James H. Thorne

Contact Information

Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616

Position: Research Scientist
Email: jhthorne@ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-4389
Office: Wickson 2120H


2006-2009 Research Scientist, Information Center for the Environment, University of California, Davis, CA.  

2005-2009 Adjunct faculty, Geography Graduate Group, University of California, Davis.

2003    Ph.D.   Ecology, University California, Davis

1997    M. A. Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

1985    B.A.    Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz


Areas of Interest

Conservation Planning, Landscape Ecology, Climate Change, Informatics, Biogeography,     Historical Ecology, Species Distribution Modeling, Phenology, Environmental Policy, Urban Growth Modeling



English, French, Spanish



          To use my training in ecology, geography, and environmental science for landscape ecological research, teaching, and to develop effective conservation projects.


Current Projects


Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for California – California Energy Commission. I serve as a landscape ecologist, modeler and data coordinator for a multi-investigator effort to improve projections of vulnerability to California across multiple sectors including agriculture, water availability, fire, and biodiversity. My group is producing downscaled historic and future climates, urban growth models, and a dynamic vegetation model output. Overall project is for 18 months and $4M.

Resource Management Under Uncertainty, US National Parks. I am a GIS analyst and landscape ecologist in an effort to assess biological and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Proactive vulnerability assessments, and development of conservation management strategies is a new area of research for the US National Parks, which is grappling with whether it is possible to increase biological resilience to climate change, and what management strategies might be required.
US Forest Service, International Branch. I developed and teach an annual 3 week curriculum for selected 24 international mid-career forest and resource management professionals. Course locations include Washington, DC, UC Davis, and field locations throughout California. Participants are US AID, Embassy adjuncts and mangers in NGOs. I have a collaboration developed under this program to develop climate monitoring and management capacity for eastern Himalayan countries.
Human-Environment Interactions. I study human impacts on natural systems, with the objective of identifying sustainable designs for human-environment interactions. We use an urban growth model to project patterns of new settlements according to various policy scenarios, and to evaluate how the footprint of future growth may impact habitats and wildlife. We also developed biologically relevant measures of landscape fragmentation for California (effective mesh size), and China. I direct a monitoring program assessing wildlife use of unimproved highway underpasses and wildlife road kill along highways on California’s central coast. This includes camera installations, track plates and tracking.
Korean Initiative. I advise faculty at Seoul National University and the National Inventory and Environmental Research Institute (Korean agency) on a three part effort: to assess the success of a reintroduction program for Asiatic Black Bear; to quantify the impacts of roads on wildlife through landscape scale monitoring and experiment; and to quantify the differences in spatial and taxonomic detail obtained through three independent national scale bioinventories.
Integration of Regional Conservation Designs with Regional Mitigation Needs -California Department of Transportation & Department of Water Resources. I am lead ecologist on projects to develop state-wide, regional, and local biological and ecological impact assessment capacity. We conduct advanced impact projections of funded road and waterway construction projects. This early quantification of area of habitat impacted permits earlier, more cost effective and more biologically effective biological offsets. We use regional conservation objectives (the “greenprint”- including locations of endangered species, identified wildlife corridors, etc) as a mask within which to seek suitable biological offsets.
Historical and Projected Ecology. I am interested in the impacts of climate change to human and biological communities, and use several tools to assess and predict change: historical and contemporary data, and modeled future projections. California historical data include 100,000 km2 of historic vegetation maps (1930s) and > 10,000 historic vegetation plots. When compared to over 20,000 contemporary vegetation plots and maps, shifts in species ranges and forest structure can be detected and modeled.
I also lead an initiative to bundle biological monitoring around weather stations. This involves development of standard monitoring protocols for plants and vertebrates. If this monitoring is installed near to weather stations, it adds great value to those data over time. I collaborate with multiple groups including the California Energy Commission and the US Forest Service.
EcoAdapt: Modeling Mountain Gorilla Ranges Under Climate Change. I assembled and analyzed GIS data on Mountain Gorilla, and modeled their future range under climate change.
Butterfly Phenology 30 Year Study. http://butterfly.ucdavis.edu/. I oversaw development, analysis and online publication of a database of butterfly phenology, records recorded by Dr. Art Shapiro, UC Davis. I was author of a NSF grant ($217,000) obtained under the Informatics and Databases division, to register the 30+ year butterfly phenology study into a database and analyze the contents. We have over 85,000 species observation events from 10 sites forming a transect from San Francisco to Nevada.
Oak Restoration & Long-Term Field Experiment. I run a restoration project that provides native Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) seedlings to restoration groups. Last year 6 groups used >1000 seedlings.
Publications coordinator, Information Center for the Environment (ICE), UC Davis. I coordinate GIS and model development undertaken for state and national agencies at ICE. In this capacity I identify the publishable elements of ongoing work, and support the development of peer-reviewed publications. This position requires the assembly of manuscript teams, identification of team members’ obligations for manuscripts, and preparation for meetings with local and regional government and private business.


