Graduation Date

Fall 2021

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources: option Environmental Science and Management

Committee Chair Name

Dr. James Graham

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Matthew Johnson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Michael McGrann

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Subject Categories

Environmental Science and Management


Spatial models that describe species distributions are valuable in determining how environmental impacts, such as drought, fire, and bark beetle infestations, have shifted these distributions and guide management decisions. In this thesis, I begin by comparing the utility of two datasets by building habitat suitability models for Black-headed Grosbeak, Hairy Woodpecker, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. By combining the datasets, I created response curves that explain habitat associations I expected from each species. I expanded upon the methods section to compare pre- and post-drought data from the 2011 California multi-year drought and evaluate how the three avian species have shifted their habitat use due to drought, fire, and bark beetle infestation. I then related these changes back to vegetation productivity from remotely sensed data. I found that these three species have experienced large shifts in their suitable habitat due to drought, fire, and bark beetle infestation. Hairy Woodpeckers, which normally can use fire-impacted habitat, have shifted out these areas perhaps due to increased fire intensity and longevity that has mismatched with the lay periods of their food resource. Yellow-rumped Warblers and Black-headed Grosbeaks have tightened in around water sources and shifted out of areas where vegetation has been severely impacted by the drought. I also found a weak correlation between vegetation productivity and these avian distribution shifts. As climate change continues to impact the intensity and longevity of drought with the cascading influences from fires and bark beetles, it is ever more critical to study how species are shifting in response and identify areas that continue to meet their biological needs.

Citation Style