Sheila Whitmore

Assistant Project Leader
California Spotted Owl Demography Study


I am currently the assistant project leader on the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP), which studies how fuel reduction treatments affect spotted owl occupancy status and reproductive rates. For more information, see the owl research page.

Previously, I helped facilitate the canopy reduction experimental study on the Eldorado and Tahoe National Forests in the Sierra Nevada.  We used radio telemetry methods to record the nighttime foraging locations of the owls.  We were interested in the response of the owls to timber harvests, using the pre and post harvest location data.

In general, my research interests include forest species habitat conservation and habitat management.


  • MS, Biology. California State University, Chico 2009. Thesis: “Habitat use of Juvenile California Spotted Owls (Strix Occidentalis occidentalis) During the Post-fledging Dependency Period in Northeastern California”
  • BS, Biology. University of Nebraska, Lincoln 1996.


I enjoy birding, hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and photography.


Jones, G. M., R. J. Gutiérrez, D. J. Tempel, S. A. Whitmore, W. J. Berigan, M. Z. Peery. 2016. Megafires: an emerging threat to old-forest speciesFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14(6): 300–306.

Tempel, D. J., R. J. Gutiérrez, J. J. Battles, D. L. Fry, Q. Guo, M. J. Reetz, S. A. Whitmore, G. M. Jones, B. M. Collins, S. L. Stephens, M. Kelly, W. J. Berigan, and M. Z. Peery. 2015. Evaluating short- and long-term impacts of fuels treatments and simulated wildfire on an old-forest speciesEcosphere 6(12): 1–18.

Tempel, D. J., R. J. Gutiérrez, S. A. Whitmore, M. Reetz, W. J. Berigan, R. Stoelting, M. E. Seamans, and Peery, M. Z. 2014. Effects of forest management on California Spotted Owls: Implications for reducing wildfire risk in fire-prone forests. Ecological Applications 24: 2089–2106.

P. J. Williams, S. A. Whitmore, R. J. Gutiérrez. 2014. Use of private lands for foraging by California spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38: 705–709.

P. J. Williams, R. J. Gutiérrez, S. A. Whitmore. 2011. Home range and habitat selection of spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada. Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 333–343.