Scott Nielsen, PhD, MSc, BSc

Professor (Conservation Biology), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept

Contact

Professor (Conservation Biology), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept
Email
scottn@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-1656
Address
701 General Services Building
9007 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H1

Overview

About

Dr. Scott Nielsen is a Professor of Conservation Biology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. In 2008 he founded the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab leading a research team that examines the responses of biodiversity to forestry and energy development and the effectiveness of mitigation/restoration actions. His interests are in terrestrial ecology (plant & animal) and its applications to the field of conservation biogeography that blends field studies of species with remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling/forecasting. using methods that blend field studies of species with remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling/forecasting. The geographic focus of his work is the boreal and hemi-boreal forests of western and central Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountain montane forests.

Dr. Nielsen is currently supervising ~15 graduate students and research staff. More details about his lab and research activities can be found at the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab website.

Education

  • 2005 PhD, Environmental Biology and Ecology, University of Alberta
  • 1997 MSc, Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  • 1995 BSc, Biology (Ecology), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 

Awards

  • Eastern Scholar, China (2018-2021)
  • Research and Innovation Award, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (2013)
  • Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (2016/17, 2013/14, 2012/13, 2011/12, 2010/11)
  • Award of Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students, Department of Renewable Resources (2012)

Research

Major Responsibilities / Research Interests

Conservation biology; species distribution and habitat supply modelling; endangered species monitoring and management; conservation planning and reserve design; landscape ecology and biogeography; terrestrial ecology; habitat fragmentation; boreal & hemi-boreal forests.

Research objective

To understand, map, manage, monitor and sustain biological diversity. My research interests are in conservation biology, ecology, biodiversity and biogeography of terrestrial plants and animals within temperate and boreal ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in understanding and applying ecological and conservation principles to support land management decisions and regional land use/conservation planning. I am, however, also interested in testing broader ecological questions, theory, and methods.



Teaching
  • RENR 496/796 - Conservation Planning (2011-present)
  • RENR 364/765 - Principles of Managing Natural Diversity (2009-present)
  • RENR 401 - Independent Study (2009-present)
  • RENR 299 - Field School, Wildlife component (2010-present)

Courses

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.

Fall Term 2021
REN R 496 - Conservation Planning

Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially-explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta's land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, or (REN R 364 or ENCS 364) and (REN R 201 or EAS 221) and (STATS 141 or SCI 151) and *81 university level credits.

Winter Term 2022
REN R 596 - Conservation Planning

Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially-explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta's land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used. Not to be taken if credit received for REN R 496 or REN R 796.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Scott Nielsen

Publications

Assessing the vulnerability of rare plants using climate change velocity, habitat connectivity, and dispersal ability: a case study in Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Barber, Q.E., Nielsen, S.E. & Hamann, A.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Regional Environmental Change

Can habitat selection predict abundance?
Author(s): Boyce, M.S., Johnson, C.J., Merrill, E.H., Nielsen, S.E., Solberg, E.J. & van Moorter, B.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume: 85
Page Numbers: 11–20

Regional and historical factors supplement current climate in shaping global forest canopy height
Author(s): Zhang, J., Nielsen, S.E., Mao, L., Chen, S. & Jens-Christian S.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Journal of Ecology
Volume: 104
Page Numbers: 469–478

Assessing nutritional parameters of brown bear diets among ecosystems gives insight into differences among populations
Author(s): López-Alfaroa, C., Coogan, S.C.P., Robbins, C.T., Fortin, J.K. & Nielsen, S.E.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: PLoS ONE
Volume: 10
Issue: 6
Page Numbers: e0128088.

Grizzly bear connectivity mapping in the Canada-United States trans-border region
Author(s): Proctor, M., Nielsen, S.E., Kasworm, W., Servheen, C., Radandt, T., MacHutchon, G. & Boyce, M.S.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume: 79
Page Numbers: 544-558

Velocity of climate change algorithms for guiding conservation and management
Author(s): Hamann A., Roberts D.R., Barber Q.E., Carroll C. & Nielsen S.E.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Global Change Biology
Volume: 21
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 997-1004

Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape
Author(s): akahata C., Nielsen S.E., Takii A. & Izumiyama S.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: PLoS ONE
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: e86181

Linking genotype, ecotype, and phenotype in an intensively managed large carnivore
Author(s): Shafer A.B.A., Nielsen S.E., Northrup J.M. & Stenhouse G.B.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Evolutionary Applications
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 301-312

Environmental, biological and anthropogenic effects on grizzly bear body size: temporal and spatial considerations
Author(s): Nielsen S.E., Cattet M.R.L., Boulanger J., Cranston J., McDermid G.J., Shafer A.B.A., Stenhouse G.B.
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: BMC Ecology
Volume: 13
Page Numbers: 31

Trophic cascades: linking ungulates to shrub-dependent birds and butterflies
Author(s): Teichman K.J., Nielsen S.E. & Roland J
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume: 82
Page Numbers: 1288-1299

Developing a population target for an overabundant ungulate for ecosystem restoration
Author(s): Serrouya, R., McLellan, B.N., Boutin, S., Seip, D.R., & Nielsen, S.E.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume: 48
Page Numbers: 935–942

Relationships between grizzly bear source-sink habitats and prioritized biodiversity sites in Central British Columbia
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management
Volume: 12:
Page Numbers: 136–147

Using digital time-lapse cameras to monitor species-specific understorey and overstorey phenology in support of wildlife habitat assessment
Author(s): Bater, C.W., Coops, N.C., Wulder, M.A., Hilker, T., Nielsen, S.E., McDermid, G., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Environmental Monitoring & Assessment
Volume: 180
Page Numbers: 1–13

