Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Staff Member

Dr. Shawn Crimmins

Savage river trail in Denali National Park

Assistant Unit Leader
Phone: (907) 474 - 5067
Faculty Email:


  • Ph D University of Montana 2013
  • MS West Virginia University 2008
  • BS University of Missouri 2003


Dr. Crimmins received graduate degrees from West Virginia University and the University of Montana, was a post-doctoral fellow at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center and at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and was an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point before joining the Alaska Unit in 2020. His research focuses primarily on the management and conservation of game species including furbearers and ungulates, and on population dynamics and habitat use of carnivores, ungulates, and furbearers. He also works extensively with state and federal partner agencies to develop and optimize wildlife monitoring programs. His work is currently focused in Alaska and Canada and is conducted in a variety of systems including coastal rain forests, high altitude alpine systems, boreal forests, and tundra. Dr. Crimmins teaches graduate courses in Large Mammal Ecology and Management, Vertebrate Population Dynamics, and Occupancy Modeling.

Areas of Expertise

Climate Change, GIS/Spatial Analysis, Habitat Management, Landscape Ecology, Movement Ecology, Population Dynamics, Population and Community Ecology, Predator-Prey Dynamics, Species Distribution Modeling, Statistics and Modelling, Wildlife Management

Taxon Groups Studied

Carnivores, Furbearers, Ungulates

Research Publications Publication Date
Wheeler, M.E., J.A. Barzen, S.M. Crimmins, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2021. Population responses to harvest depend on harvest intensity, demographics, and mate replacement in sandhill cranes. Global Ecology and Conservation 30: e01778 August 2021
Wheeler, M., J. Barzen, S. Crimmins, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2019. Effects of territorial status and life history on sandhill crane population dynamics in south central Wisconsin. Canadian Journal of Zoology 97:112–120. December 2019
Walleser, L.R., S.M. Crimmins, and N.M. Roberts. 2016. Estimating the age of male wolves (Canis lupus) using baculum measurements. Canadian Field-Naturalist 130:212–215. December 2016
Thogmartin, W.E., S.M. Crimmins, and J. Pearce. 2014. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States. Biological Conservation 176:212–223. December 2014
Taylor, J.M., N.M. Roberts, and S.M. Crimmins. 2022. Assessing Winter Habitat by River Otters Using Aerial Surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 46:e1349 September 2022
Strassburg, M.D., G.M. Linz, S.M. Crimmins, P.C. McKann, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2015. Winter habitat associations of blackbirds and European starlings in the southeastern United States. Human-Wildlife Interactions 9:171–179. December 2015
Scharhag, J.M., C. Sartini, S.M. Crimmins, S.E. Hygnstrom, and J.B. Stetz. 2021. Characteristics of non-fatal attacks by black bears: conterminous United States, 2000-2017. Human-Wildlife Interactions 15:191-202. April 2021
Rohweder, J.J., S. Vacek, S.M. Crimmins, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2015. A case study of assigning conservation value to dispersed habitat units for conservation planning. Journal of Conservation Planning 11:13–27. December 2015
Roberts, N.M., and S.M. Crimmins. 2010. Do trends in muskrat harvest indicate widespread population declines? Northeastern Naturalist 17:229–238. December 2010
Roberts, N.M., and S.M. Crimmins. 2010. An update of bobcat (Lynx rufus) population status and management in North America: evidence of large-scale population increase. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 1:169–174. December 2010
Roberts, N.M., S.M. Crimmins, D.A. Hamilton, and E. Gallagher. 2008. An evaluation of bridge-sign surveys to monitor river otter populations. American Midland Naturalist 160:358–363. December 2008
Roberts, N.M., S.M. Crimmins, D.A. Hamilton, and E. Gallagher. 2012. Implantation and parturition dates of North American river otters, Lontra canadensis, in southern Missouri. Canadian Field-Naturalist 128:28–30. December 2012
Roberts, N.M., M.J. Lovallo, and S.M. Crimmins. 2020. River otter (Lontra canadensis) status, management, and distribution in the United States: Evidence of large-scale population increase and range expansion. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 11:279-286. December 2020
Pluemer, M., S. Dubay, D. Drake, S. Crimmins, T. Veverka, H. Hovanec, M. Torkelson, and M. Mueller. 2019. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and coyotes (Canis latrans) in an urban landscape: prevalence and risk factors for disease. Journal of Urban Ecology 5:1 juz022 December 2019
Olson, L.O., T.R. Van Deelen, D.J. Storm, and S.M. Crimmins. 2021. Understanding environmental patterns of canid predation on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 99:912-920. September 2021
Olson, E.R., S.M. Crimmins, D.E. Beyer, D.R. MacNulty, B.R. Patterson, B.A. Rudolph, A.P. Wydeven, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2017. Flawed analysis and unconvincing interpretation: a comment on Chapron and Treves 2016. Proceedings of the Royal Society-B 284:20170723. December 2017
Heun, C.M., H.L. Schley, and S.M. Crimmins. 2022. River otter feeding habits in Wisconsin, USA: evidence of microbead contamination. American Midland Naturalist 187:279-286. April 2022
Forcey, G.M., W.E. Thogmartin, G.M. Linz, P.C. McKann, and S.M. Crimmins. 2015. Spatially explicit modeling of blackbird abundance in the Prairie Pothole Region. Journal of Wildlife Management 79:1022–1033. December 2015
Dobrowski, S.Z., S.M. Crimmins, J.A. Greenberg, J.T. Abatzoglou, and A.R. Mynsberge. 2011. Response to comments on “Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species’ optimum elevations”. Science 334:177. December 2011
