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Michelle Jackson

Michelle Jackson (Post-Docs)

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My research spans the fields of landscape ecology, community ecology, and conservation biology. I examine ways that human drivers such as habitat fragmentation, land-use history, and climate change interact to influence ecological processes. My PhD research at the University of Wisconsin focused on the influence of logging and climate variability on the distribution, performance, and pollination ecology of native forest herbs in the Southern Appalachians. Recently I left eastern deciduous forests behind for the coastal alpine (and rainy winters) of the Pacific Northwest. As a TerreWEB post-doc with Kathy Martin and Sarah Gergel, I study climate-induced habitat change for the Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan and Vancouver Island Marmot, both endemic, alpine species that are particularly sensitive to climate change. Unfortunately, a large gap continues to exist between science and public policy regarding the mitigation of climate change. Public participation in science can help to close this gap; data collected by citizen scientists have both helped to document climate-driven range shifts for numerous species and have promoted environmental awareness among participants. I am using data collected by citizen scientists on Vancouver Island, historic aerial photographs, and species distribution modeling to investigate three main questions: (1) What are the specific habitat requirements for White-tailed Ptarmigan and Vancouver Island Marmots, (2) How has alpine habitat on Vancouver Island changed over time, and (3) How will ptarmigan and marmot habitat on Vancouver Island shift under climate change scenarios? I will also be working to enhance citizen science monitoring programs for these species and exploring new ways of communicating global chance science to various audiences.

Contact Info: michellegooch@gmail.com    Blog:http://alpinereflections.blogspot.ca/

Research Topic: Climate-induced habitat change for the Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan and Vancouver Island Marmot, both endemic, alpine species that are particularly sensitive to climate change

Supervisor: Dr. Kathy Martin and Dr. Sarah Gergel

Publications:

1. Jackson, M., S. E. Gergel and K. Martin. (2015). Citizen science and field survey observations provide comparable results for mapping Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis) distribution. Biological Conservation, 181: 162-172. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.010

2. Jackson, M. , Kathy Martin (2014). Citizen science helps an alpine bird specialist Branchlines, 25(1): 12-18. Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia.

 

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