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Department of
Fish & Wildlife

College of Natural Resources

phone: (208) 885-6434

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1136
Moscow, ID 83844-1136
Mike Scott

J. Michael Scott

Office: CNR 103E
Phone: 208-885-6960
Email: mscott@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: College of Natural Resources
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1141
Moscow, ID 83844-1141

College of Natural Resources
Department of Fish & Wildlife
Distinguished Professor
Emeritus Professor

Home Town: San Diego, California, USA
With UI Since 1986

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Avian Ecology
    • Conservation Biology
    • Estimating Animal Numbers
    • Reserve Assessment and Design
    • Endangered Species
  • Biography

    Dr. Scott has devoted a lifetime to the study and conservation of the world’s rarest species. After 37 years with the US Department of Interior he retired in 2011 as a senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, leader of the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and University Distinguished Professor of Fish and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Idaho. He has published more than 200 journal articles and written or edited ten books. His work and that of his students and colleagues has been recognized with multiple national and international awards from public agencies, nonprofit groups and professional societies. Techniques he, his students and colleagues pioneered include the variable Circular Plot method for estimating  population sizes of birds and  Gap Analysis a “tool used in wildlife conservation to map the distribution of natural resources e.g. species ecological systems, geophysical features  and document  their occurrence  in conservation areas. Use that information to identify which species or ecosystems represent “gaps” in the current system of  conservation areas. Land use planners, conservation groups and others use Gap Analysis to identify opportunities for increasing protection of natural resources by changes in land use practices, establishment of new  or addition to existing wildlife refuges, natural resource  parks. Gap Analysis is being used worldwide to inform natural resource management and policy decisions regarding creation of new natural area reserves. His current research focuses on recovery of endangered species. In doing so he and his colleagues have documented that 84 % of currently listed species will require continuing management activities even after recovery goals have been achieved. These species are Conservation Reliant. The work of Dr. Scott his students, colleagues and the public land management agencies and ranchers he works with is documenting the elements of America’s landscape needed to save species while they are still common and improve effectiveness of recovery actions for imperiled species.

  • Selected Publications
    • Scott, J.M. D.D. Goble, A. Haines and J.A. Wiens M. Neel 2010 Conservation reliant species: Our new relationship with nature. Conservation Letters 3:91-97.
    • Scott, J.M., P. Heglund et al. (editors). 2002 Predicting species occurrence: Issues of accuracy and scale. Island Press, Covelo, CA .
    • Noss, R.F., T.E. LaRoe III, and J.M. Scott. 1995. Endangered ecosystems of the United States: A preliminary assessment of loss and degradation. National Biological Service Biological Report, 28:58 pp.
    • Scott, J.M., F. Davis, B. Csuti, R. Noss, B. Butterfield, C. Groves, H. Anderson, S. Caicco, F. D’Erchia, T.C. Edwards, Jr., J. Ulliman, and R.G. Wright. 1993. Gap Analysis: A geographic approach to protection of biological diversity. Wildlife Monograph, No. 123:1-41.
    • Tear, T.H., J.M. Scott, P.H. Hayward, and B. Griffith. 1993. Status and prospects for success of the Endangered Species Act: A look at recovery plans. Science 262:976-977.
    • Scott, J.M., S. Mountainspring, F.L. Ramsey, and C.B. Kepler. 1986. Forest bird communities of the Hawaiian Islands: Their dynamics, ecology and conservation. Studies in Avian Biology 9, 431 pp.
    • Reynolds, R.T., J.M. Scott, and R.A. Nussbaum. 1980. A variable circular plot method for estimating bird numbers. Condor 82:309-313.
  • Outreach Projects

    Past member of the Nature Conservancy Senior Science Advisory Board, Doris Duke Charitable Association science advisory Board, Board of Directors Society for Conservation Biology Board of Directors , and the Editorial Board BioScience magazine . He is currently Member of Lava Lake Institute’s for Science and Conservation Science Advisory Board and serves on several other  science advisory boards and committees for nonprofit groups and professional societies.

  • Awards and Honors
    • University Distinguished Professor rank University of Idaho Spring 2011
    • Spirit of Defenders Award for Public Service Presented for contributions to policy development and for bringing science to the science policy discourse. By Defenders of Wildlife 2010
    • George B. Fell Award Natural Areas Association for leadership in science and conservation in the Western Hemisphere especially in the fields of ornithology, conservation biology and management of endangered species. Fall 2009
    • Ralph W. Schrieber Award  of the American Ornithologists Union   International award presented for extraordinary scientific contributions to the conservation, restoration or preservation of birds and their habitats.2006
    • Distinguished Service Award US Department of Interior 2006: Highest Award given to career employee by Department of Interior
    • Honorary Member Cooper Ornithological Society, 2001
    • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science for pioneering use of Landsat in predicting species occurrences, 1999
    • Twentieth Century Distinguished Service Award, from the Ninth Lukacs Symposium, for outstanding contribution to the development and direction of cross-disciplinary research and a combination of practicality and scholarship for statistics, ecology, environment, and society,1999
    • Edward T. La Roe III Award from the Society for Conservation Biology for outstanding application of research results to management actions and policy initiatives; work on Hawaiian Forest Bird Survey, Gap Analysis, and recovery of endangered species were singled out for special attention, 1998
“Too many band-aids and not enough cures” K.C. Scott;

“ It is change ontinuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor IN society today” Isaac Asimov