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John W Jones

Through my research, I pursue two over-riding goals: (1) increased understanding of relationships among land surface dynamics, hydrologic, and biologic processes; and (2) the provision of resource management relevant information to decision-makers. To meet these goals, research is focused on developing new methods to measure and monitor biophysical characteristics of various land covers.

I have been developing and applying geospatial technologies to improve process understanding and resource management for more than three decades.  Throughout my career I have collaborated across disciplines and institutions to develop new methods to measure biophysical characteristics of the land surface and land cover dynamics for hydrologic modeling and aquatic habitat characterization. Following Geographic Information System (GIS) analyst positions in state government and private industry, I joined the USGS GIS Research Laboratory in 1990 to extend the use of GIS in the Federal Government through applied research, special assignments, training and outreach.  I received the Department of Interior Superior Service Award in recognition of my contributions to the use of GIS in the USGS. I then joined the Geography Senior Program Group to coordinate interdisciplinary research initiatives and co-author USGS strategic science plans. In 1997, I moved to the USGS Eastern Geographic Science Center to incorporate remote sensing and landscape ecology in Everglades restoration science. I was awarded the Department of Interior Meritorious Service Award for that work. I am particularly interested in and adept at collaborating across scientific disciplines and communicating complex science to non-scientists. Research interests include topographic modeling; the role of vegetation in hydrology (e.g., spatial and temporal variations in evapotranspiration; precipitation interception and resistance to surface water flow); mapping irrigated lands; land surface inundation/depth dynamics - especially in wetlands; and remote sensing of river discharge.  


Ph.D. in Geography

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Dissertation: The importance of vegetation fluctuations for streamflow from watersheds of macro scale.

M.A. in Water Resources Planning and Management

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Thesis: Geospatial processing techniques for snow cover mapping in heterogeneous terrain.

B.A. in Geography

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


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