USGS - science for a changing world

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

 Home /  About Us /  Scientists /  Research /  Q-Hui /  Publications /  Fact Sheets /  Archive /  Contact Us
Aerial photograph of Hanalei Bay on the Island of Kauai

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center Staff

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center Lead Scientists

James D. Jacobi

James D. Jacobi Ph.D.

Title  Biologist
Phone  (808) 587-7456
Mailing address  Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
677 Ala Moana Blvd. Ste. 615
Honolulu, HI 96813

B.S. 1970Biology, University of California at Riverside
Ph.D. 1990Botanical Sciences, University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Expertise / Specialty:

A major focus of his research has been mapping the distribution of plant communities throughout the Islands initially utilizing photo interpretation and, more recently, digital image analysis. He is currently a co-PI on the USGS Hawai`i Ridge-to-Reef project that has been studying watershed and sedimentation dynamics in two study areas on the islands of Kaua`i (Hanalei watershed) and Moloka`i (Kawela and Kamalo watersheds). This research includes components that address vegetation mapping and plant community dynamics, erosion and landside dynamics, water and sediment transport, sediment impacts on reef ecosystems, and modeling to integrate the various components. He has also recently worked with both the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program and the Department of Defense (Army) developing protocols for monitoring plant species and communities.

Research Interests:

Hawaiian species and ecosystem conservation; alien species impacts; vegetation ecology; plant community mapping; GIS applications for conservation; plant species and community modeling; vegetation monitoring; assessment of forest bird populations; bringing science to conservation planning.

Featured Studies:

Select Publications :

Jacobi JD, Scott JM. 1985. An assessment of the current status of native upland habitats and associated endangered species on the island of Hawai'i (PDF). Pages 3 - 22 In: Stone CP, Scott JM, (Eds.) Hawaii's Terrestrial Ecosystems: Preservation and Management. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawai'i, Department of Botany, Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Scott JM, Csuti B, Jacobi JD, Estes JE. 1987. Species richness: A guide to protecting future biological diversity (PDF). Bioscience 37: 782-788.

Jacobi JD, Gerrish G, Mueller-Dombois D, Whiteaker LD. 1988. Stand-level dieback and Metrosideros regeneration in the montane rainforest of Hawai`i (PDF). GeoJournal 17: 193-200.

Jacobi JD. 1993. Distribution and dynamics of Metrosideros dieback on the island of Hawai`i: implications for management programs (PDF). Pages 236 - 242 In: Huetl RF and Mueller-Dombois D (Eds.) Forest Decline in the Atlantic and Pacific Region, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Jacobi JD, Atkinson CT. 1995. Hawai'i's endemic birds (PDF). Pages 376-381 in LaRoe ET, Farris GS, Puckett CE, Doran PD, Mac MJ, eds. Our Living Resources: A Report to the Nation on the Distribution, Abundance, and Health of U.S. Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Interior, National Biological Survey.

Price J.P., Jacobi, J.D., Gon, S.M., III, Matsuwaki, D., Mehrhoff, L., Wagner, W.L., Lucas, M., and Rowe, B., 2012, Mapping plant species ranges in the Hawaiian Islands-Developing a methodology and associated GIS layers, USGS Open-File Report: Reston, VA, U.S. Geological Survey, no. 2012-1192, p. 38.

Pratt TK, Atkinson CT, Banko PC, Jacobi JD, Woodworth BL, (Eds.) 2009. Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds, Implications for Island Avifauna. Yale University Press. New Haven, CT and London:

Thaxton, JM, Jacobi, JD. 2009. Assessment of fuels, potential fire behavior, and management options in subalpine vegetation on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai'i (PDF). Hawai`i Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Hilo. Technical Report HCSU-013

Warshauer FR, Jacobi JD, and Price JP 2009. Native coastal flora and plant communities in Hawai'i (PDF): Their composition, distribution, and status. Hawai'i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-014. University of Hawai'i at Hilo.

Jacobi JD, Warshauer FR, and Price JP. 2010. Baseline Survey for Rare Plant species and Native Plant Communities within the Kamehameha Schools' Lupea Safe Harbor Planning Project Area (PDF), North Kona District, Island of Hawai'i. Hawai'i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-TR-020. University of Hawai'i at Hilo.

Pratt, L.W., Bio, K.i., and Jacobi, J.D., 2012, Survey of roadside alien plants in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and adjacent residential areas 2001 - 2005: Hawai‘i Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Hilo TR HCSU-032, 67 p.


Jim Jacobi has been conducting research in Hawai`i for over forty years with primary emphasis on the ecology and status of native plant and bird species and communities, as well on the impacts of invasive species on Hawaiian plant communities.

Personal Interests:

The conservation of Hawaiian biodoversity

Links: Knemidokoptic mange, West Nile virus | Avipoxvirus

Get Adobe Reader To view PDF files, the latest version of Adobe Reader (free of charge) or similar software is needed.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]