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Wesley E. Newton, Ph.D.

Supervisory Statistician
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
8711 37th Street Southeast
Jamestown, North Dakota 58401

Phone: (701) 253-5523
Fax: (701) 253-5553
Email Address:
Email NPWRC Staff
Research Support (Principal Investigator / Statistical Consulting),
Jamestown Headquarters

Photo of Wes Newton and one of his bison bulls.


  • Experimental design and analysis
  • Sample survey design and analysis
  • Mixed linear and nonlinear models
  • Spatial statistics for remote sensing
  • General quantitative ecological methods

Current Projects:

  • Developing empirical models to predict forest and shrubland stand structural metrics with LIDAR data
  • Developing species-habitat models with LIDAR data
  • Incorporating species-habitat models into management optimization algorithms
  • Multivariate analyses of invertebrate data from prairie and wetland systems


  • Ph.D., Natural Resources Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (2012)
  • M.S., Applied Statistics, Utah State University, Logan, UT (1985)
  • B.S., General Biology, Mesa State College, Grand Junction, CO (1981)

Professional Experience:

  • 1990-present:  Statistician and Supervisory Statistician, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, USGS, Jamestown, ND
  • 1989:  Consulting Statistician, Statistics Consulting Center, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
  • 1985-1988:  Mathematical Statistician, U.S. Army Dugway Proving Grounds, Dugway, UT and U.S. Army Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, AK

Professional Affiliations:

  • The American Statistical Association
  • The Wildlife Society

Selected Publications:

Kim, D.H., Newton, W.E., Lingle, G.R., and Chavez-Ramirez, F. 2008. Influence of grazing and available moisture on breeding densities of grassland birds in the Central Platte River Valley, Nebraska. Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 120:820-829.

Mech, L.D., Goyal, S.M., Paul, W.J., and Newton, W.E. 2008. Demographic effects of canine parvovirus on a free-ranging wolf population over 30 years. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 44(4):824-836.

Restani, M., Davies, J.M., and Newton, W.E. 2008. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA. Landscape Ecology 23:977-987.

Royer, R.A., McKenny, R.A., and Newton, W.E. 2008. A characterization of non-biotic environmental features of prairies hosting the Dakota Skipper (Hesperia dacotae, Hesperiidae) across its remaining U.S. range. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 62(1):1-17.

Knutson, M.G., G.J. Niemi, W.E. Newton, and M.A. Frieberg. 2004. Avian nest success in forests fragmented by agriculture. Condor 106:116-130.

Johnson, D.H., T.L. Shaffer, and W.E. Newton. 2001. Statistics for wildlifers: how much and what kind? Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(4):1055-1060.

Larson, D.L., P.J. Anderson, and W.E. Newton. 2001. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type, stochiasticity, and anthropogenic disturbance in tow park units. Ecological Applications 11:128-141.

Reynolds, R.E., T.L. Shaffer, R.W. Renner, W.E. Newton, and B.D.J. Batt. 2001. Impact of Conservation Reserve Program on duck recruitment in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region. Journal of Wildlife Management 65(4):765-780.

Sovada, M.A., M.C. Zicus, R.J. Greenwood, D.P. Rave, W.E. Newton, R.O. Woodward, and J.A. Beiser. 2000. Relationships of habitat patch size to predator community in relation to size of discrete patches of nesting cover the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States in 1993-1995. Journal of Wildlife Management 64(3):820-831.

Fellows, D.P., and W.E. Newton. 1999. Prescribed fire effects on biological control of leafy spurge. Journal of Range Management 52(5):489-493.

Larson, D.L., W.E. Newton, P.J. Anderson, and S.J. Stein. 1999. Effects of fire retardant chemicals and fire suppressant foam on shrub steppe vegetation in northern Nevada. International Journal of Wildland Fire 9(2):115-127.

Miller, M.R., and W.E. Newton. 1999. Population energetics of northern pintails wintering in the Sacramento Valley, California. Journal of Wildlife Management 63(4):1222-1238.

Larson, D.L., S. McDonald, A.J. Fivizanni, W.E. Newton, and S.J. Hamilton. 1998. Effects of the herbicide atrazine on Ambystoma tigrinum metamorphosis: duration, larval growth, and hormonal response. Physiological Zoology 71(6):671-679.

Royer, R.A., J.A. Austin, and W.E. Newton. 1998. Checklist and “Pollard Walk” butterfly survey methods on public lands. American Midland Naturalist 140(2):358-371.

Greenwood, R.J., W.E. Newton, G.L. Pearson, and G.J. Schamber. 1997. Population and movement characteristics of radio-collared striped skunks in North Dakota during an epizootic of rabies. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 33(2):226-241.

Kantrud, H.A., and W.E. Newton. 1996. A test of vegetation-related indicators of wetland quality in the prairie pothole region. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health 5:177-191.

Miller, M.R., J.P. Fleskes, D.L. Orthmeyer, and W.E. Newton. 1995. Survival of adult female northern pintails in Sacramento Valley, California. Journal of Wildlife Management 59(3):478-486.

Orthmeyer, D.L., J.Y. Takekawa, C.R. Ely, M. Wege, and W.E. Newton. 1995. Morphological differences in Pacific Coast populations of greater white-fronted geese. Condor 97:123-132.

Shaffer, T.L., and W.E. Newton. 1995. Duck nest success in the prairie potholes. Pages 300-302 in LaRoe E.T., Farris G.S., Puckett C.E., Doran P.D., Mac M.J., eds. Our living resources: a report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, ecosystems. National Biological Service, Washington D.C. 530p.

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