I am a research geographer for the Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC).
I work on the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the enhancement of natural resource and wildland fire management activities within socio-ecological or human-environment systems. I conduct interdisciplinary studies to understand the consequences of climate and 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, and high performance computing in my quantitative analyses. My area of interest and expertise is the western USA.
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
Education and Certifications
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
Science and Products
Integrated Wildland Fire Science
Land Use and Climate Change Team
Changes to Watershed Vulnerability under Future Climates, Fire Regimes, and Population Pressures
Circuit-based potential fire connectivity and relative flow patterns in the Great Basin, United States, 270 meters
A National Land Use And Land Cover Projection For Threat Assessment And Conservation Planning
Augmented normalized difference water index for improved monitoring of surface water
The Fire and Tree Mortality Database, for empirical modeling of individual tree mortality after fire
Cost-effective fuel treatment planning: A theoretical justification and case-study
Case study: Thomas Fire
Evaluating the mid-infrared bi-spectral index for improved assessment of low-severity fire effects in a conifer forest
Effects of 21st century climate, land use, and disturbances on ecosystem carbon balance in California
Sediment transport and deposition
Sustainability of utility-scale solar energy – critical ecological concepts
Climate, wildfire, and erosion ensemble foretells more sediment in western USA watersheds
Landscape-scale quantification of fire-induced change in canopy cover following mountain pine beetle outbreak and timber harvest
Multi-temporal LiDAR and Landsat quantification of fire-induced changes to forest structure
Cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California Desert
Science and Products
Integrated Wildland Fire ScienceThe size and number of large wildland fires in the western United States have grown dramatically over the past decade, with a contingent rise in damages and suppression costs. This trend will likely continue with further growth of the wildland urban interface (WUI) into fire prone ecosystems, hazardous fuel conditions from decades of fire suppression, and a potentially increasing effect from...
Land Use and Climate Change TeamWe are a research team focusing on understanding the rates, causes, and consequences of land change across a range of geographic and temporal scales. Our emphasis is on developing alternative future projections and quantifying the impact on environmental systems, in particular, the role of land-use change on ecosystem carbon dynamics. We are interested in how land-use and climate systems will...
Changes to Watershed Vulnerability under Future Climates, Fire Regimes, and Population PressuresThe project aimed to use existing models and data to understand how wildfires (number, size, and location) and land-use change will affect watersheds, and therefore water supply, under current conditions and future climates (through 2050) in the western U.S. The projected changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to affect water supply in two major ways: 1) decreased water availability
Circuit-based potential fire connectivity and relative flow patterns in the Great Basin, United States, 270 metersThe rasters in this dataset represent modeled outputs of potential fire connectivity and relative flow patterns in the Great Basin. We define ‘fire connectivity’ as the landscape’s capacity to facilitate fire transmission from one point on the landscape to another. We applied an omnidirectional circuit theory algorithm (Omniscape) to model fire connectivity in the Great Basin of the western United
A National Land Use And Land Cover Projection For Threat Assessment And Conservation PlanningThis dataset contains a projection of land use and land cover for the conterminous United States for the period 2001 - 2061. This projection used the USGS's LUCAS (Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator) model to project a business as usual scenario of land cover and land use change. By running the LUCAS model on the USGS's YETI high performance computer and parallelizing the computation, we ran 1
Filter Total Items: 18
Augmented normalized difference water index for improved monitoring of surface waterWe present a comprehensive critical review of well-established satellite remote sensing water indices and offer a novel, robust Augmented Normalized Difference Water Index (ANDWI). ANDWI employs an expanded set of spectral bands, RGB, NIR, and SWIR1-2, to maximize the contrast between water and non-water pixels. Further, we implement a dynamic thresholding method, the Otsu algorithm, to enhance ANAuthorsArash Modaresi Rad, Jason R. Kreitler, Mojitaba Sadegh
The Fire and Tree Mortality Database, for empirical modeling of individual tree mortality after fireWildland fires have a multitude of ecological effects in forests, woodlands, and savannas across the globe. A major focus of past research has been on tree mortality from fire, as trees provide a vast range of biological services. We assembled a database of individual-tree records from prescribed fires and wildfires in the United States. The Fire and Tree Mortality (FTM) database includes recordsAuthorsC. Alina Cansler, Sharon M. Hood, J. Morgan Varner, Phillip J. van Mantgem, Michelle C. Agne, Robert A. Andrus, Matthew P. Ayres, Bruce D. Ayres, Jonathan D. Bakker, Michael A. Battaglia, Barbara J. Bentz, Carolyn R. Breece, James K. Brown, Daniel R. Cluck, Tom W. Coleman, R. Gregory Corace, W. Wallace Covington, Douglas S. Cram, James B. Cronan, Joseph E. Crouse, Adrian Das, Ryan S. Davis, Darci M. Dickinson, Stephen A Fitzgerald, Peter Z. Fule, Lisa M. Ganio, Lindsay M. Grayson, Charles B. Halpern, Jim L. Hanula, Brian J. Harvey, J. Kevin Hiers, David W. Huffman, MaryBeth Keifer, Tara L. Keyser, Leda N. Kobziar, Thomas E. Kolb, Crystal A. Kolden, Karen E. Kopper, Jason R. Kreitler, Jesse K. Kreye, Andrew M. Latimer, Andrew P. Lerch, Maria J. Lombardero, Virginia L. McDaniel, Charles W. McHugh, Joel D. McMillin, Jason J. Moghaddas, Joseph J. O'Brien, Daniel D. B. Perrakis, David W. Peterson, Susan J. Pritchard, Robert A. Progar, Kenneth F. Raffa, Elizabeth D. Reinhardt, Joseph C. Restaino, John P. Roccaforte, Brendan M. Rogers, Kevin C. Ryan, Hugh D. Safford, Alyson E. Santoro, Timothy M. Shearman, Alice M. Shumate, Carolyn H. Sieg, Sheri L. Smith, Rebecca J. Smith, Nathan L. Stephenson, Mary Stuever, Jens Stevens, Michael T. Stoddard, Walter G. Thies, Nicole M. Vaillant, Shelby A. Weiss, Douglas J. Westlind, Travis J. Woolley, Micah Charles Wright
