes in the editorial process and generally oversees the management of the specialty section.
    • The Journal Biodiversity And Conservation, Associate Editor ( 2012 to present )
      Handling topics related to corridors and population connectivity, landscape genetics, habitat fragmentation. In his role as subject editor, the scientist hangles approximately 12 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Biodiversity And Conservation, Associate Editor ( 2012 to present )
      Handling topics related to corridors and population connectivity, landscape genetics, habitat fragmentation. In his role as subject editor, the scientist handles approximately 12 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Landscape Ecology, Associate Editor ( 2012 to present )
      Responsible for the section "landscape ecology in review" which contains papers on a wide range of landscape ecology topics. The scientist is responsible for soliciting submissions for this section, assigning handling editors and guiding review and revision and making final recommendation to the editor in chief. In his role as Associate Editor, the scientist handles approzimately 24 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Landscape Ecology, Editorial Board Member ( 2012 to present )
      Handling topics related to landscape pattern analysis, landscape genetics, and climate-vegetation dynamics. In his role as subject editor, the scientist handles approximately 12 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Landscape Ecology, Associate Editor ( 2012 to present )
      Responsible for the section "landscape ecology in review" which contains papers on a wide range of landscape ecology topics. The scientist is responsible for soliciting submissions for this section, assigning handling editors and guiding review and revision and making final recommendation to the editor in chief. In his role as Associate Editor, the scientist handles approximately 24 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Landscape Ecology, Editorial Board Member ( 2012 to present )
      Handling topics related to landscape pattern analysis, landscape genetics, and climate-vegetation dynamics. In his role as subject editor, the scientist handles approximately 12 manuscripts each year.
    • The Journal Movement Ecology, Associate Editor ( 2012 to present )
      Handling topics related to landscape genetic and path-based analyses of animal movement. In his role as subject editor, the scientist handles approximately 10 manuscripts each year.
    • The Wildlife Society, Member ( 2010 to present )
    • Society For Northwestr Vertebrate Biology, Member ( 2007 to present )
    • Society for Conservation Biology, Member ( 1998 to present )
    • International Association for Landscape Ecology, Member ( 1997 to present )
    • Society of American Foresters, Member ( 1981 to present )

    Awards

    Certificate of Merit from RMRS, 2014
    for "Outstanding Performance as a Forest and Wooklands Ecosystems Program Scientist."
    Letter of appreciation from ISPRA, Institure for Environmental Research and Conservation", 2014
    In"Gratiture for your contributions to advancing the expertise of the scientists at the Institute in spatial ecology and landscape genomics during your scientific exchange visit in March 2014, in Bologna, Italy.
    Certificate of Appreciation from University of Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, 2014
    In recognition of analytical and theoretical expertise contributed to WildCRU to advance the study and conservation of African lions and clouded leopards in the period of 2012 and 2013.
    Certificate of Appreciation from Madrid Polytechnical University, Spain, 2014
    "In recognition of outstanding contributions to studying the ecology and conservation of brown bears in Spain"
    Letter of Appreciation from Pondicherry University, India, 2013
    "Outstanding contributions in co-organizing and leading instruction in two technical workshops on conservation biology. And landscape ecology in Pondicherry India during December 2013."
    Certificate of Merit Award from RMRS, 2012
    Superior Performance as a Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Program Scientist
    Certificate of Accomplishment from the Spatial Ecology and Telemetry, 2012
    For outstanding support of the wildlife profession through your FRAGSTATS software
    Certificate of Merit Award from RMRS, 2011
    Superior Performance as a Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Program Scientist
    Spot Award from US Forest Service, 2011
    For Teaching Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice
    Honorable Mention from US-IALE, 2011
    Outstanding Paper in Landscape Ecology
    Publication Award from RMRS, 2011
    Mid-Career Scientist Publication Award
    Award of Excellence from Landeco Consulting, 2011
    Exceptional contributions as co-principal instructor and coordinator of the two week intensive course Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice
    Spot Award from USDA Forest Service, 2010
    For leading webinar "Integrating Climate Change and Forest Vegetation Models for Adaptation Planning"
    Letter of Recognition, 2010
    For Contribution from the Director of the USFS National Advanced Silviculture Program
    Most Cited Author Award, 2008
    Biological Conservation Most Cited Author 2005-2008
    Best Paper Award, 2008
    Elsevier Best Paper Award
    Presidential Early Career Award, 2007
    Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering
    Early Career Scientist Publication, 2007
    RMRS Early Career Scientist Publication Award
    USFS Chief's Honor Award, 2006
    USFS Chief's Honor Award for Early Career Scientist
    Best Scientific Publication Award, 2004
    Rocky Mountain Research Station Best Scientific Publication Award
    USDA Forest Service Performance Award, 2004
    For Outstanding performance leading a large multi-species inventory, monitoring and modeling project.