Refereed Archival Journals:

30. Viers, J.H., A.K. Fermier, R.A. Hutchinson, J.F. Quinn, J.H. Thorne, M.G. Vaghti. Accepted. Multi-scale Patterns of Riparian Plant Diversity and Implications for Restoration. Restoration Ecology.

29. Dobrowski, S.Z., J.H. Thorne, J.A. Greenberg, H.D. Safford, A.R. Mynsberge, S.M. Crimmins, A.K. Swanson. Accepted. Modeling plant distributions over 75 years of measured climate change in California, USA: Relating temporal transferability to species traits. Ecological Monographs

28. Thorne, J.H., P.R. Huber, S. Harrison. Exploring tradeoffs among conservation goals in serpentine-rich landscapes. 2010. In. Harrison and Rajakaruna eds. Serpentine: A model for evolution and ecology. University of California Press.

27. T. Li, F. Shilling, J. H. Thorne, F. Li, H. Schott, R. Boynton, A. M. Berry. 2010. First Evaluation of Fragmentation of China’s Landscape by Roads and Urban Areas. Landscape Ecology 25:839-853.

26. Forister, M.L., A.C. McCall, N.J. Sander, J.A. Fordyce, J.H. Thorne, J. O’Brien, D.P. Waetjan, A.M. Shapiro. 2010. Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alternation shift patterns of butterfly diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:1-5.

25. Huber, P. R., S. Greco, J. H. Thorne. 2010. Spatial scale and its effects on conservation network design: trade-offs and omissions in regional versus local scale planning. Landscape Ecology 25:683-695.

24. Santos, M.J. and J.H. Thorne. Contrasting culture and ecology: conservation planning of oak woodlands in Mediterranean landscapes of Portugal and California. 2010. Environmental Conservation doi:10.1017/S0376892910000238

23. Waetjen, D. P. J. H. Thorne, A. D. Hollander, A. M. Shapiro, and J. F. Quinn.  The Butterfly Effect: An approach for web-based scientific data distribution and management with linkages to climate data and the semantic web. 2010. In: (Eds Anandarajan, M. & Anandarajan, A.) E-Research collaboration: Frameworks, Tools and Techniques. Springer-Verlag. Berlin.

22. G. F. Midgley, I. D. Davies, C. H. Albert, R. Altwegg, L. Hannah, G. O. Hughes, L. P. Ries, J. H. Thorne, C. Seo, W. Thuiller. BioMove – an integrated platform simulating the dynamic response of species to environmental change. 2010. Ecography  33:612-616.

21. Huber, P., J. H. Thorne, S. Greco. 2010. Boundaries make a difference: the effects of spatial and temporal parameters on conservation planning. Professional Geographer 62:1-17. 

20. Beardsley, K., J. H. Thorne, N. E. Roth, M. McCoy. 2009. Impact of Rapid Human Population Growth on Biological Resources in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Landscape and Urban Planning 93:151-268.

