Steven Wangen

Steven Wangen
Develop software solutions to facilitate modeling and analysis of a diverse set of complex problems.

Years at WID

2011 - present


Outside Interests include Road cycling, particularly training and racing and winter sports, especially cross-country skiing


  • B.S., Forest Science, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • M.S., Forest Ecology and Management, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University
  • Ph.D., Invasive Ecology, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University (NZ)

Research Description

Steve's work is primarily focused around translating research results into interactive web-based applications that automate complex modeling and data manipulation into an accessible format, facilitating the application of complex analyses by practitioners who's expertise lies less in the technical analytical realm, and lean more towards applied science and management. Typically this is composed of implementing complex optimization algorithms in a spatial context to meet specific resource management goals, whether they be maximizing farm production, or optimizing wildlife habitat improvement. These projects typically involve working with researchers to plan how to disseminate their research in this format, managing small teams of researchers and/or developers to complete the development and deployment of these applications, and contributing to the design and development of these applications.

Selected Publications

  • Moody AT, Neeson TM, Wangen SR, Dischler J, Diebel MW, Herbert M,Khoury M, Yacobson E, Doran PJ, Ferris MC, O'Hanley JR, McIntyre PB 2016. Pet project or best project? Online decision support tools for prioritizing barrier removals in the Great Lakes and beyond. Fisheries: 42(1): pp. 57-65.
  • Russ R, Wangen SR, Nye DL, Shapiro RB, Strinz W, Ferris M 2015. Fields of Fuel: Using a video game to support reasoning about sustainability. The Science Teacher 82(3): 6 pp.
  • Miller AL, Diez JM, Sullivan JJ, Wangen SR, Wiser SK, Meffin R, Duncan RP. 2014. Quantifying invasion resistance: the use of recruitment functions to control for propagule pressure. Ecology 95(4): pp. 920-929.
  • Diez JM, Buckley H, Case BS, Harsch M, Scilago A, Wangen SR, and Duncan RP. 2009. Interacting effects of management and environmental variability at multiple scales on invasive species distributions. Journal of Applied Ecology 46(6): pp. 1210-1218.
  • Duncan RP, Diez JM, Sullivan JJ, Wangen SR, and Miller AL. 2009. Safe sites, seed supply, and the recruitment function in plant populations. Ecology 90(8) pp. 2129-2138.
  • Wangen SR and Webster CR. 2006. Potential for multiple lag phases during biotic invasions: reconstructing the invasion of an invasive tree Acer platanoides. Journal of Applied Ecology 43: pp. 258-268.
  • Wangen SR and Webster CR. 2006. Spatial Characteristics of the Invasion of Acer platanoides on a Temperate Forested Island. Biological Invasions 8: pp. 1001-1012.
  • Webster CR, Nelson K, and Wangen, SR. 2005. Stand dynamics of an insular population of an invasive tree, Acer platanoides. Forest Ecology and Management 208(1-3): pp. 85-99.