James Nichols, Ph.D.
Dr. Jim Nichols conducts research on animal population dynamics and management
- B.S. Wake Forest University, Biology, 1971
- M.S. Louisiana State University, Wildlife Management, 1973
- Ph.D. Michigan State University, Wildlife Ecology, 1976
Areas of Expertise: Animal population dynamics and management, demographic estimation methods.
- Adaptive management and assessment of habitat changes on migratory birds
- Development of models of mallard population dynamics for adaptive harvest management
- Development of methods to estimate parameters associated with animal population dynamics
- Statistical methods for species richness estimation
- Technical Assistance -Tiger Monitoring and Population Research
- Development of methods for estimating patch occupancy and patch-dynamic parameters from detection-nondetection survey data
- Development of methods to estimate species richness and community-dynamic parameters from species list data
Accomplishments, Awards, & Achievements:
- 2005 - U.S. Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious Senior Professional)
- 2004 - U.S. Geological Survey Meritorious Service Award
- 2004 - IFAS Scholar Award, University of Florida
- 1998 - Promoted to Senior Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey
- 1991 - The George W. Snedecor Award of the American Statistical Association
- 1991 - The Wildlife Society's Wildlife Publication Award for Monograph
- 1984 - Southeastern Section of the Wildlife Society, Outstanding Publication Award
Science and Products
Estimating indices of range shifts in birds using dynamic models when detection is imperfect
There is intense interest in basic and applied ecology about the effect of global change on current and future species distributions. Projections based on widely used static modeling methods implicitly assume that species are in equilibrium with the environment and that detection during surveys is perfect. We used multiseason correlated detection...Clement, Matthew J.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.; Pardieck, Keith L.; Ziolkowski, David J.
State-dependent resource harvesting with lagged information about system states
Markov decision processes (MDPs), which involve a temporal sequence of actions conditioned on the state of the managed system, are increasingly being applied in natural resource management. This study focuses on the modification of a traditional MDP to account for those cases in which an action must be chosen after a significant time lag in...Johnson, Fred A.; Fackler, Paul L.; Boomer, G Scott; Zimmerman, Guthrie S.; Williams, Byron K.; Nichols, James D.; Dorazio, Robert
And the first one now will later be last: Time-reversal in cormack-jolly-seber models
The models of Cormack, Jolly and Seber (CJS) are remarkable in providing a rich set of inferences about population survival, recruitment, abundance and even sampling probabilities from a seemingly limited data source: a matrix of 1's and 0's reflecting animal captures and recaptures at multiple sampling occasions. Survival and sampling...Nichols, James D.
The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls
Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted...Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.
Testing hypotheses on distribution shifts and changes in phenology of imperfectly detectable species
With ongoing climate change, many species are expected to shift their spatial and temporal distributions. To document changes in species distribution and phenology, detection/non-detection data have proven very useful. Occupancy models provide a robust way to analyse such data, but inference is usually focused on species spatial distribution, not...Chambert, Thierry A.; Kendall, William L.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.; Pedrini, Paolo; Waddle, J. Hardin; Tavecchia, Giacomo; Walls, Susan C.; Tenan, Simone
Heterogeneous movement of insectivorous Amazonian birds through primary and secondary forest: A case study using multistate models with radiotelemetry data
Given rates of deforestation, disturbance, and secondary forest accumulation in tropical rainforests, there is a great need to quantify habitat use and movement among different habitats. This need is particularly pronounced for animals most sensitive to disturbance, such as insectivorous understory birds. Here we use multistate capture–...Hines, James; Powell, Luke L.; Wolfe, Jared D.; Johnson, Erik l.; Nichols, James D.; Stouffer, Phillip C.
On formally integrating science and policy: walking the walk
The contribution of science to the development and implementation of policy is typically neither direct nor transparent. In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made a decision that was unprecedented in natural resource management, turning to an unused and unproven decision process to carry out trust responsibilities mandated by an...Nichols, James D.; Johnson, Fred A.; Williams, Byron K.; Boomer, G. Scott
Multilevel learning in the adaptive management of waterfowl harvests: 20 years and counting
In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented an adaptive harvest management program (AHM) for the sport harvest of midcontinent mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). The program has been successful in reducing long-standing contentiousness in the regulatory process, while integrating science and policy in a coherent, rigorous, and transparent...Johnson, Fred A.; Boomer, G. Scott; Williams, Byron K.; Nichols, James D.; Case, David J.
To predict the niche, model colonization and extinction
Ecologists frequently try to predict the future geographic distributions of species. Most studies assume that the current distribution of a species reflects its environmental requirements (i.e., the species' niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental...Yackulic, Charles B.; Nichols, James D.; Reid, Janice; Der, Ricky
The effects of harvest on waterfowl populations
Change in the size of populations over space and time is, arguably, the motivation for much of pure and applied ecological research. The fundamental model for the dynamics of any population is straightforward: the net change in the abundance is the simple difference between the number of individuals entering the population and the...Cooch, Evan G.; Guillemain, Matthieu; Boomer, G Scott; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique; Nichols, James D.
Accounting for false-positive acoustic detections of bats using occupancy models
1. Acoustic surveys have become a common survey method for bats and other vocal taxa. Previous work shows that bat echolocation may be misidentified, but common analytic methods, such as occupancy models, assume that misidentifications do not occur. Unless rare, such misidentifications could lead to incorrect inferences with significant management...Clement, Matthew J.; Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Ormsbee, Patricia C.; Szewczak, Joseph M.; Nichols, James D.
USGS ecosystem research for the next decade: advancing discovery and application in parks and protected areas through collaboration
Ecosystems within parks and protected areas in the United States and throughout the world are being transformed at an unprecedented rate. Changes associated with natural hazards, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing demands for water, food, land, energy and mineral resources are placing urgency on sound decision making that will help sustain...van Riper, Charles; Nichols, James D.; Wingard, G. Lynn; Kershner, Jeffrey L.; Cloern, James E.; Jacobson, Robert B.; White, Robin P.; McGuire, Anthony David; Williams, Byron K.; Gelfenbaum, Guy; Shapiro, Carl D.