19. Schmidt, E., J. H. Thorne, P. Huber, N. Roth, E. Thompson, M McCoy. 2010. A new vision for prioritizing farmland preservation in the San Joaquin Valley, California. California Agriculture 64:129-134.

18. Thorne J.H. 2009. Of refugia and colonization, an innovative use of biogeography for climate studies. Frontiers of biogeography 1.2:5-6.

17. Thorne, J. H., J.H. Viers, J. Price, D. M. Stoms. 2009. Spatial patterns of endemic plants in California. Natural Areas Journal 29:344-366.

16. Thorne, J. H., P. Huber, E. Girvetz, J. F. Quinn, M. McCoy. 2009. Integration of regional mitigation assessment and conservation planning.  Ecology and Society 14:47 [online] http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art47/.

15. Williams, C. Seo, J. H. Thorne, J. N., J. K. Nelson, S. Erwin, J. M. O’Brien, M. W. Schwartz. 2009. Using species distribution models to predict new occurrences for rare plants.  Diversity and Distributions. 15: 565-576. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2009.00567.x

14. Thorne, J. H., E. H. Girvetz, and M. McCoy. 2009. Evaluating aggregate terrestrial impacts of road construction projects for advanced regional mitigation. Environmental Management 43: 936-948. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-008-9246-8

13. Seo, C., J. H. Thorne, L. Hannah, W. Thuiller. 2009. Scale effects in species distribution models; implications for planning under climate change. Biology Letters 5:39-43. http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/x08310826r318131/?p=4f7483d92f474fef8c5b5d3ece83f86e&pi=0

12. Thorne, J. H., B. J. Morgan, and J. A, Kennedy. 2008. Vegetation Change over 60 Years in the Central Sierra Nevada. Madroño 55:223-237.

11. Harrison, S., J. H. Viers, J. H. Thorne, J. B. Grace. 2008. Favorable Environments and the Persistence of Naturally Rare Species. Conservation Letters 1: 65-74. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118902559/home 

10. Girvetz, E. H, J. H. Thorne, A. M Berry, and J. A.G. Jaeger. 2008. Integration of Landscape fragmentation analysis into regional planning: a state-wide multiscale case study for California. Landscape and Urban Planning 86: 205-218. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01692046

9. Girvetz, E. H., J. A. G. Jaeger, J. H. Thorne. 2007. Comment on „Roadless Space of the Conterminous United States“. Science- Technical Comment 1240b.

8. Thorne, J. H., J. M. O’Brien, M. L. Forister, and A. M. Shapiro. 2006. Building Phenological Models from Presence/Absence Data for a Butterfly Fauna. Ecological Applications 16(5) 1730-1743.

7. Thorne, J.H., S. Gao, A. D. Hollander, J. A.  Kennedy, M. McCoy, R. A. Johnston, J. F. Quinn. 2006. Modeling potential species richness and urban buildout to identify mitigation sites along a California highway. Journal of Transportation Research D 11(4) 233-314.

6. Thorne, J.H., D. Cameron, and J.F. Quinn. 2006. A conservation design for the central coast of California and the evaluation of mountain lion as an umbrella species. Natural Areas Journal 26:137-148.

5. Schwartz, M. W., J. Thorne, and  J.H. Viers. 2006 Biotic homogenization of the California flora in urban and urbanizing regions. Biological Conservation 127(3): 282-291.

4. Viers, J. H., J. H. Thorne, and J. F. Quinn. 2006. CalJep: A spatial distribution database of CalFlora and Jepson plant species. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. Vol. 4, Issue 1 (February 2006), Article 1. http://repositories.cdlib.org/jmie/sfews/vol4/iss1/art1

3. Stubblefield, A., S. Chandra, S. Eagan, T. Dampil, G. Davaadorzh, D. Gilroy, J. Sampson, R. Allen, J. Thorne, Z. Hogan. 2005. Impacts of gold mining and land use alterations on the water quality of central Mongolian rivers. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 1(3) 1-7.

