Accessible Navigation. Go to: Navigation Main Content Footer

Faculty Image Alisa Wade



Alisa A. Wade

I am a physical geographer, spatial ecologist, and conservation scientist with a particular interest in bridging the gap between science and management by creating tools for conservation planning. I hold a PhD in Earth Sciences (Colorado State University, 2009), a Masters of City Planning with an emphasis in conservation planning (University of California Berkeley, 2000), and a Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in environmental policy (San Jose State University, 1995). I completed postdoctoral research with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS, UC Santa Barbara), investigating salmon distribution and vulnerability under climate change throughout their North Pacific Rim range. Most recently, I have served as a contract scientist and geographer for the USFS: I investigated best practices for modeling habitat connectivity for the Rocky Mountain Research Station, and I am currently conducting a climate change vulnerability analysis for aquatic species and forest service infrastructure for the Region 1 office. I have broad prior experience, having worked as an environmental consultant, an executive director of a not-for-profit land trust, and with local government sustainability planning initiatives. Currently, I serve as affiliate faculty at the University of Montana in Missoula, teaching courses in Geographic Information Systems and Climate Change Science. My current research interests include assessing and mapping species’ exposure and potential adaptive capacity to climatic change, developing models of habitat connectivity that are robust to climate change, and investigating how land-use modification compounds climate change-related impacts to biodiversity. I am particularly interested in using spatial and statistical models to inform conservation planning, working at the nexus of human-environment interactions.


Ph.D., Earth Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2009

Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Master of Public Administration, San Jose State University, San Jose, 1995

B.A., Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991

Teaching Experience:

Instructor, Geos/CCS 108, Climate Change Science: Geosciences Department/Climate Change Studies, University of Montana, Missoula, 2011. Enrollment: ~100

Instructor, Geos490, GIS for Geosciences: Geosciences Department, University of Montana, Missoula, 2009, 2011, 2013. Enrollment: ~20

Graduate Student Instructor, NR575, Systems Ecology, an introduction to methods of ecological modeling: Ecology Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2005

Guest Instructor, LA444, Ecology of Landscapes: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2004

Graduate Student Instructor, NR 420, Integrated Ecosystem Management, GIS Lab Instructor: Department of Forest, Range, and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2004

Graduate Student Instructor, ESPM 102c, Economics of Resource Management: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Graduate Student Instructor, Environmental Science 10, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, Lab Instructor: Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 1999

Graduate Student Instructor, AA 122, Multi-racial Relationships in Society: Department of African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998

Selected Publications:

Wade. A.A., T. Beechie, N. Mantua, E. Fleishman, H. Wu, J. Kimball, D. Stoms, J. Stanford. 2013. Steelhead vulnerability to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50(5): 1093-1014.

Beechie, T., H. Imaki, J. Greene, A.A. Wade, H. Wu, G. Pess, P. Roni, J. Kimball, J. Stanford, P. Kiffney, N. Mantua. 2012. Restoring salmon habitat for a changing climate. River Research and Applications, 29(8): 939-960.

Wade, A.A., D.M. Theobald, and M.J. Laituri. 2011. Vulnerability of US protected areas to local and adjacent threats. Landscape and Urban Planning. 101(3): 215-227.

Wade, A.A. and D.M. Theobald. 2010. Residential development encroachment on US protected areas. Conservation Biology, 24(1): 151-161.

Theobald, D.M., A.A. Wade, and G. Wilcox. 2008. Analyzing risks to protected areas using the human modification framework: A Colorado case-study. Forest Encyclopedia –USFS Threats to Wildlands.

Lauenroth, W., A.A. Wade, M. Williamson, B. Ross, S. Kumar, and D. Cariveau. 2006. Uncertainty in calculations of net primary production for grasslands. Ecosystems, 9(5): 843-851.