A spatially explicit method for evaluating accuracy of species distribution models
Author(s): Smulders, M., Nelson, T.A., Jelinski, D.E., Nielsen, S.E., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Diversity and Distributions
Volume: 16
Page Numbers: 996-1008
External Link: http://www.ace-lab.org/_documents/SmuldersEtAl2010DivDist.pdf
Dynamic wildlife habitat models: Seasonal foods and mortality risk predict occupancy-abundance and habitat selection in grizzly bears
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., McDermid G., Stenhouse, G.B., & Boyce, M.S.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 143
Page Numbers: 1623-1634
External Link: http://www.ace-lab.org/_documents/NielsenEtAl2010BiolCon.pdf
Detecting trends in species occurrence for a large-scale, long-term biodiversity monitoring programme
Author(s): Nielsen, SE; Haughland, D; Bayne, E; Schieck, J.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Biodiversity and Conservation
Volume: 18
Page Numbers: 2961–2978

Identification of priority areas for grizzly bear conservation and recovery in Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Nielsen, SE; Cranston, J; Stenhouse, GB.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Journal of Conservation Planning
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 38-60

Prioritizing ecosystems, species, and sites for restoration
Author(s): Noss, R; Nielsen, SE; Vance-Borland, K
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Spatial Conservation Prioritization: Quantitative Methods and Computational Tools
Page Numbers: 158-171

Can natural disturbance-based forestry rescue a declining population of grizzly bears?
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., Beyer, H., Huettmann, F., & Stenhouse, G.S.
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 141
Page Numbers: 2193-2207

Range-wide patterns of greater sage-grouse persistence
Author(s): Aldridge, C.L., Nielsen, S.E., Beyer, H.L., Boyce, M.S., Connelly, J.W., Knick, S.T., Schroeder, M.A.
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Diversity and Distributions
Volume: 14
Page Numbers: 983-994

A new method to estimate species and biodiversity intactness using empirically derived reference conditions
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Bayne, E., Scheick, J., Herbers, J., & Boutin, S.A.
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 137
Page Numbers: 403-414

A habitat-based framework for grizzly bear conservation in Alberta
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 130
Page Numbers: 217-229

Application of random effects to the study of resource selection by animals
Author(s): Gillies, C.S., Hebblewhite, M., Nielsen, S.E., Krawchuk, M.A., Aldridge, C.L., Frair, J.L., Saher, D.J., Stevens, C.E., & Jerde, C.L.
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume: 75
Page Numbers: 887-898

Resource selection functions based on use-availability data: theoretical motivation and evaluation methods
Author(s): Johnson, C.J., Nielsen, S.E., McDonald, T.L., Merrill, E., & Boyce, M.S.
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume: 70
Page Numbers: 347-357

Seasonal and diel patterns of grizzly bear diet and activity in west-central Alberta
Author(s): Munro, R.H.M., Nielsen, S.E., Price, M.H., Stenhouse, G.B., & Boyce, M.S
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: Journal of Mammalogy
Volume: 87
Page Numbers: 1112-1121

Can models of presence-absence be used to scale abundances? Two case studies considering extremes in life history
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Johnson, C., Heard, D.C., & Boyce, M.S.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Ecography
Volume: 28
Page Numbers: 197-208

Grizzly bears and forestry I: selection of clearcuts by grizzly bears in west-central Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Forest Ecology and Management
Volume: 199
Page Numbers: 51-65

Grizzly bears and forestry II: distribution of grizzly bear foods in clearcuts of west-central Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Munro, R.H.M., Bainbridge, E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Forest Ecology and Management
Volume: 199
Page Numbers: 67-82

Modelling the spatial distribution of human-caused grizzly bear mortalities in the Central Rockies Ecosystem of Canada
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Herrero, S., Boyce, M.S., Benn, B., Mace, R.D., Gibeau, M.L., & Jevons, S.
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 120
Page Numbers: 101-113

Removing GPS-collar bias in habitat-selection studies
Author(s): Frair, J.L., Nielsen, S.E., Merrill, E.H., Lele, S., Boyce, M.S., Munro, R.H.M., Stenhouse, G.B., & Beyer, H.L.
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume: 41
Page Numbers: 201-212

Development and testing of phenologically driven grizzly bear habitat models
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., Stenhouse, G.B., & Munro, R.H.M.
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: Ecoscience
Volume: 10
Page Numbers: 1-10

Restoration of Midwest oak barrens: Structural manipulation or process-only?
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., Kirschbaum, C.D., & Haney, A.
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: Conservation Ecology
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 10
External Link: http:www.consecol.org/vol7/iss2/art10
Evaluating resource selection functions.
Author(s): Boyce, M.S., Vernier, P.R., Nielsen, S.E., & Schmiegelow, F.K.A.
Publication Date: 2002
Publication: Ecological Modelling
Volume: 157
Page Numbers: 281-300

Gradient responses for understory species in a bracken-grassland and northern-dry forest ecosystem of Northeast Wisconsin
Author(s): Nielsen, S.E., & Haney, A.
Publication Date: 1998
Publication: Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters
Volume: 86
Page Numbers: 149-166

Macrorefugia for North American trees and songbirds: Climatic limiting factors and multi-scale topographic influences.
Author(s): Stralberg, D., Carroll, C., Pedlar, J.H., Wilsey, C.B., McKenney, D.W. & Nielsen, S.E.
Publication: Global Ecology and Biogeography
Page Numbers: 1-14
External Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/geb.12731