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Lab Personnel


Steve Petersen

July 15, 2019 08:00 AM
Undergrad Degree: B.S. Conservation Biology, Brigham Young University (1994)

Graduate Programs: M.S. Range Science, Brigham Young University (1997); Ph.D. Rangeland Resources (GIS/Remote Sensing) 2004

Research Interests: Geospatial analysis of range and wildlife habitat

Biography: Native of Utah. Employed by UDWR, USFS, Park Service and SAIC (Yucca Mountain Project). Professor at Oregon State University (2004-7).

Students and Collaborators

Nic Anderson

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young University

Graduate Program: M.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young University

Research Interests: My interests include ecology, remote sensing, and GIS. I love nature and observing how different components interact with one another. In my current projects I am looking at the impacts of commercial honeybees on native pollinators, and using high resolution drone imagery to measure floral resources in subalpine communities. I am an avid outdoorsman, I love hunting, fishing, hiking, and scuba diving. I have a love for nature and learning and hope to become a university professor.

Chris Balzotti

Natural Resource Manager, The Nature Conservancy - Hawai'i, Hilo, HI

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Environmental Science, Brigham Young University

Graduate Programs:
M.S. Wildlife Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young University
Ph.D. Geography, University of Utah

Research Interests: Remote Sensing of Tropical Ecosystems; Habitat modeling and geospatial analysis of plant and animal populations

Biography: Postdoc Research Scientist, Carnegie Lab, Stanford, CA

David Burchfield

David Burchfield is a professor of Geographic Information Science in the Department of History, Geography, and Political Science at Brigham Young University – Idaho, where he teaches courses in remote sensing, UAS-based mapping, and geographic information systems (GIS).

David holds a B.S. in Geography from BYU (2011), an M.A. in Geography from Kansas State University (2014), and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation from BYU (2021). His research interests and areas of expertise include biogeography of subalpine forests and endemic plant communities in western North America, spatial ecology, applications of GIS and remote sensing in natural resource management, and low-altitude remote sensing using small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS or drones).

Otto De Groff

Otto De Groff is currently a master's student in Dr. Steve Petersen's lab. His research focuses on Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva D. K. Bailey) forests, with emphasis on how the species responds to climatic changes over time, and how it functions as a competitor in mixed conifer forests. To understand both of these things, he collect core samples from trees and take quantitative measurements of forests. Then, back in the lab, rings are counted and measured using methods of dendrochronology. First, his work will offer insights as to how temporal growth of this long-lived species is affected by variables such as elevation, temperature, and precipitation. Second, by studying growth rates of bristlecone and associated conifers in forests with multiple species, he will describe and measure the competitive abilities that bristlecone pines possess.

Ryan Howell

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young University

Graduate Program: M.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young Unviversity

Research Interests: GIS, Remote Sensing, Mammalian and Avian Ecology

Biography I grew up in rural Alaska and New Mexico and have always had a deep appreciation for the natural world. I've spent countless hours hiking, hunting, and fishing and just enjoying the scenery. Then I discovered GIS and knew I wanted a career with a heavy GIS emphasis.

Haley Johnston

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation

Research Interests: Wildlife Ecology

Biography: I grew up in Utah, and was raised with a love of learning and desire to understand more about how our world works. I love going on trail runs in the mountains, camping, fishing with my dad, and basically just being outdoors. When I grow up, eventually... I hope to go on to graduate school and one day work performing research in Wildlife Conservation and Biology.

Stan Kitchen

Stan Kitchen-tall.jpg
Shrub Lab, US Forest Service, Provo, Utah

Graduate Program: Ph.D. Wildlife Wildlands Conservation, Brigham Young University

Research Interests: I conduct research on historical and current disturbance processes and their effects on the composition, structure and stability of shrublands, woodlands, and forests of the Central Intermountain Region (USA).

Thomas Krebs

Thomas Krebs
Undergrad Degree: B.S. Range and Wildlife Management, BYU (2004)

Graduate Programs:
M.S. Ecology and Evolution, Northern Illinois University (NIU, 2007)
Ph.D. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, BYU (2021 expected graduation)

Research Interests: Effects of feral horses on desert rivers, Plant taxonomy, Aquatic macroinvertebrates, River Geomorphology

Biography: Grew up in Maryland and Virginia. Specialized at BYU in range restoration and ecology. Research population ecology of aquatic macroinvertebrates at NIU. Spent 5 years in Georgia restoring streams and wetlands. Spent 7 years in Arizona as an ecologist for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Since 2018, working as COO of The Barn Group Land Trust. Currently living in Arizona with my wife and 3 cherished junior ecologists.

Haley Moon

Haley is a Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation Masters student. She earned her bachelors in Environmental Science from BYU in 2022. She is using remote sensing, geochemistry, and greenhouse experiments in order to better understand reclamation sites at the Rio Tinto Kennecott copper mine and increase revegetation success.

Steve Schill

Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy - Caribbean Division, Coral Gables, FL

Undergrad Degree: B.A. Geography: International Development, Utah State University

Graduate Degree:
M.S. Geography: Geographic Information Systems, University of South Carolina;
Ph.D. Geography: Remote Sensing, University of South Carolina

Research Interests: Remote Sensing of Marine Ecosystems; GIS for the development of marine protected areas


Ryan Shields

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Geography

Graduate Program: M.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation

Research Interests: GIS, Remote Sensing, Marine Spatial Planning


Mikiah Carver McGinn

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Geography (BYU)

Graduate Programs:
M.S. Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation (BYU)
PhD Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (North Carolina State University)

Mikiah is currently a PhD student at NCSU in the department of Applied Ecology, where she is investigating variations in white-tailed deer ecology along an urban-rural gradient. Broadly, Mikiah is interested in the implications of anthropogenic disturbance for introduced and native wildlife populations.