2. Thorne, J.H., J. A. Kennedy, T. Keeler-Wolf J. F. Quinn, M. McCoy, J. Menke.2004. A new vegetation map of Napa County using the Manual of California Vegetation Classification and its comparison to other digital vegetation maps.Madroño 51(4) 343-363.

1. Vander Zanden, J., J.D. Olden, J.H. Thorne, N.E. Mandrake. 2004. Predicting occurrences and impacts of smallmouth bass introductions in north temperate lakes. Ecological Applications 14(1) 132-148.

Thorne, J.H. 2003. Development and Interpretation of Ecological Datasets for Conservation Planning and Natural Resources Management. PhD Dissertation, UC, Davis.


Peer Reviewed Technical & Government Reports:

Thorne, J.H., C. Seo. In Press. Modeling range for Mountain Gorilla under future climate scenarios. Technical Report on Management of Mountain Gorilla Under Future Climate Scenarios. EcoAdapt, Seattle WA.

Huber, P.R., F.M. Shilling, J.H. Thorne, S.E. Greco, and N.E. Roth. 2010. Safe Passages and the City of Riverbank: Wildlife Connectivity in the San Joaquin Valley, California. University of California, Davis.

T. Diamond, C. McFarland, J. Keller, J.H. Thorne. 2010. The Central Coast Connectivity Project: Northern Monterey Linkage Report 2009. Connectivity for Wildlife LLC and Big Sur Land Trust, Monterey, CA. 33pg.

Thorne, J. H. 2009 Impacts on biological systems: Vegetation- Forest Vegetation Patterns. pp. 136-142. In: Indicators of Climate Change in California. Ed: L. Mazur. California Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento. http://oehha.ca.gov/multimedia/epic/pdf/ClimateChangeIndicatorsApril2009.pdf

Thorne, J. H., E. Girvetz, M.C. McCoy. 2008. Report on California state-wide mitigation needs forecasting database. Technical Report to the California Department of Transportation, UC Davis, CA.

Girvetz, E.H., J.H. Thorne, J.F. Quinn, M.C. McCoy. 2008. Early Biological Mitigation Needs Assessment: Elkhorn Slough Pilot Project. Technical Report to the California Department of Transportation, UC Davis, CA.

Huber, P., E.H. Girvetz, J.H. Thorne, A. Hollander, J.F. Quinn, M.C. McCoy. 2008. Early biological mitigation needs assessment: Pleasant Grove pilot project. Technical Report to the California Department of Transportation, UC Davis, CA.

L. Hannah, G. Midgley, I Davies, F Davis, L Ries, W Thuiller, J Thorne, C Seo, D Stoms, N Snider. 2007.  BioMove – Improvement and Parameterization of a Hybrid Model for the Assessment of  Climate Change Impacts on the Vegetation of California. Technical Report for California Energy Commission, Public Interest Energy Research, Sacramento, CA. 96 p.

Thorne, J., J. Bjorkman, S. Thrasher, R. Kelsey, and B. J. Morgan. 2007. 1930s extent of oak species in the central Sierra Nevada. US Forest Service General Technical Report. http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_gtr217/psw_gtr217_569.pdf

Beardsley, K., J.H. Thorne, M.C. McCoy. 2007. Policy Implications of Growth Modeling and Environmental Assessment in the San Joaquin Valley. Technical Report published by John Muir Institute for the Environment, UC Davis, CA.

Thorne, J. H. 2006. The development of 70-year old Wieslander Vegetation maps and an assessment of landscape change in the central Sierra Nevada. Technical Report for California Energy Commission, Public Interest Energy Research, Sacramento, CA. 115 p.

Thorne, J.H., B. J. Morgan, T. R. Kelsey, and J. A. Kennedy. 2006. Wieslander Vegetation Type Maps: A Digitizing Process Manual. Technical Report prepared for the Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service. University of California, Davis.

