Owen McKenna


Owen P. McKenna is a Research Ecologist at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, ND. Dr. McKenna received a Ph.D. in Environmental Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His research is focused studying how changes in climate and land use can alter the hydrology and geochemistry of prairie-pothole wetlands. Dr. McKenna has explored a regional climate-induced ecohydrological state shift in wetland ecosystems through analysis of long-term data. He also helped in development and application of the Pothole Hydrology Linked Systems Simulator (PHyLiSS), which is an integrated hydro-geochemical model for prairie pothole wetlands. Dr. McKenna is currently using PHyLiSS to assist land managers in estimating the future impacts of climate and land-use change on critical migratory waterfowl habitat. Additionally, Dr. McKenna is using the APEX model to integrate prairie-pothole wetlands into U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation planning efforts.


  • Ph.D., Environmental Life Sciences, Arizona State University, 2016
  • M.S., Environmental Life Sciences, Arizona State University, 2014
  • B.S., Biology w/Ecology emphasis, Loyola University Chicago, 2011

Professional Experience

  • 2016 to 2020: Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
  • 2020 to present: Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center


  • USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: CEAP-Wetlands Program
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service