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Karen Thorne, Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Thorne is a Research Ecologist with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center,

Her research focus is on climate change impacts to coastal ecosystems. In particular, her work has included assessing sea-level rise and storm impacts to coastal ecosystems, wetland ecology, restoration, and blue carbon. She received her Ph.D. and MS from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Thorne's interests lie in conservation and management issues surrounding climate-related research that assess changes to ecosystems. Her current focus is assessing how sea-level rise and storms impact tidal wetland ecosystems in the U.S. and island habitats. She conducts research to inform climate adaptation and planning to help managers mitigate impacts and conduct restoration. Her research is based on field data collection methods that can be developed into climate change impact models using ArcGIS and other remote sensing tools.


  • Global Change Biology
  • Coastal Ecosystems
  • Wetland Ecology
  • Restoration
  • Threatened & Endangered Species
  • Blue Carbon
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Ecological Response Modeling
  • Storm Monitoring
  • Sea-level Rise Planning & Decision Support

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government