Thorne, James, M. McCoy, A. Hollander, N. Roth, and J. Quinn. 2005. Regional Analysis for Transportation Corridor Planning. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environment and Transportation, San Diego, CA. 

Thorne, J.H., D. Cameron, V. Jigour. 2002. A Guide to Wildlands Conservation in the Central Coast Region of California. California Wilderness Coalition, Davis CA. http://cain.ice.ucdavis.edu/repository/CC.pdf

Davis F. W., D. M Stoms, A. D. Hollander, K.A. Thomas, P.A. Stine, D. Odion, M. I. Borchert, J. H. Thorne, M. V. Gray, K. Warner, and J. Graae. 1998. The California Gap Analysis Project – Final Report. June 30, 1998. University of California, Santa Barbara. http://www.biogeog.ucsb.edu/projects/gap/gap_home.html

Thorne, J.H. 1997. GAP Analysis: the vegetation of northwest California. Master’s thesis. University of California, Santa Barbara.

Published Conference Proceedings and Presentations

Beardsley, K. J.H. Thorne, J. F. Quinn. 2009. Estimating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in 2050 from New Buildings in California. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco.

T. Diamond, C. McFarland, J. Thorne, J. Keller, D. Myers, and J. Devers. 2009. California Central Coast Wildlife Connectivity Project: Identifying and implementing connectivity for wildlife movement throughout the Central Coast of California. The Wildlife Society, Western Chapter, Monterey CA.

Thorne, J. H. 2009. Vegetation Shifts in the Sierra Nevada over the past 100 years. California Energy Commission’s Climate Change Conference, Sacramento, CA.

Thorne, J.H. 2009. Stories from California: using vegetation plot data for biodiversity studies, mapping, landcover change and climate studies. Workshop of Biodiversity and Protection Areas – About Habitat Modelling. Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University, Seoul North Korea. Invited Keynote.

Bjorkman, J., J. H. Thorne. 2009. Landscape Change in the Bay Area. ESRI User Conference.

P. R. Huber, D. Cameron, J. H. Thorne, T. M. Frink. 2009. Regional Advance Mitigation Planning: a Pilot Study Integrating Multi-agency Mitigation Needs and Actions Within a Comprehensive Ecological Framework. International Conference on Ecology and Transportation. Duluth, MN.

Thorne, J. H., S. E. Cameron. 2008. Three scales of vegetation response to climate change and fire over the past 70 years. Yosemite National Park Hydroclimatology Conference, CA.

Thorne, J. H. 2008. Use of Oaks in Urban and Rural Restoration Settings. Annual Oak Restoration Symposium, Sierra Foothills Research Station, University of California.

Thorne, J. H., J. Bjorkman, R. Boynton, S. Thrasher. 2008. Observed Changes in Vegetation Patterns in California. California Energy Commission’s Second Annual Climate Change Conference, Sacramento, CA.

Thorne, J.H., S. Dobrowski, R. Boynton, S. Thrasher, J. Bjorkman, H. Safford. 2008. Ecotones and Vegetation Bands – 70 years of vegetation dynamics in the Sierra Nevada. California Society for Ecological Restoration, Santa Rosa, CA. Invited talk.

Thorne, J.H., S. Dobrowski, H. Safford. 2008. Comparing 70 year old vegetation maps in California: lessons from the Sierra Nevada and Bay Area. Ecological Society of America Meetings, Milwaukee, WI. Invited talk.

Seo Changwan, J. H. Thorne, L. Hannah, W. Thuiller. 2008. "Scale Sensitivity of Species Distribution Models for Conservation Planning", 28th Annual Conference International Association for Impact Assessment, 4-10 May 2008, Perth, Western Australia 2008

Bjorkman, J., J.H. Thorne, S. Thrasher, R. Boynton. 2008. Landscape change in the Bay Area: using historic maps to show vegetation change.  10th Annual Bay Area Conservation Biology Symposium, Davis, CA.