    Professional Enhancement Award, 2004
    U.S. International Association of Landscape Ecologists NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award
    UMass Fellowship, 2002
    UMass Graduate School Fellowship
    Teaching Award Nomination, 2001
    Nominated for UMass Distinguished Teaching Award
    Teaching Award Nomination, 2000
    Nominated for UMass Distinguished Teaching Award
    TA of the Year, 2000
    Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Program, TA of the Year
    GAANN Fellowship, 1998
    GAANN Fellowship in Organizmic and Evolutionary Biology (UMass)
    Research Grant, 1995
    Huxley College Thesis Research Grant
    Arnold Bolle Award, 1992
    Arnold Bolle Award in Wilderness Studies, University of Montana
    USFWS Award, 1991
    USFWS award for appreciation and contribution
    USFWS Award, 1990
    USFWS award for appreciation and contribution
    USFWS Award, 1989
    USFWS award for appreciation and contribution

    Featured Publications

    Publications

    Waits, Lisette P.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Spear, Steve F., 2016. Applications of landscape genetics to connectivity research in terrestrial animals [Chapter 12]
    Balkenhol, Niko; Cushman, Samuel A.; Waits, Lisette P.; Storfer, Andrew, 2016. Current status, future opportunities, and remaining challenges in landscape genetics [Chapter 14]
    Holden, Zachary A.; Swanson, Alan; Klene, Anna E.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Squires, John R.; Moisen, Gretchen; Oyler, Jared W., 2016. Development of high-resolution (250 m) historical daily gridded air temperature data using reanalysis and distributed sensor networks for the US northern Rocky Mountains
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Elliot, Nicholas B.; Macdonald, David W.; Loveridge, Andrew J., 2015. A multi-scale assessment of population connectivity in African lions (Panthera leo) in response to landscape change
    Shirk, Andrew J.; Schroeder, Michael A.; Robb, Leslie A.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2015. Empirical validation of landscape resistance models: insights from the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)
    Olson, Lucretia E.; Sauder, Joel D.; Albrecht, Nathan M.; Vinkey, Ray S.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2014. Modeling the effects of dispersal and patch size on predicted fisher (Pekania [Martes] pennanti) distribution in the U.S. Rocky Mountains
    Elliot, Nicholas B.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Loveridge, Andrew J.; Mtare, Godfrey; Macdonald, David W., 2014. Movements vary according to dispersal stage, group size, and rainfall: The case of the African lion
    Elliot, Nicholas B.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Macdonald, David W.; Loveridge, Andrew J., 2014. The devil is in the dispersers: Predictions of landscape connectivity change with demography
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Mersmann, Timothy J.; Moisen, Gretchen; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Vojta, Christina D., 2013. Chapter 5. Using Habitat Models for Habitat Mapping and Monitoring
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McGarigal, Kevin; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Vojta, Christina D.; Regan, Claudia M., 2013. Chapter 6. Landscape Analysis for Habitat Monitoring
    McCall, Barbara S.; Mitchell, Michael S.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Hayden, Jim; Cushman, Samuel A.; Zager, Pete; Kasworm, Wayne F., 2013. Combined use of mark-recapture and genetic analyses reveals response of a black bear population to changes in food productivity
    Yang, Jiuyan; Cushman, Samuel A.; Yang, Jie; Yang, Mingbo; Bao, Tiejun, 2013. Effects of climatic gradients on genetic differentiation of Caragana on the Ordos Plateau, China
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Landguth, Erin L.; Flather, Curtis H., 2013. Evaluating population connectivity for species of conservation concern in the American Great Plains
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ramirez, Jennifer E.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2013. Genetic sampling of Palmer's chipmunks in the Spring Mountains, Nevada
    Reding, Dawn M.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Gosselink, Todd E.; Clark, William R., 2013. Linking movement behavior and fine-scale genetic structure to model landscape connectivity for bobcats (Lynx rufus)
    Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Shirk, Andrew J.; Landguth, Erin L., 2013. Population connectivity and genetic diversity of American marten (Martes americana) in the United States northern Rocky Mountains in a climate change context
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Landguth, Erin L.; Shirk, Andrew J., 2013. Re-evaluating causal modeling with mantel tests in landscape genetics
    Lucid, Michael; Robinson, L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Allen, L.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Pilgrim, Kristine L., 2013. Status of fisher in the northern Idaho panhandle and adjacent mountain ranges
    Blair, Christopher; Weigel, Dana E.; Balazik, Matthew; Keeley, Annika T. H.; Walker, Faith M.; Landguth, Erin; Cushman, Samuel A.; Murphy, Melanie; Waits, Lisette; Balkenhol, Niko, 2012. A simulation-based evaluation of methods for inferring linear barriers to gene flow
    Landguth, Erin L.; Fedy, Bradley C.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Garey, Andrew L.; Emel, Sarah L.; Mumma, Matthew; Wagner, Helene H.; Fortin, Marie-Josee; Cushman, Samuel A., 2012. Effects of sample size, number of markers, and allelic richness on the detection of spatial genetic pattern
    Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Wallin, David O.; Hayden, Jim, 2012. Multi scale habitat relationships of Martes americana in northern Idaho, U.S.A.
