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Craig Thompson

Graduate Student (MS)


Craig Thompson earned his PhD from the Department of Wildlife Ecology at Utah State University in 2006, where he studied swift fox ecology in shortgrass steppe ecosystems in southeastern Colorado. He receive his MS from the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in 2001, where he studied the influence of research scale on bald eagle habitat selection on the Hudson River, New York. He received his BS from the Department of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution at the University of California, San Diego in 1993. He is currently a reserach wildlife ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, stationed at the Sierra Nevada Research Center in Fresno California.

Craig's research in the Landscape Ecology Lab focused on the influence of research scale on bald eagle habitat selection on the Hudon River, New York. In 1992, after almost 100 years of absence, breeding bald eagles began returning to the Hudson River, New York. In 1998 the New York Department of Environmental Conservation initiated an intensive research project into the ecology and population demographics of Hudson River eagles, with the overall intention of identifying and protecting critical habitat as well as estimating the influence of river contaminants. As the field supervisor of this project, Craig spent three years trapping, monitoring, and protecting eagles in a heavily developed and disturbed landscape. As part of this larger project, Craig investigated the influence of research scale on our ability to accurately evaluate breeding eagle habitat selection. By varying the scale over a large spatial range using GIS technology, Craig allowed the eagles themselves to define the most appropriate research scale, removing biases associated with the human perception of landscapes. This led to the creation of an 'eagle-centered perspective', or a habitat evaluation model based on the scale of eagle selection, which can be used to more accurately identify potential habitat along the Hudson River Corridor.

Craig's MS work resulted in the following publication:

  • Thompson, C. M., and K. McGarigal. 2002. The influence of research scale on bald eagle habitat selection along the lower Hudson River, New York. Landscape Ecology 17:569-586. (pdf)

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

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