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Owen McKenna, PhD

Owen P. McKenna is a Research Ecologist at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, North Dakota. He is currently a Visiting Scientist with the Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.

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.

Professional Experience

  • 2022 to present: Visiting Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center

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

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

Education and Certifications

  • 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

Science and Products