Jason Kreitler, Ph.D.


I am a researcher for the Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) and work on the conservation of biodiversity and enhancement of natural resource and wildland fire management within socio-ecological or human-enviroment systems. I conduct interdisciplinary studies to understand the consequences of land use change to determine priorities for conservation action or to inform natural resource management. I employ geographic information systems, passive and active remote sensing, environmental modeling, unmanned aerial systems, and high performance computing in my quantitative analyses. My area of interest and expertise is the western USA. 



  • 2011, PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California Santa Barbara. "Ecosystem services and cost-effective conservation planning".
  • 2005, MS in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California Santa Barbara.
  • 2001, BA in Biology from Colorado College

Professional experience:

  • Research geographer, (10/2011 - present), Western Geographic Science Center, USGS
  • Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), (3/2009 - 10/2011),  Western Geographic Science Center, USGS
  • Graduate student researcher, (8/2005 - 8/2011), Biogeography Lab, UC Santa Barbara
  • Research assistant (7/2008 - 9/2009), Conservation International
  • Research assistant (7/2008 - 9/2009), Allen-Diaz Lab, UC Berkeley
  • Graduate student researcher, (1/2008 - 6/2008), National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UC Santa Barbara


Kreitler, J., J.B. Sankey, A. East, and C. Tague. (2018) Thomas Fire in Central Coast Regional Report. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Publication number: SUM-CCCA4-2018-006. http://www.climateassessment.ca.gov/regions/docs/20180928-CentralCoast.pdf

Sankey, J.B., A. East, J. Kreitler, and C. Tague. (2018) Sediment transport and deposition in Central Coast Regional Report. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Publication number: SUM-CCCA4-2018-006. http://www.climateassessment.ca.gov/regions/docs/20180928-CentralCoast.pdf

McCarley, TR, AMS Smith, CA Kolden, and J Kreitler. (2018) Evaluating the mid-infrared bi-spectral index for improved assessment of low-severity fire effects in a confier forest. International Journal of Wildland Fire. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/WF17137

Kreitler, J., and Sleeter, B.M., 2018, A national land use and land cover projection for threat assessment and conservation planning: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F77080Q7.

McCarley, T. Ryan.; Kolden, Crystal A.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Smith, Alistair M.S.; Wing, Brian M.; Kellogg, Bryce S.; Kreitler, Jason. (2018). LiDAR and Landsat change indices for the 2012 Pole Creek Fire. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2018-0017

Sankey, J.B., J. Kreitler, T.J. Hawbaker, J.L. McVay, M.E. Miller, E.R. Mueller, N.M. Vaillant, S.E. Lowe, and T.T. Sankey. (2017). Climate, wildfire, and erosion ensemble foretells more sediment in western USA watersheds. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073979

Moore, K.A., R.R. Hernandez, D. Johnston, J. Kreitler, A. Swanson, and J. Lovich. (2017) Sustainability of utility‐scale solar energy – critical ecological concepts. Frontiers in Ecology and the EnvironmentDOI: 10.1002/fee.1517

McCarley, TR, CA Kolden, NM Vaillant, AT Hudak, AMS Smith, BM Wing, B Kellogg, and J Kreitler. (2017) Landscape-scale Quantification of Fire-induced Change in Canopy Cover Following Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic and Timber Harvest. Forest Ecology and Management. 391: 164-175. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.02.015

McCarley, TR, CA Kolden, NM Vaillant, AT Hudak, AMS Smith, BM Wing, B Kellogg, and J Kreitler. (2017) Multi-temporal LiDAR and Landsat comparison of fire-induced changes to forest structure.  Remote Sensing of Environment.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2016.12.022

Sankey, J.B., McVay, J., Kreitler, J., Hawbaker, T., Vaillant, N., Lowe, S., (2015). Predicting Watershed Post-fire Sediment Yield With The InVEST Sediment Retention Model: Accuracy and Uncertainties, in Garsjo, M. M. and Hoeft, C., technical program chairs, SEDHYD 2015, joint 10th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference and 5th Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, Reno, 2015 [Proceedings], 12 pp. [Link]

Nicole E. Heller, Jason Kreitler, David D. Ackerly, Stuart B. Weiss, Amanda Recinos, Ryan Branciforte, Lorraine E. Flint, Alan L. Flint, and Elisabeth Micheli (2015). Targeting climate diversity in conservation planning to build resilience to climate change. Ecosphere 6:art65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00313.1 [Link]

Davis, F., Kreitler, J., Soong, O., Stoms, D.M., Dashiell, S., Schloss, C., Hannah, L., Wilkinson, W., and J. Dingman. (2015). Cumulative Biological Impacts Framework for Solar Energy Projects in the California Desert. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500-2015-062. 97 pages. [Link]

Kreitler, J., C. Schloss, O. Soong, L. Hannah, and F.W. Davis. (2015). Conservation planning for offsetting the impacts of development: a case study of biodiversity and renewable energy in the Mojave Desert. PLoS ONE. DOI:http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140226 [Link]

Kreitler, J., D.M. Stoms, and F.W. Davis. (2014). Optimization in the utility maximization framework for conservation planning: a comparison of solution procedures in a case study of multifunctional agriculture. PeerJ DOI:2:e690 [Link]

Kreitler, J., Papenfus, M., Byrd, K., and W. Labiosa. (2013). Interacting coastal based ecosystem services: recreation and water quality in Puget Sound, WA. PLoS ONE[Link]

Klose, K., S.D. Cooper, A.L. Leydecker, and J. Kreitler. (2012). Relationships among catchment land use and concentrations of nutrients, algae, and dissolved oxygen in a southern California river.Freshwater Science. DOI: 10:1899/11-155. [Link]

Lee, D.C., Quigley, T., Goodrick, S., Kirsch, A., Kreitler, J., Norman, S., Nalle, D., Prestemon, J., and M. Thompson. (2012). Scientific Basis for Modeling Wildland Fire Management: the Phase II Report of the National Science and Analysis Team. Final report submitted to the Wildland Fire Executive Council [Link]

Stoms, D.M., Kreitler, J., and F.W. Davis. (2011). The power of information in targeting cost-effective conservation investments in multifunctional farmlands. Environmental Modeling and Software 26:8-17. [Link]

Byrd, K.B., Kreitler, J., and W. Labiosa, (2011). Tools and methods for evaluating and refining alternative futures for coastal ecosystem management—the Puget Sound Ecosystem Portfolio Model. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1279, 47 p.

Kreitler, J. (2011). Ecosystem services and cost-effective conservation planning. University of California Santa Barbara. Dissertation. 132 pages.

Borchert, M., F. W. Davis, and J. Kreitler. (2007). Carnivore use of an avocado orchard in Southern California. California Fish and Game 94, (2) 61-74.

Machado, E. A., D. M. Stoms, F. W. Davis, and J. Kreitler. (2006). Prioritizing farmland preservation cost-effectively for multiple objectives. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 61, (6) 250-258. [Link]

Publications in Review or in Preparation:

McCarley, TR, AMS Smith, CA Kolden, AT Hudak, and J Kreitler. (in review) Burn severity products for ecological applications: limitations and suggestions for progress. Ecological Applications. 

 Kreitler, J., M. Thompson, and N. Vaillant. Cost-effective fuel treatment planning: a theoretical justification and case study. In preparation for the Forest Ecology and Management.

Kreitler, J., and F.W. Davis. Modeling cumulative effects of energy development. In preparation for Ecosphere.