Michael P. Strager, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Division of Resource Management
Adjunct Professor, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources

image of Mike Strager

Contact Information

2004 Agr. Science Bldg or 317D Percival Hall
Phone: 304-293-6463 (rings both offices)
Email: mstrager@wvu.edu


Ph.D. West Virginia University
M.S. West Virginia University
B.S. Penn State University

Professional Employment

Associate Professor, WVU, Morgantown, WV
Assistant Professor, WVU, Morgantown, WV
Visiting Assistant Professor, WVU, Morgantown, WV
Landscape Scientist, Canaan Valley Institute, Davis, WV
GIS Analyst, Edgewater Technologies, Lamar, PA

Courses Taught

FOR 326 Remote Sensing of the Environment
RESM 440 Foundations of Applied GIS
RESM 441 GIS in Natural Sciences
RESM 442 GIS in Social Sciences
RESM 575 Advanced Spatial Analysis
RESM 593a Spatial Statistics and Regression
ARE 621 Quanitative Methods

Research Interests

My primary research interests are in using appropriate spatial and decision analysis techniques to aid in the analysis and management of natural resources. Because sustainable solutions require the integration of the environment, economics, social issues, and spatial location, it is imperative that each be represented in the decision making process. I have focused much of my research on providing spatial decision support to aid in prioritizing areas, evaluating alternatives and examining trade-offs when managing natural resources.

Current Water Resource Projects:

Delineation of Surface Water Zones of Critical Concern in West Virginia
WV Bureau of Public Health, Office of Environmental Health Services
PI: Strager, co-PI: Zegre
The goal of the WV Source Water Assessment Program (SWAG) is to assess, preserve, and protect West Virginia’s source waters that supply water for the state’s public drinking water supply systems. Additionally, the program seeks to provide for long term availability of abundant, safe water in sufficient quality for present and future citizens of West Virginia. The delineation of surface water zones of critical concern were designed to help meet this goal by addressing the three major components of the SWAP program: delineating the source water protection area for surface and groundwater intakes, cataloging all potential contamination sources, and determining the public drinking water supply system’s susceptibility to contamination. This project focuses on the delineation of the zones which are a function of drainage area, stream flow modeling, and regional curves for channel characteristics. Time of travel upstream of surface water intakes is being calculated using these inputs with geographic information system technology. The results of our efforts will include the delineation of 165 source water intake zones in WV to better manage and respond to potential contamination spills.

Mapping Fluvial Landforms in Floodplains Related to Ecosystem Functions
US Geological Survey
PI: Strager
This project is critically examining existing GIS datasets, methods and approaches to characterizing fluvial geomorphic features for the Chesapeake Bay region. Detailed work is being performed in a total of 9 pilot watersheds selected to represent the different physiographic provinces found in the drainage basin, while more generalized methods will also be used to characterize all stream segments across the region. The ultimate goal is to provide useful information for local or county-level watershed restoration projects, as well as to assess the feasibility of alternative approaches to characterizing floodplain structure.

Mapping Stream Corridor Characteristics in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
US Geological Survey – Eastern Geographic Science Center
PI: Strager
This study examines essential ecosystem functions provided by fluvial geomorphic features including sediment retention, minimization of storm flow, nutrient retention and transformation, and provision of wildlife habitat. We have tested the feasibility of mapping key fluvial hydrologic and geomorphologic features at small watershed scales. This effort is being expanded to include the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW), so the resultant data can be summarized to NHD-Plus catchments and input to the USGS SPARROW sediment model to test the regional significance for explaining observed variations in sediment concentrations. The data will be statistically compared to field measurements of bank erosion to further verify their explanatory significance. Contingent on these tests, the fluvial hydrologic and geomorphic features could be summarized to Phase 6 river segments to develop land use-specific sediment delivery factors and serve as a means to quantify the relative role of stream corridors as sources of sediment.

Professional Affiliations

Geographic Information and Multicriteria Decision Analysis Group
American Water Resources Association
Ecological Economics
International Association for Landscape Ecology US Regional Association
Society for Conservation GIS
ESRI Forestry GIS Users Group

Selected Publications

Maxwell, A. E., M. P. Strager, T. A. Warner, N. P. Zegre, C. B. Yuill. 2014. Comparison of NAIP orthophotography and RapidEye satellite imagery for mapping of mining and mine reclamation. GIScicence and Remote Sensing.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15481603.2014.912874

Anderson, J. T., R. L. Ward, J. T. Petty, J. S. Kite, and M. P. Strager. 2014. Culvert effects on stream and stream-side salamander habitats. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development. 5:274-281

Maxwell, A. E., T. A. Warner, M. P. Strager, M. Pal. 2014. Combining RapidEye Satellite Imagery and LiDAR for Mapping of Mining and Mine Reclamation. Association of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Vol. 80, No. 2, 179-189.