Girvetz, E. H., J.A.G. Jaeger, J. H. Thorne, A.M. Berry. 2007. Integrating habitat fragmentation analysis into transportation planning using the effective mesh size landscape metric.

Paper to the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation.

Thorne, J. H., E. H. Girvetz, and M. McCoy. 2007. A multi-scale and context sensitive state-wide environmental mitigation planning tool for transportation projects in California. Paper to the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation.

Ries, L. P., L. Hannah, C. Seo, J. H. Thorne, F. Davis, 2007, A dynamic species modeling approach to assess climate change impacts on California tree species, American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting; Dec 10-14, S. F, CA

Seo, C., J. H. Thorne, L. Hannah, W. Thuiller 2007, Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation Planning : Species Distribution Models Applications, Vietnam-Korea EIA Workshop,   December 6-8, 2007, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hannah, L., C. Seo, G. Midgley, J. H. Thorne, D. Stoms, I. Davies, W. Thuiller, N. Snider, F. W. Davis, 2006, Dynamic Modeling of Climate Change Impacts on California Endemic Tree Species, Third  Annual Climate Change Research Conference, September 13-15, 2006, Sacramento, California.

Ries,  L., Lee Hannah, C. Seo, J. H. Thorne, Frank W. Davis, David Stoms, 2007, Dynamic species modeling; Predicting CA vegetation niches under climate change, Fourth Annual California Climate Change Conference, September 10-13, 2007, Sacramento, California.

Thorne, J. H., S. Dobrowski, H. Safford. 2007. A 70 year review of landscape change across the Sierra Nevada. Ecological Society of America, San Jose, CA. 

Cameron, S. E., J. H. Thorne. 2007. Influence of fire and climate change on vegetation in a mountainous national park. Ecological Society of America, San Jose, CA.

Huber, P., N. E. Roth, K. Beardsley, J. H. Thorne, M. McCoy, R. Meade. 2007. Potential impacts of urban growth on an ecological network in the San Joaquin Valley, California. American Association of Geographers, San Francisco, CA.

Seo C., J. H. Thorne, D. Stoms, W. Thullier, F. Davis, and L. Hannah. 2007. Model selection for predictive species range mapping. IAEA, Korea.

Thorne, J. H. 2007. Retreat of the trailing edge of ponderosa pine forests in the Sierra Nevada over 140 years. The Wildlife Society Meetings, Monterey. Invited Talk.

Thorne, J. H. and T.R. Kelsey. 2006. 140 Dynamics of a Forest Ecotone under climate and environmental change. American Geophysical Union Meeting, San Francisco. Invited talk.

Thorne, James. 2006. Forest Change over 140 Years in the Central Sierra Nevada. Ecological Society of America Meeting. Memphis, TN.

Hannah, L., J.H. Thorne, C. Seo, D. Stoms, I. Davies, G. Midgley, W. Thullier and F. Davis. 2005. Modeling climate change impacts on biodiversity.  California Energy Commission’s Second Annual Climate Change Conference, Sacramento, CA.

Thorne, J.H. and B.J. Morgan. 2005. Developing historical vegetation maps to support modeling in California. California Energy Commission’s Second Annual Climate Change Conference, Sacramento, CA.

Thorne, James, Joshua Obrien, Mathew Forister, Arthur Shapiro. 2005. Butterfly community phenology across an altitudinal transect. Ecological Society of America Meeting.

O'Brien, Joshua, Forister, Matthew, Thorne, J., Shapiro, Arthur. 2005. Detection of long-term changes in an alpine butterfly community using non-parametric bootstrap methods. Ecological Society of America Meeting.

