Fiona Schmiegelow

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept


Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept
(867) 668-8711



Job/Research Area: Professor, Northern Environmental and Conservation Science.

I began as a professor at the University of Alberta in 1997, and since 2009, have had the great privilege of developing and directing our partnered Bachelors of Science in Environmental and Conservation Science, Northern Systems Major, with Yukon College (soon to become Yukon University – May 2020). My primary location is Whitehorse, Yukon, where this program is delivered. I have recently accepted a 3-year appointment as Director of UAlberta North, established in 2015 to bring institutional priority and fresh energy to the University’s work across the boreal, Arctic and circumpolar regions ( 


• Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences - Teacher of the Year (2015, 2009, 2001)

• Royal Canadian Geographic Society: Inducted as a Fellow of the Society (2014)

• Ed and Peggy Tyrchniewicz Award for Innovation in Teaching (2013)

• Boreal Trailblazers Award: for leadership in boreal conservation through teaching, research and outreach (2009)

• Alberta Centennial Medal: for contributions to wildlife conservation and land management in Alberta (2005)


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: My general interests are in the areas of wildlife and landscape ecology and conservation, with a focus on the effects of land-use policies and practices on northern ecosystems. An overarching objective is to advance novel approaches to sustaining adaptive, socio-ecological systems in northern regions, in the context of changing climates and governance structures. To this end, I am involved in many partnerships, and committed to helping bridge science-policy interfaces, particularly as they pertain to land-use and biodiversity conservation.  


Lamothe, K.A., R. Dong, O. Senar, S. Teichert, I.F. Creed, D.P. Kreutzweiser, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW, and L. Venier. 2019. Demand for non-provisioning ecosystem services as a driver of change in the boreal zone, Canada. Environmental Reviews. 

Finnegan, L, Pigeon, KE, Cranston, J, Hebblewhite, M, Musiani, M, Neufeld, L, SCHMIEGELOW, F, Duval, J, Stenhouse, GB. 2018. Natural regeneration on seismic lines influences movement behaviour of wolves and grizzly bears. Plos One , 13, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0195480. 

Jung, TS, Czetwertynski, SM, SCHMIEGELOW, FKA. 2018. Boreal forest titans do not clash: low overlap in winter habitat selection by moose (Alces americanus) and reintroduced bison (Bison bison). European Journal Of Wildlife Research , 64, doi:10.1007/s10344-018-1184-z. 

Leston, L, Bayne, E, SCHMIEGELOW, F. 2018. Long-term changes in boreal forest occupancy within regenerating harvest units. Forest Ecology and Management, 421: 40-53. 

Odsen, S.G, J. H. Acorn, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW and J. R. Spence. 2018. Boreal songbird communities and variable retention management : a fifteen-year perspective on conservation in forestry. Forest Ecology & Management. 

Sólymos, P., Matsuoka, S.M., Cumming, S.G., Stralberg, D., Fontaine, P., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A., Song, S.J., Bayne, E.M. 2018. Evaluating time-removal models for estimating availability of boreal birds during point count surveys: Sample size requirements and model complexity. Condor. 

Stralberg, D., A. Camfield, M. Carlson, C. Lauzon, A. Westwood, N.K.S. Barker, S.J. Song, and F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW. 2018. Strategies for identifying priority areas for passerine conservation in Canada's boreal forest. Avian Conservation and Ecology. 

Kukka, P.M., Jung, T.S, Robitaille, J-F, and F. K. A. SCHMIEGELOW. 2017. Temporal variation in the population characteristics of harvested wolverine (Gulo gulo) in northwestern Canada. Wildlife Research 44(6):497-503. 

Ball, J. R., P. Sólymos, F. K. A. SCHMIEGELOW, S. Hache, J. Schieck and E. Bayne. 2016. Regional habitat needs of a nationally listed species, Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis), in Alberta, Canada. Avian Conservation and Ecology 11 (2):10. [online] URL: 

Bayne, E., Leston, L., Mahon, L.C., Sólymos, P., Machtans, C., Lankau, H., Ball, J.R., Van Wilgenburg, S.L., Cumming, S.G., Fontaine, T., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A., and S. J. Song. 2016. Boreal bird abundance estimates within different energy sector disturbances vary with point count radius. The Condor 118:376-390. 