Cost-effective fuel treatment planning: A theoretical justification and case-studyModelling the spatial prioritisation of fuel treatments and their net effect on values at risk is an important area for applied work as economic damages from wildfire continue to grow. We model and demonstrate a cost-effective fuel treatment planning algorithm using two ecosystem services as benefits for which fuel treatments are prioritised. We create a surface of expected fuel treatment costs toAuthorsJason R. Kreitler, Matthew Thompson, Nicole Vaillant, Todd Hawbaker
Case study: Thomas FireNo abstract available.AuthorsJason R. Kreitler, Amy E. East, Joel B. Sankey, Christina (Naomi) Tague
Evaluating the mid-infrared bi-spectral index for improved assessment of low-severity fire effects in a conifer forestRemote sensing products provide a vital understanding of wildfire effects across a landscape, but detection and delineation of low- and mixed-severity fire remains difficult. While data provided by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project (MTBS) are frequently used to assess severity in the United States, alternative indices can offer improvement to the measurement of low-severity fire effecAuthorsR McCarley, A.M.S Smith, C.A. Kolden, Jason R. Kreitler
Effects of 21st century climate, land use, and disturbances on ecosystem carbon balance in CaliforniaTerrestrial ecosystems are an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), sequestering ~30% of annual anthropogenic emissions and slowing the rise of atmospheric CO2. However, the future direction and magnitude of the land sink is highly uncertain. We examined how historical and projected changes in climate, land use, and ecosystem disturbances affect the carbon balance of terrestrial ecoAuthorsBenjamin M. Sleeter, David Marvin, D. Richard Cameron, Paul Selmants, LeRoy Westerling, Jason R. Kreitler, Colin Daniel, Jinxun Liu, Tamara S. Wilson
Sediment transport and depositionSediment transport and deposition (sedimentation) occurs from natural and anthropogenic sources in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Substantial changes in sediment transport (such as a major increase or decrease in sediment supply) can impact aquatic ecosystems that depend on a particular sediment quantity and particle size, for example, through altering stream-channel geomorphology or fish habitat.AuthorsJoel B. Sankey, Amy E. East, Jason R. Kreitler, Christina (Naomi) Tague
Sustainability of utility-scale solar energy – critical ecological conceptsRenewable energy development is an arena where ecological, political, and socioeconomic values collide. Advances in renewable energy will incur steep environmental costs to landscapes in which facilities are constructed and operated. Scientists – including those from academia, industry, and government agencies – have only recently begun to quantify trade-offs in this arena, often using ground-mounAuthorsKara A. Moore-O'Leary, Rebecca R. Hernandez, Dave S. Johnston, Scott R. Abella, Karen E. Tanner, Amanda C. Swanson, Jason R. Kreitler, Jeffrey E. Lovich
Climate, wildfire, and erosion ensemble foretells more sediment in western USA watershedsThe area burned annually by wildfires is expected to increase worldwide due to climate change. Burned areas increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, which can increase sedimentation in downstream rivers and reservoirs. However, which watersheds will be impacted by future wildfires is largely unknown. Using an ensemble of climate, fire, and erosion models, we show that post-fire sedimentationAuthorsJoel B. Sankey, Jason R. Kreitler, Todd Hawbaker, Jason L. McVay, Mary Ellen Miller, Erich R. Mueller, Nicole M. Vaillant, Scott E. Lowe, Temuulen T. Sankey
Landscape-scale quantification of fire-induced change in canopy cover following mountain pine beetle outbreak and timber harvestAcross the western United States, the three primary drivers of tree mortality and carbon balance are bark beetles, timber harvest, and wildfire. While these agents of forest change frequently overlap, uncertainty remains regarding their interactions and influence on specific subsequent fire effects such as change in canopy cover. Acquisition of pre- and post-fire Light Detection and Ranging (LiDARAuthorsT. Ryan McCarley, Crystal A. Kolden, Nicole M. Vaillant, Andrew T. Hudak, Alistair M.S. Smith, Jason R. Kreitler
Multi-temporal LiDAR and Landsat quantification of fire-induced changes to forest structureMeasuring post-fire effects at landscape scales is critical to an ecological understanding of wildfire effects. Predominantly this is accomplished with either multi-spectral remote sensing data or through ground-based field sampling plots. While these methods are important, field data is usually limited to opportunistic post-fire observations, and spectral data often lacks validation with specificAuthorsT. Ryan McCarley, Crystal A. Kolden, Nicole M. Vaillant, Andrew T. Hudak, Alistair M.S. Smith, Brian M. Wing, Bryce Kellogg, Jason R. Kreitler
Cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California DesertThis project developed analytical approaches, tools and geospatial data to support conservation planning for renewable energy development in the California deserts. Research focused on geographical analysis to avoid, minimize and mitigate the cumulative biological effects of utility-scale solar energy development. A hierarchical logic model was created to map the compatibility of new solar energyAuthorsFrank W. Davis, Jason R. Kreitler, Oliver Soong, David M. Stoms, Stephanie Dashiell, Lee Hannah, Whitney Wilkinson, John Dingman