Faculty Affiliate

Alisa Wade

Alisa Wade


Office: Charles H. Clapp 355
Email: alisa.wade@umontana.edu

Personal Summary

I am a conservation planner and scientist with a particular interest in bridging the gap between science and management by creating tools and resources for conservation planning. I have broad prior experience, having worked as an environmental consultant, an executive director of a not-for-profit land trust, and with local government sustainability planning initiatives. I completed postdoctoral research with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS, UC Santa Barbara), investigating salmon distribution and vulnerability under climate change throughout their North Pacific Rim range.

My current interests include assessing and mapping species’ exposure and potential adaptive capacity to climatic change and investigating how land-use modification compounds climate change-related impacts to biodiversity. I am particularly interested in using spatial models to inform conservation planning, working at the nexus of human-environment interactions, and I am fascinated by resource issues at the urban-rural interface. Recently, I served as a co-author of the Montana Climate Assessment, conducting climate change analyses relevant to Montana citizens. 

I currently serve as the program coordinator for UM BRIDGES, the National Research Traineeship (NRT) for graduate studies at the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus. In this role, I teach science communication and bridging science to practice. I also seek to build and curate opportunities for graduate students, working at the FEW nexus, to egain experience working with policy-experts, practitioners, scientists, and the public. I currently also work with the Center for Integrated Research on the Environment (CIRE) managing species assessments on military lands 



Ph.D., Earth Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2009

Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Master of Public Administration, San Jose State University, San Jose, 1995

B.A., Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991

Selected Publications

Whitlock C, Cross W, Maxwell B, Silverman N, Wade AA. 2017. 2017 Montana Climate Assessment. Bozeman and Missoula MT: Montana State University and University of Montana, Montana Institute on Ecosystems. 318 p. doi:10.15788/m2ww8w. Available from http://montanaclimate.org/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/2017-Montana-Climate-Assessment-lr.pdf
Wade AA, Hand BK, Kovach RP, Muhlfeld CC, Waples RS, Luikart G. 2017. Species climate change vulnerability assessments: from pseudo to science. Biodiversity and Conservation. Available from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-016-1232-5.
Wade AA, Hand BK, Kovach RP, Luikart G, Whited DC, Muhlfeld CC. 2016. Accounting for adaptive capacity and uncertainty in assessments of species’ climate-change vulnerability. Conservation Biology. Available from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.12764.
Hand BK, Muhlfeld CC, Wade AA, et al. 2016. Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: the importance of replication in landscape genetics. Molecular Ecology 25:689–705. Available from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.13517.
Kovach RP, Muhlfeld CC, Wade AA, Hand BK, Whited DC, DeHaan PW, Al-Chokhachy R, Luikart G. 2015. Genetic diversity is related to climatic variation and vulnerability in threatened bull trout. Global Change Biology 21:2510–2524.
Wade AA, McKelvey KS, Schwartz MK. 2015. Resistance-surface-based wildlife conservation connectivity modeling: Summary of efforts in the United States and guide for practitioners. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-333. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 93 p. Available from https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/48464
Wade AA, Beechie TJ, Fleishman E, Mantua NJ, Wu H, Kimball JS, Stoms DM, Stanford JA. 2013. Steelhead vulnerability to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Applied Ecology 50:1093–1104.
Beechie TJ et al. 2012. Restoring salmon habitat for a changing climate. River Research and Applications 29:939–960.
Wade AA, Theobald DM, Laituri MJ. 2011. A multi-scale assessment of local and contextual threats to existing and potential U.S. protected areas. Landscape and Urban Planning 101:215–227.
Wade AA, Theobald DM. 2009. Residential development encroachment on US protected areas. Conservation Biology 24:151–161.
Theobald DM., Wade AA, and Wilcox G. 2008. Analyzing risks to protected areas using the human modification framework: A Colorado case-study. Forest Encyclopedia –USFS Threats to Wildlands. http://www.forestencyclopedia.net/p/p3649.
Lauenroth WK, Wade AA, Williamson MA, Ross BE, Kumar S, Cariveau DP. 2006. Uncertainty in calculations of net primary production for grasslands. Ecosystems 9:843–851.

Teaching Experience

Co-Instructor, Geos/NRSM 542 Fall, Bridging Science and PracticeUM BRIDGES Food-Energy-Water Seminar, University of Montana, Missoula, 2019. Enrollment: ~25

Co-Instructor, Geos/NRSM 542 Fall, Science CommunicationUM BRIDGES Food-Energy-Water Seminar, University of Montana, Missoula, 2018, 2019. Enrollment: ~15

Co-Instructor, Geos/NRSM 542, Spring, Interdisciplinary Methods and Models: UM BRIDGES Food-Energy-Water Seminar, University of Montana, Missoula, 2018. Enrollment: ~20

Instructor, Geos/CCS 108, Climate Change Science: Geosciences Department/Climate Change Studies, University of Montana, Missoula, 2011. Enrollment: ~100

Instructor, Geos490, GIS for Geosciences: Geosciences Department, University of Montana, Missoula, 2009, 2011, 2013. Enrollment: ~20

Graduate Student Instructor, NR575, Systems Ecology, an introduction to methods of ecological modeling: Ecology Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2005

Guest Instructor, LA444, Ecology of Landscapes: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2004

Graduate Student Instructor, NR 420, Integrated Ecosystem Management, GIS Lab Instructor: Department of Forest, Range, and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2004

Graduate Student Instructor, ESPM 102c, Economics of Resource Management: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Graduate Student Instructor, Environmental Science 10, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, Lab Instructor: Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 1999

Graduate Student Instructor, AA 122, Multi-racial Relationships in Society: Department of African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998