IEMM engages in applied research in wildlife conservation, land use, and resource management. We partner with resource agencies and organizations in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. 

Across a wide range of projects, IEMM scientists and staff provide necessary quantitative expertise, field support, and laboratory services.

Beyond technical skills and research expertise, IEMM is a research entity that serves to coordinate and collaborate applied research throughout the region.

Want to learn more about our projects?

Read about some of our current and past projects, as well as IEMM’s project publications below.



New publications coming soon!

– 2023 –

Curtis, K.M., Jennings, M.K., Laake, J., Botta, R., Colby, J., Tomaszewski, E.M., Lewison, R.L. 2023. Hybrid mark-resight approaches account for heterogeneous detection bias in aerial surveysEcological Solutions and Evidence.

Braun, C.D., Lezama-Ochoa, N., Farchadi, N., Arostegui, M.C., Alexander, M.,  Allyn, A., Bograd, S.J., Brodie, S., Crear, D.P., Curtis. T.H., Hazen E.L.,  Kerney, A., Mills, K.E., Pugh, D., Scott, J,D., Welch, H., Young-Morse, R., Lewison, R.L. 2023. Widespread habitat loss and redistribution of marine top predators in a changing oceanScience Advances

Mason, J.G., Weisberg, S.J., Morano, J.L., Bell, R.j., Fitchett, M., Griffis, R.B., Hazen, E.L., Heyman, W.D., Holsman, K., Kleisner, K.M., Westfall, K., Conrad, M.K., Daly, M., Golden, A.S., Harvey, C.J., Kerr, L.A., Kirchner, G., Levine, A., Lewison, R.L., Lucey, S.M., Straum, D.L. 2023. Linking knowledge and action for climate-ready fisheries: emerging best practices across the USMarine Policy.

Braun, C.D., Arostegui, M.C., Farchadi, N., Alexander, M., Afonso, P., Allyn, A., Bograd, S.J., Brodie, S., Crear, D.P., Culhane, E.F., Curtis, T.H., Hazen, E.L., Kerney, A., Lezama-Ochoa, N., Mills, K.E., Pugh, D., Queiroz, N., Scott, J.D., Skomal, G.B., Sims, D.W., Thorrold, S.R., Welch, H., Young-Morse, R., Lewison, R.L. 2023. Building use-inspired species distribution models: Using multiple data types to examine and improve model performanceEcological Applications

Schmidt, G.M., Jennings, M.K., Smith, J.G., Boydston, E.E., Lyren, L.M., Lewison, R.L. 2023Bobcats in southern California respond to urbanization at multiple scalesBiological Conservation.

– 2022 –

Madrak, S.V.Lewison, R.L., Eguchi, T., Klimley, A.P., Seminoff, J.A. 2022. Effects of ambient temperature on dive behavior of East Pacific green turtles before and after a power plant closureMarine Ecology Progress Series.

Tomaszewski, E. M.Jennings, M.J., Botta, R., Curtis, K.M.Lewison, R. L. 2022. Limited resources shape home range patterns of an insular ungulate in a semi-arid ecosystemJournal of Arid Environments.


Rojas, I.M.Jennings, M.K., Conlisk, E., Syphard, A.D., Mikesell, J., Kinoshita, A.M., West, K., Stow, D., Storey, E., De Guzman, M.E., Foote, D., Warneke, A., Pairis, A., Ryan, S., Flint, L.E., Flint, A.L., Lewison, R.L. et al. 2021. A landscape-scale framework to identify refugia from multiple stressorsConservation Biology.

Tomaszewski, E., Jennings, M., Munk, B., Botta, R., Lewison, R. 2021. Landscape Seroprevalence of Three Hemorrhagic Disease-Causing Viruses in a Wild Cervid. EcoHealth.

Clatterbuck, C.A., Lewison, R.L., Orben, R.A., Ackerman, J.T., Torres, L.G., Suryan, R.M., Warzybok, P., Jahncke, J., Shaffer, S.A. 2021. Foraging in marine habitats increases mercury concentrations in a generalist seabird. Chemosphere.

Schmidt, G.M.,Lewison, R.L., Swarts, H.M. 2021. Pairing long-term population monitoring and wildlife crossing structure interaction data to evaluate road mitigation effectiveness. Biological Conservation.

Conlisk, E., Haeuser, E., Flint, A., Lewison, R.L.Jennings, M.K. 2021. Pairing functional connectivity with population dynamics to prioritize corridors for Southern California spotted owlsDiversity and Distributions. 


Grimes, T.M., Tinker, M.T., Hughes, B.B., Boyer, K.E., Needles, L., Beheshti, K., Lewison, R.L. 2020. Characterizing the impact of recovering sea otters on commercially important crabs in California estuaries. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Zeller, K.A., Lewison, R., Fletcher, R.J., Tulbure, M.G., Jennings, M.K. 2020. Understanding the Importance of Dynamic Landscape Connectivity. Land. 

