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Jackson, Scott

Title: Extension Associate ProfessorPhoto of Scott Jackson

Tel: 413-545-4743
Room: 328 Holdsworth Hall

Email: sjackson@umext.umass.edu

Primary Interests

As an Extension faculty member my responsibility is to develop and implement integrated research and extension projects in collaboration with other faculty and outside stakeholders. My research interests include: ecology and breeding biology of amphibians, vernal pool ecology, wetland assessment and monitoring, impacts of roads and highways on wildlife, and landscape-based ecological assessment. I have been involved in the use of underpass systems to facilitate wildlife movement across roads and development of methods for evaluating the effectiveness of animal passage structures. I participated in the development of standards for road-stream crossing structures, survey protocols for assessing crossing structures, and approaches for prioritizing bridges and culverts for replacement. I have been a long-term collaborator with the MA Department of Environmental Protection and the MA Association of Conservation Commissioners on wetlands science, education and policy.

Current Projects

Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS). The Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) is a computer software program and an ecosystem-based (coarse-filter) approach for assessing the ecological integrity of lands and waters and subsequently identifying and prioritizing land for habitat and biodiversity conservation. (http://www.umasscaps.org)

Critical Linkages. Working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and state agencies we are completing a comprehensive analysis of areas in Massachusetts where connections must be protected and restored to support the Commonwealth’s wildlife and biodiversity resources. The Critical Linkages project is developing spatially explicit tools, including models, maps and scenario-testing software, for use in mitigating the impacts of roads and railroads on the environment. (http://www.umasscaps.org/applications/critical-linkages.html)

River and Stream Continuity. The River and Stream Continuity Project began in the year 2000 with a startup grant from the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative. Objectives of the River and Stream Continuity Project are to provide: 1)Technical guidance and standards for river/stream crossings, 2) A rapid assessment methodology to inventory and evaluate culverts and other stream crossing structures, and 3) systems for prioritizing crossing structures for upgrade or replacement. (http://www.streamcontinuity.org)

Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring. The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is working with the MA Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), MA Office of Coast Zone Management (MassCZM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop cost-effective tools and techniques for assessment and monitoring of wetland and aquatic ecosystems. (http://www.umasscaps.org/applications/wetlands-assessment.html)

Wetlands Education. Part of a broader effort to provide training and information to municipal officials, this initiative provides workshops and materials for conservation commissions in the implementation of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.

Mill River Watershed Project. The Mill River Watershed Project was initiated after discovery of a population of federally endangered dwarf wedgemussels in the Mill River in Hatfield and Whately, MA. The goals of the Project are to make science, research, and planning resources available to officials and residents and to develop a coordinated, community-based approach to resource protection across town boundaries. (http://www.millriverwatershed.org)

Massachusetts Herpetological Atlas. The MA Herpetological Atlas Project is an effort to document the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Massachusetts. Initiated by the Massachusetts Audubon Society and maintained by the University of Massachusetts Amherst the Herp Atlas project involves volunteers across the state in field work to find, identify and document the occurrence of amphibians and reptiles. (http://www.massherpatlas.org)

North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP). The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) was created to coordinate national and local efforts to collect long-term data on amphibian populations across much of the United States. These efforts are coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey and a network of Regional Coordinators with data collection conducted by volunteers according to a scientifically peer-reviewed protocol. The Massachusetts Calling Amphibian Survey is the Massachusetts component of NAAMP. (http://www.massnaamp.org/)

Massachusetts Snakes. The Massachusetts Snakes web site was created many years ago to relieve me of the burden of answering so many snake questions during the times of the year when snakes were active. The volume of traffic at this site and the amount of time people spend on it has been nothing short of remarkable. (http://www.masnakes.org/)

Courses Taught

NRC 563 – Wetlands Wildlife Ecology and Management (3 credits) – Spring, even years
Wetland ecology, policy, conservation and management are the focus of this course.  An ecosystems approach to the dynamics and ecology of wetlands includes both biotic (vegetation, wildlife) and abiotic (landforms, soils, hydrology, geochemical cycling) elements, as well as interactions among them. Also covered are the legal, political and economic aspects of wetlands, wetland classification and evaluation, and wetland management and conservation.

