Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist
Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist
- Ph.D., Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2015
- M.S., Range Management, University of California Berkeley, 2010
- B.A., Program of Liberal Studies and Spanish, University of Notre Dame 2002
Rangeland Conservation & Management,
landscape analyses; ecology; management; economics; policy
My overarching research and extension goal is to meet the needs of people who use or enjoy rangelands with the goal of enhancing the conservation of rangeland ecosystems. My research broadly focuses on the following three themes:
1. Landscape Scale Changes Impacting Rangelands
The first focus area addresses the primary conservation problem of our day—the loss of habitat and the resulting impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. The fragmentation of privately owned rangelands into smaller parcels coupled with land use change are leading causes of biodiversity decline, habitat loss, and ecosystem service degradation. Conversions of rangelands from natural areas with low intensity agricultural practices to housing and intensive agriculture continues in California.
To make prudent land use decisions and to conserve natural resources, UC Cooperative Extension Advisors, local governments, State government, and natural resource and environmental NGOs need to have access to information on current land ownership by land use as well as land use changes over time. I have approached this issue by working with UC Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) to develop the California Land Use & Ownership Portal, working on remote sensing of irrigated pasture (Shapero et al 2017), and analyzing California private cropland ownership and land use (Macaulay & Butsic, in press).
2. Rangeland Ecology & Management
This part of my program works at a finer scale and seeks to provide insight into ecological and management issues that are pertinent for landowners and land managers. In particular, my lab has ongoing work on projects that seek to better understand wildlife populations found on rangelands, the impacts of feral pigs and livestock on riparian areas, and theoretical approaches (state & transition models) to understanding change on rangelands. Future potential work includes determining approaches to mapping rangeland plant communities on a larger scale through a rapid sampling methodology.
3. Ranch Sustainability & Economics
Private ranches, whether they are owned by multi-generational ranching families, new owners, or NGOs are a key player in habitat conservation in California. Private rangelands oftentimes contain unique kinds of habitat that are not well represented in protected areas of the state. Providing insights into the economic approaches and mechanisms that can support sustainable use will help to maintain these threatened habitats across the state. My lab seeks to evaluate this issue by building on past research and extension efforts about recreational hunting as a sustainable income source that can help to reduce fluctuations in income that may necessitate fragmentation of a ranch (Macaulay 2016). Additional research may involve working with state agencies policy makers to refine or improve programs that seek to incentivize habitat conservation in return for more liberal but sustainable hunting opportunities. Other topics may include addressing issues surrounding business practices, inheritance, genetics, and lease agreements.
Stackhouse, J.W., G. Giust, L.T. Macaulay. 2017. Game Species Management and Economics of Hunting Enterprises in California Grasslands. Grasslands.
Macaulay, L.; Butsic, V.; In press. Ownership characteristics and crop selection in California cropland. California Agriculture.
Huntsinger, L., N. Sayre, and L. Macaulay. 2014. Ranchers, land tenure, and grass-roots governance: maintaining pastoralist use of rangelands in the U.S. in three different settings. In: Davies, J. (ed). The Governance of Rangeland: Collective Action for Sustainable Pastoralism.
Scholarships & Fellowships
Graduate Training in Cooperative Extension Fellowship, 2014
Goertz Chair Fellowship, 2012-2014
Golden Gate Chapter of Safari Club International Research Grant 2012, 2013
Graduate Division Summer Fellowship, 2012
Environmental Science, Policy & Management Fellowship, 2011, 2014
National Science Foundation GRFP – Honorable Mention 2010
Range Management Scholarship Award, 2008
Wilson Scholarship, 1998-2002
Service, Organizations, Awards, Skills
Associate Rangeland Manager - California-Pacific Section of the Society for Range Management
Steering committee for Graduate Students in Extension (GSE) Program, 2014-2015
Certified Hunter Education Instructor with California Department of Fish & Wildlife
Fluent in Spanish
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, 2008
Spring 2016: Water Resources (@ George Washington University)
Fall 2012: American Wildlife: Conservation and Identification
Fall 2008: American Wildlife: Conservation and Identification
Luke T. Macaulay
54 Mulford Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-3114