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Miranda H. Mockrin

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Research Scientist

240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Contact Miranda H. Mockrin

Current Research

1. Analysis of housing growth and expansion of the wildland-urban infterface, at the national and regional levels, including in relation to future land use projections and climate change 2. Adaptation and rebuilding after wildfire 3. Assessment of state-level wildlife recreation participation, in relation to sociodemographic and land use/ecological variables. 4. Research on the prevalence and spatial distribution of 'clustered' housing developments in relation to public lands in Colorado.

Research Interests

I am a research scientist who studies conservation and land use, combining ecological and social science. Current research at the Rocky Mountain Research Station focuses on understanding changing natural resource use and management with shifting human demographics, including examining mapping the growth of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) over time, examining rebuilding in the WUI after wildfire, studying housing development and its ecological and social effects, exploring alternative forms of development such as conservation development, and studying changing patterns of wildlife-based recreation (hunting and viewing). Research during my graduate career examined the linked ecological and social dynamics of subsistence wildlife harvesting in a Central African logging concession.

Past Research

1. Changes in wildlife-associated recreation participation (hunting and viewing) over time. 2. Analysis of housing growth in New England using census data to elucidate trends in the spatial and temporal development of residential housing, in and around the Northern Forest, from 1940-2000. 3. Doctoral research examined the spatial distribution and sustainability of hunting outside a protected area in Congo-Brazzaville

Why This Research is Important

Our communities have experienced substantial demographic, social, and economic transformations over the past 30 years. Production-related human impacts (farms, forestry, transportation, and factories) in rural areas have given way to new forms of development linked to natural and cultural amenities. Suburban and exurban areas are become larger and more diverse, as development continues and population deconcentrates. Documenting these trends and understanding the factors that underlie them is essential to finding new ways of mitigating the impacts on natural resources. The Intermountain West region has experienced especially rapid population growth due to amenity based migration, making RMRS a natural setting for such a program of research.


  • Tufts University, B.S., Biopsychology, 1999
  • Columbia University, M.A., Ecology
  • Columbia University, Ph.D., Ecology, 2008
  • Featured Publications


    Wigtil, Gabriel; Hammer, Roger B.; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Stewart, Susan I.; Roper, Daniel; Radeloff, Volker C., 2016. Places where wildfire potential and social vulnerability coincide in the coterminous United States
    Mockrin, Miranda H.; Stewart, Susan I.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Hammer, Roger B.; Alexandre, Patricia M., 2015. Adapting to wildfire: Rebuilding after home loss
    Pejchar, Liba; Reed, Sarah E.; Bixler, Patrick; Ex, Lindsay; Mockrin, Miranda H., 2015. Consequences of residential development for biodiversity and human well-being
    Heath, Linda S.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Emery, Marla R.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Littell, Jeremy; Lucier, Alan; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Peterson, David L.; Pouyat, Richard; Potter, Kevin M.; Robertson, Guy; Sperry, Jinelle; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Jovan, Sarah; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Musselman, Robert (Bob) C.; Schulz, Bethany K.; Smith, Robert J.; Stewart, Susan I., 2015. Indicators of climate impacts for forests: recommendations for the US National Climate Assessment indicators system
    Alexandre, Patricia M.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Stewart, Susan I.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker C., 2015. Rebuilding and new housing development after wildfire
    Martinuzzi, Sebastián; Stewart, Susan I.; Helmers, David P.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker C., 2015. The 2010 wildland-urban interface of the conterminous United States
    Alexandre, Patricia M.; Stewart, Susan I.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Keuler, Nicholas S.; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Bar-Massada, Avi; Clayton, Murray K.; Radeloff, Volker C., 2015. The relative impacts of vegetation, topography and spatial arrangement on building loss to wildfires in case studies of California and Colorado
    Baldwin, Rob; Scherzinger, Ryan; Lipscomb, Don; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Stein, Susan, 2014. Planning for land use and conservation: Assessing GIS-based conservation software for land use planning
    Sturges, Frank; Joyce, Linda A.; Brown, Thomas C.; Flather, Curtis H.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Reeves, Matt C., 2013. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Coming to a landscape near you: Natural resource changes in the Interior West
    Johnson, Kenneth M.; Stewart, Susan I.; Mockrin, Miranda H., 2012. Demographic change in the northern forest
    Stewart, Susan I.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Hammer, Roger B., 2012. Linking human and natural systems in the planning process
    Mockrin, Miranda H.; Rockwell, Robert F.; Redford, Kent H.; Keuler, Nicholas S., 2011. Effects of landscape features on the distribution and sustainability of ungulate hunting in northern Congo
    Findings from this project help resource specialists explore the potential impacts of declining hunting participation, identify regions and activities experiencing the greatest decline, anticipate changes to communities dependent on wildlife-associated recreation, and consider new mechanisms to fund wildlife management. 
    When wildland fires destroy buildings, do people rebuild? Using aerial and satellite imagery, RMRS researchers have been tracking construction in areas burned by wildland fires and the findings reveal that new development outpaces the reconstruction of burned areas. This study shows that the number of buildings inside the perimeter five years after the wildfires was greater than the number of buildings before the fires.
    Over the past century, housing growth has outpaced population growth in the United States, with extensive residential development in the outlying fringes of metropolitan areas and in rural areas with attractive recreational and aesthetic amenities, such as forests. This development is increasing the wildland-urban interface (WUI), that area where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland.