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.