Jesse Lincoln

Conservation Scientist - Plant Ecologist

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Jesse studied at Grand Rapids Community College and completed his BS and MS in Plant Biology at Grand Valley State University where he studied plant interactions. He began his career at MNFI in 2010 as a seasonal employee conducting vegetation mapping on State Game Areas and was hired as a Conservation Associate in 2013 and has enjoyed working for the organization as a plant ecologist ever since. His professional interests are driven by a passion for identifying and stewarding Michigan’s natural communities and then communicating their value to a range of audiences. Specializing in fire-dependent ecosystems, he focuses on the processes that support their recovery and stability. He has recently worked with other MNFI Scientists to use models to identify previously undocumented natural communities. This innovative approach has not only broadened our understanding of these ecosystems but has also provided an effective approach for identifying conservation priorities across the state. Jesse’s work is grounded in the belief that the best way to protect our native biodiversity is to identify and protect the best examples of our rare natural communities and manage them in a way that prevents rare species from becoming extinct and common species from becoming rare. These are fantastically complex systems and we are unable to completely understand them. Jesse strives to always learn and to collaborate closely with land managers to implement careful strategies that ensure the resilience of these vital habitats. His philosophy is that to be a good ecologist one must be unreasonably optimistic. There are many threats to the things we care about but important places do get protected and cared for. He is inspired by the complexity, beauty, and resilience of the natural world. Through his work, he aims to make meaningful contributions to the conservation of our natural heritage: safeguarding our plants, animals, and special places for future generations.

Selected Reports

  • Thumbnail image of report cover An Ecological Evaluation of the Tomahawk Sinkholes and Pine Barrens

    Report Number 2024-13

    Lincoln, J.M, P.R. Schilke, and J.G. Cohen

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  • Thumbnail image of report cover Natural Community Surveys of Grand Island, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Lake Superior

    Report Number 2024-06

    Cohen, J.G., J.M. Lincoln, and H.D. Enander

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  • Thumbnail image of report cover Identification and Management of Natural Red Pine in the Central Upper Peninsula of Michigan

    Report Number 2024-12

    Schilke, P.R., J.M. Lincoln, and J.G. Cohen

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  • Thumbnail image of report cover Identifying Recoverable, Fire-Dependent Systems in the Cadillac-Manistee District of the Huron-Manistee National Forest

    Report Number 2022-45

    Lincoln, J.M, J.G. Cohen, H.D. Enander, T.J. Bassett, C.M. Wilton, and N. J. Smith

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  • Thumbnail image of report cover Natural Community Surveys of Huron Islands, Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Superior

    Report Number 2023-05

    Cohen, J.G., J.M. Lincoln, T.J. Bassett, S.M. Warner, E.A. Haber, H.D. Enander, and R.A. Hackett

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  • Thumbnail image of report cover Natural Features Inventory and Management Recommendations for Maple River State Game Area

    Report Number 2020-10

    Lincoln, J.M., A.P. Kortenhoven, P.J. Badra, Y.M. Lee, H.D. Enander, M.J. Monfi ls, A. Cole-Wick, C.M. Wilton, and J.G. Cohen

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  • 2024 Stewardship Network Virtual Presentation: Identifying Recoverable, Fire-Dependent Systems