Image of Derek Bailey

Derek Bailey

Title:Professor and Director CDRRC

Major Field of Interest: Livestock grazing management; GPS-based animal tracking; rangeland livestock production; riparian area management; livestock-wildlife interactions; rangeland restoration.

Office Phone: 575-646-2554

Office Location: Knox Hall 329


B.S., Animal Science, Colorado State University - 1980

M.S., Animal Science, Colorado State University - 1985

Ph.D., Range Science, Colorado State University - 1988

Courses Taught:

RGSC 452 Vegetation Measurements for Rangeland Assessment. Undergraduate vegetation monitoring course. Focus on cover, frequency, density, production and utilization. Sampling theory and analysis. (4 credits)

RGSC 458 Livestock Behavior, Welfare and Handling
. Undergraduate course developed by Bailey during Spring 2009. Principles of animal behavior and evaluation of management systems on animal welfare in confined and rangeland livestock operations. Low-stress livestock handing techniques. Design of livestock handling systems. (3 credits)

RGSC 460 Advanced Rangeland Management
. Capstone undergraduate course in the NMSU Range Science program. Rangeland management planning; use of vegetation monitoring in decision making; stocking rate calculations; grazing systems; rangeland administration; economic analyses for rangeland improvements. (4 credits)

RGSC 509 Approaches to Rangeland Research
. Graduate course. Techniques and methods of conducting rangeland and ecological research. Experimental design and statistical analyses. Proposal development. (3 credits)

RGSC 515 Range Graduate Seminar (1 credit)

Teaching Statement:

Philosophy: Collegiate level education should provide knowledge of subject material, but more importantly provide an environment where students learn to critically evaluate realistic problems and issues, formulate alternatives to resolve problems and questions, and select optimal solutions. In addition, collegiate education should train students to communicate effectively, both orally and written, in their professional fields and in other public venues.

Approach: First, I introduce or review the subject material (general knowledge). Next, I interact with students in lecture, homework and exams to ensure that students can think critically within subject material using what if scenarios problem recognition, and application of principles to new situations. I work hard to provide students a safe haven to practice critically thinking and problem solving. Using case studies and real life scenarios, I provide hands on opportunities, support and advice to use their knowledge and critical thinking abilities and analytical skills to answer questions and resolve problems. I try hard to get students to think out-of-the-box. Students practice oral and written communication through class discussions, projects, and exams, and I provide comments and feedback to help improve their communication skills.

Major Research Areas:

Targeted grazing, livestock behavior, grazing management, rangeland livestock production, riparian area management, and livestock adaptation

Research Statement:

The focus of my research has revolved around livestock grazing distribution and rangeland livestock management. From 5 years working as a consultant, I found that undesirable grazing distribution was and continues to be the cause of many of the livestock grazing related issues on public and private lands in the western United States and around the world. Livestock grazing is often considered unsustainable because animals overgraze in some areas while other areas receive little use. Much of my research program is based on novel approaches to evaluate and refine rangeland and livestock management practices that were used and recommended to improve grazing distribution over 50 years ago. However, technology was not available 50 years ago to accurately monitor and analyze cattle grazing patterns. With modern GPS and GIS technologies, we can not only evaluate recommended practices, such as herding, strategic supplement placement and selection to manage livestock grazing, but we can develop methodology to make these practices more effective. Thus, we are not reinventing the wheel but rather understanding the processes and mechanisms of grazing behavior and using that information to refine livestock grazing management. If we understand these behavioral mechanisms, we can begin to use livestock, not only as a source of red meat, but as a tool to manage vegetation and habitat on western rangelands.


Range Science Program Coordinator

Director of the Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center (CDRRC)

Selected Publications:

Refereed Book Chapters (n = 3)

Polley, H. W., D.W. Bailey, R.S. Nowak, and M. Stafford-Smith. 2017. Ecological consequences of climate change on rangelands. In: D.D. Briske [ED.]. Rangeland systems: processes: management, and challenges. Cham Switzerland: Springer Open. p. 229-260.

Bailey, D.W. Grazing and animal distribution. 2016. In: J.J. Villalba and X Manteca [EDS.]. Animal welfare in extensive systems. Sheffield, UK: 5M Publishing. p. 53-77.

Bailey, D.W. and F.D. Provenza. 2008. Mechanisms determining large-herbivore distribution. In: H. H. T. Prins and F. van Langevelde [EDS.]. Resource ecology: spatial and temporal dynamics of foraging. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. p. 7-28.

Refereed Scientific Journal Publications (n = 51)

Last 5 years

Smythe, B.G.., S. Urias, M.E. Wise, E.J. Scholljegerdes, A.F. Summers, and D.W. Bailey. 2017. Comparing visual and digital counting methods to estimate horn fly (Diptera: muscidae) populations on cattle. Journal of Medical Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw248

Stephenson, M. B., D. W. Bailey, R. A. Bruegger, and L. D. Howery. 2017. Factors affecting the efficacy of low-stress herding and supplement placement to target cattle grazing locations. Rangeland Ecology & Management 70:202-209.

Bailey, D. W., M. G. Thomas, T. N. Holt, M. B. Stephenson, R. M. Enns, and S. E. Speidel. 2016. Relationship of pulmonary arterial pressure and terrain use of Angus cows grazing high-altitude foothill rangelands. Livestock Science 190:76-80.

Bruegger, R.A., L.A. Varelas, L.D. Howery, L.A. Torell, M.B. Stephenson, and D.W. Bailey. 2016. Targeted grazing in southern Arizona: using cattle to reduce fine fuel loads. Rangeland Ecology & Management 69:43-51

Pittarello, M, M. Probo, M. Lonati, D.W. Bailey, and G. Lombardi. 2016. Effects of traditional salt placement and strategically placed mineral mix supplements on cattle distribution in the Western Italian Alps. Grass and Forage Science 71:529-539.

Stephenson, M.B., D.W. Bailey, and D. Jensen. 2016. Association patterns of visually-observed cattle on Montana, USA foothill rangelands. Applied Animal Behavior Science 178:7-15.

Stephenson, M. B., D. W. Bailey, L. D. Howery, and L. Henderson. 2016. Efficacy of low-stress herding and low-moisture block to target cattle grazing locations on New Mexico rangelands. Journal of Arid Environments 130:84-93.

Bailey, D.W., S. Lunt, A. Lipka, M.G. Thomas, J.F. Medrano, A. Canovas, G. Rincon, and M.B. Stephenson. 2015. Genetic influences on cattle grazing distribution: Association of genetic markers with terrain use in cattle. Rangeland Ecology and Management 68:142-149.

Bailey, D.W., M.B. Stephenson, and M. Pittarello. 2015. Effect of terrain heterogeneity on feeding site selection and livestock movement patterns. Animal Production Science 55:298-308.

Briske, D.D., L.A. Joyce, H.W. Polley, J.R. Brown, K. Wolter, J. A. Morgan, B.A. McCarl, and D.W. Bailey. 2015. Geographic specificity and heterogeneous adaptive capacity as interacting components of climate change adaptation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13:249-256

Thomas, M.G., A.H. Mohamed, M.N. Sawalhah, J.L. Holechek, D.W. Bailey, J.M. Hawkes, and P. Luna-Nevarez. 2015. Long term forage and cow-calf performance and economic considerations of two stocking levels on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland. Rangeland Ecology and Management 68:158-165.

Markus, S.B., D.W. Bailey and D. Jensen. 2014. Comparison of electric fence and a simulated fenceless control system on cattle movements. Livestock Science 170:203-209.

Probo, M., M. Lonati, M. Pittarello, D.W. Bailey, M. Garbarino, A. Gorlier and G. Lombardi. 2014. Implementation of a rotational grazing system with large paddocks changes the distribution of grazing cattle in the south-western Italian Alps. Rangeland Journal 36: 445-458.

Al-Tabini, R., D.W. Bailey, K. Al-Khalidi, and M. Shodiafat. 2014. Preferences of sheep, when supplemented, for forages in a Mediterranean rangeland management system. Rangeland Journal 36:35-39.

Dobos, R.C., S. Dickson, D.W. Bailey, and M.G. Trotter. 2014. The use of GNSS technology to identify lambing behavior in pregnant grazing Merino ewes. Animal Production Science 54:1722-1727.

Joyce, L.A., D.D. Briske, J.R. Brown, H.W. Polley, B.A. McCarl, and D.W. Bailey. 2013. Climate change and North American rangelands: assessment of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Rangeland Ecology and Management 66:512:528.

Polley, H.W., D.D. Briske, J.A. Morgan, K. Wolter, D.W. Bailey, and J.R. Brown. 2013. Climate change and North American rangelands: Evidence, trends, and implications. Rangeland Ecology and Management 66:493:511.

Probo, M., A. Massolo, M. Lonati, D.W. Bailey, A. Gorlier, L. Maurino, and G. Lombardi. 2013. Use of mineral mix supplements to modify the grazing patterns by cattle for the restoration of sub-alpine and alpine shrub-encroached grasslands. Rangeland Journal 35:85-93.

Russell, M.L., D.W. Bailey, M.G. Thomas, and B.K. Witmore. 2012. Grazing distribution and diet quality of Angus, Brangus and Brahman Cows in the Chihuahuan Desert. Rangeland Ecology and Management 65:371-381.

Other selected journal articles

Bailey, D.W. and J.R. Brown. 2011. Rotational grazing systems and livestock grazing behavior in shrub-dominated semi-arid and arid rangelands. Rangeland Ecology and Management 64:1-9.

Bailey, D.W., M.G. Thomas, J.W. Walker, B.K. Witmore, and D. Tolleson. 2010. Effect of previous experience on grazing patterns and diet selection of Brangus cows in the Chihuahuan Desert. Rangeland Ecology and Management 63:223-232.

Bailey, D.W. and D. Jensen. 2008. Method of supplementation may affect cattle grazing patterns. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:131-135.

Bailey, D.W., H.C. VanWagoner, R. Weinmeister, and D. Jenson. 2008. Evaluation of low-stress herding and supplement placement for managing cattle grazing in riparian and upland areas. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:26-37.

Bailey, D.W., H.C. VanWagoner, R. Weinmeister, and D. Jenson. 2008. Comparison of low-moisture blocks and salt for manipulating grazing patterns of beef cows. Journal of Animal Science 86:1271-1277.

Goulart, R.C.D., M. Corsi, D.W. Bailey, and S.S. Zocchi. 2008. Cattle grazing distribution and efficacy of strategic mineral mix placement in tropical Brazilian pastures. Rangeland Ecology & Management 61:656-660.

Bailey, D.W., H.C. VanWagoner, and R. Weinmeister. 2006. Individual animal selection has the potential to improve uniformity of grazing on foothill rangeland. Rangeland Ecology and Management 59:351-358.

VanWagoner, H.C., D.W. Bailey, D.D. Kress, D.C. Anderson, and K.C. Davis. 2006. Differences among beef sire breeds and relationships between terrain use and performance when daughters graze foothill rangelands as cows. Applied Animal Behavior Science 97:105-121.

Bailey, D.W. 2005. Invited synthesis paper: Identification and creation of optimal habitat conditions for livestock. Rangeland Ecology and Management 58:109-118.

Haley, D.B., D.W. Bailey, and J.M. Stookey. 2005. The effects of weaning calves in two stages on their behavior and growth rate. Journal of Animal Science 83:2205-2214.

Bailey, D.W. 2004. Management strategies for optimal grazing distribution and use of arid rangelands. Journal of Animal Science 82(E. Suppl.):E147-E153.

Bailey, D.W., M.R. Keil, and L.R. Rittenhouse. 2004. Daily movement patterns of hill climbing and bottom dwelling cows. Journal of Range Management 57:20-28.

Bailey, D.W., D.D. Kress, D.C. Anderson, D.L. Boss, and E.T. Miller. 2001. Relationship between terrain use and performance of beef cows grazing foothill rangeland. Journal of Animal Science 79:1883-1891.

Bailey, D.W., G.R. Welling, and E.T. Miller. 2001. Cattle use of foothills rangeland near dehydrated molasses supplement. Journal of Range Management 54: 338-347.

