Serra J. HoaglandLiaison Officer (Biologist)
Missoula, MT 59808-9361
Western forests have departed from historical conditions due to decades of fire suppression, timber harvesting, and livestock grazing practices. Current forest conditions and high fuel levels can lead to more frequent and more severe wildfires. Late-successional forests that provide habitat for Mexican spotted owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) are susceptible to such wildfires but evolved under lower severity wildfire regimes. A significant amount of Mexican spotted owl nesting and roosting habitat has been lost throughout the southwest due to recent high-intensity, stand replacing wildfires. Future climate predictions identify longer fire seasons, prolonged drought and fire regimes that are mediated by temperature, which suggest that owl habitat is at risk as temperatures continue to increase. The most recent revision of the Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan recommends strategically placed forest treatments and restoration projects to increase forest resiliency and minimize threats to the owl, yet empirical evidence about Mexican spotted owl's response to forest treatments is limited. This project worked with the Mescalero Apache tribe and the Sacramento and Smokey Bear Ranger Districts of the Lincoln National Forest in south-central New Mexico. The Lincoln National Forest borders the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and has a significant population of Mexican spotted owls. The Sacramento and Smokey Bear Ranger Districts have conducted very few forest treatments in owl habitat since the listing of the species, whereas the tribe has conducted various sustainable yield, uneven aged forest management practices in owl habitat to meet interdisciplinary goals of the tribe. By applying forest and owl data this project will be the first attempt to use empirical information to understand the effects of modest forest treatments on Mexican spotted owls. This project strives to 1) incorporate tribal information to assess the range of habitat conditions that Mexican spotted owls may occupy; 2) protect Mexican spotted owls and their habitat from catastrophic wildfires by providing information about the effects of forest treatment on Mexican spotted owls and 3) educate and inform forest practitioners about the applicability of traditional ecological knowledge in natural resource management. These results may significantly influence southwestern forest management as well as future Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plans.
Tribal Forestry and Forest Management
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Remote Sensing Applications
Threatened and Endangered Species Management
Landscape-scale Assessment of Mexican Spotted Owl Habitat Using MODIS Imagery
Ecology and Management of Oak Woodlands on Tejon Ranch, CA
Assessing Habitat Linkages in Coastal Open Spaces
Why This Research is Important
The planet is in immense ecological stress and human societies currently face unprecedented challenges such as climate change, species extinctions, pollution, and deforestation, just to name a few (Travis 2003, Bellard et al. 2002, Hu 2014). Natural ecosystems are being altered beyond their capacity and the dynamic ecological patterns and processes that have taken 4.6 billion years to create are now at risk. Green infrastructure, ecological conservation, carbon sequestration, carbon emission reduction projects, and ecological restoration, among others, have been implemented to mitigate for the global ecological crisis we face. However, there is a fundamental, missing piece that is severely underutilized and considered. It involves a very basic concept of combining traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous worldviews with modern western science to create environmentally sustainable solutions. The wealth of knowledge about the local environment within tribal communities is vast and diverse. It has developed over thousands of years and been passed down through a multitude of generations in oral teachings (Berkes et al. 2000). Traditional ecological knowledge compliments western science and is increasingly being recognized by natural resource managers and scientists throughout the world (Trosper and Parrotta 2012, Menzies and Butler 2006). On the other hand, western science can be credited for numerous innovations and technological advances in fields ranging from engineering to medicine to natural resource management. Combined together, the two knowledge sources may provide powerful solutions to our most dynamic and complex environmental problems.
- Ph.D. in Forestry, 2016
- Northern Arizona University
- Masters in Environmental Science & Management, 2011
- University of California, Santa Barbara
- B.S. in Ecology & Systematic Biology , 2008
- California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo
- Society of American Foresters (SAF), Student Member (2012—Current)
- Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, Student Member (2012—Current)
- The Wildlife Society, Secretary/Treasurer Of Native Peoples Wildlife Management Working Group (2010—Current)
- Intertribal Timber Council, Student Member (2008—Current)
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Student Leader And Board Member On Winds Of Change Magazine (2003—Current)
Awards and Recognition
- Certified Wildlife Biologist, 2017
- The Wildlife Society
- First Place 3 Minute Research Presentation, 2014
- Student oral research presentation competition at Northern Arizona University
- First Place and People's Choice for Best Student Poster, 2014
- Award received at the 2014 Intertribal Timber Council Annual Timber Symposium in Worley, ID
- Best Student Poster, 2011
- Award received at the 2011 The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting in Hawaii
- University Service Award, 2011
- Awarded upon graduation from UC Santa Barbara in recognition of distinguished service to the University, its students and the community.
- Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, 2010
- Nominated for award at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara
- Oustanding Graduating Ecology Student, 2008
- Awarded upon graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo
- Witt, Chris ; Davis, Raymond J.; Yang, Zhiqiang ; Ganey, Joseph L.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Healey, Sean ; Hedwall, Shaula ; Hoagland, Serra ; Maes, Ron ; Malcolm, Karl ; Sanderlin, Jamie ; Seamans, Mark ; Jones, Gavin M. 2022. Linking robust spatiotemporal datasets to assess and monitor habitat attributes of a threatened species.
- Fule, Peter Z.; Edgeley, Catrin M.; Chambers, Carol L.; Hoagland, Serra ; Cespedes, Blanca . 2021. Fire ecology and management of southwestern forests [Chapter 11].
- Stephens, Scott ; Kobziar, Leda ; Collins, Brandon ; Davis, Raymond ; Fulé, Peter ; Gaines, William ; Ganey, Joseph ; Guldin, James ; Hessburg, Paul ; Hiers, Kevin ; Hoagland, Serra ; Keane, John ; Masters, Ronald ; McKellar, Ann ; Montague, Warren ; North, Malcolm ; Spies, Thomas A. 2019. Is fire “for the birds”? How two rare species influence fire management across the US.
- Hoagland, Serra J.; Beier, Paul; Lee, Danny. 2018. Using MODIS NDVI phenoclasses and phenoclusters to characterize wildlife habitat: Mexican spotted owl as a case study.
- Dockry, Michael J.; Hoagland, Serra J. 2017. A Special Issue of the Journal of Forestry—Tribal Forest Management: Innovations for Sustainable Forest Management.
- Hoagland, Serra J. 2017. Integrating traditional ecological knowledge with western science for optimal natural resource management.
- Gervais, Breanna; Voirin, Chase R.; Beatty, Chris; Bulltail, Grace; Cowherd, Stephanie; Defrance, Shawn; Dorame, Breana; Gutteriez, Raymond; Lackey, Jessica; Lupe, Candy; Negrette, April B.; Robbins Sherman, Natalya C.; Swaney, Ruth; Tso, Kevin; Victor, Marvin; Wilson, Royale; Yazzie, Kimberly; Long, Jonathan W.; Hoagland, Serra J. 2017. Native American student perspectives of challenges in natural resource higher education.
- Hoagland, Serra J.; Miller, Ronald; Waring, Kristen M.; Carroll, Orlando. 2017. Tribal lands provide forest management laboratory for mainstream university students.
- Jurney, David H; Hoagland, Serra. 2015. Bridging the gaps that divide.
- Urban native youth environmental education (2017)
- Lacrosse is a traditional sport that has been played by American Indian tribes for thousands of years. The impact of emerald ash borer on ash trees and reduction in availability of ash wood used to make lacrosse sticks served as a framework for an environmental education opportunity for urban native youth in the Twin Cities Native Lacrosse Club.