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Landguth, Erin L., 2012. Multi-taxa population connectivity in the northern Rocky Mountains
    Landguth, E. L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Johnson, N., 2012. Simulating natural selection in landscape genetics
    Shirk, A. J.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Landguth, E. L., 2012. Simulating pattern-process relationships to validate landscape genetic models
    Wasserman, T. N.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Shirk, A. S.; Landguth, E. L.; Littell, J. S., 2012. Simulating the effects of climate change on population connectivity of American marten (Martes americana) in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA
    Graves, Tabitha A.; Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Landguth, Erin L.; Spear, Stephen F.; Balkenhol, Niko; Higgins, Colleen B.; Fortin, Marie-Josee; Cushman, Samuel A.; Waits, Lisette P., 2012. The influence of landscape characteristics and home-range size on the quantification of landscape-genetics relationships
    Rudnick, Deborah A.; Ryan, Sadie J.; Beier, Paul; Cushman, Samuel A.; Dieffenbach, Fred; Epps, Clinton W.; Gerber, Leah R.; Hartter, Joel; Jenness, Jeff S.; Kintsch, Julia; Merenlender, Adina M.; Perkl, Ryan M.; Preziosi, Damian V.; Trombulak, Stephen C., 2012. The role of landscape connectivity in planning and implementing conservation and restoration priorities
    Landguth, E. L.; Hand, B. K.; Glassy, J.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Sawaya, M. A., 2012. UNICOR: a species connectivity and corridor network simulator
    Landguth, E. L.; Hand, B. K.; Glassy, J. M.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Jacobi, M.; Julian, T. J., 2011. CDPOP Users Manual
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2011. Landscape fire and wildlife habitat [chapter 9]
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Raphael, M. G.; Ruggiero, L. F.; Shirk, A. S.; Wasserman, T. N.; O'Doherty, E. C., 2011. Limiting factors and landscape connectivity: the American marten in the Rocky Mountains
    Littell, Jeremy S.; McKenzie, Donald; Kerns, Becky K.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Shaw, Charles G., 2011. Managing uncertainty in climate-driven ecological models to inform adaptation to climate change
    Landguth, E. L.; Hand, B. K.; Glassy, J. M.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Carlson, R. T., 2011. UNICOR Users Manual
    Short Bull, R. A.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Mace, R.; Chilton, T.; Kendall, K. C.; Landguth, E. L.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Allendorf, Fred W.; Luikart, G., 2011. Why replication is important in landscape genetics: American black bear in the Rocky Mountains
    Segelbacher, Gernot; Cushman, Samuel A.; Epperson, Bryan K.; Fortin, Marie-Josee; Francois, Olivier; Hardy, Olivier J.; Holderegger, Rolf; Manel, Stephanie, 2010. Applications of landscape genetics in conservation biology: concepts and challenges
    Landguth, Erin L.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2010. CDPOP: A spatially explicit cost distance population genetics program
    Hegel, Troy M.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Evans, Jeffrey; Huettmann, Falk, 2010. Current state of the art for statistical modeling of species distributions [Chapter 16]
    Holden, Zachery A.; Crimmins, Michael A.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Littell, Jeremy S., 2010. Empirical modeling of spatial and temporal variation in warm season nocturnal air temperatures in two North Idaho mountain ranges, USA
    Shirk, A. J.; Wallin, D. O.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Rice, C. G.; Warheit, K. I., 2010. Inferring landscape effects on gene flow: A new model selection framework
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Evans, Jeffrey S.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2010. Landscape ecology: Past, present, and future [Chapter 4]
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Luikart, Gordon; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2010. Landscape genomics: A brief perspective [Chapter 9]
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Landguth, Erin L.; Flather, Curtis H., 2010. Phase I: Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability
    Landguth, E. L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Murphy, M.; Luikart, G., 2010. Quantifying the lag time to detect barriers in landscape genetics
    Landguth, E. L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Murphy, M. A.; Luikart, G., 2010. Relationships between migration rates and landscape resistance assessed using individual-based simulations
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Landguth, Erin L., 2010. Scale dependent inference in landscape genetics
    Wasserman, Tzeidle N.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Wallin, David O., 2010. Spatial scaling and multi-model inference in landscape genetics: Martes americana in northern Idaho
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Gutzweiler, Kevin; Evans, Jeffrey S.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2010. The Gradient Paradigm: A conceptual and analytical framework for landscape ecology [Chapter 5]
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Evans, Jeffrey S.; McGarigal, Kevin; Kiesecker, Joseph M., 2010. Toward Gleasonian landscape ecology: From communities to species, from patches to pixels
    Epperson, Bryan K.; McRae, Brad H.; Scribner, Kim; Cushman, Samuel A.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Fortin, Marie-Josee; James, Patrick M. A.; Murphy, Melanie; Manel, Stephanie; Legendre, Pierre; Dale, Mark R. T., 2010. Utility of computer simulations in landscape genetics
    Evans, Jeffrey S.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2009. Gradient modeling of conifer species using random forests
    Balkenhol, Niko; Gugerli, Felix; Cushman, Samuel A.; Waits, Lisette P.; Coulon, Aurelie; Arntzen, J. W.; Holderegger, Rolf; Wagner, Helene H., 2009. Identifying future research needs in landscape genetics: Where to from here?
