Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Evans, Kristine O.

Committee Member

Street, Garrett M.

Committee Member

McConnell, Mark D.

Committee Member

Mini, Anne E.

Committee Member

Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Conservation managers and planners need the ‘best available science’ to support robust and defensible decisions, ensuring that public resources are appropriately allocated. Spatial planning products and decision-support tools developed for this purpose should enable partner organizations to achieve focus, coordination, and increased effectiveness in their investments and actions. Whereas conservation partnerships have historically created distinct planning tools, there is increasing interest for improved coordination, communication, and unifying biological datasets to improve the cohesiveness of regional management activities. We sought to inform spatial conservation planning efforts in the southeastern United States through the development of species distribution models for focal avian species to prioritize open pine habitat management and a methodological framework to assess alignment between spatial planning products. We offer insight that can help managers maximize data-informed decision making and contribute to more synergistic and effective conservation actions in the future.