Kristin Byrd, Ph.D.

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


Current Position

Research Physical Scientist
Western Geographic Science Center, Moffett Field, CA

In my research I study landscape scale patterns of wetland vegetation properties to assess habitat quality dynamics and carbon stocks, and to forecast wetland resilience to climate change. I also apply integrated scenarios of land use, climate and hydrological change to assess potential impacts to ecosystem services in California rangelands, and to identify opportunities for rangeland conservation, increased carbon sequestration and drought resilience. These projects involve a combination of remote sensing, field methods, geospatial analysis, and modeling.  All projects include an outreach component to land managers and land owners; partners include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves, Solano Land Trust, the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Resource Conservation Districts, and The Nature Conservancy.

Current Projects

Co-PI: "Integrating Remote-Sensing and Ecological Forecasting into Decision-Support for Wetland Wildlife Management and Ecosystem Services in the Central Valley of California: Optimizing Across Multiple Benefits." NASA ROSES A.46: Earth Science Applications: Ecological Forecasting. 2017 - 2020. PI: Matt Reiter, Point Blue Conservation Science.

PI: "Current and Future Potential Ecosystem Services of the Nisqually River Delta: An Assessment Approach for Puget Sound Estuaries and USFWS Coastal Refuges". USGS LandCarbon Program. 2019 - 2022. 

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 - 2022. PI: Susan De La Cruz, USGS Western Ecological Research Center.

Co-I: "Sediment mobilization and geomorphic assessment of a 60-mile segment of the mainstem Klamath River below Iron Gate Dam, CA." National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 2019 - 2020. PI: Jennifer Curtis, USGS California Water Science Center.

Co-PI: “Linking Satellite and Soil Data to Validate Coastal Wetland ‘Blue Carbon’ Inventories: Upscaled Support for Developing MRV and REDD+ Protocols.” NASA ROSES A.7: Carbon Monitoring Systems. 2014 - 2017. PI: Lisamarie Windham-Myers, USGS.

Co-I: “Increasing Soil Organic Carbon to Mitigate Greenhouse Gases and Increase Climate Resiliency for California.” California Fourth Climate Change Assessment Non-Energy Projects. 2016 - 2017. PI: Lorraine Flint, USGS.

PI: "Wetland and Watershed Ecosystem Services Mapping and Forecasting." USGS Land Change Science Program. 2015 - 2020.


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2005
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

M.A., San Francisco State University, 1998
Ecology and Systematics

B.S., Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 1993
Environmental Science

Current Affiliations/Professional Service

  • Councillor-at-Large, International Association of Landscape Ecology-North America, 2019 - present
  • Science Advisory Team for the San Francisco Bay Wetland Regional Monitoring Program, 2018 - 2019
  • NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Team member, 2017 - present
  • NASA Carbon Monitoring Program Team member, 2014 - present
  • NASA Surface Biology and Geology Algorithms Working Group member, 2019 - present
  • USGS Spectroscopy and Hyperspectral Imaging Collaboration member, 2019 - present
  • USGS Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Science Program Team, 2016 - present
  • Member, American Geophysical Union, International Association for Landscape Ecology-North America 
  • Reviewer for Remote Sensing of Environment, Remote Sensing, PLOS One, Wetlands, Environmental Management, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Landscape Ecology, Wetlands Ecology and Management, Ecological Modelling, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Conservation Biology, Estuaries and Coasts, Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science.