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Development by Design: Jeffrey Evans

Jeffrey Evans

Senior Landscape Ecologist, Conservation Lands

Jeffrey Evans is a Senior Landscape Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Lands Team. His focus is on the development of new statistical tools for evaluation of impacts to biodiversity, habitat quality and prediction of energy development potential. Working extensively on the Conservancy’s Development by Design strategy, he works on using predictive models to develop solutions that benefit conservation outcomes. Jeffrey is involved in his own research, with collaborators at University of Wyoming, USFWS, NRCS, University of Minnesota and various TNC scientists, in diverse topics such as spatial statistics, remote sensing and landscape genetics.

Read Jeffrey Evans's Full Biography


Select publications

Evans, J. and J. Kiesecker 2014. Shale Gas, Wind and Water: Assessing the Potential Cumulative Impacts of Energy Development on Ecosystem Services within the Marcellus Play. PLoS One.

Baruch-Mordo, S., J.S. Evans, J. Severson, J. D. Naugle, J. Kiesecker, J. Maestas, and M.J. Falkowski (2013) Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate species Biological Conservation 167:233-241

Copeland, H.E., A. Pocewicz, D.E. Naugle, T. Griffiths, D. Keinath, J.S. Evans, J. Platt (2013) Measuring the effectiveness of conservation: a novel framework to quantify the benefits of sage-grouse conservation policy and easements in Wyoming. PLoS One 8(6):e67261

Cushman, S.A, K. McGarial, K. Gutzwiller and J.S. Evans. (2010). The gradient paradigm: A conceptual and analytical framework for landscape ecology. Chapter 5 in S.A. Cushman and F. Huettman (eds). Spatial Complexity, Informatics and Wildlife Conservation, Springer, New York.

Doherty, K.E., D.E. Naugle, and J.S. Evans (2010) A Currency for Offsetting Energy Development Impacts: Horse-Trading Sage-Grouse on the Open Market. PLoS One 5(4):e10339

Evans, J.S., J.M. Kiesecker (in press). Shale Gas, Wind and Water: Assessing the Potential Cumulative Impacts of Energy Development on Ecosystem Services within the Marcellus Play. PLoS One.

Evans J.S., M.A. Murphy, Z.A. Holden, S.A. Cushman (2011). Modeling species distribution and change using Random Forests in Predictive species and habitat modeling in landscape ecology: concepts and applications. eds Drew CA, YF Wiersma, F Huettmann. Springer, NY

Evans, J.S. and S.A. Cushman (2009) Gradient Modeling of Conifer Species Using Random Forest. Landscape Ecology 5:673-683.

Evans, J.S., & A.T. Hudak. 2007. A multiscale curvature algorithm for classifying discrete return lidar in forested environments. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 45(4):1029-1038

Hegel T., S.A. Cushman, F. Huettmann, and J.S. Evans (2010) Current State of the Art for Statistical Modeling of Species Distributions. Chapter 16 in Spatial Complexity, Informatics and Wildlife Conservation eds. F Huettmann and S.A. Cushman. pp. 273-311. Springer, New York.

Kiesecker, J.M., J.S. Evans, J. Fargione, K. Doherty, K. Foresman, D. Naugle, N. Nibbelink, N. Niemuth (2011) A Win-Win for Wind and Wildlife: A Vision for Facilitating Sustainable Development. PLoS One 10.1371/journal.pone.0017566

Murphy M, J.S. Evans, and A. Storfer (2010) Quantifying Bufo boreas connectivity in Yellowstone National Park with landscape genetics. Ecology 91:252-261

Storfer A. M.A.Murphy, J.S.Evans., et al., (2007) Putting the landscape in landscape genetics Heredity 98:128-142

Rehfeldt, G.E., N.L. Crookston, M.V. Warwell, J.S. Evans. (2006). Empirical analysis of plant-climate relationships for the western United States. International Journal of Plant Science. 167(6):1123-1150

Select Reports

Doherty, K.E., J.D. Tack, J.S. Evans, D.E. Naugle (2010) Mapping breeding densities of greater sage-grouse: A tool for range-wide conservation planning. Bureau of Land Management. Report Number: L10PG00911. Available:

Murphy, M.A., J.S. Evans, C.G. Gabrielsen (2013) Wetland Hydroperiod and Climate Change. Report to the Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Available:

Jeffrey Evans is a Senior Landscape Ecologist for the Conservation Lands global team. His focus is on the development and implementation of statistical methods for the assessment of cumulative impacts to ecosystem system services, biodiversity and habitat integrity resulting from energy development and other land conversion. Jeffrey has been pioneering the use of novel nonparametric statistics for predicting species distribution, energy development potential and habitat use and has also recently developed a new method for understanding ecosystem rarity. Broadly, his research has focused on ecological modeling, species distribution, climate change, understanding landscape dynamics, and the development of new remote sensing technologies. He currently has over 65 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Jeffrey received his Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley in ecology and statistics and holds an affiliate assistant professor position at the University of Wyoming. He is one of the lead scientists for the USDA-NRCS Sage Grouse Initiative. This is an effort to provide relevant science-based information to guide proactive “on-the-ground” management activities to help avert an ESA listing decision. He is also a technical advisor to the USFWS Prairie Pothole waterfowl science team and provides broad technical support to various TNC efforts. Prior to TNC he worked as a research ecologist for the USFS Research Station, held affiliate assistant professor status at the University of Idaho and worked at the California Academy of Sciences as a Research Assistant. He has also ridden horses for 35+ years and was a member of the US Equestrian team for two years. Jeffrey has been married to Dr. Melanie Murphy for thirteen years and together they have two dogs and three horses.


Geraldine Henrich-Koenis
Phone: (703) 841-3939

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