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Tamara Wilson

Tamara’s broad research interests include how climate and land use change, both historic and projected, influence regional environmental processes and resource availability. Her scenario research identifies climate change impacts and feedbacks on land use, protected areas, water availability, ecosystems, and habitat sustainability. 

Her graduate training at the University of Arizona was in the fields of biogeography, climatology, climate change, paleoclimate, and paleoecology.  With her experience examining natural archives of paleo-environmental landscape change, she was able to make the leap to utilizing modern remote sensing based records to examine climate and human-derived landscape level changes and their associated impacts. Her recent work utilizes historic land change records to inform model scenarios of future land change and their potential impacts on natural resources, including habitat and water availability.

Tamara's land change scenario work in California estimates future land-use related water demand under various climate and land use futures. This work has grown to include funding from California's Strategic Growth Council for examining future water demand in underserved, groundwater dependent communities along California's Central Coast. In addition, her modeling work is being used to map future projections of flooded agricultural lands in the Central Valley as part of the NASA Ecoforecasting project, examining the availability of wildlife and migratory bird habitat under varying land use and climate scenarios. This effort involves integrated modeling between a streamflow, runoff, water demand, and water supply model which identifies flooded habitats by land use and land cover type and basin and translating this for use in the spatially explicit LUCAS land change model.

As Deputy Director of the National Innovation Center, Tamara works to expand the reach of the center, helping to forge new and exciting partnerships between USGS scientists and other public, private, academic, and non-profit parties. She is working to develop regional and national communication pipelines as well as coordinating science seminars and workshops to introduce the latest technological advancements in earth science and explore their use in the federal science portfolio. 

Tamara is currently serving as the USGS Climate Science Steering Committee Coordinator, under the USGS Chief Scientist, supporting the development of the 1) USGS Climate Science Plan, 2) USGS Climate Science Communications Plan, and 3) USGS Climate Science Network Analysis. She serves in a supporting role to the Chief Scientist on the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Subcommittee on Global Change Research. Her work has contributed to the White House OSTP Council on Environmental Quality’s “Recommendations for Accelerating Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Progress, Ecosystems, Equity, & Prosperity - A Report to the National Climate Task Force” (2022) and the Nature Based Solution Resources Guide Companion Report Resources Guide and coordinated the USGS response for DOI. 


*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government