Quinn, James, Hollander, Allan, Thorne, James, Viers, Joshua. 2005. SPIRE: Semantic Web applications for biodiversity and invasive species. Ecological Society of America Meeting

Anderson, Kayce, Forister, Matthew, Shapiro, Arthur, O'Brien, J, Thorne, J. 2005. Urban boundaries in a biodiversity hotspot: Declining butterfly diversity in California's modified Central Valley. Ecological Society of America Meeting.

Viers, Joshua, Thorne, James, Vaghti, Mehrey, Quinn, James. 2005. Patterns of regional and local diversity in the California Bay-Delta ecoregion and its watersheds: Lessons for riparian restoration and monitoring. Ecological Society of America Meeting.

Thorne, James. 2004. A Conservation Design for the Central Coast of California using modeled cores and corridors for mountain lion (Felis concolor). Society for Conservation Biology, UC Davis.

Review and Editorial Activities

Reviewer for International Scientific Journals

            Global Change Biology (2007)

  Ecology (since 2006)

            Biogeography (since 2005)

            Oikos (since 2006)

            Landscape and Urban Planning (2007)


Professional Activities

2005-present    Advisor to ecosystem connectivity initiatives in the Santa Cruz Mountains area.

2004-present    Advisor to oak conservation program in Yolo County


California State Legislature & University of California, Davis- Outstanding Staff Award. 2007. For most dedicated Community Service staff member from the University of California, Davis.


Dissertations and Theses Supervised


Ph. D. Dissertations: Committee member (4)

Masters Theses: Committee member (2)

Graduate Students Advised

Melissa Whitaker- MA studying butterfly populations

Michael McGrann- PhD studying plants of the Sierra Nevada

Nate Roth - PhD studying economic impacts of urban growth.

Karen Willet-PhD Completed 2009. Use of Urban Growth Models to simulate policy and assess impacts of future growth on biotic resources.

Patrick Huber- PhD Geography, UCD 2009. Now a post-doc working with me on conservation assessment and network design.

Ethan Inlander, MA Geography, UCSB. 2004. Now GIS specialist for TNC, Arkansas.


Classes Taught at Graduate and Undergraduate Level


As Instructor:

  1. Week long training course in Karst cave conservation in Spanish for The Nature Conservancy in the Dominican Republic. 2008
  2. Training Courses (5) in English and French for Park Rangers from 15 countries in Africa. Dec. 2003-  Dec. 2004. Instruction in how to set up the computational data entry for the MIKE (Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants) program.  I helped design, then teach two levels of computer orientation, database use and GIS orientation. Courses were taught in Kenya, Cameroon and Niger. Contact Karen Beardsley– University of California, Davis coordinator for education component of the MIKE program. 530-752-5678
  3. Conservation and GIS. I taught an upper division course on the uses of GIS in conservation projects at UC Santa Barbara. Contact Ethan Inlander 479-973-9110, co-presenter.
  4. Ran an internship program at UCSB for students to help register 25 years of bird observation records stored at the Vertebrate Natural History Museum. Contact John Gallo gallo@geog.ucsb.edu.


Co-taught, or as Teaching Assistant

  1. Ecological Field Methods – Dr. Jim Quinn, UC Davis 2002, 2003
  2. Vegetation of California- Dr. Michael Barbour, UC Davis 2002
  3. Biogeography, upper division, undergraduate- Dr. Frank Davis, UCSB 1996
  4. Physical Geography- Dr. Jeff Dozier UCSB 1996
  5. Introduction to Environmental Studies- Social Systems- Dr. Robert Hatherill, UCSB 1995, 1996
  6. Introduction to Environmental Studies- Physical Systems- UCSB 1995.


Countries & States worked in

Have worked extensively in the national parks in Alaska.

South Korea: am advising the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) on their biological survey protocols, and co-authoring papers on Asiatic black bear reintroductions and road kill monitoring.

Cameroon, Kenya, Niger: Trained Park Wardens in database use and GPS as part of ‘Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants.

Mongolia: field studies of impacts of Gold Mining on rivers containing world’s largest salmon, Hucho taimen taimen.