Jennings, M.K., Zeller, K.A., Lewison, R.L. 2020. Supporting Adaptive Connectivity in Dynamic Landscapes. Land

Jennings, M.K.Haeuser, E.Foote, D.Lewison, R.L., Conlisk, E. 2020. Planning for Dynamic Connectivity: Operationalizing Robust Decision-Making and Prioritization Across Landscapes Experiencing Climate and Land-Use ChangeLand.

Verutes, G.M., Johnson, A.F., Caillat, M., Ponnampalam, L.S., Peter, C., Vu, L., Junchompoo, C., Lewison, R.L., Hines, E.M. 2020. Using GIS and stakeholder involvement to innovate marine mammal bycatch risk assessment in data-limited fisheries. PLOS One.  

Chen, H.LLewison, R.L., An, L., Yang, S., Shi, L., Zhang, W. 2020. Understanding the direct and indirect effects of payment for ecosystem services on resource use and wildlife. Anthropocene.

Lemons, G.E.Lewison, R.L., Seminoff, J.A., Coppenrath, C.M., Popp, B.N. 2020. Nitrogen isotope fractionation of amino acids from a controlled study on the green turtle (Chelonia mydas): expanding beyond Glx/Phe for trophic positionMarine Biology.   

Hines, E., Ponnampalam, L.S., Junchompoo, C., Peter, C., Vu, L., Huynh, T., Caillat, M., Johnson, A.F., Minton, G., Lewison, R.L., Verutes, G.M. 2020. Getting to the bottom of bycatch: a GIS-based toolbox to assess the risk of marine mammal bycatch. Endangered Species Research.

Schmidt, G.M.Lewison, R.L., Swarts, H.M. 2020. Identifying landscape predictors of ocelot road mortalityLandscape Ecology. 

Dundas, S.J., Levine, A.S., Lewison, R.L., Doerr, A.N., White, C., Galloway, A.W.E., Garza, C., Hazen, E.L., Padilla-Gamino, J., Samhouri, J.F., Spalding, A., Stier, A., White, J.W. 2020. Integrating oceans into climate policy: Any green new deal needs a splash of blue. Conservation Letters. ​ 
     News Coverage: 
Surf and turf: Green new deal should be a ‘teal new deal’
Oceans should have a place in climate ‘green new deal’ policies, scientists suggest    

Surf and Turf: Green New Deal Should Be a Teal New Deal
This is how the oceans can be used to help fight climate change

Chen, H.L.Lewison, R.L., An, L., Tsai, Y.H., Stow, D., Shi, L., Yang, S. 2020. Assessing the effects of payments for ecosystem services programs on forest structure and species biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation.

Moleón, M., Sánchez-Zapata, J. A., Donázar, J.A., Revilla, E., Martín-López, B.. Gutiérrez-Cánovas, C., Getz, W.M.., Morales-Reyes, Z.,Campos-Arceiz, A., Crowder, L.B., Galetti, M. González-Suárez, M., He, F., Jordano, P., Lewison, R., Naidoo, R., Owen-Smith, N. Selva, N., Svenning, J. L., Tella, J.L., Zarfl, C., Jähnig, S.C., Hayward, M., Faurby, S., García, N., Barnosky, A.D., Tockner, K. 2020. Rethinking megafauna. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Smith, J. G., Jennings, M.K., Boydston, E.E., Crooks, K.R.,  Ernest, H.B., Riley, S.P.D., Serieys, L.E.K, Sleater-Squires, S., Lewison, R.L. 2020. Carnivore population structure across an urbanization gradient : a regional genetic analysis of bobcats in southern CaliforniaLandscape Ecology 4.

– 2019 –

Snavely, R.A., Uyeda, K.A., Stow, D.A., O’Leary, J.F., Lambert, J. 2019. Mapping vegetation community types in a highly-disturbed landscape: Integrating hierarchical object-based image analysis with lidar-derived canopy height data. International Journal of Remote Sensing.

Trego, M.L., Whitehead, A., Kellar, N.M., Lauf, M., Lewison, R.L. 2019. Tracking transcriptomic responses to endogenous and exogenous variation in cetaceans in the Southern California BightConservation Physiology.

​Trego, M.L., Hoh, E., Kellar, N.M., Meszaros, S., Robbins, M.N., Dodder, N.G, Whitehead, A., Lewison, R.L. 2019. Comprehensive Screening Links Halogenated Organic Compounds with Testosterone Levels in Male Delphinus delphis from the Southern California BightEnvironmental Science & Technology.

Lewison, R.L., Johnson, A.F., Gan, J., Pelc, R., Westfall, K., Helvey, M. 2019. Accounting for unintended consequences of resource policy: Connecting research that addresses displacement of environmental impacts. Conservation Letters.

– 2018 –

Lippitt et al., 2018. Multidate MESMA for monitoring vegetation growth forms in southern California shrublands. International Journal of Remote Sensing.