Mayer, A.L., Buma, B., Davis, A., Gagné, S.A., Loudermilk, E.L., Scheller, R.M., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A. , Wiersma, Y.F. and Franklin, J. 2016. How landscape ecology informs global land-change science and policy. BioScience 66:458-469. 

Stralberg, D., Matsuoka, S. M., Handel, C. M., SCHMIEGELOW, F. K. A., Hamann, A. and Bayne, E. M. 2016. Biogeography of boreal passerine range dynamics in western North America: past, present, and future. Ecography 39:1-17. 

Barker, N.K.S., P.C. Fontaine, S.G. Cumming, D. Stralberg, A. Westwood, E.M. Bayne, P. Sólymos, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW, S. Song and D. Rugg. 2015. Ecological monitoring through harmonizing existing data: lessons from the Boreal Avian Modelling Project. Wildlife Society Bulletin DOI: 10.1002/wsb.567 

Mahon, C.L., G. Holloway, P. Sólymos, S. Cumming, E.M. Bayne, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW, and S. J. Song. 2016. Community structure and niche characteristics of upland and lowland western boreal birds at multiple spatial scales. Forest Ecology & Management 361:99-116. 

Stralberg, D., Bayne, E.M., Cumming, S.G., Sólymos, P., Song, S.J. & SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A. 2015. Conservation of future boreal forest bird communities considering lags in vegetation response to climate change: a modified refugia approach. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12356 

Wiersma YF, Duinker PN, Haider W, Hvenegaard GT, SCHMIEGELOW FKA. 2015. Relationships between Protected Areas and Sustainable Forest Management: where are we heading? Conservation and Society 13(1): 1-12. 

Cumming S.G., C.R. Drever, M. Houle, J. Cosco, P. Racine, E. Bayne and F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW. 2014. A gap analysis of tree species representation in the protected areas of the Canadian boreal forest: applying a new assemblage of digital Forest Resource Inventory data. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 

Stralberg, D., S.M. Matsuoka, A. Hamann, E. M. Bayne, P. Sólymos, F. K. A. SCHMIEGELOW, X. Wang, S. G. Cumming, and S. J. Song. 2014. Projecting boreal bird responses to climate change: the signal exceeds the noise. Ecological Applications. DOI: 10.1890/13-2289.1. 

SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A., S.G. Cumming, K.A. Lisgo, S.J. Leroux, and M.A. Krawchuk. 2014. Catalyzing Large Landscape Conservation in Canada’s Boreal Systems: The BEACONs Project Experience. Pages 97-122 in James N. Levitt, editor, Conservation Catalysts. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Harvard Press. 350 pp. 

Cumming, S. G., D. Stralberg, K. Lefevre, E. Bayne, S. Fang, P. Fontaine, D. Mazerolle, F. K. A. SCHMIEGELOW, P. Sólymos, and S. Song. 2013. Climate and vegetation hierarchically structure patterns of songbird distribution in the Canadian boreal region. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00299.x. 

Mahon, C.L., E.M. Bayne, P. Sólymos, S.M. Matsuoka, M. Carlson , E.Dzus, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW, and S. J. Song. 2013. Does expected future landscape condition support proposed population objectives for boreal birds? Forest Ecology and Management 312: 28–39. 

Sólymos, P., S. M. Matsuoka, E. M. Bayne, S. R. Lele. P. Fontaine, S.G. Cumming, D. Stralberg, F. SCHMIEGELOW, and S. Song. 2013. Calibrating indices of avian density from non-standardized survey data: making the most of a messy situation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4(11):1047–1058. 

DeCesare, N. J., M. Hebblewhite, F. SCHMIEGELOW, D. Hervieux, G. J. McDermid, L. Neufeld, M. Bradley, J. Whittington, K. G. Smith, L. E. Morgantini, M. Wheatley, and M. Musiani. 2012. Transcending scale dependence in identifying habitat with resource selection functions. Ecological Appls 22: 1068-1083. 

Krawchuk, M.A., K.A. Lisgo, S. Leroux, P. Vernier, S. G. Cumming, F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW. 2012. Conservation and climate change in Canada’s boreal regions. Pages 79-93 in C.C. Chester, J.A. Hilty and M.S. Cross (eds), Conservation and climate disruption: landscape science and practice in a changing climate. Island Press. 

