Philip Nau


This research project is designed to provide RIT with preliminary information on the possible impacts of campus landscape management and development on the resident deer herd. The project characterizes habitat variables, field observations, and movement patterns, and correlating that information with the incidence of deer-vehicle collisions on the roadways of campus and the surrounding area. The project utilizes geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques, coupled with traditional ground-based observations, to estimate the distribution of the deer herd that make use of the RIT property and to establish a database and map of deer trails and high-use "hot spot" habitats. The database also contains records from RIT campus safety and the local police departments concerning the incidences of deer-vehicle collisions, which are geocoded to local street maps in order to compare the distribution of the herd pathways with the locations of the accidents involving deer. The research focuses on the Park Point development, analyzing information prior and during development. By providing baseline data, this project will enable future researchers to conduct pre- and post- construction comparison to deer patterns by analyzing deer responses from the Park Point area to deer responses throughout the RIT Super Block and the surrounding area. If correlations can be established, it may be possible to ultimately derive a comprehensive management strategy for enticing deer away from hotspots and development sites and into areas where collisions with vehicles can be minimized.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Environmental Science (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (COS)


Karl F. Korfmacher

Advisor/Committee Member

Carl N. Salvaggio

Advisor/Committee Member

Elizabeth N. Hane


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes