Research Overview

The overarching goal of our research is to understand the interactions among people, land, and biodiversity. Research projects focus on housing growth and its ecological effects, land cover and land use change analysis, and the assessment of wildlife habitat and biodiversity patterns. We conduct our research at broad spatial scales. Remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling are our most commonly used research tools.

All projects are conducted in close collaboration with land managers and scientists in organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, both the Polish and the Russian Academy of Science, and the WWF. Via these collaborations, we hope to contribute towards the goal of a sustainable future.

Where We Work

Current Research

Understanding the effect of extreme weather events on grasslands birds in the U.S.

Analysis of the last 30 years reveals strong link between grassland bird abundances and precipitation variability.

Birds - Statistics
Jun 2015

Why do some houses burn and others do not when a wildfire hits?

Multiple environmental factors explain the likelihood of a burning house with a wildfire.

Fire - Houses and WUI - Statistics
Jan 2015

Habitat connectivity for the Indochinese tiger in Thailand

The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris) is one of the most emblematic animal species on Earth but also one of the most endangered wildlife species globally. A current study is using remote sensing techniques to map the distribution and connectivity of tiger habitat in Thailand, one of the last remaining hotspots for the Indochinese tiger.

Biodiversity - Conservation
Jan 2015

Evaluating the influence of conservation plans on land protection actions in Wisconsin

How often do you plan? Do you plan your work, vacations, or social life? Now think, how often, for one good reason or another, have your activities gone astray from the plan? You are not alone.

Conservation - Biodiversity
Jan 2015

Forest Changes in the Altay

In central Siberia, old growth forests are threatened by illegal logging. Finding these sites by foot is an overwhelming task, and researchers turn to the skies, using satellites, in their conservation efforts.

Land Use - Remote Sensing - Conservation - Biodiversity
Jan 2015

Forest birds in the sacred forests of Yunnan, China: what do they need for habitat?

Sacred forests in southwest China's Yunnan Province are keystone structure for forest birds of conservation concern. Jodi Brandt and Eric Wood set out to better understand what characteristics of the forest promote bird communities.

Birds - Conservation - Biodiversity
Jan 2015

The dynamic habitat index and biodiversity in Thailand

Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate, often due to habitat degradation and loss. To help optimize conservation planning and monitoring, Naparat Suttidate has developing and testing an easy method to predict biodiversity in Thailand based on remote sensing data.

Land Use - Remote Sensing - Conservation - Biodiversity
Mar 2014

Where should we burn? Prioritizing prescribed fire in Wisconsin

Controlled burning is one of the most effective tools for restoring grasslands and savannas across the Midwest. But there are many more lands needing burning than there are resources available.

Land Use - Conservation - Biodiversity - Fire
Mar 2014

Recreational trails are affecting bird reproduction

We might be loving our wildlife habitat to death. Research by Max Henschell, a PhD student, has found that recreational enjoyment of protected areas may be impacting birds.

Biodiversity - Birds - Conservation - Invasives - Land Use
Mar 2014

Change in alpine wetlands of Southwest China and its implications for wintering Black-necked Cranes

After a period of increase, Black-necked Cranes have been in decline at Napahai wetland since 2000. These patterns appear linked to the growth of the nearby city of Shangri-La.

Birds - Land Use - Remote Sensing - Conservation - Biodiversity
Mar 2014