M.S., Environmental Science, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2016
B.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine at Orono, 2013
B.S., Marine Biology, University of Maine at Orono, 2013
Ph.D., Ecology and Environmental Science, Montana State University
Dr. Andy Hansen and Dr. Ben Poulter
Wolverines of the contiguous U.S. exist as a high alpine metapopulation where approximately 250-300 individuals currently exist in island-like subpopulations across Montana, Idaho, and portions of Wyoming and Washington. The necessity of successful dispersal among these islands of high-elevation habitats means that landscape connectivity at a multi-state scale is key for the long-term persistence of this species. Core wolverine habitats may shift due to climate change and the essential connectivity among these sky-islands will be influenced by both climate and human land use in valley bottoms. Current models of wolverine connectivity either do not account for climate change or ignore all habitat features between patches of snow, including human infrastructure. We will model change in wolverine habitat suitability and connectivity under scenarios of climate and land use change across the Northern Rockies in order to evaluate opportunities for conservation actions.