Amanda SuzziAmanda Suzzi

PhD Student, Environmental Conservation


Advisor: Michael France Nelson

Landscape predictors of current and future distribution of North American River Otter (Lontra [Lutra] Canadensis)

The North American River Otter is a previously threatened aquatic mammal native to North America. Historically, the otter population has been reduced by water pollution, uncontrolled trapping, and severe habitat loss. By 1977, otters were reduced to 75% of their range and completely eradicated from several states. Though populations have recovered in many areas, large sections of their historic range remain uninhabited. Due to their elusive nature, true distribution is unknown. Information regarding river otter distribution is needed before conservation decisions can be made. In addition, the distribution of the endangered/extinct subspecies of Sonora otter in the Southwest could illuminate important genetic adaptations to survival in a drought prone area, which is the key to the survival of other geographically isolated populations with shrinking ranges due to climate change. This information will assist in habitat management and recovery projects, because river otters are sentinels of high biodiversity in the aquatic ecosystem.

Academic Presentations

Suzzi, Amanda. Impact of a foundational course on students’ attitudes, knowledge, relevance, and future use of Geospatial Information Science and Technology. Teaching Fellowship Conference.

Academic Papers

Suzzi, Amanda. (accepted, 2021). Estimating Aboveground Carbon Stock at Franklin Pierce University. The Northeastern Geographer.

Grant, fellowship, or other funding

US FWS Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program (cancelled)

Recognitions, honors, or awards

The National Science Foundation Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Teacher Development Program  – Associate Certificate

Professional development activities


  • Learning Community Book Groups on diversity and inclusion
  • North County Land Trust Creating Connections Mapping Workshop


  • Collecting River Otter Sightings through Community Science Webinar from Megan Isadore
  • “Summing Up Your Science” SciComm2020 Conference
  • Paddle to Recover Indigenous Voices (kayaking event)
  • Advancing Learning through Evidenced-Based STEM Teaching Webinar (via CIRTL)
  • Taking From Project to Publication: the Art of Manuscript Revision Workshop
  • Spatial Data Science: The New Frontier in Analytics Mooc