Nelson, B., Hebblewhite, M., Ezenwa, V., Shury, T., Merrill, E. H., Paquet, P. C., SCHMIEGELOW, F., Seip, D., Skinner, G. & Webb, N. 2012. Seroprevalence of canine parvovirus and distemper in wolves in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 48: 68-78. 

Matsuoka, S. M., E. M. Bayne, P. Sólymos, P. Fontaine, S. G. Cumming, F. K. A. SCHMIEGELOW, and S. J. Song. 2012. Using binomial distance-sampling models to estimate the effective detection radius of point-count surveys across boreal Canada. The Auk 129:268-282. 

Barnett, A.G., Koper, N., Dobson, A. J., SCHMIEGELOW, F. K. A., and Manseau, M. 2010. Selecting the correct variance–covariance structure for longitudinal data in ecology: a comparison of the Akaike, quasi-information and deviance information criteria. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1:15-24. 

Cumming, S. G., Lefevre, K., Bayne, E., Fontaine, T., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A. and S. J. Song. 2010. Toward conservation of Canada`s boreal forest avifauna: design and application of ecological models at continental extents. Avian Conservation and Ecology (in press). 

Duinker, P.N. Y.F. Wiersma, W. Haider, G.T. Hvenegaard, and F.K.A. SCHMIEGELOW. 2010. Protected areas and sustainable forest management: what are we talking about? Forestry Chronicle 86(2):173-177. 

Hauer, G., Cumming, S.G., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A, Adamowicz, A., Weber, M. and R. Jagodzinski. 2010. Tradeoffs between forestry resource and conservation values under alternate forest policy regimes: A spatial analysis of the western Canadian boreal plains. Ecological Modelling 221:2590-2603. 

Leroux, S.J., Krawchuk, M.A., SCHMIEGELOW, F.K.A., Cumming, S.G., Lisgo, K., Anderson, L.G. and M. Petkova. 2010. Global protected areas and IUCN designations: does the category match the condition? Biological Conservation 143:609-616.


RenR 365, Ecology and Conservation of Northern Landscapes

RenR 473, Topics in Northern Resource Management

RenR 491, Northern Land-use Planning

RenR 465, Winter Field School: Northern Exposures

RenR 465, Summer Field School: A River Runs Through It 


ALES 204 - Communication Fundamentals for Professionals

Successful professionals require strong communication skills. This course focuses on interpersonal communication in professional settings, examining factors that enhance or impede communication and exploring strategies for communicating more effectively with different audiences. Students develop written, visual, and oral communication skills that help them connect with others both in and outside the organization, and convey information in positive and persuasive ways. [Human Ecology]

ALES 291 - Topics in Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

Offered by various departments depending upon the content of the course in a given year. Sections may require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

ALES 391 - Topics in Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

Offered by various departments depending upon the content of the course in a given year. Sections may require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

PL SC 221 - Introduction to Plant Science

Principles of plant science for use in agriculture, forestry and environmental sciences. Emphasis on vascular plants in an applied context. Topics include: plant structure and function; reproduction and development; and diversity and management of vegetation and crops. Not to be taken if credit received for BOT 205. [Offered jointly by the Departments of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and Renewable Resources].

R SOC 375 - Public Participation and Conflict Resolution

The anatomy of environmental and resource management conflict is examined through a lens of critical sociological theory and deliberative democracy. Focusing on contemporary case studies of conflict in energy production, forestry, conservation and protected areas management, social practices and strategies for conflict resolution are explored. Prerequisite: 54 units or consent of instructor.

REN R 105 - Introduction to Environmental Sciences

This course introduces students to environmental sciences by exploring the relationship between humans and their environment; especially the issues and science on the biosphere, atmosphere, and its species. Emphasis is on understanding our natural environment, our human impacts, and approaches to sustaining, managing, and restoring our natural resources using real-world issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation.

REN R 110 - Natural Resource Measurement

Designed to introduce students to the principles and practices of measuring various natural resources and to the visualization, interpretation, and management of data.

REN R 201 - Introduction to Geomatic Techniques in Natural Resource Management

Methods and applications of geographic information systems (GIS), including global positioning systems (GPS), photogrammetry, air photo interpretation and LIDAR, as they relate to natural resource management.

