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Charles Peterson

Charles R. Peterson, Ph.D.


Office: Life Sciences 211

(208) 282-3922



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BIOL 1102 Biology II
BIOL 2209 General Ecology
BIOL 4418/5518 Ecotopics: GIS Applications in Ecology
BIOL 4418/5518 Ecotopics: Photographic Applications in Ecology
BIOL 4226/5526 Herpetology
BIOL 6607 Environmental Physiology
BIOL 6693 Seminar in College Teaching
BIOL 6694 Advanced Study in College Teaching

Biographical Sketch

Chuck Peterson is a Professor of Zoology in the Department of Biological Sciences and a member of the Geotechnologies Program faculty at Idaho State University. Peterson's teaching responsibilities at ISU include Introductory Biology, General Ecology, Herpetology, Environmental Physiology, and seminars in GIS Applications in Ecology, Photographic Applications in Ecology, and Teaching College Biology. Since coming to ISU in 1988, Dr. Peterson has had five Ph.D., four DA, and 18 Master's students complete their degrees under his supervision. He has conducted herpetological training sessions for many agencies and corporations. Peterson's research interests include the ecology and conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles. He has authored or coauthored 2 books, 20 book chapters, 28 journal articles, and numerous notes and technical reports on topics such as temperature and water relationships, movements, habitat and distribution, the effects of various disturbances on populations (e.g., fire, roads, and introduced species), and developing techniques for surveying and monitoring populations. Much of his work has focused on reptile populations on Idaho's Snake River Plain and on amphibian populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Peterson received the Outstanding Herpetologist award from the Idaho Herpetological Society in 1997, the Professional Wildlifer Award from the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society in 1998, an ISU outstanding researcher award in 1999, an ISU outstanding public service award in 2000, the ISU distinguished public service award in 2001, an ISU outstanding researcher award in 2002, and the Jeremy Bigelow Award for outstanding service to scientific research from the ISU Chapter of the Society of Sigma Xi in 2009. Peterson is also an avid nature photographer.


1982, Ph.D. Zoology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

1983-1988, Postdoctoral fellow, Thermal ecology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Selected Publications

Bartelt, P., A. Gallant, R. Klaver, C. Wright, D. Patla, and C. Peterson. 2011. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: a spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park. Ecological Applications. 21(7): 2530-2547.

Spear, S.F., C.R. Peterson, M.D. Matocq, and A, Storfer. 2006. Molecular Evidence for Recent Population Size Reductions of Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) in Yellowstone National Park Conservation Genetics. Online First.

Koch, E.D. and C.R. Peterson. 1995. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah. 188 pp.

Peterson, C.R., A.R Gibson, and M.E. Dorcas. 1993. Snake thermal ecology: the causes and consequences of body temperature variation. Pp. 241-314 in Snakes: Ecology and Behavior (R.A. Seigel and J.T. Collins, eds.). McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, N.Y.

Huey, R.B., C.R. Peterson, S.J. Arnold, and W.P. Porter. 1989. Hot rocks and not-so-hot rocks: retreat-site selection by garter snakes and its thermal consequences. Ecology, 70(4):931-944.