Contact Us


Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

College of Natural Resources

phone: (208) 885-7952
fax: (208) 885-6564

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, ID 83844-1133
Steve Bunting

Stephen Bunting

Office: CNR 205C
Phone: 208-885-7103
Email: sbunting@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1133

College of Natural Resources
Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

Home Town: Milbank, South Dakota, USA
With UI Since 1978

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Rangeland Ecology
    • Fire Ecology
  • Biography

    Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Management at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, Steve has been with the University of Idaho since the completion of his doctoral degree in fire ecology from Texas Tech University in 1978. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in rangeland ecology. His past research has primarily focused on the effects of fire in canyon grassland, sagebrush steppe and juniper woodland ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest and northern Great Basin. He has also conducted research in the caldenal vegetation of central Argentina and maritime pine forests of northern Portugal.

  • Selected Publications
    • Breckenridge, R.P., M. Dakins, S. Bunting, J.L. Harbour and R.D. Lee. 2012. Using unmanned helicopters to assess vegetation cover in sagebrush steppe vegetation. Rangeland Ecology and Management 65:362-370.
    • Gucker, C.L. and S.C. Bunting. 2011. Canyon grassland vegetation changes following fire in northern Idaho. Western North American Naturalist 71:97-105.
    •  Roth, A., S.C. Bunting, and E.K. Strand. 2011. Relationships between landscape patterns and fire occurrence within a successional gradient in sagebrush steppe-juniper woodland. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20:1-9.
    • Breckenridge, R.P., M. Dakins, S. Bunting, J.L. Harbour and S. White. 2011. Comparison of unmanned aerial vehicle platforms for assessing vegetation cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. Rangeland Ecology and Management 64:521-532.
    • Strand, E.K., L.A. Vierling, S.C. Bunting, and P.E. Gessler. 2009. Quantifying successional rates in western aspen woodlands: Current conditions, future predictions. Forest Ecology and Management 257:1705-1715.
    • Strand, E.K., L.A. Vierling, and S.C. Bunting. 2009. A spatially explicit model to predict future landscape composition of aspen woodlands under various management scenarios. Ecological Modeling 220:175-191.
    • Strand E. K., L.A. Vierling, A.M.S. Smith, and S.C. Bunting. 2008. Net changes in aboveground woody carbon stock in western juniper woodlands, 1946–1998. Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeoscience 113:, G01013,
    • Strand E.K., A.P. Robinson, and S.C. Bunting. 2007. Spatial patterns on the sagebrush steppe / Western juniper ecotone. Plant Ecology 190:159-173.
    • Strand E.K., A.M.S. Smith, S.C. Bunting, L.A. Vierling, D.B. Hann and P.E. Gessler. 2006. Wavelet estimation of plant spatial patterns in multi-temporal aerial photography. International Journal of Remote Sensing 27:9-10, 2049-2054.
  • Outreach Projects
    • "Landscape dynamics of the western juniper woodland/sagebrush steppe mosaic" Owyhee Plateau, southwestern Idaho, 1997- present.  This research is studying the influence of different levels of fire occurrence on the composition of Owyhee Plateau landscapes. The effects of fire are being simulated using landscape dynamics models.
    • "Effects of livestock trampling on Lepidium papilliferum and slickspot composition in southern Idaho" south-central Idaho, 2001-present.  This study is studying the influence on cattle grazing on the population dynamics of slickspot pepper grass. Slickspot peppergrass populations have been protected from grazing and then subjected to cattle trampling at specific times each spring. The slickspot peppergrass populations and their habitat composition is then monitored each year.
    • "A Regional Experiment to Evaluate Effects of Fire and Fire Surrogate Treatments in the Sagebrush Biome" Northern Great Basin, 2005-present.  SageSTEP (Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project) is a regional experiment to evaluate methods of sagebrush steppe restoration in the Great Basin. Sagebrush communities have been identified as one of the most threatened land types in North America, and as much as half of this land type has already been lost in the Great Basin. Many of the sagebrush communities that remain are in poor health (the sagebrush plants are old and unproductive and other native plants are scarce in the understory). SageSTEP scientists are studying the effects of land management options to provide resource managers with improved information to make restoration management decisions with reduced risk and uncertainty. The project is fully interdisciplinary, with ecological, economic, and social components 
    • "Monitoring aspen within City of Rocks National Reserve and Craters of the Moon National Monument" City of Rocks National Reserve and Craters of the Moon National Monument, southern Idaho, 2006-present.  An aspen monitoring protocol has been developed for aspen within these National Park Service units. Aspen clones are now being monitored to determine successional changes and long-term ecological health of this vegetation type.
    • "Enhancing spatial heterogeneity of grazed landscapes: implications to the fire fuel matrix and avian and insect communities" Blaine County, Idaho, 2007-present.  This study is studying the influence of sheep grazing on the heterogeneity of sagebrush steppe. Heterogeneity is being specifically addressed with respect to insect and bird populations, and fine fuel loading.
  • Awards and Honors
    • Association for Fire Ecology, Harold Biswell Lifetime Achievement Award for Fire Ecology, Snowbird, U, 2011.
    • UI Alumni Association Award for Excellence. University of Idaho. Award recognizes achievement in graduate and undergraduate student mentoring. 2008, 1993.
    • Society for Range Management W.R. Chapline Research Award. Award recognizes achievement in rangeland research. 2000.
    • UI Phi Kappa Phi Award for Excellence in Higher Education. University of Idaho. Award recognizes scholarly achievement. 1999.
    • Society for Range Management Idaho Section Outstanding Achievement Award. Award recognizes service to the Idaho Section, Society for Range Management 1999.
    • Heady Professorship of Rangeland Ecology. University of Idaho. Award recognizes rangeland ecological research activity. 1997-2002.

    *You can view a full list of awards in Stephen Bunting's CV.

Stephen's Links