Megan M. Friggens
333 Broadway SE, Suite 115
Contact Megan M. Friggens
Current ResearchI 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. Ongoing and recently completed projects include:
- As part of a JFSP funded project, I have created a vulnerability assessment tool that allows managers to assess ecosystem vulnerabilty to changes in climate and wildfire regimes at the landscape level;
- In collaboration with Audubon Tucson, I am guiding the developement of habitat suitability models for the Western yellow-billed cuckoo in Arizona;
- I have just completed work that uses machine learning to predict wildfire impacts on cultural resources within New Mexico;
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:
- Modeling the relationship between landscape characteristics and wildfire impacts on prehistoric artifacts and features;
- Co-developing spatially explicit vulnerabiltiy assessments for piñon-juniper and sagebrush habitats, aquatic ecoystems and fish, and mule deer and elk;
- Integrating habitat suitability models generated for SW wildlife species under fusure climate scenarios with predicted fire impacts to better assess future habitat availability;
- Developing a database of climate change vulnerability assessments for aquatic systems;
- Federal land management decision making processes for open spaces in the Southwest;
- Vulnerability assessments for riparian species along the Rio Grande, New Mexico, and in the Sky Islands of Arizona;
- Climate change impacts within the Western U.S.;
- Climate mediated mechanisms of plague introduction into prairie dogs;
- Predicting the presence and spread of zoonotic disease;
- Estimating the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the risk of flea-borne disease transmission;
- Identifying the effect of fire on wildlife disease.
Why This Research is Important
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. Bagne, Karen E.; Friggens, Megan M.; Finch, Deborah M. 2011. A System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species (SAVS) to Climate Change. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-257. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 28 p.
- Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, Ph.D. Forestry 2010
- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM, M.S. Biology 2002
- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM, B.S. Biology 1999
- The Wildlife Society, Member (2002 - Current)
- Ecological Society of America, Member (2000 - Current)
Awards & Recognition
- Department of Interior, Partners in Conservation Award, 2011
Received for contributions to "Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A guide to climate change vulnerability assessment"
Featured Publications & Products
- Friggens, Megan M.; Finch, Deborah M. 2015. Implications of climate change for bird conservation in the southwestern U.S.
- Friggens, Megan; Raish, Carol; Finch, Deborah; McSweeney, Alice. 2015. The influence of personal belief, agency mission and city size on open space decision making processes in three southwestern cities.
- Bagne, Karen E.; Friggens, Megan M.; Coe, Sharon J.; Finch, Deborah M. 2014. The importance of assessing climate change vulnerability to address species conservation.
- 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.
- Friggens, M.; Bagne, K.; Finch, D.; Falk, D.; Triepke, J.; Lynch, A. 2013. Review and recommendations for climate change vulnerability assessment approaches with examples from the Southwest.
- Bagne, Karen E.; Friggens, Megan M.; Finch, Deborah M. 2011. A System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species (SAVS) to Climate Change.
- Davison, Jennifer E.; Coe, Sharon; Finch, Deborah; Rowland, Erika; Friggens, Megan; Graumlich, Lisa J. 2012. Bringing indices of species vulnerability to climate change into geographic space: an assessment across the Coronado national forest.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Beier, Paul. 2010. Anthropogenic disturbance and the risk of flea-borne disease transmission.
- Coe, Sharon J.; Finch, Deborah M.; Friggens, Megan M. 2012. An assessment of climate change and the vulnerability of wildlife in the Sky Islands of the Southwest.
- Driscoll, Katelyn P.; Friggens, Megan . 2019. Assessing risk in a postfire landscape: Are currently available tools good for the local land owner.
- Friggens, M. ; Loehman, R. ; Thode, A. ; Flatley, W. ; Evans, A. ; Bunn, W. ; Wilcox, C. ; Mueller, S. ; Yocom, L. ; Falk, D. . 2019. User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Williams, Mary I.; Bagne, Karen E.; Wixom, Tosha T.; Cushman, Samuel A. 2018. Effects of climate change on terrestrial animals Chapter 9.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Woodlief, Carly K. 2015. Final Report: Synthesis of aquatic climate change vulnerability assessments for the Interior West.
- Ojima, Dennis S.; Iverson, Louis R.; Sohngen, Brent L.; Vose, James M.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Domke, Grant M.; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Matthews, Stephen N.; Prasad, Anantha M.; Peters, Matthew P.; Yohe, Gary W.; Friggens, Megan M. 2014. Risk assessment Chapter 9.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Loehman, Rachel; Holsinger, Lisa; Finch, Deborah. 2014. Vulnerability of riparian obligate species to the interactive effect of fire, climate and hydrological change.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Matthews, Stephen N. 2012. Appendix 2: Risk-based framework and risk case studies. Risk Assessment for two bird species in northern Wisconsin..
- Friggens, Megan M.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, R. Kasten; Shaw, Nancy L. 2012. Decision support: Vulnerability, conservation, and restoration (Chapter 8).
- Runyon, Justin B.; Butler, Jack L.; Friggens, Megan M.; Meyer, Susan E.; Sing, Sharlene E. 2012. Invasive species and climate change (Chapter 7).
- Friggens, Megan M.; Warwell, Marcus V.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Kitchen, Stanley G. 2012. Modeling and predicting vegetation response of western USA grasslands, shrublands, and deserts to climate change (Chapter 1).
- Friggens, Megan M.; Matthews, Stephen N. 2012. Risk assessment for two bird species in northern Wisconsin.
- Amelon, Sybill; Brooks, Robert T.; Glaeser, Jessie; Friggens, Megan; Lindner, Daniel; Loeb, Susan C.; Lynch, Ann; Minnis, Drew; Perry, Roger; Rowland, Mary M.; Tomosy, Monica; Weller, Ted. 2012. U.S. Forest Service Research and Development (USFS R/D) national science strategy on White Nose Syndrome (WNS).
- Finch, D. M.; Bagne, K. E.; Friggens, M. M.; Smith, D. M.; Brodhead, K. M. 2011. A review of climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds.
- Friggens, M. M.; Ford, P. L.; Parmenter, R. R.; Boyden, M.; Gage, K. 2011. Assessing plague risk and presence through surveys of small mammal flea communities.
- Finch, Deborah M.; Friggens, Megan; Bagne, Karen. 2011. Case Study 3: Species vulnerability assessment for the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico.
- Bagne, Karen E.; Finch, Deborah M.; Friggens, Megan M. 2011. Vulnerability of amphibians to climate change: implications for rangeland management.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Parmenter, Robert R.; Boyden, Michael; Ford, Paulette L.; Gage, Kenneth; Keim, Paul. 2010. Flea abundance, diversity, and plague in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in northern New Mexico.
- Friggens, Megan M. 2010. Fleas, hosts and habitat: What can we predict about the spread of vector-borne zoonotic diseases.
- Friggens, Megan M. 2008. Is there a link between anthropogenic disturbance and the diversity and abundance of rodent flea communities.
- Friggens, Megan M.; Duszynski, Donald W. 2005. Four new cestode species from the spiral intestine of the round stingray, Urobatis halleri, in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico.
- Friggens, M. M.; Brown, J. H. 2005. Niche partitioning in the cestode communities of two elasmobranchs.
- Ryan, M. M.; Decker, K. H.; Duszynski, D. W. 2001. Prevalence of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in reintroduced Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni).
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