Ken Nussear Photo

Ken Nussear

Associate Professor He/him/his


My research explores factors influencing the biology of the plants and animals that may limit their distributions including: the range of acceptable temperatures (and other tolerance related attributes), the thermoregulatory behavior of the species, the locomotory ability of the species at each stage of its existence, shelter requirements, nutritional requirements, etc. This may create limitations when they are constrained within a limited range of existing available habitat. The results of this interaction may be expressed by a reduction of available habitat to habitat that can actually be used by the species. This distinction may be critical when constructing conservation schemes for rare and endangered species. Allocation of habitat may be of no benefit if it is not within the parameters set by the combination of the tolerances of the animal and its interaction with the environment. A basic understanding of each of these may help to better assess useable habitat which can be applied to conservation strategies. I use many GIS-based approaches to model species habitat and conduct spatial analyses in light of these constraints, and with changes in habitat quality, and changes in climate.

Research interests:

Spatial Ecology, Species Distributions, Distributional Limitations, Habitat Connectivity, Biophysical Ecology, Conservation Biology, Herpetology

Courses taught

  • Geog 407/607 Advanced GIS
  • Geog 413/613 Use and Application of Uas (Drone) Technologies in GIS
  • Geog 416/616 - Spatial Analysis
  • Geog 701M - Species Distribution Modeling
  • Geog 701S Advanced Biogeography


  • B.S. Zoology, Colorado State University, 1995
  • Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2004

Professional certifications

  • Certificate in Effective Instruction Association of College and University Educators (ACUE)
  • FAA Certified Remote Pilot for UAS