Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Biology

Committee Chair Name

Brian Tissot

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Andre Buchheister

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Timothy Mulligan

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fourth Committee Member Name

James Lindholm

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Subject Categories



Accurate, spatially explicit models of rockfish abundance are critical in implementing ecosystem-based management strategies and designating essential fish habitats and marine protected areas. Multibeam bathymetry methods and visual, non-extractive submersible transect surveys were combined to collect environmental variables and fish abundance data at three distinct sites within the study region. Zero-adjusted models were developed using habitat classification analyses of high-resolution (5 m) digital elevation models. Model accuracies were assessed by using a reserved subset of the original datasets. To demonstrate that a model’s predictive power was linked to its spatial origins, Mean Absolute Error and coefficient of determination values were recorded when the site-trained model was used to predict that site’s own test data, and when it predicted species’ distribution at the two other sites whose training data were not used to inform the model. The habitat characteristics of importance to each species varied across sites, and model accuracies declined when applied to a site that differed in physical composition, suggesting a species will alter their habitat associations in accordance to the relative availability of preferred substrata and terrain.

Citation Style