Human and Ecosystem Resilience and Sustainability Lab

Working for Sustainable Communities and Ecosystems

Our mission is to advance, apply, and facilitate global, national, and regional research on sustainable and resilient human communities and ecosystems. HERS delivers expertise in ecological assessment and monitoring, natural resource conservation, restoration, and native plant materials to support evidence-based conservation for the 21st century.

What we do

Applied Ecological Research and Monitoring
Native Plant Materials Supply and Restoration
Student and Early Career Professional Mentoring
Synthesis and Translation of Conservation Science

Pikas and bats and plants, oh my!

We study how populations of plants and animals respond to changing environmental conditions. We contribute to the native seed and plant supply for sagebrush steppe restoration. The lab established long-term monitoring programs focused on American pika and bat species in the Pacific Northwest and collaborates with National Park Service, US Forest Service, and other partners on studies of rare plants and at-risk communities.

american pika


Populations & Climate Change

Through our long-term monitoring programs, we collect baseline data necessary to understand impacts of changing environmental conditions on plants, wildlife and ecosystems. By working with research and management partners across the Pacific Northwest, we can ensure that comprehensive, high-quality data are used to identify changes in our landscape. Our research models provide understanding of local impacts and landscape-level ecological trends.

American Pika

landscape connectivity


Connectivity Across Landscapes

Habitat connectivity across fragmented landscapes is critical for effectiveness of conservation strategies employed in protected areas, such as national parks. We use emerging technologies like acoustic monitoring techniques and laser altimetry to study species distributions at landscape scales. The Lab also collaborates with vineyard certification groups to identify on-farm biodiversity standards that can support habitat connectivity across working landscapes.

Park Studies

conservation science


Conservation Science

Research and monitoring programs co-produced by researchers and resource managers can result in more effective and efficient conservation outcomes. Our National Park Service Park Studies Unit works with management partners to address questions of rare plant persistence, invasive plant management, ecological resilience, resistance to invasion, responses to climate change and bat species responses to land use and disease threats.