REN R 205 - Wildlife Biodiversity and Ecology

Introduction to animals in the context of conservation, interactions with people, and roles in natural ecosystems. Labs provide a survey of Western Canadian animal life, both vertebrate and invertebrate, with emphasis on recognition of higher taxa and on hierarchical classification. Field trip. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

REN R 210 - Introduction to Soil Science

Elementary aspects of soil formation, occurrence in natural landscapes, and classification, including basic morphological, physical, and chemical characteristics employed in the identification of soils. Introduction to soil mineralogy, water movement, reactivity, organic matter, and nutrient cycling for predicting soil performance in both managed and natural landscapes. Prerequisite: 30 units. CHEM 101 and (BIOL 208 or EAS 201) recommended.

REN R 250 - Water Resource Management

The course introduces basic hydrological principles, the global water cycle, global demand and supply of freshwater, history and current concepts in water resource management, water conflict, water law, and water economics. The course emphasizes Canadian and global water management issues of the 21st century, including water regulation, climate change, drinking water availability, water quality, eutrophication, and freshwater biodiversity. Prerequisite: 30 units.

REN R 260 - History and Fundamentals of Environmental Protection and Conservation

A philosophical and sociological exploration of historical and contemporary perspectives on human-environmental relationships and their implications. Explores these perspectives in a framework of critical thinking and through case studies.

REN R 301 - Topics in Renewable Resource

Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to second year (or higher) students upon consent of instructor.

REN R 307 - Environmental Assessment Principles and Methods

Principles and elements of environmental assessment with an interdisciplinary focus. Topics include types of environmental assessments and when to use them, the Alberta and Canadian environmental assessment processes, the relevant legal framework, sampling and pathways of effects for different biophysical components, mitigation of environmental impacts and assessment of risk. Prerequisites: 60 units and one of REN R 290 or REN R 299. One course each on soils, plants, wildlife, and water are recommended.

REN R 322 - Forest Ecosystems

Exploration of key concepts regarding the ecology of forest ecosystems at varying temporal and spatial scales. Emphasis will be on relationships between biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem. Topics covered will include flows of energy and matter, ecosystem dynamics, forest landscapes and biodiversity, impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance, forest conservation and ecosystem management. Lab exercises during the first month are held outside. Prerequisite: BIOL 208. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

REN R 364 - Principles of Managing Natural Diversity

Introduction to the theoretical foundation for conservation science. Elements of population, community and landscape ecology will be reviewed, and their application to realworld challenges discussed. Objective is to provide students with the scientific tools to evaluate and develop conservation strategies for maintaining diversity in human-altered systems. Ethical and philosophical aspects of the sociopolitical arena in which conservation decisions are made and implemented are also explored. Not to be taken if credit received for ENCS 364 or BIOL 367. Prerequisites: 30 units, and BIOL 208 or (BIOL 108 and REN R 110).

REN R 376 - Fisheries and Wildlife Management

Principles of ecology as applied to the management of fisheries and wildlife communities. Topics include the growth and regulation of populations, interactions among species and their environments, tools and techniques used to assess and manage fisheries and wildlife. Special emphasis will be placed applying knowledge using case studies and class exercises to demonstrate key principles. Prerequisite: BIOL 208.

REN R 401 - Topics in Renewable Resources

Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to third or fourth year students upon consent of instructor. Some sections require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

REN R 427 - Science Policy and Canada's North

The purpose of this course is to expose students to key themes in science policy in the Canadian North, and to prepare students for careers at the northern science-policy interface. Case studies from the Canadian North will be used to explore the main themes of the course. Offered at Yukon University only. Prerequisite: 60 units.

REN R 463 - Biological Adaptations to Northern Environments

An overview of evolutionary processes and their role in shaping animals and plants in northern environments; adaptations to extreme conditions and potential effects of climate change will be explored. Prerequisite: BIOL 208.

REN R 465 - Environmental and Conservation Field Studies

Field trip studies with a focus on environmental and conservation biology topics. Course content and offerings vary from year to year, and have included study trips on Northern Ecosystems, National Parks, and Protected Areas, Arctic Tundra, the Florida Everglades, and Galapagos Islands. Prerequisite: 9 units in biological or ecological topics. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

REN R 466 - Climate Change and the North

Current and projected impacts of climate change on the circumpolar north, including the land, its biota, northern communities, and drivers that shape these interactions.

REN R 468 - Conservation of Genetic Resources

Principles and issues in conserving and managing plant and animal genetic resources from the global perspective. Lectures will be supplemented with case studies. Students are assigned tasks, individually and in groups. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

REN R 473 - Northern Resource Management

In-depth analysis of topical issues in northern resource management, including both ecological and socio-political dimensions, and emphasizing underlying scientific principles and adaptive management strategies.

REN R 480 - Applied Statistics for Environmental Sciences

Focuses on problem formulation, method selection, and interpretation of statistical analysis. Covers data management and data visualization, statistical tests for parametric, non-parametric and binomial data, linear and non-linear regression approaches. Participants will gain general statistical literacy and learn how to visualize and analyze data with open-source software packages. Prerequisite: 60 units. 3 units in introductory statistics recommended.

REN R 491 - Land-use Planning in Canada's North

Contemporary approaches to land-use planning applied to northern systems in Canada, addressing the integration of social, environmental and economic values, and maintenance of ecosystem integrity through proactive measures. Prerequisite: 90 units.

REN R 580 - Applied Statistics for Environmental Sciences

Focuses on problem formulation, method selection, and interpretation of statistical analysis. Covers data management and data visualization, statistical tests for parametric, nonparametric and binomial data, linear and non-linear regression approaches. Participants engage in problem-based learning by analyzing data from their thesis research project. Students without a suitable dataset should enroll in two or more 1 unit REN R 58X courses instead. Prerequisite: 3 units in introductory statistics recommended.

Browse more courses taught by Fiona Schmiegelow

Featured Publications

Hvenegaard. G; Wiersma, YF; Duinker, P; Haider, W; Schmiegelow, F; Munier, A.

L'Ecologie dans tous ses états au Canada / The Ins and Outs of Ecology in Canada. 2009 January;

Hannah, K.S., F.K.A. Schmiiegelow and K.A. *Aitken

Avian Ecology and Conservation. 2009 January; 3 (1):6

Schmiegelow, FKA; Villard, M-A.

Avian Conservation and Ecology. 2009 January; 3 (1):4

Lindenmayer, D., R. Hobbs, R. Montague-Drake, J. Alexandra, A. Bennett, M. Burgman, P. Cale, A. Calhoun, V. Cramer, P. Cullen, D. Driscoll, L. Fahrig, J. Fischer, J. Franklin, Y. Haila, M. Hunter, P. Gibbons, S. Lake, G. Luck, C. MacGregor, S. McIntyre, R. MacNally, A. Manning, J. Miller, H. Mooney, R. Noss, H. Possingham, D. Saunders, F. Schmiegelow, M. Scott, D. Simberloff, T. Sisk, G. Tabor, B. Walker, J. Wiens, J. Woinarski and E. Zavaleta

Ecology Letters. 2008 January; 11

Vernier, P.R., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, S. Hannon and S.G. Cumming

Ecological Modelling. 2008 January; 211

Koivula, M. and F.K.A. Schmiegelow

Forest Ecology and Management. 2007 January; 242

Leroux, S.J. and F.K.A. Schmiegelow

Conservation Biology. 2007 January; 21

Schmiegelow, F.K.A.

Managing and designing landscapes for conservation: moving from perspectives to principles. 2007 January;

Koper, N. and F.K.A. Schmiegelow

Journal of Wildlife Management. 2007 January; 71

Czetwertynski, S.M., M.S. Boyce, and F.K.A. Schmiegelow

Ursus. 2007 January; 18

Shepherd, L.K., Schmiegelow, F.K.A. and S.E. Macdonald

Rangifer. 2007 January; 17

Leroux, S.J., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, R.B. *Lessard, S.G. Cumming

Biological Conservation. 2007 January; 138

Schmiegelow, F.

Canadian Silviculture. 2007 January; 5 (1):3-7

Leroux, S.J., and F.K.A. Schmiegelow and J.A. Nagy

Conservation Biology. 2007 January; 21

Koper, N., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, and E.H. Merrill

Landscape Ecology. 2007 January; 22

Villard, M.A., F.K.A. Schmiegelow and M.K. Trzcinski

Auk. 2007 January; 124

Leroux, S.J., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, F.K.A., S.G. Cumming, R.B. *Lessard, and J. Nagy

Ecological Applications. 2007 January; 17