Bailey, D.W., B. Dumont, and M.F. Wallis De Vries. 1998. Utilization of heterogeneous grasslands by domestic herbivores: theory to management. Annales de Zootechnie 47:321-333.

Bailey, D.W. and P.L. Sims. 1998. Association of food quality and locations by cattle. Journal of Range Management 51:2-8.

Bailey, D.W., J.E. Gross, E.A. Laca, L.R. Rittenhouse, M.B. Coughenour, D.M. Swift, and P.L. Sims. 1996. Mechanisms that result in large herbivore grazing distribution patterns. Journal of Range Management 49:386-400.

Bailey, D.W. 1995. Daily selection of feeding areas by cattle in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments. Applied Animal Behavior Science 45:183-199.

Bailey, D.W., J.W. Walker, and L.R. Rittenhouse. 1990. Sequential analysis of cattle location: day-to-day movement patterns. Applied Animal Behavior Science Sci. 25: 137-148.

Bailey, D.W., L.R. Rittenhouse, R.H. Hart, and R.W. Richards. 1989. Characteristics of spatial memory in cattle. Applied Animal Behavior Science 23:331-340.

Senft, R.L., M.B. Coughenour, D.W. Bailey, L.R. Rittenhouse, O.E. Sala, and D.M. Swift. 1987. Large herbivore foraging and ecological hierarchies. BioScience 37:789-799.

Selected Reviewed Publications (n = 14)

Bailey, D.W., M.B. Stephenson, M.G. Thomas, J.F. Medrano, and G. Rincon. 2013. Manipulation of the spatial grazing behavior of livestock in extensive grassland systems. In: D.L. Michalk, G.D. Millar,W.B. Badgery, and K.M. Broadfoot (EDS.) Revitalizing Grasslands to Sustain our Communities, Proceedings of the XXII International Grasslands Congress, September 15:19, 2013, Sydney, Australia. pp 614-616.

Bailey, D.W. and M. Stephenson. 2013. Integrating stockmanship into rangeland management. Stockmanship Journal 2(1):1-12.

Tanaka, J. A., N. R. Rimbey, L. A. Torell, D. Taylor, D. Bailey, T. DelCurto, K. Walburger, and B. Welling. 2007. Grazing distribution: The quest for the silver bullet. Rangelands 29(4):38-46.

George, M., D. Bailey, M. Borman, D. Ganskopp, G. Surber, and N. Harris. 2007. Factors and practices that influence livestock distribution. University of California ANR Rangeland Management Series Pub. 8217, 20 p. Available at (accessed 31 January 2007).

Wyman, S., D.W. Bailey, M. Borman, S. Cote, J. Eisner, B. Leinard, S. Leonard, F. Reed, S. Swanson, L. Van Riper, T. Westfall, R. Wiley, and A. Winward. 2006. Riparian area management: Grazing management processes and strategies for riparian-wetland areas. Technical Reference TR 1737-20. BLM/ST/ST-06/002+1737. U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Science and Technology Center, Denver, CO. 105 p.

Selected Proceedings (n = 28)

Bailey, D.W., M. Stephenson, M.G. Thomas, J.F. Medrano, G. Rincon, A. Canovas, S. Lunt, and A. Lipka. 2013. Manipulation of the spatial grazing behavior of cattle in extensive and mountainous rangelands. 17th International Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pasture Network; Trivero, Italy, 4 p.

Bailey, D.W., S. Marta, D. Jensen, D.L. Boss, and M.G. Thomas. 2010. Genetic and environmental influences on distribution patterns of beef cattle grazing foothill rangeland. Proc., West. Sec. Amer. Soc. Anim. Sci. 61:64-66.

Bailey, D.W., H.C. Van-Wagoner, D. Jensen, D.L. Boss, and M.G. Thomas. 2010. Relationship of temperament at calving and distribution of beef cows grazing foothill rangeland. Proc., West. Sec. Amer. Soc. Anim. Sci. 61:109-112.


Bailey, D.W. 1988. Characteristics of spatial memory and foraging behavior in cattle. Ph.D. Diss. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins.

Bailey, D.W. 1985. Genetic parameters of reproductive traits in beef cows. M.S. Thesis, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins.