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
Karen Launchbaugh, Range Ecology and Management professor, University of Idaho

Karen Launchbaugh

Office: CNR 205B
Phone: (208) 885-4394
Email: klaunchb@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
Rangeland Ecology and Management Program
Rangeland Center
Director of the U-Idaho Rangeland Center and Professor of Rangeland Ecology

Campus Locations: Moscow

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Grazing management
    • Animal behavior
    • Targeted grazing
    • Rangeland education
  • Biography

    All of my efforts here at the University of Idaho are aimed at helping people understand, manage, and appreciate rangelands. As Director of the Rangeland Center, I work to advance the universities’ teaching and research activities that promote understanding of rangelands. I also strive to connect university researchers and teachers with professionals who live and work on rangelands. I am committed to creating science and solutions for the range.

    My research expertise is focused on grazing management. I research how animals learn and make decisions about what and where to forage. I also study the impacts of grazing on individual plants, habitats, and landscapes. My recent projects are aimed at managing livestock and applying targeted grazing to manage fuel for wildland fires, and reduce cheatgrass, yellow starthistle and other rangeland weeds. I am also working with a team of scientists and land managers to examine grazing management options that will improve sage-grouse habitat.

  • Selected Publications
    • Abbott, L.B., K.L. Launchbaugh, and S. Edinger-Marshall. 2012. Range Education in the 21st Century: Striking the Balance to Maintain a Relevant Profession. Rangeland Ecology and Management.65(6):647–653
    • Finzel, J.A., M.S. Seyfried, M.A. Weltsz, J.F. Kinery, V. M.V. Johnson, and K.L. Launchbaugh. 2012. Indirect Measurement of Leaf Area Index in Sagebrush-Steppe Rangelands. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 65(2):208-212.
    • Goehring, B.J., K.L. Launchbaugh and L.M. Wilson. 2010. Late-season targeted grazing of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) with goats in Idaho. Invasive Plant Science and Management. 3:148-154.
    • Roselle, L., S.S. Seefeldt and K.L. Launchbaugh. 2010. Delaying sheep grazing after wildfire in sagebrush steppe may not affect vegetation recovery. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 19:115-122.
    • Ganguli, A.C., M.B. Hale and K.L. Launchbaugh. 2010. Seasonal nutritional value of spotted knapweed and preference by sheep. Small Ruminant Research. 89:47-50
    • Frost, R.A., L.M. Wilson, K.L. Launchbaugh and E.M.Hovde. 2008. Seasonal change in forage value of rangeland weeds in North Idaho. Invasive Plant Science and Management 1:343-351.
    • Wallace, J.M., L.M. Wilson and K.L. Launchbaugh. 2008. The effect of targeted grazing and biological control on yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) in Canyon Grasslands of Idaho. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:314–320.
    • Frost, R.A., K.L. Launchbaugh and C.A. Taylor, Jr. 2008. Age and body condition of goats influence consumption of juniper and monoterpene-treated feed. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:48-54.
  • Research Projects

    Grouse and Grazing: How Does Spring Livestock Grazing Influence Sage-Grouse Populations?

    Sagebrush Grassland sites throughout Idaho

    Grazing is the most extensive land use within sage-grouse habitat and the effects of spring livestock grazing on sage-grouse are often debated. Some people view livestock as a significant threat to sage-grouse. Others argue that spring livestock grazing may have a large-scale positive impact on sage-grouse because spring grazing may reduce fuel loads and result in fewer and smaller wildfires. A team of scientists in the Rangeland Center at the University of Idaho and Idaho Department of Fish and Gamer are bringing together researchers, land managers, and resources to create 10-year study at several sites in Idaho to examine the effects of spring grazing on sagegrouse demographic traits or habitat characteristics. Initiated in 2012

  • Outreach Projects
    Lovina Roselle and I serve as organizers and directors of this event.
    Locations in Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming
    An event that challenges high school students in plant identification, grazing management, and habitat assessment. Started in 2009 and occurs yearly in November

    The Range Science Information System brings the most significant and reliable published research to those making decisions for the management and conservation of rangelands. A searchable database with over 1,400 peer-reviewed bibliographic citations of research journal articles focused on: rangeland management, livestock grazing, riparian, weeds, wildlife, soils, watersheds, and wildland fire.

    The U-Idaho Rangeland Center works with rangeland programs at the University of Wyoming and Montana State University to suggest and post articles in this database.

  • Awards and Honors
    • Outstanding Alumni Achievement, Utah State University, award to recognize outstanding achievement of alumni, 2012
    • Outstanding Teacher, U-Idaho College of Natural Resources, 2011
    • Outstanding Achievement, Society for Range Management in Research/Academia, recognition of outstanding work in research and teaching that contributes to the rangeland profession, 2010
    • Excellence in Outreach, University of Idaho, 2009
“You cannot save the land apart from the people or the people apart from the land. To save either, you must save both.” —Wendell Berry