Michael Strager

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Michael P. Strager, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Division of Resource Management

Adjunct Professor
Division of Forestry and Natural Resources

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

Applied GIS and spatial analysis for natural resource management
Spatial decision support systems

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

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.