Habitat Mapping and Modeling

Science Center Objects

Accurately quantifying and mapping wildlife habitat is critical to investigations of species distribution and habitat relationships, and can greatly facilitate management of forests for multiple resources. However acquiring field-based, empirical data is often costly and labor intensive. Modeling provides an alternative technique for describing and mapping habitat, but the usefulness of models relies on the quality of the underlying ecological information. My projects integrate an understanding of wildlife ecology with technological expertise from collaborations with biometricians, statisticians, and GIS specialists to develop habitat models that provide reliable and defendable methods for defining and predicting the distribution of wildlife habitat. For example, in a current project we are utilizing LiDAR data to develop new metrics that more accurately represent the three-dimensional characteristics of habitat for forest-dwelling wildlife.