Jill Heaton

Dr. Jill S. Heaton

Associate Professor

University of Nevada, Reno/Mail Stop 154
Department of Geography, Mackay Science Hall
Reno, NV 89557-0451

(775) 784-8056
Fax: (775) 784-1058
Office: MS 325A
G-Lab: MS 327
Email: jheaton@gis.unr.edu

Website: Geospatial Laboratory (G-Lab)

Research Statement

Dr. Heaton is an arid lands ecologist, with dual degrees in biology and geography. Her strengths are in quantitative and statistical techniques as applied to ecological problems, and integrating ecological theory and principles with the spatial and temporal complexity of the natural environment. She has extensive experience and expertise in GIS, habitat modeling, (especially as related to reptiles and small mammals), statistical modeling, environmental issues on military installations, urban and development biodiversity boundary interactions, and issues relating to land use and conservation.

Research Areas of Interest

Desert ecology, habitat modeling, reptiles, wildlife detection dogs, GISystems and GIScience, spatial modeling, ecosystem functioning, decision support systems, and knowledge management.

Professional Preparation

Oregon State University - Geography Ph.D. 2001
University of North Texas - Biology M.S. 1996
University of North Texas - Biology B.S. 1993

Courses Taught

Selected Publications

Webb, R. H., L. F. Fenstermaker, J. S. Heaton, D. L. Hughson, E. V. McDonald, D. M. Miller. 2009. The Mojave Desert: Ecosystem Processes and Sustainability. University of Nevada Press.

Heaton, J. S. M. E. Cablk, K. E. Nussear, T. C. Esque, P. A. Medica, J. C. Sagebiel, S. S. Francis. 2008. Comparison of effects of humans versus wildlife-detector dogs. Southwestern Naturalist 53(4):472–479.


Heaton, J. S., K. E. Nussear, T. C. Esque, R. Inman, F. M. Davenport, T. E. Leuteritz, P. A. Medica, N. W. Strout, P. A. Burgess, L. Benvenuti. 2008. Decision support for selecting translocation areas for desert tortoises. Biodiversity and Conservation. 17:575-590.


Nussear, K. E., T. C. Esque, J. S. Heaton, M. E. Cablk, K. K. Drake, C. Valentin, J. L. Yee, P. A. Medica. 2008. Are wildlife detector dogs or people better at finding desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)? Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 3(1):103-115.


Heaton, J.S., A.R. Kiester and M. Meyers. 2006. The LizLand model: a geomorphic approach to lizard habitat modeling in the Mojave Desert. Journal of Arid Environments 67 (Supplemental 1):202-225.