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2009. Landscape genetics [Chapter 17]
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Anderson, Neil J.; Squires, John R.; Inman, Robert M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Pilgrim, Kristy L.; Waits, Lisette P.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2009. Wolverine gene flow across a narrow climatic niche
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2008. Case study 6.1: DNA survey for fisher in northern Idaho
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Flather, Curtis H.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2008. Do forest community types provide a sufficient basis to evaluate biological diversity?
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2008. Use of empirically derived source-destination models to map regional conservation corridors
    Compton, Bradley W.; McGarigal, Kevin; Cushman, Samuel A.; Gamble, Lloyd R., 2007. A resistant-kernel model of connectivity for amphibians that breed in vernal pools
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2007. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Hayden, Jim; Engkjer, Cory, 2006. Detecting genotyping errors and describing black bear movement in northern Idaho
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2006. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Chase, Michael; Griffin, Curtice, 2005. Elephants in space and time
    Grand, Joanna; Buonaccorsi, John; Cushman, Samuel A.; Griffin, Curtice R.; Neel, Maile C., 2004. A multiscale landscape approach to predicting bird and moth rarity hotspots in a threatened pitch pine-scrub oak community
    Neel, Maile C.; McGarigal, Kevin; Cushman, Samuel A., 2004. Behavior of class-level landscape metrics across gradients of class aggregation and area
    The movement of black bears is strongly limited by roads.
    Increasing human populations have fueled urban development and land conversion, causing substantial loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitat. Researchers evaluated conditions for 108 different species across a large portion of the Northern Rockies in order to predict current and potential future patterns of fragmentation, prioritize keystone corridors for protection and enhancement, and identify which species in which places might require habitat restoration or assisted migration.
    The swift fox is a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains (photo compliments of the National Park Service).
    The increase in human populations has fueled urban development and land conversion, causing loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitat. In addition, climate change is expected to cause ecological and geographical shifts.
    RMRS scientists find that greater sage-grouse are highly vulnerable to landscape change. Their rigorous assessment has contributed greatly to the understanding of sage grouse ecology, population structure, and movement, and has provided spatially explicit, fine-scale, broad-extent, quantitative predictions of changes in sage grouse distribution and population connectivity.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are combining vast sampling of microclimate and fuels across vast geographic areas to learn how climate change affects the frequency, size, and severity of disturbances regimes. This information is essential for the development of optimized adaptation strategies to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on forest ecosystems.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists predict dramatic changes in tree species distribution and adaptive potential in a warming world.
    Sage grouse in a field
    Recent connectivity assessments for the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Columbia Basin, Washington, provide an opportunity to (1) evaluate approaches for parameterizing resistance models based on sage grouse specifically or the concept of landscape integrity, (2) derive parameters from expert or empirical data, and (3) explore the influence of scale on model accuracy. Sage grouse in this region occupy a small fraction of their former range and are now threatened by extinction.
    RMRS scientists predict multiple species of conservation concern are highly vulnerable to climate-driven and anthropogenic landscape changes.
    Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and their collaborators have made great contributions to the development and application of broad-scale, representative, multi-resource monitoring protocols. They have played a key role in developing and improving sampling methodology, survey design, and analysis of non-invasively collected genetic data.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) scientists have been at the forefront of efforts to understand the ecology of the threatened Mexican spotted owls for more than 25 years.
    Innovative quantitative approaches have been developed for evaluating wildfire and prescribed fire effects on wildlife communities in several western North American national forests.
    The avifauna within the Sky Islands of southeastern Arizona includes species found nowhere else in the United States. Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists initiated a study in the 1990s on avian distribution and habitat associations within the Sky Islands. This project involves monitoring vegetation and bird populations following wildfires, applying climate change models to assess potential changes and explore strategies for managing resilient forests and avian populations, and engaging citizens in data collection and long-term avian monitoring.