Dobrowski, S.Z., J.H. Thorne, J.A. Greenberg, H.D. Safford, A.R. Mynsberge, S.M. Crimmins, and A.K. Swanson. 2011. Modeling plant ranges over 75 years of climate change in California, USA: temporal transferability and species traits. Ecological Monographs 81:241–257. December 2011
Cruz, J., S.K. Windels, W.E. Thogmartin, S.M. Crimmins, L.H. Grim, and B. Zuckerberg. 2019. Repatriating top predator hinder the joint recovery of competitor species. Journal of Animal Ecology 88:1054–1065. December 2019
Cruz, J., S.K. Windels, W.E. Thogmartin, S.M. Crimmins, L.H. Grim, and B. Zuckerberg. 2018. Managing individual nests promotes population recovery of a top predator. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:1418–1429. December 2018
Cruz, J., S. Windels, W.E. Thogmartin, S.M. Crimmins, and B. Zuckerberg. 2023. Survival of Common Loon chicks appears unaffected by Bald Eagle recovery in northern Minnesota. Avian Ecolgoy and Conservation 18(1):7. | Abstract June 2023
Crimmins, S.M., and T.R. Van Deelen. 2019. Limited evidence for large-scale mesopredator release following wolf recovery in Wisconsin, USA. Wildlife Biology wlb.00511 December 2019
Crimmins, S.M., S.Z. Dobrowski, and A.R. Mynsberge. 2013. Evaluating ensemble forecasts of plant species distributions under climate change. Ecological Modelling 266:126–130. December 2013
Crimmins, S.M., S.Z. Dobrowski, J.A. Greenberg, J.T. Abatzoglou, and A.R. Mynsberge. 2011. Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species’ optimum elevations. Science 331:324–327. December 2011
Crimmins, S.M., S.Z. Dobrowski, A.R. Mynsberge, and H.D. Safford. 2014. Can fire atlas data improve species distribution model projections? Ecological Applications 24:1057–1069. December 2014
Crimmins, S.M., P.C. McKann, J.R. Robb, J.P. Lewis, T. Vanosdal, B.A. Walker, P.J. Williams, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2016. Factors affecting Henslow’s sparrow nest survival in southern Indiana. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128:108–119. December 2016
Crimmins, S.M., P.C. McKann, J.A. Szymanski, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2014. Effects of cave gating on population trends at individual hibernacula of the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Acta Chiropterologica 16:129–137. December 2014
Crimmins, S.M., P. Boma, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2015. Projected risk of population declines for native fish species in the Upper Mississippi River. River Research and Applications 31:135–142. December 2015
Crimmins, S.M., N.M. Roberts, and D.A. Hamilton. 2009. Effects of prey size on scat analysis to determine river otter Lontra canadensis diet. Wildlife Biology 15:449–453. December 2009
Crimmins, S.M., N.M. Roberts, and D.A. Hamilton. 2011. Age specific reproductive rates of river otters in southern Missouri. Southeastern Naturalist 10:501–508. December 2011
Crimmins, S.M., N.M. Roberts, D.A. Hamilton, and A.R. Mynsberge. 2009. Seasonal detection rates of river otters (Lontra canadensis) using bridge-site and random-site surveys. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87:993–999. December 2009
Crimmins, S.M., L.R. Walleser, P.C. McKann, J.J. Rohweder, R.R. Johnson, D.R. Hertel, and W.E. Thogmartin. 2016. Relating mesocarnivore relative abundance to anthropogenic land-use at multiple spatial scales with a hierarchical spatial count model. Ecography 39:524–532. December 2016
Crimmins, S.M., J.W. Edwards, and J.M. Houben. 2012. Coyote (Canis latrans) space-use and feeding habits in central West Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist 19:411–420. December 2012
Crimmins, S.M., J.W. Edwards, W.M. Ford, P.D. Keyser, and J.M. Crum. 2010. Browsing patterns of white-tailed deer following increased timber harvest and a decline in population density. International Journal of Forestry Research 2010:ID592034. December 2010
Crimmins, S.M., J.W. Edwards, T.A. Campbell, W.M. Ford, P.D. Keyser, J.M. Crum, B.F. Miller, and K.V. Miller. 2015. Responses of white-tailed deer home-ranges to increased resource availability. Northeastern Naturalist 22:403–412. December 2015
Crimmins, S.M., J.W. Edwards, P.D. Keyser, J.M. Crum, W.M. Ford, B.F. Miller, T.A. Campbell, and K.V. Miller. 2013. Survival patterns of female white-tailed deer on an industrial forest following a decline in population density. Proceedings of the 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference, USFS Gen. Tech, Rep, NRS-P-117:487–496. December 2013
Crimmins, S.M., A.R. Mynsberge, and T.A. Warner. 2009. Estimating woody browse abundance from aerial imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing 30:3283–3289. December 2009
Allen, M.L., and S.M. Crimmins. 2019. Sea otters from the northern and southern populations may find each other in Humboldt County, California. IUCN Otter Bulletin 36:69–72. December 2019
Allen, M.L., B. Wojcik, B.E. Evans, E.E. Iehl, R.E. Harris, M.E. Wheeler, B.E. Peterson, R.L. Dohm, M.A. Mueller, L. Olson, B. Ederer, M. Stewart, S. Crimmins, K. Pemble, E. Olson, J. Van Stappen, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2018. Detection of endangered American martens (Martes americana) in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin. American Midland Naturalist 179:294–298. December 2018
Allen, M.L., B. Kohn, N. Roberts, S. Crimmins, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2017. Benefits and drawbacks of determining litter success for black bears (Ursus americanus) from cementum annuli techniques. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95:991–995. December 2017
Aagaard, K., S.M. Crimmins, W.E. Thogmartin, B. Tavernia, and J.E. Lyons. 2015. Evaluating predictors of local dabbling duck abundance during migration: managing the spectrum of conditions faced by migrants. Wildfowl 65:100–120. December 2015
McCarthy, Kayleigh

