James Grace is a Senior Research Scientist at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
2015 - present Senior Research Scientist. U.S. Geological Survey, ST
2002 - 2014 Senior Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, GS-15
1993 - 2019 Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of Louisiana
2002 – 2005 Affiliate Faculty, School of Renewable Natural Resources, LSU
1992 - 2002 Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Division
1990 - 1993 Professor, Department of Botany, Louisiana State University
1985 - 1990 Associate Professor, Department of Botany, Louisiana State Univ.
1989 Visiting Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
1986 Visiting Scientist, Div. Wildlife, CSIRO, Darwin, Australia
1980‑1985 Assistant Professor, Dept. Botany and Microbiology, Univ. Arkansas summer
After graduate school, he held faculty positions at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University, where he reached the level of Full Professor. In 2000, he received the millennium Meritorious Research Award from the Society of Wetland Scientists and in 2003 received the National Science Excellence Award from the U.S. Geological Survey. He was selected to be a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and promoted to the Senior Scientist ranks in 2014. Since 2019 he has been designated as a ‘Highly-Cited Researcher’ by the Web of Science in recognition of his scientific impact during the past decade. In 2021 he received the Presidential Rank Award, which is given out by the President of the United States and is the highest performance award given to career senior scientists and administrators. He has published over 200 papers and reports, including 3 books, one on competitive interactions, one on community analysis, and one on structural equation modeling. As of 2020, Grace has given over 200 invited lectures and workshops in 9 countries during his career.
For more information, search 'Jim Grace USGS'.
Education and Certifications
Ph.D., Michigan State University
M.S., Clemson University
B.S., Biology, Presbyterian College
Science and Products
Compact development and VMT: environmental determinism, self-selection, or some of both?
From patterns to causal understanding: Structural equation modeling (SEM) in soil ecology
Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?
Structural equation modeling: Building and evaluating causal models
Urban sprawl as a risk factor in motor vehicle crashes
Long-term effects of seeding after wildfire on vegetation in Great Basin shrubland ecosystems
A synopsis of short-term response to alternative restoration treatments in sagebrush-steppe: the SageSTEP project
Resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems: implications for state and transition models and management treatments
Causal networks clarify productivity-richness interrelations, bivariate plots do not
Connecting the dots: a collaborative USGS-NPS effort to expand the utility of monitoring data
Combined effects of compact cevelopment, transportation investments, and road user pricing on vehicle miles traveled in urbanized areas
Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin
Science and Products
Filter Total Items: 175
Compact development and VMT: environmental determinism, self-selection, or some of both?There is a long-running debate in the planning literature about the effects of the built environment on travel behavior and the degree to which apparent effects are due to the tendency of households to self-select into neighborhoods that reinforce their travel preferences. Those who want to walk will choose walkable neighborhoods, and those who want to use transit will choose transit-served neighb
From patterns to causal understanding: Structural equation modeling (SEM) in soil ecologyIn this perspectives paper we highlight a heretofore underused statistical method in soil ecological research, structural equation modeling (SEM). SEM is commonly used in the general ecological literature to develop causal understanding from observational data, but has been more slowly adopted by soil ecologists. We provide some basic information on the many advantages and possibilities associated
Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?Increases in the density of woody plants are a global phenomenon in drylands, and large aggregations of shrubs, in particular, are regarded as being indicative of dysfunctional ecosystems. There is increasing evidence that overgrazing by livestock reduces ecosystem functions in shrublands, but that shrubs may buffer the negative effects of increasing grazing. We examined changes in water infiltrat
Structural equation modeling: Building and evaluating causal modelsScientists frequently wish to study hypotheses about causal relationships, rather than just statistical associations. This chapter addresses the question of how scientists might approach this ambitious task. Here we describe structural equation modeling (SEM), a general modeling framework for the study of causal hypotheses. Our goals are to (a) concisely describe the methodology, (b) illustrate it
Urban sprawl as a risk factor in motor vehicle crashesA decade ago, compactness/sprawl indices were developed for metropolitan areas and counties which have been widely used in health and other research. In this study, we first update the original county index to 2010, then develop a refined index that accounts for more relevant factors, and finally seek to test the relationship between sprawl and traffic crash rates using structural equation modelli
Long-term effects of seeding after wildfire on vegetation in Great Basin shrubland ecosystems1. Invasive annual grasses alter fire regimes in shrubland ecosystems of the western USA, threatening ecosystem function and fragmenting habitats necessary for shrub-obligate species such as greater sage-grouse. Post-fire stabilization and rehabilitation treatments have been administered to stabilize soils, reduce invasive species spread and restore or establish sustainable ecosystems in which na
A synopsis of short-term response to alternative restoration treatments in sagebrush-steppe: the SageSTEP projectThe Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) is an integrated long-term study that evaluates ecological effects of alternative treatments designed to reduce woody fuels and to stimulate the herbaceous understory of sagebrush steppe communities of the Intermountain West. This synopsis summarizes results through 3 yr posttreatment. Woody vegetation reduction by prescribed fire, mecha
Resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems: implications for state and transition models and management treatmentsIn sagebrush ecosystems invasion of annual exotics and expansion of piñon (Pinus monophylla Torr. and Frem.) and juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook., J. osteosperma [Torr.] Little) are altering fire regimes and resulting in large-scale ecosystem transformations. Management treatments aim to increase resilience to disturbance and enhance resistance to invasive species by reducing woody fuels and
Causal networks clarify productivity-richness interrelations, bivariate plots do notPerhaps no other pair of variables in ecology has generated as much discussion as species richness and ecosystem productivity, as illustrated by the reactions by Pierce (2013) and others to Adler et al.'s (2011) report that empirical patterns are weak and inconsistent. Adler et al. (2011) argued we need to move beyond a focus on simplistic bivariate relationships and test mechanistic, multivariat
Connecting the dots: a collaborative USGS-NPS effort to expand the utility of monitoring dataThe Natural Resource Challenge (National Park Service 1999) was a call to action. It constituted a mandate for monitoring based on the twin premises that (1) natural resources in national parks require active management and stewardship if we are to protect them from gradual degradation, and (2) we cannot protect what we do not understand. The intent of the challenge was embodied in its origina
Combined effects of compact cevelopment, transportation investments, and road user pricing on vehicle miles traveled in urbanized areasVehicle miles traveled (VMT) is the primary determinant of traffic congestion, vehicle crashes, greenhouse gas emissions, and other effects of transportation. Two previous studies have sought to explain VMT levels in urbanized areas. This study updates and expands on previous work with more recent data, additional metrics, and structural equation modeling (SEM) to explain VMT levels in 315 urbaniz
Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: implications for sage-grouse in the Great BasinA recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of occupancy in 211 randomly loc