Jessica R. Young's Curriculum Vitae

Professional Preparation

1994 Ph.D Population Biology and Behavioral Ecology, Purdue University

1988 B.A. Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, University of California, San Diego

Relevant Positions

         2014-present           Global Coordinator, Center for Environment and Sustainability, Western Colorado University

         2012-2014                Emeritus Associate Professor of Biology

         2011-2012                Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs (Western)

         2004-2011                Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (Western)

         2002-2004                Director of Environmental Studies (Western)

         2001-present           Associate Professor (Western)

         1998-2001                Assistant Professor (Western)

         1997- 1998               Assistant Professor, Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina

         1995-1996                Thornton Visiting Scholar, Western State College, Colorado

         1994-1995                Visiting Professor, Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia

Institutional Committees and Tasks Forces

Strategic Planning (2004-2009), 2009-2014. Self Study for Accreditation (HLC) 2012 and 2002, Academic Policies, Curriculum Committee, First Year Experience, Faculty Senate, Environmental Studies Council (Chair), Sustainability Action Committee (Chair), President Climate Commitment Sustainability Plan (Chair), Administrative Liaison to Faculty Senate, Administrative Liaison to Faculty Promotion and Tenure, Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and Assessment Committees. 

Other Relevant Responsibilities

Evaluated and supported the following positions: all academic Department Chairs, Directors and Deans (2004-2012); Registrar, Director of Extended Studies (including academic study abroad courses), Director of Office of Sponsored Programs; Director of Library, Director of Center for Teaching Excellence, Director of Distance Learning, and Director of Academic Resource Center.  Collaborated as a member of the President’s Cabinet and worked with the Board of Trustees and Colorado State Legislators on initiatives and policy.  Represented Western State Colorado University on statewide committees such as academic council and general education.

Academic Awards and Honors

2006                Alumni Award of Excellence, Western State College of Colorado

2001                Edward Award for best peer-reviewed paper, Wilson Ornithological Soc.

2000                Program of Excellence: Biology at Western State College

1998                Certificate of Appreciation for Conservation Efforts from Dept. of Interior

1997                Frank and Virginia Spivey Chair in Ornithology

1990-94           Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellow

1993                Bureau of Land Management National Volunteer Award

International, National, Regional Committees/Planning Teams

2014-present   Peace Corps Coordinator for Western Colorado University

2014-2016       Co-dean and member of the leadership planning team for AACU Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM faculty and administrators

2015                StudyColorado – committed to growing international opportunities within higher education in collaboration with US Department of State.

2007-2010       Co-Dean, Project Kaleodoscope Institute: Leaders Developing Leaders

2000-present   International Grouse Specialist Group (helped prepare status review and species conservation plan for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature which determines global listings for threatened and endangered species)

1999-2000       National Science Foundation (reviewed grants in DC)

Professional Meetings/Institutes Organized

2015-2017       AACU Summer Leadership Institute II, National Leadership Team

2008-2011       Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute, Co-Dean

2003                Project Kaleidoscope Assembly: Making Creative Use of Emerging Technologies to Enhance Student Learning.  Boulder, Colorado (member of the planning team)

2000                Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century 2000 National Assembly, Tucson, AZ.   (member of the national planning team)

Selected Grants and Fellowships

2007-2010       NSF: PKAL Institutes & Seminars: Leaders Developing Leaders ($100,000).  Co-Pi’s Jeanne Narum, Beth Cunningham, and Jessica Young