Chile, Argentina: 3 month field examination of conservation conditions in the southern temperate rainforests.

Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala: Studied what makes conservation projects successful.

Domican Republic, training of cave conservation biologists.

Canada: studied old growth coastal forests on mid-coast of British Columbia, involved in campaign to create the Tatshinshini Provincial Park.

Mexico: Extensive expedition experience in the Copper Canyon region & Baja, California; served as translator for Lumi Indians (from Washington State) who were doing a trans-tribal training with the Lacandon Maya in southern Mexico. Translated from English to Spanish. Another translator then translated to Mayan.

California-Based Projects 

Have worked in all terrestrial ecoregions of California, including:

1) Survey of potential UC reserve sites in Modoc Plateau;

2) Vegetation mapping and plot surveys in Klamath & Shasta/Trinity National Forests;

3) Field surveys of vegetation for the California GAP Analysis Program- Sierra Nevada, East Side, North Coast, Central Coast;

4) National Park Service studies of effects of acid rain and forest monitoring – Sequoia National Park;

5) Supervised surveying of over 1100 vegetation plots in the Mojave & Sonoran Desert regions, included coordinating surveys on 3 national parks (Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Mojave National Preserve), 4 military bases (Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center), 2 nature reserves (Granite MountainsPreserve & Desert Research Center), and the BLM lands;

6) Field surveys of mountain lion suitable habitat (core and corridors) in the Central Coast of California;

7) Herpetological field work in central and southern coastal California;

8) Teaching (TA) of field ecology and vegetation courses in central and southern California, and the north coast;

9) Oak restoration and long term studies in the Central Valley of California;

10) First state-wide existing vegetation & conservation lands (GAP Analysis Project);

11) Development of CalJep, a geodatabase of the distributions of 7887 California plants;

12) Assembly of over 25,000 vegetation plots surveyed by various researchers & agencies;

13) Co-developed models of over 400 California plant ranges under current and future Climate;

            14) Oversight of development of county-by-county urban growth models projecting future urban growth in California under business as usual assumptions (ongoing);

            15) Development of the Wieslander Vegetation maps, originally surveyed in the 1930s covering 1/3 of the state (ongoing, Sierra Nevada and Bay Area completed);

            16) Created MCV 1 ha mmu vegetation map of Napa County

17) Development of a state-wide mitigation needs assessment database for Caltrans;

18) Development of 2 pilot projects assessing potential contributions of multi-project road mitigation efforts to regional conservation designs, for Caltrans.

 Professional Memberships

            Ecological Society of America

            American Geophysical Union

            Society for Conservation Biology, UC Davis Chapter

Selected Extra Curricular

Survey of old-growth forest plots, Mid-Coast, British Columbia, Canada. Summer 2003. I installed over 20 vegetation plots in remote locations accessed through the fjords near Bella Coola, British Columbia. Access was by boat, with targeted areas those slated for future logging.

Head of restoration committee of the UC Davis chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, 2002-2006.

Participant- TNC workshops to identify conservation priorities on Central Coast of California.

President, UC Davis Chapter of Society of Conservation Biology, 2002-2003.

Co-founded the Conception Coast Project 1994-1996. This is a successful non-profit organization that provides GIS support and analysis for conservation projects in the Santa Barbara region. http://conceptioncoast.org/Conception_Coast_Project.html.

Mandolin Player in local bluegrass band, Ghost Pine Ramblers.

2003-2005  Post-Doctoral Position, Center for Applied Biodiversity Studies, Conservation International. Advisor: Lee Hannah.



Resources (Contributor)


Dataset: Monitoring

  • A collection of about 35 plot databases queried for presence of 340 California invasive plant species.
  • This dataset contains butterfly presence/absence data as well as abundance data from 11 sites ranging from the Sacramento River delta, through the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains, to the high desert of the western Great Basin. The data has been collected by Dr. Arthur Shapiro, regularly (approximately two-week intervals) since as early as 1972.