Office: 328 Holdsworth Hall
Scott Jackson is Extension 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. He is a principal (along with Kevin McGarigal and Brad Compton) in the development of the Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) and the Critical Linkages project, and serves as project leader for the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC). Scott led a collaborative project to develop the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool and is interested in helping practitioners access climate science for on-the-ground ecosystem conservation. As a private consultant he conducted wildlife habitat evaluations, natural resource inventories, rare species surveys, project reviews, and development of conservation plans. Scott is chair of the Whately Conservation Commission, serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), and is chair of the Kestrel Land Trust Board of Trustees.
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, landscape-based ecological assessment, and climate change adaptation to conserve wildlife and ecosystems. 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. As part of the Landscape Ecology Lab, I helped develop landscape-based modeling and assessment tools to evaluate ecological integrity and landscape connectivity to support conservation decision-making. 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. I am an affiliate of the Northeast Climate Science Center, UMass Transportation Center, and a Fellow of UMass Air (a program to develop and use unmanned aerial systems for research).
Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool. The Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool allows users to access information on climate change impacts and vulnerabilities of fish, wildlife, and associated habitats in Massachusetts and explore adaptation actions to enable change and promote resilient natural communities, such as culvert replacements, forestry practices, and land protection. This tool was developed by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, DOI Northeast Climate Science Center, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and USGS Fish & Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit. This tool was created for municipal officials, regional planning agencies, conservation organizations and practitioners, and large landowners interested in taking action in response to climate change. (www.climateactiontool.org)
North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC). The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is a network of individuals from universities, conservation organizations, and state and federal natural resource and transportation departments focused on improving aquatic connectivity across a thirteen-state region, from Maine to West Virginia. The NAACC has developed common protocols and training for assessing road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) and developed a regional database for this field data. The information collected will be used to identify high priority bridges and culverts for upgrade and replacement. (http://www.streamcontinuity.org)
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)
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.
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/)
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 581 – 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.
Research Papers and Publications
Jackson, S. 2021. Wildlife Crossings and Barriers. In: Vickerman, Roger (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Transportation vol 7. pp. 297-304. United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd.
Jackson, S., C. Gorss, E. Plunkett, B. Compton, and K. McGarigal. 2019. Empirically Derived Indices of Biotic Integrity for Shrub Swamps and Forested Wetlands and an Evaluation of the Performance of Various Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) Indices Applied to Forested Wetlands in Massachusetts. Final Report for EPA FY 2015-2016 Wetlands Program Development Grant CD00A00093. May 30, 2019. University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA. 145 pp.
Jackson, S., L. Rhodes, and M. McHugh. 2019. Use of a Continuous Aquatic Life Use (CALU) Approach to Evaluate Wetland Mitigation Sites in Massachusetts. August 2019. University of Massachusetts Amherst and MassDEP Boston. 51 pp.
Becker, S., Jackson, S., Jordaan, A. and Roy, A. 2018. Impacts of Tidal Road-Stream Crossings on Aquatic Organism Passage. U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Cooperator Science Series FWS/CSS-131-2018, Washington, D.C.Jackson, S. D. 2014.
McGarigal, K., B. W. Compton, E. B. Plunkett, W. V. DeLuca, J. Grand, E. Ene, and S. D. Jackson. 2018. A landscape index of ecological integrity to inform landscape conservation. Landscape Ecol (2018) 33: 1029. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0653-9.
Jackson, S., L. Rhodes, and M. McHugh. 2018. Wetlands Replacement in Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Amherst MA. 104 pp.
Rhodes, L. A. Smith, and S. Jackson. 2018. Final Report for Demonstration Project Prioritizing Stream Crossing Improvements. December 17, 2018. University of Massachusetts Amherst and MassDEP Boston. 33 pp.
Sturdevant Rees, P. L., S. D. Jackson, S. B. Mabee, K. M. McArthur. 2018. A Proposed Method for Assessing the Vulnerability of Road-stream Crossings to Climate Change: Deerfield River Watershed Pilot. MassDOT Project 83226, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 125 pp. plus Appendices.
Jackson, S. D., T. A. Langen, D. M. Marsh, and K. M. Andrews. 2015. Natural History and Physiological Characteristics of Small Animals in Relation to Roads. Pp. 21-41 In Andrews, K. M., P. Nanjappa, and S. P. D. Riley (eds). 2015. Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Jackson, S. D., D. J. Smith, and K. E. Gunson. 2015. Mitigating Road Effects on Small Animals. Pp. 177-207 In Andrews, K. M., P. Nanjappa, and S. P. D. Riley (eds). Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Langen, Tom A., K. E. Gunson, S. D. Jackson, D. J. Smith, and W. Ruediger. 2015. Planning and Designing Mitigation of Road Effects on Small Animals. Pp. 146-176. In Andrews, K. M., P. Nanjappa, and S. P. D. Riley (eds). 2015. Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Siddig, A. A., A. M. Ellison, and S. D. Jackson. 2015. Calibrating abundance indices with population size estimators of red back salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in a New England forest. PeerJ, DOI 10.7717/peerj.952. 15 pp.
Homa, E.S., C. Brown, K. McGarigal, B.W. Compton and S.D. Jackson. 2013. Estimating hydrologic alteration from basin characteristics in Massachusetts. J. Hydrol. 503(2013):196-208.
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
Abbott, A. and S. Jackson. 2019. NAACC Stream Crossing Instruction Manual for Aquatic Passability Assessments in Non-tidal Stream and Rivers. North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC), University of Massachusetts Amherst. June 2, 2019. 33 pp.
Jackson, S. 2019. NAACC Tidal Stream Crossing Instruction Manual for Aquatic Passability Assessments. North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. August 23, 2019. 34 pp.
Jackson, S. D. 2019. The Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool. AMWS (Association of Massachusetts Wetlands Scientists) Newsletter No. 107. Pp 8-9.
Jackson, S. D., B. Bradley, and T. Cairns. 2015. A natural resources assessment of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project’s pipeline route within Massachusetts. UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. 38 pp.
Jackson, S. D. 2014. Integrating landscape-based ecological assessment with intensive field methodologies to monitor wetland condition in Massachusetts. AMWS (Association of Massachusetts Wetlands Scientists) Newsletter No. 89. Pp 10-12.
Jackson, S. D. 2014. Tunnels may (or may not) be the answer. Salamander News (Newsletter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation) No. 3. March 2014. P. 13.
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 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)