NRC 565 – Wildlife Population Dynamics and Management (4 credits) – Fall
The objective of this course is to develop an understanding of wildlife population dynamics, methods for estimating animal population parameters and their application to managing wildlife populations. The course covers basic techniques and concepts of the management of wildlife populations with an emphasis on estimating animal population parameters, development of population growth models, and principles of population management. Includes field and laboratory techniques for estimating population parameters for wildlife.

NRC 597W – Wetland Assessment and Field Techniques (3 credits) – Spring, odd years
This course offers in-depth information about Massachusetts wetland regulations, wetland classification, wetland soils and boundary delineation, wetland condition assessment, functional assessment, vernal pool certification, wildlife habitat evaluation, and techniques for evaluating and mitigating development impacts on wildlife habitat. The University offers conservation commissioners and administrators, environmental consultants, agency personnel and other natural resource professionals an opportunity to take the course either for graduate credit or via a non-credit option through UMass Extension.

ECO 768 – Wetlands Ecology and Conservation (3 credits) – Spring, even years
Wetland ecology, policy, conservation and management are the focus of this course.  An ecosystems approach to the dynamics and ecology of wetlands includes both biotic (vegetation, wildlife) and abiotic (landforms, soils, hydrology, geochemical cycling) elements, as well as interactions among them. Also covered are the legal, political and economic aspects of wetlands, wetland classification and evaluation, and wetland management and conservation. This course meets concurrently with NRC 563 but also includes a graduate discussion session.

Publications

Research Papers and Publications

Bellis, M.A., C.R. Griffin, P. Warren, and S.D. Jackson. Utilizing a multi-technique, multi-taxa approach to monitoring wildlife passageways in Southern Vermont. Oecologia Australis (in press)

Jackson, S.D., K. McGarigal, and B. Compton. 2013. Critical linkages: assessing connectivity restoration potential for culvert replacement, dam removal and construction of wildlife passage structures in Massachusetts. In Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation. Raleigh, NC: Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, 2013. (in press)

Jackson, S.D. and D. Luken. Evaluation of a Rapid Assessment Protocol to Assess Road-Stream Crossings for Aquatic Organism Passage. Pp. 487-500 In Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, edited by Paul J. Wagner, Debra Nelson, and Eugene Murray. Raleigh, NC: Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, 2010.

J. Ahern, L. Jennings, B. Fenstermacher, P. Warren, N. Charney, S. Jackson, J. Mullin, Z. Kotval, S. Brena, S. Civjan and E. Carr.  2009. Issues and Methods for Transdisciplinary Planning of Combined Wildlife and Pedestrian Highway Crossings. Transportation Research Record, No. 2123, Journal of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington D.C. pp. 129-136.

US Forest Service Stream Simulation Working Group. 2008. Stream Simulation: An Ecological Approach to Providing Passage for Aquatic Organisms at Road-Stream Crossings. San Dimas: US Forest Service Technology and Development Program.

Jackson, S.D., A.Bowden and B. Graber. 2007. Protecting and Enhancing River and Stream Continuity. Pp. 175-179 In C. Leroy Irwin, Debra Nelson, and K.P. McDermott (eds) Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation. Raleigh, NC: Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University.

Jackson, S.D. 2003. Ecological Considerations in the Design of River and Stream Crossings. Pp. 20-29 In  Irwin, C.L., P. Garrett, and K.P. McDermott (eds) 2003 Proceedings of the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation Raleigh, NC: Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University.

Jackson, S.D. 2000. Overview of Transportation Impacts on Wildlife Movement and Populations. Pp. 7-20 In Messmer, T.A. and B. West, (eds) Wildlife and Highways: Seeking Solutions to an Ecological and Socio-economic Dilemma. The Wildlife Society.

Jackson, S.D. and C.R. Griffin. 2000. A Strategy for Mitigating Highway Impacts on Wildlife. Pp. 143-159 In Messmer, T.A. and B. West, (eds) Wildlife and Highways: Seeking Solutions to an Ecological and Socio-economic Dilemma. The Wildlife Society.

