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Rocky Mountain Research Station - Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory

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Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
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photo of Mary Williams   Mary I. Williams
  Postdoc Research Ecologist
  Michigan Tech University/USDA Forest Service
  Rocky Mountain Research Station
  1221 South Main Street
  Moscow, ID 83843
  208-883-2354 office

  email Mary


Mary took an interest in science through the pages of National Geographic along with her parents' command "go play outside." After an early career of romping around the Pacific Northwest collecting frogs to fill her neighbor's swimming pool, she pursued degrees in biology and rangeland ecology. She has spent most of her adult career in the arid lands of Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming studying mine-land reclamation and shrub-steppe ecological sites.

Research Interests

Restoration ecology, shrub-steppe ecosystems, inventory and monitoring, native plant propagation, rangeland health, wildlife habitat, and vegetation structure.

Current Research

Mary is working with researchers from Michigan Tech University and US Forest Service on an annotation of native plant transfer guidelines with special emphasis on assisted migration, climate change, nursery operations, seed collection and storage, and restoration. A major goal of this project is to provide a literary foundation that will identify knowledge gaps and guide research and development to factor in future climate scenarios.

Selected Publications

Williams, M.I., G.B. Paige, T.L. Thurow, A.L. Hild, and K.G. Gerow. 2011. Songbird relationships to shrub-steppe ecological site characteristics. Rangeland Ecology and Management 64:109-118.

Williams, M.I., T.L. Thurow, G.B. Paige, A.L. Hild, and K.G. Gerow. 2011. Shrubland passerine bird density patterns in relation to ecological sites. In: C.L. Wambolt, S.G. Kitchen, M.R. Fisina, B. Sowell, R.B. Keigley, P. Palacios, and J. Robinson (Eds). Proceedings: 15th Wildland Shrub Symposium. Bozeman, MT, USA: Natural Resources and Environmental Issues 16. 292 p.

Hild, A.L., N.L. Shaw, G.B. Paige, and M.I. Williams. 2009. Native plant re-establishment: What is integrated reclamation? In: R.I. Bamhisel (Ed). Proceedings: Billings Land Reclamation Symposium: Revitalizing the environment: proven solutions and innovative approaches. Lexington, KY, USA: American Society of Mining and Reclamation.

Hild, A.L, G.E. Schuman, L.E. Vicklund, and M.I. Williams. 2006. Canopy growth and density of Wyoming big sagebrush sown with cool-season perennial grasses. Arid Land Research and Management 20:183-194.

Harrington, J.T., and M.I. Williams. 2008. Belowground carbon distribution in a piņon-juniper woodland in north central New Mexico. In: G.J. Gottfried, J.D. Shaw, and P.L. Ford (Eds). Proceedings: Ecology, management, and restoration of piņon-juniper and ponderosa pine ecosystems. Fort Collins, CO, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, RMRS-P-51.

Williams, M.I., M. Tahboub, J.T. Harrington, D.R. Dreesen, and A. Ulrey. 2004. Root growth of Apache plume and serviceberry on molybdenum mine overburden in northern New Mexico. In: A.L. Hild, N.L. Shaw, S.E. Meyer, E.W. Schupp, and T. Booth (Eds). Proceedings: Wildland Shrub Symposium: Seed and soil dynamics in shrubland ecosystems. Ogden, UT, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, RMRS-P-31.

Williams, M.I., G.E. Schuman, A.L. Hild, and L.E. Vicklund. 2002. Wyoming big sagebrush density: effects of seeding rates and grass competition. Restoration Ecology 10:385-391.


  • Ph.D., Rangeland Ecology and Management, University of Wyoming, 2010
  • M.S., Rangeland Ecology and Management, University of Wyoming, 2000
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, Central Washington University, 1998


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