Sheehan, K., M. P. Strager, S. Welsch. Ability to retain model accuracy in stream habitat interpolations when moving between data scales in two Greater Yellowstone ecosystem streams. Journal of Geographic Information Science. ACCEPTED

Sheehan, K. R., M. P. Strager, S. A. Welsh. 2013. Advantages of geographically weighted regression for modeling benthic substrate in two greater Yellowstone ecosystem streams. Environmental Modeling & Assessment. Vol. 18. Issue 2, pp 209-219.

Merovich, G. T., J. T. Petty, M. P. Strager, J. B. Fulton. 2013 Hierarchical classification of stream condition: a house–neighborhood framework for establishing conservation priorities in complex riverscapes. Freshwater Science. 32(3):874-891.

Wickham, J., M. Nicholson, W. Jenkins, P. Wood, D. Drunkenbrod, G. Suter, M. P. Strager, C. Mazzarella, W. Galloway, J. Amos. 2013. The overlooked terrestrial impacts of mountaintop mining. Bioscience. 63:335-348.

Maxwell, A. E., M. P. Strager. 2013. Assessing Landform Alterations Induced by Mountaintop Mining. Journal of Natural Science. Vol. 5, No. 2A, 229-237. doi:10.4236/ns.2013.52A034

Maskey, V., M. P. Strager, C. Bernasconi. 2013. Managing a Sustainable Transportation System: Exploring a Community’s Attitude, Perception, Behavior of the Morgantown Public Rapid Transit. Journal of Management and Sustainability. Vol.3, No. 2. ISSN 1925-4475, E-ISSN 1925-4733.

Anderson, J. T., R. L. Wood, J. T. Petty, J. S. Kite, M. P. Strager. 2013. Culvert Effects and Stream-side Salamander Habitats. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development. ISSN:2010-0264.

Merriam, E. R., J. T. Petty, M. P. Strager, A. E. Maxwell, P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2013. Scenario analysis predicts context-dependent stream response to landuse change in a heavily mined central Appalachian watershed. Freshwater Science. 32: 1246-1259. DOI: 10.1899/13-003.1

Petty, J. T., M. P. Strager, E. M. Merriam, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2013. Scenario analysis and the Watershed Futures Planner: predicting future aquatic conditions in an intensively mined Appalachian watershed. Environmental Considerations in Energy Production. Edited by J. R. Craynon. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. Englewood, CO.

Thomas-Van Gundy, M., M. P. Strager and J. Rentch. 2012. Site characteristics for red spruce witness tree locations in the uplands of West Virginia. Journal of the Torrey Botantical Society. 139(4), pp. 391-405.

Maxwell, A. E., M. P. Strager, C.B. Yuill, J. T. Petty. 2012. Modeling critical forest habitat in the South Central Appalachians USA. International Journal of Ecology, Focus Issue on Landscape Ecology. Vol 2012, doi:10.1155/2012/182683

Wu, J., M. P. Strager, J. Wang. 2011. A two-state GIS-based site suitability model for siting biomass-to-biofuel plants and its application in West Virginia, USA. International Journal of Forestry Engineering. Vol 22, No. 2

Merriam, E. R., J. T. Petty, G. T. Merovich, J. B. Fulton, M. P. Strager. 2011. Additive effects of mining and residential development on stream conditions in a central Appalachian watershed. Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 30(2):399-418.

Strager, M. P., M. Thomas-Van Gundy, M. Metz. Mapping pre-settlement forest species with witness trees, Journal of GIS in Forestry. Jan, 2011.

Strager, M. P., J. T. Anderson, J. Osbourne. 2010. A three-tiered framework to select, prioritize, and evaluate potential wetland and stream mitigation banking sites. Wetlands Ecology and Management. DOI 10.1007/s11273-010-9194-y.

Strager, M. P., J. J. Fletcher, J. M. Strager, C. B. Yuill, R. N. Eli, J. T. Petty, S. J. Lamont. 2010. Watershed analysis with GIS: The Watershed Characterization and Modeling System software application. Computers and Geosciences,Vol. 36, pp 970-976.

Strager, M. P., J. T. Petty, J. M. Strager, J. Barker-Fulton. 2009. A spatially explicit framework for quantifying downstream hydrologic conditions. Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 90, pp 1854-1861.

Strager, M. P. and R. S. Rosenberger. 2007. Spatial and economic approaches for implementing conservation priorities at the parcel level. Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 82, pp 290-298.

Strager, M. P. and R. S. Rosenberger. 2006. Incorporating stakeholder preferences for land conservation: weights and measures in spatial MCA. Ecological Economics, Vol. 57, pp 627-639.