Jackson, S.D. 1998.  Vernal Pools: Protecting Hidden Resources. Pp. 45-48 In Fellman, B. (ed.) Our Hidden Wetlands: The Proceedings of a Symposium on Vernal Pools in Connecticut. Yale University and the CT Department of Environmental Protection.

Jackson, S.D. 1996.  Underpass systems for amphibians.  4 pp.  In G.L. Evink, P. Garrett, D. Zeigler and J. Berry (eds.) Trends in Addressing Transportation Related Wildlife Mortality, proceedings of the transportation related wildlife mortality seminar.  State of Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL.  FL-ER-58-96.

Jackson, S.D. and C.R. Griffin. 1991.  Effects of pond chemistry on two syntopic mole salamanders, Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. maculatum, in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts.  WRRC Publication No. 163, Water Resources Research Center, Univ. of MA, Amherst.

Jackson, S.D. 1990. Demography, Migratory Patterns and Effects of Pond Chemistry on Two Syntopic Mole Salamanders, Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. maculatum. M.S. thesis, Univ. of MA.  96 pp.

Jackson, S.D. and T.F. Tyning.1989. Effectiveness of drift fences and tunnels for moving spotted salamanders Ambystoma maculatum under roads. pp. 93-98 In T.E.S. Langton (ed.) Amphibians and Roads:  Proceedings of the Toad Tunnel Conference, Rendsburg, Federal Republic of Germany, 7-8 January 1989.  ACO Polymer Products Ltd., Shefford, Bedfordshire, England.

Articles and Other Educational Publications

Jackson, S.D. 2012. CAPS: Landscape-based Analysis of Ecological Integrity to Support Conservation Decision-making. MACC Quarterly. Spring 2012 Vol. 1, Issue 3.

Hegemann, I. and S.D. Jackson, S.D. 2011. Regulating wetlands with a bylaw or ordinance: How does your town define a wetland?. MA Assoc. of Conservation Commissions Newsletter. Fall 2011 Vol. 1, Issue 1:5-6.

Cenderelli, D.A., R.A. Gubernick, M.R. Weinhold, D.K. Johansen, K.K. Bates, S.D. Jackson, and G. Napper. 2011. Stream Simulation: Designing Road-Stream Crossings for Aquatic Organism Passage, An e-Learning Training Course. USDA Forest Service 7700-Transportation 1177 1401 – SDTDC, January 2011.

“Massachusetts River and Stream Crossing Standards.” River and Stream Continuity Partnership, March 1, 2011. (primary author)

Jackson, S.D. 2010. Conducting Wildlife Habitat Evaluations Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. Assoc. of MA Wetland Scientists Newsletter. July 2010, No. 74:3-7.

Jackson S.D. and L. Rhodes. 2008. Wildlife Habitat Evaluations and the Use of Important Habitat Maps Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. Assoc. of MA Wetland Scientists Newsletter. October 2008, No. 67:6-8.

Jackson, S.D. 2006. DEP. Issues “Wildlife Habitat Protection Guidance for Inland Wetlands.” Assoc. of MA Wetland Scientists Newsletter. July 2006, No. 58:4-5.

“Massachusetts Wildlife Habitat Protection Guidance for Inland Wetlands.” MA Department of Environmental Protection. March 2006. (contributing author)

Biographical Sketch — Scott Jackson

Scott Jackson is Extension Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has taught courses and workshops on wetlands ecology and conservation, biodiversity conservation, the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, and general New England natural history. He has been involved in the use of underpass systems to facilitate wildlife movement across roads and development of methods for evaluating the effectiveness of animal passage structures. He has been involved in the development of standards for road-stream crossing structures, survey protocols for assessing crossing structures, and approaches for prioritizing structures for replacement. Research interests include: ecology and breeding biology of amphibians, vernal pool ecology, wetland assessment and monitoring, impacts of roads and highways on wildlife, and landscape-based ecological assessment. Significant integrated research/extension projects include the Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS), The River and Stream Continuity Project, and the MA Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring Program. As a private consultant he conducted wildlife habitat evaluations, natural resource inventories, rare species surveys, project reviews, and development of conservation plans. Scott is a member of the Whately Conservation Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC).

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Updated: March 6, 2013