Dr. Scott Nielsen
Associate Professor, Conservation Biology
Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair
Dr. Scott Nielsen is an associate professor of conservation biology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. In 2008 he founded the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab and is currently one of two Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chairs at the University, leading a research team examining the responses of biodiversity to forestry and energy development and the effectiveness of mitigation/restoration actions. His research interests are in studying terrestrial ecology (both plant & animal) and its applications to the field of conservation biogeography, using methods that blend field studies of species with remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling/forecasting. The geographic focus of his work is the boreal and hemi-boreal forests of western and central Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountain montane forests.
(780) 492-1656
701 General Services Building
University of Alberta
Courses Taught @ U of A
RENR 299   Environmental and Conservation Sciences Field School
The ENCS Field School is a 2-week long second-year field course taught in Northern Alberta during the Spring Semester. Students will reside in Portage College and work in groups studying a variety of subjects in their natural setting, learning methods and skills for fieldwork, scientific investigation and data gathering. Scott Nielsen co-teaches the Wildlife segment, introducing students to boreal forest habitats and animal and common wildlife study techniques. Groups will be involved in doing transect surveys and gathering camera-trapping data to learn to identify common animal species in the wild and their tracks, and assess wildlife presence, distribution and abundance.
RENR 364   Principles of Managing Natural Diversity
This course provides a theoretical foundation for conservation science, including population, community and landscape ecology and their application to real-world challenges. We also explore the wider ethical, philosophical and sociopolitical arenas in which conservation decisions are made and implemented. I aim to instill in students the scientific tools to evaluate and develop conservation strategies for maintaining diversity in human-altered systems.
RENR 469   Conservation Planning
Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta’s land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used.
Top Publications

Publications: 186

All Since 2014
Citations 6957 4072
h-index 33 29
i10-index 80 75
Title Cited by Year
Evaluating resource selection functions
MS Boyce, PR Vernier, SE Nielsen, FKA Schmiegelow
Ecological modelling 157 (2-3), 281-300, 2002
1775 2002
Resource selection functions based on use‐availability data: theoretical motivation and evaluation methods
CJ Johnson, SE Nielsen, EH Merrill, TL McDONALD, MS Boyce
The Journal of Wildlife Management 70 (2), 347-357, 2006
598 2006
Application of random effects to the study of resource selection by animals
CS Gillies, M Hebblewhite, SE Nielsen, MA Krawchuk, CL Aldridge, ...
Journal of Animal Ecology 75 (4), 887-898, 2006
547 2006
Removing GPS collar bias in habitat selection studies
JL Frair, SE Nielsen, EH Merrill, SR Lele, MS Boyce, RHM Munro, ...
Journal of Applied Ecology 41 (2), 201-212, 2004
369 2004
A habitat-based framework for grizzly bear conservation in Alberta
SE Nielsen, GB Stenhouse, MS Boyce
Biological conservation 130 (2), 217-229, 2006
235 2006
Modelling the spatial distribution of human-caused grizzly bear mortalities in the Central Rockies ecosystem of Canada
SE Nielsen, S Herrero, MS Boyce, RD Mace, B Benn, ML Gibeau, ...
Biological Conservation 120 (1), 101-113, 2004
201 2004
Seasonal and diel patterns of grizzly bear diet and activity in west-central Alberta
RHM Munro, SE Nielsen, MH Price, GB Stenhouse, MS Boyce
Journal of mammalogy 87 (6), 1112-1121, 2006
191 2006
Can models of presence‐absence be used to scale abundance? Two case studies considering extremes in life history
SE Nielsen, CJ Johnson, DC Heard, MS Boyce
Ecography 28 (2), 197-208, 2005
184 2005
Modeling grizzly bear habitats in the Yellowhead ecosystem of Alberta: taking autocorrelation seriously
SE Nielsen, MS Boyce, GB Stenhouse, RHM Munro
Ursus, 45-56, 2002
178 2002
Range‐wide patterns of greater sage‐grouse persistence
CL Aldridge, SE Nielsen, HL Beyer, MS Boyce, JW Connelly, ST Knick, ...
Diversity and distributions 14 (6), 983-994, 2008
172 2008
Grizzly bears and forestry: I. Selection of clearcuts by grizzly bears in west-central Alberta, Canada
SE Nielsen, MS Boyce, GB Stenhouse
Forest ecology and Management 199 (1), 51-65, 2004
164 2004
Dynamic wildlife habitat models: seasonal foods and mortality risk predict occupancy-abundance and habitat selection in grizzly bears
SE Nielsen, G McDermid, GB Stenhouse, MS Boyce
Biological Conservation 143 (7), 1623-1634, 2010
139 2010
Grizzly bears and forestry: II. Distribution of grizzly bear foods in clearcuts of west-central Alberta, Canada
SE Nielsen, RHM Munro, EL Bainbridge, GB Stenhouse, MS Boyce
Forest Ecology and Management 199 (1), 67-82, 2004
121 2004
Development and testing of phenologically driven grizzly bear habitat models
SE Nielsen, MS Boyce, GB Stenhouse, RHM Munro
Ecoscience 10 (1), 1-10, 2003
105 2003
Identification of priority areas for grizzly bear conservation and recovery in Alberta, Canada
SE Nielsen, J Cranston, GB Stenhouse
Journal of Conservation Planning 5, 38-60, 2009
84 2009
Velocity of climate change algorithms for guiding conservation and management
A Hamann, DR Roberts, QE Barber, C Carroll, SE Nielsen
Global Change Biology 21 (2), 997-1004, 2015
79 2015
A new method to estimate species and biodiversity intactness using empirically derived reference conditions
SE Nielsen, EM Bayne, J Schieck, J Herbers, S Boutin
Biological Conservation 137 (3), 403-414, 2007
77 2007
Accounting for spatially biased sampling effort in presence‐only species distribution modelling
J Stolar, SE Nielsen
Diversity and Distributions 21 (5), 595-608, 2015
62 2015
Can natural disturbance-based forestry rescue a declining population of grizzly bears?
SE Nielsen, GB Stenhouse, HL Beyer, F Huettmann, MS Boyce
Biological Conservation 141 (9), 2193-2207, 2008
62 2008
Capacity of large-scale, long-term biodiversity monitoring programmes to detect trends in species prevalence
SE Nielsen, DL Haughland, E Bayne, J Schieck
Biodiversity and Conservation 18 (11), 2961-2978, 2009
61 2009
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