1996-2004       Thornton Research Awards with undergraduate students: A comparative study of winter habitat forage sites of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in the Gunnison Basin (w/John Stanek); An Investigation into the relationship between ant diversity and abundance, habitat type and ecosystem health in a sagebrush steppe habitat, Gunnison County, Colorado (w/Russell Beam co-advisor Kevin Alexander); Life History of Mountain Bluebirds (Sialia currucoides) (w/Christine Clapp; Co-advisor Nancy Buschhaus); Determination of winter use of sagebrush subspecies by Gunnison Sage-Grouse on Flat Top Mountain: Assessment for prescribed fire planning (w/Matt Vasquez); A comparative study of life history traits of Mountain Bluebirds and Tree Swallows at low and high elevations (w/Crystal Petersen and Nancy Buscchaus (RMBL); Population Distribution of Rough-legged Hawks in Gunnison, Colorado (w/Mary Lehl);  Summer and fall diet choices of the Gunnison Sage Grouse (w/Leslie Maddox); Forest Structure of Nesting Areas in Northern Goshawks (w/Destin Harrell); An investigation of female aggressive behavior on Gunnison Sage-Grouse leks w/Jeannette Hildred and Mary Lehl); Genetic Comparison of White-tailed Ptarmigan Populations and Subspecies" (w/Craig Stanton); Using GIS to Compare Abiotic Factors Influencing Habitat Use by Bighorn Sheep in Two Introduced Populations (w/Brandon Diamond and A. Stork); The effect of sage grouse playbacks on male and female lek attendance in the Gunnison Basin (w/Stephanie Wahl, E. Howell, and K. Boudreau); Comparison of ecological condition in treated and untreated big sagebrush communities” (w/ Sandy Hayes (BLM) and Tonya Warren); Why do ecologists ruffle feathers? The utility of feathers for DNA studies in conservation biology (w/Eric Fraass); Seasonal range use and behavioral interactions of free ranging bighorn sheep in Colorado (w/Tom Verry and Sara Koffarnus); Life-history characteristics of a high and low elevation population of white-tailed ptarmigan (w/Michele Meyers). (Awards for projects ranged from $2,000 – $6,500 each)

2000-2003    Campus Foundation/OSC Grants (ranging from $2-5k): The Clark Project, Galapagos Field Studies (w/Darla DeRuiter) Environmental Studies Learning Community, K-12 Science Education Outreach.

2000                Program of Excellence Award for Biology (CCHE $653,000.  (Co-authored with Pete Gauss)

1995-1998       Ecology, gene flow and distribution of white-tailed ptarmigan on Vancouver Island (Principle Investigator: Kathy Martin - University of British Columbia, Canada, Post Doctoral grant) (Forest Renewal Project $500,000)

1990-1994       An investigation of phenotypic and genetic divergence among sage grouse populations (Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellowship $9,600/yr)

Selected Publications and Published Reviews

Wilbur, R. C., S. A. Lischka, J. R. Young and H. E. Johnson, Experience, Attitudes and Demographic Factors Influence the Probability of Reporting a Human-Black Bear Conflict. In press, 2017, Wildlife Society Bulletin.  

Young, J. R. Behavioral Conservation and Management:  In “Research and Management Techniques for Wildlife and Habitat” Ed. Nova Silvey 8th ed.  The Wildlife Society, Bethesda MD. In press.

K.M. Langin, C.L. Aldridge, J.A. Fike, R.S. Cornman, K.M. Martin, G.T. Wann, A.E. Seglund, M.A. Schroeder, D.P. Benson, B.C. Fedy, J.R. Young, S.D. Wilson, C.E. Braun, and S.J. Oyler-McCance. Characterizing range-wide population divergence in an alpine-endemic bird: a comparison of genetic and genomic approaches. Submitted PLOS ONE 2017.

Schroeder, Michael A., Sara Oyler McCance, Cameron Aldridge, Jessica R. Young and Clait E. Braun. Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Birds of North America revision, in prep 2017.

Young, Jessica R., Clait E. Braun, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Cameron L. Aldridge, Patrick A. Magee and Michael A. Schroeder. (2015). Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America: DOI: doi:10.2173/bna.721

Braun, Clait E., Oyler-McCance, Sara J., Nehring, Jennifer A., Commons, Michelle L., Young, Jessica R., and Potter, Kim M., 2014, The historical distribution of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Colorado: Wilson Journal of Ornithology, v. 126, iss. 2, p. 207-217.

Young, J. R. 2012.  Animal Behavior:  In “Research and Management Techniques for Wildlife and Habitat” Ed. Nova Silvey 7th ed.  The Wildlife Society, Bethesda MD.

Fedy B.C., Martin K., Ritland, C., and J. R. Young.  2008.  Genetic and ecological data provide incongruent interpretations of population structure and dispersal in naturally subdivided populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucur).  Molecular Ecology.

Young, J. R. 2007. Blue Grouse: Their Biology and Natural History.  Canadian Field Naturalist 121(1):101.  Book Review

Taylor, S. A. and J. R. Young. 2006.  A comparative behavioral study of three greater sage-grouse populations.  The Wilson Journal of Ornithology.  118(1):36-41.

Martin K. M., G. A. Brown, and J. R. Young.  2004.   The Historic and Current Distribution of the Vancouver Island White-Tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus saxatilis).  Journal of Field Ornithology.  75(3):239-256.

