John A Young


John Young is a Research Biologist (Biogeography/GIS) at the USGS Leetown Science Center.  His research interests include developing innovative applications of GIS and remote sensing technologies to assess the impact of landscape structure on the distribution of aquatic and terrestrial species and their habitats.  His past research activities have included assessing watershed land use effects on aquatic communities, modeling the distribution of endangered, rare, and at risk plants and animals, remote sensing monitoring and assessment of forest vegetation communities, and characterizing forest structure and change using aerial lidar.  His work has also included development of risk and vulnerability models using multi-criteria decision support tools and geospatial modeling, and development of spatial sampling designs for field data collection.


  • M.S. Geography, 1992, Virginia Tech
  • B.A. Geography, 1987, Virginia Tech

Current Research

  • Assessing landscape and watershed factors influencing the distribution of species and their habitats
  • Development of GIS and remote sensing methods for characterizing aquatic and terrestrial habitats
  • Derivation of habitat and habitat change metrics from topographic and bathymetric lidar
  • Landscape and genetic approaches to understanding population structuring of rare and at risk plants


  • International Association of Landscape Ecologists, International Biogeography Society