Sean Parks - Landscape Ecologist

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Sean Parks


  • Ph.D Candidate, College of Forestry and Conservation - University of Montana. Degree expected May 2014.
  • M.A., Geography - University of California, Davis. 2006.
    Thesis title: Modeling existing and future vegetation characteristics, wildlife habitat and fire behavior indices in the Kings River project area under three management scenarios.
  • B.S., Environmental Biology and Management - University of California, Davis. 1998.
    Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Sean began his career at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in 2008. He is actively investigating the relationship between landscape-scale fire patterns and topography, past wildfire, climate, and vegetation in wilderness areas. Sean has a keen interest in better understanding how climate shapes fire regimes. He relies heavily on GIS, simulation models, satellite imagery, and multivariate statistics to conduct this work. Sean furthermore dabbles in landscape genetics studies, which associates genetic relatedness among individuals (e.g., wolverines) to landscape structure. Sean is also enrolled in the forestry PhD program at University of Montana.


Selected Publications:

To access all publications by Sean Parks, please click here.

Parks, SA. 2014. Mapping day-of-burning with coarse-resolution satellite fire-detection data. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23, 215-223.

Parks SA, Miller C, Nelson CR, Holden ZA. 2014. Previous fires moderate burn severity of subsequent wildland fires in two large western US wilderness areas. Ecosystems. doi: 10.1007/s10021-013-9704-x.

Larson AJ, Belote RT, Cansler CA, Parks SA, Dietz MS. 2013. Latent resilience in ponderosa pine forest: effects of resumed frequent fire. Ecological Applications 23, 1243-1249.

Parks SA, McKelvey KS, Schwartz MK. 2013. Effects of Weighting Schemes on the Identification of Wildlife Corridors Generated with Least-Cost Methods. Conservation Biology 27, 145-154.

Parks, Sean A., Marc-André Parisien, and Carol Miller. 2012. Spatial bottom-up controls on fire likelihood vary across western North America. Ecosphere 3:art12. DOI:

Parisien, Marc-Andre.; Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Krawchuck, Meg A.; Heathcott, Mark; and Max A. Moritz. 2011. Contributions of Ignitions, Fuels, and weather to the burn probability of a boreal landscape. Ecosystems 14:1141-1155.

Parks, S.A.; Parisien, M.-A. ; Miller, C. 2011. Multi-scale evaluation of the environmental controls on burn probability in a southern Sierra Nevada landscape. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20:815-828.

Bigelow, SW & SA Parks. 2010. Predicting altered connectivity of patchy forests under group selection silviculture. Landscape Ecology. 25:435-447.

Manley, PN., Parks, SA., Campbell, LA & MD Schlesinger. 2009. Modeling development as a continuum to address fine-grained heterogeneity in urbanizing landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning, 89:28-36.

Parks, SA & AH Harcourt. 2002. Reserve size, local human density and mammalian extinctions in U.S. protected areas. Conservation Biology, 16:800-808.

Harcourt, AH., Parks, SA & R. Woodroffe. 2001. Human density as an influence on species/area relationships: double jeopardy for small African Reserves? Biodiversity and Conservation, 10:1011-1026.

Contact Information:

Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute
790 E. Beckwith Ave.
Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: 406-542-4182
Fax: 406-542-4196

Main Staff Page


The Leopold Institute is administered by the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service
and operates under an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service,
U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management,
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service.

Us Forest ServiceBureau of Land ManagementUSGS Home PageNational Park ServiceUS Fish and Wildlife Service