Zambito, Tony

Presentations Presentation Date
White, K., R. C. Lonsinger, S. M. Crimmins, E. M. Anderson, and T. M. LIvieri. 2021. Fine-scale space use by swift foxes on a black-footed ferret recovery site. Swift Fox Conservation Team Meeting. May 2021
Wells, J., S. Crimmins, T. Bentzen, J. Gross, and T. Brinkman. 2023. Effects of hunting risk on the spatial dynamics of a subarctic caribou population. North American Caribou Workshop and Arctic Ungulate Conference, Anchorage, AK. May 2023
Swanson, S., K. Kielland, J. Schmidt, S. Crimmins, and M. Flamme. 2023. Seasonal drivers of amplitude patterns in a variably cyclic population of red-backed voles (<i>Nyodes rutilus</i>). Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Fairbanks, AK. April 2023
Perra, M., S. Crimmins, O. Couriot, T. Brnkman, G. Liston, A. Reinking, E. Coban, M. Mandel, N. Boelman, and E. Gurarie. 2023. Using auditory recording units to monitor insect activity and infer harassment intensity. May 2023
Merems, J.L., A. Brose, S.M. Crimmins, J.L. Price Tack, T.R. Van Deelen. 2020. Effects of wolves on elk habitat use in Wisconsin. Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society. September 2020
Germain, S., S. Crimmins, L. Parrett, and K. Kielland. 2023. It pays to be a fat cow: juvenile weight predicts age at primiparity in northwest Alaskan moose populations. North American Caribou Workshop and Arctic Ungulate Conference, Anchorage, AK. May 2023