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Kathryn McEachern

Dr. Kathryn McEachern began her career in the open pit coal mines of Pacific Power and Light in Wyoming and Montana.

There she designed long-term vegetation monitoring programs, directed topsoil salvage operations, and designed and tested native plant seed mixes for habitat reclamation. Her interest in ecosystem restoration led her to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she participated in the restoration ecology group, and helped design a new Conservation Biology Master’s program. In 1988, she began working with the National Park Service in the Great Lakes region on conservation of coastal ecosystems. She began long-term studies of a threatened dune thistle in one of the habitats she loves best: coastal dunes. Her research interests led her to the California south coast, where she continues to study rare plants and vegetation. Her particular interests are in the study of how the vegetation forms the context for rare plant persistence, as seen through long-term demographic patterns in the rare plants of the California Channel Islands. To look at this question, she is tracking the native and alien plant communities of the islands along with a suite of rare native plants that inhabit these communities. She guides the Prototype Vegetation Monitoring Program at Channel Islands National Park, and assists other agencies with plant community and rare plant monitoring program design.



  • Chaparral Ecology
  • Coastal Sage Ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Ecological monitoring
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Invasive species ecology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Landscape patterns
  • Plant ecology
  • Pop. viab. models
  • Population biology
  • Restoration ecology
  • Species/Population management
  • Weed management


*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