About Michael

Increasing concerns over climate change, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem disturbance have increased the demand for spatially explicit, large area ecosystem characterizations. To meet this need, my research is focused upon solving applied problems in ecosystem science and sustainable ecosystem management. I am particularly interested in developing methods to quantify and monitor vegetation structure and composition across large spatial extents, primarily via remote sensing and spatial modeling. “Quantifying ecosystem composition and structure -in a spatially explicit manner- is paramount to the development and evaluation of effective sustainable forest management practices and policies” I conduct research in a diversity of areas including LiDAR remote sensing of forest structure, spatial modeling of forest species composition and wildlife habitat suitability, as well as remote sensing of active fire and post-fire effects, among others. Although each of the aforementioned research areas are focused upon unique problems, there is one common thread throughout; integrating cutting edge spatial technologies with fundamental field measurements and established ecological theory to gain a better understanding of the natural environment.

Website Google Scholar Profile CV


  • Biodiversity
  • Birds
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Invasive and Exotic Species
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Quantitative Ecology
  • Statistical Analyses
  • Urban Ecology
  • Water Quality
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife Ecology
  • Wildlife Habitat


PhD, Natural Resources - University of Idaho
Moscow, ID, 2008

MS, Forestry - University of Idaho
Moscow, ID, 2005

BS, Geography & Geology - UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI, 2000

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • 2014 - Pheasants Forever (pass through from NRCS) - Prioritizing Removal of Invasive Conifer in Sage Grouse Habitats. Amount: $172,665; Role: PI; Status: Active,
  • 2015 - MN LCCMR - A foundational dataset characterizing historic forest disturbance patterns. Amount: $200,000; Role: PI; Status: Active,
  • 2014 - Audubon (pass through from State of Wyoming) - Characterizing Sage Brush in Wyoming Sage Grouse Core Areas. Amount: $85,607; Role: PI; Status: Active,
  • 2014 - NASA Carbon Monitoring System - Multi-Scale Carbon Inventory and Monitoring. Amount: $678,984 (total award), $242,073 (subaward for CoPIs portion); Role: CoPI (A. Hudak PI); Status: Active,
  • 2013 - Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies – Sage Grouse Hate Trees: A Range Wide Solution for Increasing Bird Benefits Through Accelerated Conifer Removal. Amount: $400,000; Role: PI; Status: Active,
  • 2012- NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program - Fuel Consumption and Carbon cycling in northern peatland ecosystems: Understanding vulnerability to burning, fuel consumption, and emissions via remote sensing of fuel moisture and radiative energy. Amount: $647,183; Role: PI; Status: Active,
  • 2012 - NASA New Investigator Program - Enhancing Tools and Geospatial Data to Support Operational Forest Management and Regional Forest Planning in the Face of Climate Change. Amount: $335,111; Role: PI; Status: Active,