Research in the Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology

Developing a Conservation Science Program and Landscape Assessment for the Kane and Two Mile Ranches on the Kaibab Plateau
Using a science-based approach, and collaborating closely with the Grand Canyon Trust, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and a diversity of other agencies and organizations, we are working to restore and conserve biological diversity and ecosystem function across the Kane and Two Mile Ranches and adjacent public lands on the Arizona Strip and nearby areas of the Colorado Plateau (more...).

Ecology and Conservation of Arid Grasslands
An experimental research program that involves divergent interests in the grazing debate including ranchers, environmentalists, public servants, and interested citizens (more...).

Effective Area Models: Modeling edge effects and mobile animals in patchy landscapes
The Effective Area Model (EAM) links field and remotely sensed data in a landscape model that permits comparison of the impacts of alternative land use strategies on animal populations. Through a GIS-interface, the model predicts changes in animal abundance given changes in landscape pattern. (more...)

ForestERA Project: Forest Ecosystem Restoration Analysis for the Southwest
The Forest Ecosystem Restoration Analysis (ForestERA) Project is a collaborative process that views forest ecosystems from a landscape perspective to discover better ways to restore their health and protect our communities. Stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds, priorities, needs, and points of view work together in small groups using the best scientific information and tools available. Participants view spatial data in map form in order to weigh various fire, community, wildlife, watershed and other factors important in landscape-scale prioritization and decision-making. (more...)

Integrated Spatial Models of Plant Communities, Fuels, Fire, Wildlife Habitat, and Climate Change in the Sonoran Desert
Our new research programs encompass >30,000 square kilometers of the Sonoran Desert and seek to support the conservation and recovery of military and adjacent lands in southwestern Arizona, including areas managed by the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Cabeza Prieta and Kofa National Wildlife Refuges, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and Bureau of Land Management. We are developing cutting-edge techniques to generate new models and maps of fundamental ecological processes that are needed to reduce the impact of non-native invasive plants and fire, while improving habitat for threatened, endangered, and at-risk species, in the context of global change. (more…)

Landscape-scale Models of Wildlife-Habitat Relationships
Our lab is collaborating with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies and NGOs in Arizona, Nevada, and California to develop spatially explicit predictive models of wildlife response to habitat and landscape change across extensive spatial scales. We use novel spatial and statistical techniques to estimate occupancy, abundance, or connectivity parameters for multiple species of sensitive wildlife, including, but not limited to American pronghorn, Merriam’s Turkey, Northern Goshawk, songbirds, puma, desert bighorn sheep, kit fox, and numerous other listed species. (more...)

Land Use History and Landcover Change
The Land Use History of North America project (LUHNA) is a national effort sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Our lab has been involved in the development of the program since its inception in 1995. Principal products of the project are two web sites, one continental in scope, containing case studies from across North America, and another developed in our lab, focusing on our biogeographic region, the Colorado Plateau. (more...)


The Effective Area Model (EAM) is a practical tool to predict the effects of fragmentation on animal populations. It requires the characterization of the density response of a species to habitat type, the distance from edges, and a detailed habitat map. The predictions of the null model ignores edge effects.


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