Kristin Barker

Photo of Barker, Kristin

Kristin Barker

M.S. student, Wildlife Biology

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

As a master’s student, I’m learning to conduct rigorous research that contributes helpful information to basic ecological theory and applied management needs. My research interests focus on the variation in behavior exhibited by large terrestrial mammals, the biological mechanisms driving that variation, and the effect of different behaviors on factors ranging from individual fitness to ecological communities. My current research, in collaboration with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, assesses the causes and consequences of partial migration in elk. Prior to moving to the University of Montana, I studied movements and habitat selection of red fox at Western State Colorado University.


Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, CO (Aug. 2009 - Dec. 2012)

  • Wildlife concentration; Environmental Biology and Ecology emphasis

Bachelor of Arts, English, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA (Aug. 2002 - May 2006)

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant | Principles of Living Systems biology lab (Fall 2017)

Division of Biological Sciences

Lab experiences illustrated biological principles underlying growth, reproduction, development, genetics and physiology to give students practice in scientic methods of description, development of hypotheses, and testing.

Teaching Assistant | Careers in Wildlife Biology lecture (Fall 2016)

Wildlife Biology Program

Subject matter and fields of study within wildlife biology conservation and management. Topics included wildlife ecology, aquatic ecology, human dimensions, conservation and management, and other opportunities for careers in wildlife biology.

Specialized Skills

  • Wildlife Handling and Immobilization Certification, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (2016)
  • NOLS Wilderness First Aid Certification, National Outdoor Leadership School (2014)
  • Bear Safety Training, United States Geological Survey (2014)
  • Federal Driver’s License Certification, US Forest Service, US Geological Survey (2010, 2014)
  • First Responder Certification, American Red Cross (2012)
  • Colorado Hunter Education Course, Colorado Division of Wildlife (2011)

Professional Experience

Biological Science Technician (Seasonal 2012 - 2015)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Worked seasonally on varied tasks including capturing wildlife, analyzing data, authoring federal conservation agreements, conducting ground and aerial telemetry surveys, and writing reports.

Facilitation Associate (2014 - 2015)

Peak Facilitation Group; United States Forest Service

Led public meetings and assisted with conflict resolution among widely diverse stakeholders. Synthesized public input to inform management goals and objectives for National Forest plan revision.

Crew Leader | Wolf population study (Summer 2014)

Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit; University of Montana

Independently planned, conducted, and supervised fieldwork to ensure complete data collection over large geographic area in limited time frame. Provided leadership and oversight for research team.

Biological Science Technician | Sudden Aspen Decline study (2013)

United States Forest Service

Efficiently collected vegetation data for longitudinal study following historical protocols. Served as only crew member selected to assist with data summaries and analyses after end of field season.

Primary Investigator | Activity patterns and third-order habitat selection of red fox (2009 - 2013)

Thornton Biology Research Program, Western State Colorado University

Designed and conducted independent research project under minimal supervision from undergraduate advisor. Procured funding and stipend, conducted fieldwork, analyzed data, and presented results.

Crew Leader | Uncompahgre Fritillary Butterfly (UFB) monitoring survey (Summer 2011)

United States Forest Service and Western State Colorado University

Effectively completed fieldwork in remote mountain range while simultaneously managing field crew in adjacent area. Evaluated potential habitat using nuanced understanding of species requirements.

Research Technician | UFB monitoring survey (Summer 2010)

United States Forest Service and Western State Colorado University

Trained field crew in data collection techniques and safety protocols. Conducted and supervised fieldwork in remote alpine areas. Scheduled technicians to ensure complete data collection.

Research Technician | White River National Forest UFB habitat survey (Summer 2011)

United States Forest Service and Western State Colorado University

Conducted distance transect sampling of endangered species. Independently navigated to remote areas using maps and compasses. Hiked >15 miles daily off-trail above 13,500’ carrying 45-pound pack.

Selected Publications


  • Sells, S., S. Bassing, K. Barker, S. Forshee, A. Keever, J. Goerz, and M. Mitchell. 2018. Increased scientific rigor will improve reliability of research and efficacy of management. Journal of Wildlife Management 
  • Coop, J., K. Barker, A. Knight, and J. Pecharich. 2014. Aspen (Populus tremuloides) stand dynamics and understory plant community changes over 46 years near Crested Butte, Colorado, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 318:1-12
  • Barker, K., M. Mitchell, K. Proffitt, and J. Devoe. In revision. Nutritional consequences of partial migration in a Montana elk population. Journal of Wildlife Management.
  • Proffitt, K., J. DeVoe, K. Barker, R. Durham, T. Hayes, M. Hebblewhite, C. Jourdonnais, P. Ramsey, J. Shamhart. In review. Variability in ungulate forage in a wildfire dominated landscape during a century of changing fire management. Ecosphere.
  • DeVoe, J., K. Proffitt, M. Mitchell, C. Jourdonnais, and K. BarkerIn review. Elk forage and risk tradeoffs during the fall archery season. Journal of Wildlife Management.


ORAL PRESENTATIONS  *invited speaker

  • *Wildlife biology: The graduate student perspective. October 2017. UM Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Meeting, Missoula, MT
  • Summer forage quality differs for migrants and residents in a partially migratory population of elk. September 2017. The Wildlife Society National Meeting, Albuquerque, NM
  • Nutritional consequences of varying elk migratory behaviors. May 2017. Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Deer and Elk Workshop, Sun Valley, ID
  • Nutritional and demographic consequences of varying elk migratory behaviors. March 2017. Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, Helena, MT
  • Different migratory behaviors provide elk access to different qualities of forage during summer. February 2017. MPG Ranch Annual Conference, Missoula, MT
  • Comparing methods of assessing partial migration. October 2016. The Wildlife Society National Meeting poster symposium, Raleigh, NC
  • North Sapphire Elk Research Project goals and objectives. March 2016. MPG Ranch Annual Conference, Missoula, MT
  • *Conducting a Thornton undergraduate research project: Skills gained and lessons learned. April 2013. Western State Colorado University Board of Trustees, Gunnison, CO
  • Red fox home range overlap and third-order habitat selection. September 2012. Guild of Rocky Mountain Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists, Nederland, CO
  • Home range characteristics of red fox. July 2012. Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory poster symposium, Gothic, CO
  • *Movements, home ranges, and third-order habitat selection of red fox in Gunnison. April 2012. Natural and Environmental Sciences Friday Seminar Series, Gunnison, CO
  • Movements, home ranges, and third-order habitat selection of red fox in an arid intermountain basin of southwestern Colorado. March 2012. National Council on Undergraduate Research, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
  • Third-order habitat selection by red fox. February 2012. Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Winter Meeting. Grand Junction, CO
  • Red fox home range characteristics and activity patterns. April 2011. Tri Beta Biological Honor Society Regional Conference, Gunnison, CO. Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research, 2nd place
  • Activity patterns of red fox in the Gunnison Basin. February 2011. Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Winter Meeting. Fort Collins, CO
  • Red fox in the Gunnison Basin: Student research in progress. February 2010. Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Winter Meeting. Pueblo, CO

In the News

Szpaller, Keila. "It's a short trip from the lab to the field at the University of Montana." Missolian [Montana] 10 September 2016