Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Curt Griffin

Second Advisor

Kevin McGarigal

Third Advisor

Matt Lackner

Fourth Advisor

Erynn Call

Subject Categories

Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Wind energy facilitates have expanded significantly in the United States over the last few decades due to technological advancements, regulatory incentives, and policies aimed at increasing renewable energy production, but poorly sited turbines may have adverse effects on local and migratory birds, bats, and other wildlife and their habitats. In the northeastern United States, Maine has become the leader in wind energy but also has the greatest density of Bald Eagles in the region. As wind energy production continues to be developed across the state and in coastal waters, research is needed to analyze and assess potential risks, including displacement, to this eagle population. One increasingly powerful and effective tool in the assessment of ecological effects is individual-based modeling. This approach uses unique and autonomous agents that interact with each other and their environment to simulate dynamic systems. IBMs offer a practical and flexible approach to modeling animal movement because they can accommodate landscape patterns, territoriality, and behavioral adaptations. The objective of this project was to generate an individual-based, spatially-explicit model of breeding Bald Eagle ranging behavior in current and potential wind energy production areas. Bald Eagle movement data were collected through GPS telemetry data and used to parameterize the movement models. These models were based on underlying mechanistic and phenomenological functions and real and derived landscape variables. This model allowed eagle movement patterns to be simulated across actual landscapes and under varying development scenarios. Ultimately, this tool can help provide management decisions for landscape planning and minimize the effects of wind energy on Bald Eagles.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.