- About Us
USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center - ecologist
B.S., University of Minnesota
M.S. Michigan State University, Fisheries and Wildlife
Kiira Siitari built a habitat model for otters in Michigan. Her project was part of a U.S. Geological Survey project to build national habitat models for all vertebrates in the country. Landscape ecology was a central theme of her master’s research project.
Siitari gravitated toward questions concerning land and water interactions. She used Gap analysis planning to model terrestrial ties to aquatic communities, using otters as a study species. Ultimately, she sought to provide practical, effective insight for managing aquatic species at the ecosystem level.
After obtaining her bachelor's degree in 2006, she travelled across North America and tracked wolves, squeezed desert minnows, stalked frogs, videoed dolphins, and lived on a backcountry ranch in the Idaho wilderness.
While working, she regularly found herself asking, “Am I really getting paid for this?” Often, the answer was “No.” Nevertheless, these adventures gave her valuable insight, a broad range of technical skills, and only increased her desire to continue travelling and learn more. There may have been differences in the species she studied, but the lessons in conservation and management were strikingly similar.
conservation, aquatic resources