Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC)
Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
Strategic Habitat Conservation: Science-based, landscape-scale conservation
The Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office is home to the Klamath Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) Team, a pilot program that is clearing the path for a new way of addressing conservation concerns in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin. Strategic Habitat Conservation is a holistic approach to conserving wildlife populations and their habitats under the increasing constraints of limited time and conservation dollars. Many wildlife and plant species are suffering from the effects of habitat loss, habitat degradation, and invasive species, all of which are exacerbated by climate change. The SHC Team works with partners to address these concerns by first taking a big picture perspective on conservation goals, then by considering different strategies and carefully examining the landscape to determine the most strategic places to work.
Partnerships between scientists and land managers are key to the SHC process. Science is needed to provide important ecological information and analytical techniques for identifying current habitat needs and for forecasting future conditions. Specialists in different disciplines work together to find timely ways to address conservation concerns, while managers and scientists collaborate to clearly define objectives, prioritize geographic areas and habitats, and craft effective conservation actions. Biological monitoring is central to the SHC framework, as it enables us to evaluate the biological response to conservation actions and to increase our understanding of ecological conditions and processes. In this way, we can continue to improve our conservation actions and respond to changing habitat conditions. The SHC framework can be applied towards all of our conservation concerns to increase our scientific understanding and decision-making transparency while we work to achieve our conservation goals.
From left to right, Joel Shinn (Klamath SHC Team data manager), Nicole Athearn (team lead), Daryl Van Dyke (team analyst), and Richard Kearney (ARD for Science Application, Region 8).
Nicole Athearn: Habitat Conservation Planner, Team Lead
Nicole is the Team Lead for the Klamath Strategic Habitat Conservation team. Nicole was previously with the USGS, where she lead a research program focusing on ecological responses, particularly waterbird response, to salt marsh habitat restoration and the management of former salt evaporation ponds for wildlife habitat. Nicole earned a Ph.D. in Landscape and Ecosystems Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where she used modeling and data analysis to evaluate the value of managed and restored habitats for waterbirds in San Francisco Bay. Nicole also holds a B.S. from the University of California, Davis in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and both a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, where her thesis focused on the diversity and abundance of frogs in relation to land management practices. Her interests focus on the intersection of science and management, particularly the development and use of models to support decision making and adaptive management.
Daryl Van Dyke: GIS Analyst
Daryl is the GIS Analyst for the Klamath Strategic Habitat Conservation team. Current duties include implementing site- and landscape-scale models for the identification, classification, and organization of habitat structures. Previously, Daryl was a GIS Specialist with the National Park Service, serving Redwood National & State Parks. In addition to focuses on mobile mapping, resource- and engineering-grade topographic surveys, and GIS and hydrologic analysis, he developed algorithms and code for the analysis of LiDAR data. Principal applications included LiDAR analysis for vegetation characterization, coastal dune morphology, and predictive models for forest structure. Daryl has a B.A. in Community, Regional, and Environmental Studies from Bard College, and a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University. His thesis investigated the range of applicability for two-dimensional hydraulic models of baffle retrofits in highway culverts.
Joel Shinn: Data Manager
Joel is the data manager for the Klamath Strategic Habitat Conservation team. He is responsible for the acquisition, development, maintenance, and distribution of principal datasets that drive landscape-level analyses in the Klamath Basin. This work includes collaborating with partners to develop customized database applications that can facilitate project management and data integration across the Basin. Joel received a B.A. in Biology from Willamette University. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent 5 years with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station, where he was involved in several collaborative projects centered on wetland restoration and avian ecology. This exposure to a diverse array of field methodologies and analyses has contributed to the development and management of ecological data systems.
Last updated: November 15, 2012