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Michele Crist

Graduate Student (MS)

Crist
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Michele Crist earned her MS from the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in 2001, where she quantified the spatial and temporal dynamics of wildlife habitat under the effects of a natural fire disturbance regime on the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. She received her BS from the Department of ???? at the University of ???? in ????. She is currently a forest ecologist with the Wilderness Society in Boise, Idaho.

Michele's MS research in the Landscape Ecology Lab focused on developing wildlifeh habitat capability models for several indicator species in conjunction with the development of the RMLands landscape disturbance-succession model. Quantitative relationships between ecological processes and landscape patterns are necessary to gain insight into how certain wildlife species respond to landscape changes under various disturbance regimes. Understanding these relationships is an essential component of ecosystem management and is required by land managers to maintain and conserve dynamic ecosystems at various temporal and spatial scales. By describing the expected range of natural variation (RNV) in habitat conditions over an extended period of time, land managers are better positioned to identify land management practices that may cause deviations from a species’ RNV.

The overall purpose of Michele's research was to quantify the spatial and temporal dynamics of wildlife habitat under the effects of a natural fire disturbance regime on the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. Michele examined three questions.

  1. What is the spatial and temporal variation in suitable habitat under a natural fire regime?
  2. Under the same disturbance regime, how do habitat dynamics differ among species with different life history strategies and habitat associations?
  3. Within a constantly changing landscape, are there relatively stable areas of suitable habitat?

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655
Email: mcgarigalk@eco.umass.edu

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