Brett G. Dickson

Brett Dickson 230px
Associate Research Professor and co-Director, Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology


BS in Conservation Biology, San Jose State University, 1996
MS in Forestry (Wildlife Ecology emph.) Northern Arizona University, 2001
PhD in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, 2006 


Office: Applied Research and Development Building (bldg #56), suite 220
Phone: 928-523-3592
Personal web page

Research interests

Brett Dickson's research and professional interests thread through a wide range of disciplines, including conservation biology and planning, wildlife and landscape ecology, and contemporary statistical modeling and inferential approaches. Much of his work is focused on understanding and estimating animal-habitat relationships, landscape connectivity, the impacts of land use and climate change, or disturbance processes, such as fire and non-native species invasion, in forested and arid ecosystems across North America. As co-Director of the Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology at NAU, he seeks to integrate cutting-edge technical approaches to research with graduate student and post-doctoral training, as well as internships and other educational experiences, which are grounded in applied conservation. Dickson is also president of and chief scientist for Conservation Science Partners, Inc., a non-profit institution established to meet the research and analytic needs of conservation-oriented projects and professionals across multiple sectors of society. Typically, his projects, research staff, and students collectively bridge the efforts of these organizations.

Selected recent publictions


Dickson, B.G., V. Frary, S.E. Sesnie, and J.M. Rundall. In press. New methods and hierarchical models for estimating intensity of habitat use by Merriam’s Turkey in managed forests of northern Arizona. The Colorado Plateau VI. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Gray, M.E. and B.G. Dickson. In press. A new model of landscape-scale fire connectivity applied to resource and fire management in the Sonoran Desert, USA. Ecological Applications. DOI: 10.1890/14-0367.1

Hudson, H., S.E. Sesnie, B.G. Dickson, and L. Thomas. In press. Cross-jurisdictional monitoring for non-native plant invasions using an NDVI change detection index in Walnut Canyon National Monument. The Colorado Plateau VI. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Hoglander, C.H., B.G. Dickson, S.S. Rosenstock, and J. Anderson. 2015. Landscape models of space use by desert bighorn sheep in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona. Journal of Wildlife Management 79:77-91.


Brodie, J., A. Giordano, B. G. Dickson, M. Hebblewhite, H. Bernard, J. Mohd-Azlan, J. Anderson, and L. Ambu. 2014. Evaluating multispecies landscape connectivity in a threatened tropical mammal community. Conservation Biology. DOI:10.1111/cobi.12337.

Dickson, B. G., L. J. Zachmann, and C. M. Albano. 2014. Systematic identification of potential conservation priority areas on roadless Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.08.001.

Dickson, B. G., T. D. Sisk, S. E. Sesnie, J. M. Rundall, R. T. Reynolds, S. S. Rosenstock, C. Vojta, and M. F. Ingraldi. 2014. Integrating single-species management and landscape conservation using regional habitat occurrence models. Landscape Ecology 29:803-815.

Fleishman, E., J. R. Thomson, E. L. Kalies,  B. G. Dickson, D. S Dobkin, and M. Leu. 2014. Projecting current and future location of habitat for breeding birds in the Great Basin. Ecosphere 5(7):82.

Gray, M., B. G. Dickson, and L. J. Zachmann. 2014. Modeling and mapping dynamic variability in large fire risk in the lower Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona. Intl. Journal of Wildland Fire. DOI:10.1071/WF13115.

Hegeman, E. E., B. G. Dickson, and L. J. Zachmann. 2014. Probabilistic models of fire occurrence across federal management units in the Mojave Desert Network, U.S.A. Landscape Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s10980-014-0078-z

Ray, C. M., B. G. Dickson, and T. D. Sisk. 2014. Spatial application of a predictive northern goshawk occupancy model to alternative forest treatment models. Forest Ecology and Management 322:117-126.

Wang, O., L. Zachmann, S. E. Sesnie, A. D. Olsson, and B. G. Dickson. 2014. A targeted sampling design informed by habitat suitability models for detecting focal plant species over extensive areas. PLoS ONE 9(7): e0101196.

Dickson, B. G., G. Roemer, B. H. McRae, and J. M. Rundall. 2013. Models of regional habitat quality and connectivity for pumas (Puma concolor) in the southwestern Unites States. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81898.

Dickson, B. G., S. E. Sesnie, E. Fleishman, and D. S. Dobkin. 2013. Identification of habitat and assessment of habitat quality for conservation of terrestrial animals. Pages 149-173 in L. Craighead and C. Convis, eds., Conservation planning: shaping the future. Esri Press, Redlands, CA, USA.

Horncastle, V. J., R. F. Yarborough, B. G. Dickson, and S. R. Rosenstock. 2013. Summer habitat use by adult female mule deer in a restoration-treated ponderosa pine forest. Wildlife Society Bulletin. DOI: 10.1002/wsb.301.

Thomas, M. A., G. W. Roemer , C. J. Donlan, B. G. Dickson, M. Matocq, and J. Malaney. 2013. Gene tweaking for conservation. Nature 501:485-486.

Bradley, B. B., A. D. Olsson, B. G. Dickson, S. E. Sesnie, O. Wang, L. Pelech, and L. Zachmann. 2012. Species detection vs. habitat suitability: Are we biasing habitat suitability models with remotely sensed data? Ecological Modelling 244:57-64.

Kalies, E. L., B. G. Dickson, C. L. Chambers, and W. W. Covington. 2012. Restoration treatments increase occupancy of the small mammal community in ponderosa pine forests, northern Arizona, USA. Ecological Applications 22:204-217.

Sesnie, S. E., B. G. Dickson, S. Rosenstock, and J. M. Rundall. 2012. A comparison of Landsat TM and MODIS vegetation indices for estimating forage phenology in desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) habitat in the Sonoran Desert, USA. International Journal of Remote Sensing 33:276-286.

Bakker, V. J., J. K. Baum, J. F. Brodie, B. G. Dickson, H. K. Gibbs, O. P. Jensen, P. B. McIntyre, and A. K. Solomon. 2010. The changing landscape of conservation science funding in the United States. Conservation Letters 3:435-444.

Hurteau, S. R., T. D. Sisk, B. G. Dickson, and W. M. Block. 2010. Variability in nest success, occupancy, and home range size of western bluebirds after forest treatments. Forest Science 56:131-138.

Buckland, S. T., R. E. Russell, B. G. Dickson, V. Saab, and W. Block. 2009. Analyzing designed experiments in distance sampling. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics 14:432-442.

Dickson, B. G., E. Fleishman, D. S. Dobkin, and S. R. Hurteau. 2009. Relationship between avifaunal occupancy and riparian vegetation in the central Great Basin (Nevada, U.S.A.). Invited. Restoration Ecology 17:722-730.

Dickson, B. G., B. R. Noon, C. H. Flather, S. Jentsch, and W. M. Block. 2009. Quantifying the multi-scale response of avifauna to prescribed fire experiments in the southwest United States. Ecological Applications 19:608-621.

McRae, B. H., B. G. Dickson, T. H. Keitt, and V. B. Shah. 2008. Using circuit theory to model connectivity in ecology, evolution, and conservation. Ecology 89:2712-2724.

Dickson, B. G., and P. Beier. 2007. Quantifying the influence of topographic position on cougar (Puma concolor) movement in southern California, USA. Journal of Zoology 271:270-277.