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Dr. W. David Walter

Office photo


  • Ph D Oklahoma State University 2006
  • MS University of New Hampshire 2000
  • BS SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry 1995


After finishing my Ph.D. I served as a post-doctoral Researcher at the National Wildlife Research Center for nearly 5 years. A majority of my research explores spatial ecology of various species throughout the U.S. using GIS to further our understanding of wildlife presence/absence, nutrition, and disease.

Research Interests

My primary research interests have focused on using various modeling techniques to understand spatial ecology of disease in ungulates in various regions of North America. I also use stable isotopes to understand movements, nutritional ecology, and effects of invasive species on native non-game species at the landscape level.

Teaching Interests

I teach graduate courses in spatial ecology, movement analyses, home range estimation, and disease epidemiology.

Professional Society Service

  • The Wildlife Society - The Wildlife Society - Newsletter Editor, Pennsylvania Chapter (March 2013 - March 2015)
  • The Wildlife Society - Contributed Paper Chair (March 2013 - October 2014)

Research Publications

  • Walter, W.D., T.S. Evans, D. Stainbrook, B.D. Wallingford, C.S. Rosenberry, and D.R. Diefenbach. Heterogeneity of a landscape influences size of home range in a North American cervid. Scientific Reports. Abstract |  Download  |  Publisher Website | 
  • Williamson, L. T., W. David Walter, S. R. Klinger, and D. R. Diefenbach. 2018. Incorporating detection probability to estimate pheasant density. Journal of Wildlife Management. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21545
  • Carrollo, E.M., H.E. Johnson, J.W. Fischer, M. Hammond, P.D. Dorsey, C.W. Anderson, K.C. VerCauteren, and W. David Walter. Influence of precipitation and crop germination on resource selection by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in southwest Colorado. Scientific Reports Abstract | 
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Completed Projects


  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2017)
  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2016)
  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2015)
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Technical Publications

  • Carlson, C.M., Hopkins, M.C., Nguyen, N.T., Richards, B.J., Walsh, D.P., and Walter, W.D. 2018, Chronic wasting disease—Status, science, and management support by the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2017-1138, 8 p., |
  • Walter, W.D., C. W. Anderson, and K.C. VerCauteren. Recommendations for on-farm wildlife mitigation practices to prevent transmission of bovine tuberculosis between livestock and white-tailed deer. Final Report, Michigan Department of Agriculture-Animal Industry Division.
  • Walter, W.D., C. W. Anderson, M.J. Lavelle, J. W. Fischer, S.E. Hygnstrom, and K.C. VerCauteren. Assessment of methods for redistributing elk to benefit vegetation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Final report, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 4

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 22

Scientific Publications: 90

Presentations: 124


Contact Information

Tel: (814) 867 - 4763 Personal Web Site:

Links of Interest

Current Students

Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  2. Pennsylvania Game Commission
  3. Pennsylvania State University
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Geological Survey
  6. Wildlife Management Institute