Michael Casazza



Mike Casazza's research program at the Dixon Field Station focuses on the ecology of threatened and endangered species in a variety of ecosystems.  This includes primary ecological research on the endangered California Ridgway's Rail in SF Bay, the endangered San Francisco Gartersnake, the threatened Giant Gartersnake in the Central Valley of California, the California state-listed Greater Sandhill Crane, and the Greater Sage-Grouse.  Mike Casazza's research has targeted studies which provide critical species information to land managers responsible for maintaining diverse and healthy wildlife populations while trying to help recover special status species. Understanding key life history traits of special status species can lead to management options promoting species recovery. 

Mike Casazza's research team at Dixon employs a multi-disciplinary approach to all of their work including participation on several collaborative efforts.  They participated in the San Francisco Bay Goals Project beginning in 1995 and culminating in 2000 with a vision of the habitat needed to sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations in and around San Francisco Bay.  They are currently serving on the Great Basin Integrated Landscape Monitoring  (GBILM) Team for USGS to help link ecosystem drivers to on the ground monitoring programs. In addition, Mike Casazza is a co-investigator on a Sagebrush Ecosystem project examining the impacts of livestock grazing on sagebrush habitats in coordination with principal investigators from two other Science Centers. Bridging the gap between population biology and landscape level management is a primary goal of their research team’s effort.  Current animal handling permits include: California State Collecting Permit, Federal Banding Permit, Authorization to capture and mark the federally listed (threatened) giant garter snake and endangered California Ridgway's rail in addition to other non-sensitive species. Mike Casazza has wide-ranging experience in radio-tagging numerous animals including snakes, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory and non-migratory birds. 


  • 1995     M.S.  California State University, Sacramento Thesis: Habitat use and movement of Northern Pintails wintering in Suisun Marsh, CA
  • 1988     B.S.  Wildlife Biology, U.C. Davis