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Kristin Byrd, Ph.D.

Landscape Ecology, Remote Sensing, and Decision Support for Natural Resources Management

Current Position

I am an applied landscape ecologist with expertise in vegetation ecology, remote sensing, integrated landscape modeling and stakeholder engagement. I lead interdisciplinary teams in landscape-scale studies of Nature-based Climate Solutions provided by wetlands and working lands. Research topics address coastal ecosystem controls on hurricane impacts, carbon sequestration in tidal marshes, drought resilience in cropland and rangeland, and sustainability of ecosystem services. I integrate models of land use and management, climate and hydrological change to identify potential for climate resilience and adaptation. I analyze multispectral and hyperspectral imagery to quantify ecosystem condition. My work spans the spatial extents of U.S. coastal wetlands, the State of California and large landscapes including the Central Valley, California and Puget Sound, Washington. I emphasize the use of open data and open source software to easily reproduce, update and transfer information. All projects feature extensive outreach to land managers and landowners to aid natural resources decision making.

Current Projects

Team Member, Philippines Counter Wildlife Trafficking & Protected Area Management Project, U.S. Dept. of Interior International Technical Assistance Program short-term assignment. 2023

PI: “Remote Sensing of Mercury Speciation in South San Francisco Bay: Applications of Emerging Technologies to Track Management and Climate Impacts." USGS Bay-Delta Priority Ecosystem Studies Program. 2022 - 2026.

PI: A Tool for Rapid-Repeat High-Resolution Coastal Vegetation Maps to Improve Forecasting of Hurricane Impacts and Coastal Resilience.” USGS Center for Data Integration. 2023. 

Co-PI: “Coastal wetland vulnerability to climate change and sea-level rise: understanding ecological thresholds and ecosystem transformations.” USGS Large Landscapes Priority Ecosystem Studies Program. 2023 – 2025. PI: Michael Osland, USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.

PI: "Current and Future Potential Ecosystem Services of the Nisqually River Delta: An Assessment Approach for Puget Sound Estuaries and USFWS Coastal Refuges." USGS Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center and USGS LandCarbon Program. 2019 - 2023. 

Co-PI: SHIFT (NASA Surface Biology and Geology High Density Time Series) Field Campaign. NASA SBG. 2022 - 2023. Lead: Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Co-PI: "Coastal Elevation Models and Land Surface Variables for Use in Forecasting Hurricane Impacts." Hurricane Coastal Impacts, Task 1, National Oceanographic Partnership Program. 2021 - 2024. PI: Dean Gesch, USGS EROS.

Co-PI: "Quantifying Drivers and Stressors of Intertidal Biofilm Resources at the Largest Tidal Wetland Restoration on the U.S. West Coast." USGS Bay-Delta Priority Ecosystem Studies Program. 2019 - 2023. PI: Susan De La Cruz, USGS Western Ecological Research Center.

PI: "Remote Sensing and Forecasting Wetland and Watershed Ecosystem Services." USGS National Land Imaging Program. Ongoing.

*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