Young, J. R., Braun, C. E., Oyler-McCance, S. J., Hupp, J. W. and T. W. Quinn.  2000. A new species of Sage-Grouse from Southwestern Colorado. Wilson Bulletin 112(4):445-453.

Schroeder, Michael A., Jessica R. Young and Clait E. Braun. (1999). Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America: DOI: 10.2173/bna.425

Young, J. R. 1999.  An Ecology Study Guide. Ecology 80(7):2452-2453. (Book review)

Kahn, N. W., C. Braun, J. R. Young, S. Wood, D. Mata, and T. W. Quinn. 1999. Molecular analysis of genetic variation among large- and small-bodied Sage Grouse using mitochondrial control-region sequences. Auk 116:819–824.

Howard, R. D. and J. R. Young. 1998. Individual variation in male vocal traits and female mating preferences in Bufo americanus. Anim Behav. 55:1165-1179.

Young, J. R. 1997. Proceedings of the 6th International Grouse Symposium. Quarterly Review of Biology, 72(3):342.

Young, J. R. 1995. Reproductive Behavior in Arena Birds. Ecology 76(4):1363. (Book Review)

Braun, C. E., Martin, K., Remington, T. E. & Young, J. R. 1994. North American Grouse: issues and strategies for the 21st century. Trans. N. A. Wildl. and Nat. Resour. Conf. 59:428-438.

Young, J. R., J. W. Hupp, J. W. Bradbury, and C. E. Braun. 1994 Phenotypic divergence of secondary sexual traits among sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, populations: Animal Behaviour 47(6) 1353-1362.

Graduate Students Advised

2014-2016 Cohort

Cassidy Brush: The Collaboration Connection; A project connecting conservation communities in Costa Rica to Colorado.  Community Sponsor: Debra Hamilton, Director of the Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica.

Tyler Grimes: The Nduru Sustainable Development: A partnership between Eco2librium and New Creations Self-Help Group, Kenya. Community Sponsor: Dr. Mark Lung, President Eco2librium

Dominique Naccarato: T4U: Transit Collective for the Upper Arkansas, Colorado. Community Sponsors: Wendell Pryor, Director of Economic Development, Chaffee County and County Commissioner Bob Christiansen

Ryan Wilbur Assessing Potential Bias in Black Bear Conflict Reporting; Community Sponsor: Stacy Lischka, Human Dimensions Researcher Colorado Parks and Wildlife

2015-2017 Cohort

Joe Acampora: Connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with its Wild Pumas : Courtney Coon, Wildlife Biologist, Felidae Conservation Fund. Please see his project video @

Nell Jordan: Environmental Communications and Storytelling, Community Sponsor: Michelle Auerback. Please see her videos @

Julie Russell: Peace Corps Master's International student working in sustainable community development in Paraguay. Julie will be completing her MEM program abroad while serving in the Peace Corps.


Taylor Asao: Sustainable fisheries and marketing for social causes:  Community Partner Loki and Local I’a.  Sponsor Petra MacGowan.

Hedda Peterson: An analysis of the barriers and opportunities for impacting Southwestern Land Trust’s ability to implement climate-inclusive conservation.  Community partner, Land Trust Alliance

Lance Kittel: Montevida Sustainability Center: using green building in environmental planning.  Community partner, Cold Harbour. 

Alison Yeates: Ranier Valley Nature Alliance: Urban Community Renewal and Engagement with an asset-based approach.  Community Sponsor, Forterra.

Courses Taught

Animal Behavior, Biology of Food, Building Bridges and Creating Corridors: A Costa Rica Field Course,  Conservation Biology, Conservation Genetics, Ecology, Ecuador and Galapagos Field Experience, Environmental Biology (Residential and Distance), Environmental Biology Laboratory, Environmental Science, Environmental Applications, Environmental Capstone, Evolution of Mating Systems, Freshmen Seminar in Biology, Field Biology, Galapagos and Ecuadorian Rainforest Explorations, Integrated Skills in Environmental Management  (Graduate level, Residential and Distance), Marine Biology in Baja California, Marine Mammal Behavior in Belize, Ornithology, Principles of Biology (Course and Laboratory), Speciation, Science Technology and the Environment, Science of Environmental Management (Graduate level, Residential and Distance), Wildlife Biology, Zoology