Jennings et al. (San Diego State University), 2018. San Diego County Ecosystems: Ecological Impacts of Climate Change on a Biodiversity Hotspot. San Diego Region Report, California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission.

Gudino-Elizondo et al., 2018.Modelling Ephemeral Gully Erosion from Unpaved Urban Roads: Equifinality and Implications for Scenario Analysis. Geosciences.

Lee et al., 2018. Thermal and Hydrodynamic Changes under a Warmer Climate in a Variably Stratified Hypereutrophic Reservoir. Water.

Taniguchi et al., 2018. Stream channel erosion in a rapidly urbanizing region of the US-Mexico border: documenting the importance of channel hardpoints with Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry. Earth Surf Processes and Landforms.

Zeller et al., 2018. Are all data types and connectivity models created equal? Validating common connectivity approaches with dispersal data.. Diversity and Distributions.

– 2017 –

Jennings and Zeller, 2017. Comprehensive multi-species connectivity assessment and planning for the Highway 67 region of San Diego County, California. Final Report prepared for SANDAG Agreement 5004388, Task Order 3.

Beland et al., 2017. Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana. PLoS ONE.

Tredick et al., 2017. A Rubric to Evaluate Citizen Science Programs for Long-Term Ecological Monitoring. BioScience.

– 2016 –

Jennings and McCreary, 2016. An Overview of San Diego County’s Ongoing Feral Pig Eradication Project. Proceedings of the 27th Vertebrate Pest Conference.

Uyeda et al., 2016. Spatial variation of fuel loading within varying aged stands of chaparralApplied Vegetation Science.

Rachels et al., 2016. Chaparral recovery following a major fire with variable burn conditionsInternational Journal of Remote Sensing.

Storey et al., 2016. Assessing postfire recovery of chamise chaparral using multi-temporal spectral vegetation index trajectories derived from Landsat imageryRemote Sensing of Environment.

– 2015 –

Taniguchi and Biggs, 2015. Regional impacts of urbanization on stream channel geometry: A case study in semiarid southern California. Geomorphology.

– 2014 –

Lee and Biggs, 2014. Impacts of land use, climate variability, and management on thermal structure, anoxia, and transparency in hypereutrophic urban water supply reservoirs. Hydrobiologia.

Lewison and Deutschman, 2014. Framework for Implementing Adaptive Management. Guidelines for best practices with examples of effective monitoring and management. Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

– 2013 –

Jennings and Lewison, 2013. Planning for Connectivity under Climate Change: Using bobcat movement to assess landscape connectivity across San Diego County’s open spaces. Prepared for San Diego Foundation.

– 2012 –

Hamada et al., 2012. Assessing and monitoring semi-arid shrublands using object-based image analysis and multiple endmember spectral mixture analysisEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment.

Deutschman and Strahm, 2012. Monitoring and Management in the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program: Results from a Structured Workshop. Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

Lewison et al., 2012. Developing Conceptual Models: Translating Knowledge into Action: Building and implementing an integrated framework for monitoring and management in San Diego County. Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

– 2011 –

Deutschman and Strahm, 2011. Four Years of Vegetation Monitoring on the Irvine Ranch Open Space Easements in Central Orange County, CA. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy.

Komoroske et al., 2011. Pollutants and the health of green sea turtles resident to an urbanized estuary in San Diego, CA. Chemosphere.

Lemons et al., 2011. Trophic ecology of green sea turtles in a highly urbanized bay: Insights from stable isotopes and mixing models. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Lewison et al., 2011. Chemical Analysis of threatened and endangered species in San Diego: The San Diego Bay Trophic Transfer Project. Prepared for the Port of San Diego.

Lewison et al., 2011. Identifying critical habitat for an endangered species in San Diego Bay. Prepared for the Port of San Diego.

Deutschman and Strahm, 2011. Evaluation and Refinement of Vegetation Monitoring Methods for the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program. Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

– 2010 –

Hamada et al., 2010. Quantifying biological integrity of California sage scrub Communities using plant life-form coverJournal of Mediterranean Ecology.

Biggs et al., 2010. Land cover following rapid urbanization on the US-Mexico border: Implications for conceptual models of urban watershed processes. Landscape and Urban Planning.

Deutschman et al., 2010. Initial evaluation of the Status of the Hermes copper (Lycaena hermes). Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

– 2009 –

Deutschman and Strahm, 2009. Improving statistical sampling and vegetation monitoring for TNC easements in central Orange County: Year 2. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy.

Deutschman and Strahm, 2009. Improving Statistical Sampling and Vegetation Monitoring for the San Diego MSCP. Prepared for San Diego Association of Governments.

– 2008 –

Deutschman et al., 2008. Using Variance Components Analysis to Improve Vegetation Monitoring for the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). Prepared for the California Department of Fish and Game.

– 2007 –

Stow et al., 2007. Monitoring shrubland habitat changes through object-based change identification with airborne multispectral imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment.